Buffalo Chicken wings are a favorite American appetizer or even a meal. So when I decided to turn them into a fun party snack, I knew they would be an instant hit with my party guests.
Traditional hot wings are very popular but serving them for a crowd just isn’t economical. Now I can offer my guests the same great flavor of Buffalo wings in an incredibly easy version we keep warm throughout the party or game day with the use of our crock pot or slow cooker.
If you opt to make these a meal, try serving them with mashed potatoes, rice, or creamy blue cheese polenta (yellow grits) for a fun weeknight meal.
As an appetizer, guests can pick their own stick and enjoy their buffalo meatball drizzled with chunky blue cheese with either a carrot stick or a celery stick. Who needs a fork?
These are finger food with a built-in utensil!
Since the grocery store was out of ground chicken, we started with boneless, skinless chicken thighs and gound our own meat using our food processor. This is quite typical for us to grind our own meat since a pound of ground chicken is over $5/lb and boneless, skinless chicken thighs often run as low as $2.50/lb. If you don’t mind de-boning your own chicken, I see bone-in, skin-on thighs for as low as $1.99/lb.
Using the food processor to grind the meat is a very viable option. For chicken and turkey, stick with dark meat or a blend that contains mostly dark meat so that you get as much fat as you can from these otherwise lean animals. If you use strictly white meat, be aware that the cooked meat will be a bit dry.
Also, be aware that ground meat made in the food processor won’t look the same as the ground meat purchased at the store. It will look more like coarsely-chopped crumbles instead of the extruded strands we are used to. Resist the urge to process the meat until it looks like a paste. Grinding to this extent in the food processor will overwork the meat, making it tough once cooked.
LOOKING FOR MORE APPETIZERS?
- Air Fryer Ravioli
- Nashville Hot Chicken Wings
- Baked Parmesan Cheese Fries
- BLT Dip
- Barbecue Dry-Rubbed Chicken Wings
- Spinach Dip Stuffed French Bread
Want to try this Buffalo Chicken Meatball Recipe?
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Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
- 1-1/2 pounds ground chicken [See Note 1]
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs [See Note 2]
- 1 large egg , slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 green onions , sliced thin
- 3/4 cup hot sauce [See Note 3]
- 1/2 stick (4 tbsp) butter
- 20 celery sticks [See Note 4]
- 20 carrot sticks [See Note 4]
- 1/2 cup chunky blue cheese dressing [See Note 5] - plus more for serving
- fresh parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside
- In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, Panko, egg, garlic and onion powder, green onions, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined. With a small scoop or your hands, roll the mixture into 1-inch meatballs, forming about 40 meatballs.
- Place meatballs onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 4-5 minutes, or until all sides are browned.
- While the meatballs are in the oven, add the butter and hot sauce into the crock pot to melt; then whisk together.
- Remove the meatballs from the oven and place into the slow cooker and gently toss to combine with the sauce. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours.
- To serve: Either insert a carrot or celery sticks into the meatballs for serving or serve them with the carrots and celery on the side allowing guests to chose their stick for an interactive appetizer.
- We grind our own chicken. If you don't have a meat grinder, you can use a food processor. Our store was out of ground chicken so we opted to make our own. If you use the food processor, the texture of the raw chicken meat will look like ground meat with a soft texture free of lumps.
- Panko bread crumbs are Japanese-style bread crumbs sold on the flour aisle near the dry bread crumbs.
- I use Franks Red Hot Original brand hot sauce.
- Some stores sell carrots and celery already cut by the fresh salads. I cut and prepare my own julienne carrots.
- May substitute ranch dressing and/or gorganzola cheese.