Buffalo Ranch Chicken Meatballs make a great appetizer for a crowd, and a yummy lunch when paired with some iceberg lettuce, carrots, celery, and ranch dressing; all the accompaniments you’d find with buffalo wings. These meatballs are flavored with red onion and ranch seasoning, and then drenched in a flavorful combination of hot sauce, butter, and honey. Who knew eating healthy could taste this great?
What you’ll need to make this recipe
The ingredient list for this recipe is very short, and the cook time is so minimal; which makes it a great option for a quick and easy meal prep. Here’s what you’ll need:
- ground chicken breast (if you can’t find ground chicken breast, don’t worry! I will show you how to make your own later)
- red onion
- ranch seasoning
- panko breadcrumbs
- hot sauce
- light butter
What to do if you can’t find ground chicken breast
This recipe calls for 99% fat free ground chicken breast (you can always use turkey breast too!) So what on earth is one to do if you can’t find it in the stores? Granted, you could always use the 93% fat free kind, but we all know the calories and points for that is almost as high as ground beef; and if you ask me, I’d rather use the ground beef! When I went to the store to get my ingredients for this recipe, they were out of the ground chicken breast. So instead, I remembered the tip I got from my friend Biz (http://www.mybizzykitchen.com); I bought regular chicken breast, and used my food processor to grind it up. Within seconds, I had my own ground chicken breast. It couldn’t be easier. And nine times out of ten, it’s cheaper too. Next time you are in this rut, do yourself a favor and grind up your own chicken breast. It’s such a life saver!
How to make the mini meatballs
Preheat the oven to 350F. Once you have your ground chicken ready, just add the other ingredients to the bowl, and use your hands to mix it together. Our hands are our best tool!
Once its mixed, I use a mini scooper to get the right sized meatballs. I also use a mini muffin tin to cook my mini meatballs. I find that they steam in the small openings, which creates a moist meatball. Spray the mini muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. If you are using a baking sheet, spray that with cooking spray. Then, arrange your mini meatballs on the tray. Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes. This is just enough time to cook them through, but not dry them out.
How to make the buffalo sauce
While the meatballs are cooking, it’s the perfect time to make the buffalo sauce. Simply combine the hot sauce, butter, and honey in a small saucepan. Whisk it together and heat it over medium heat.
When the meatballs are cooked, place them into a large mixing bowl and pour the sauce over. Toss the meatballs so that the sauce covers them thoroughly. Then, place the meatballs on a serving tray (or into your meal prep containers). Pour the sauce back into the pan, and whisk in the corn starch. Bring the liquid to a rapid simmer, and cook the liquid for about five minutes or until it becomes thicker. Spoon the thickened sauce over the meatballs for serving.
How to serve buffalo ranch chicken meatballs
Garnish with scallions, if desired. Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing, and with carrots, celery and iceberg lettuce. For meal prep, I portion out six portions of meatballs, four meatballs per portion. The meatballs can be eaten hot or cold; I usually eat them cold right over the other ingredients for the ultimate buffalo ranch chicken salad. Are these spicy? Yes. Very. You’ve been warned!
Buffalo Ranch Meatballs
- mixing bowl
- mini muffin tin (not necessary) or sheet pan
- 2.5 lbs 99% fat free ground chicken breast
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon Hidden Valley Ranch powdered seasoning
- 1/2 cup red onion finely chopped
- scallions for garnish optional
- 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons light butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Combine the meatball ingredients and divide into 24 mini meatballs.
- Spray a mini muffin tin or baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Portion the meatballs out into the muffin tin or on the sheet pan.
- Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
- To make the sauce, combine the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- When the meatballs are cooked, pour the sauce on top and toss to coat.
- Remove the meatballs from the sauce once coated, and place them to the side on a serving platter or bowl (or meal prep containers).
- Add the buffalo sauce back into the saucepan, and add the cornstarch to the pot. Whisk to break down any clumps.
- Bring to a rapid simmer; simmer for 5 minutes.
- The sauce should be thicker and creamier. Spoon the finished sauce over the cooked meatballs.
- Garnish with fresh scallions.
- Green Plan:
- 1 WW point for 1 meatball
- 2 WW points for 2 meatballs
- 3 WW points for 3 meatballs
- 5 WW points for 4 meatballs
- Blue and Purple Plans:
- 1 WW point for up to 2 meatballs
- 2 WW points for 3 meatballs
- 3 WW points for 4 meatballs