What if I told you you COULD have it all?
Do we really have to make a choice between “meatballs” and “buffalo wings?” I mean, I’m a wing gal myself. Drop a platter of those hot, crispy and peppery-saucy babies in front of me and STEP BACK! One of the best things about eating low–carb and keto is that a lot of wing types are totally on point!
But, meatballs…they’re such a classic app, especially for a group. I’ve long had this “meatball secret sauce” that, in an emergency, I can whip out and provide protein-rich snacks for a hungry football horde (no, I’m not revealing it…well, maybe not yet. Beg me and I’ll think about it1)
So in working on new recipes for Blū, the Cookbook, I thought I’d play again, with the flavors of Buffalo (chicken) and Blue Cheese. Classic, right?
This recipe is AWESOME. I have to warn you, though…if you are used to the coating/absorption rate of your hot sauce, let me tell you: the meatballs, being “ground” meat with more surface area than the skin of typical wings, tends to attract the sauce more intensely than what you are used to.
I like my wings HOT. Normally, Frank’s Red Hot (my fav), isn’t hot enough, so I embellish it. But, with these meatballs, I found the Frank’s was plenty spicy. So, thank heavens for Ranch/Blue Cheese Dressing because every other meatball bite, I would take a tiny dip…
In my recipe, I give you the option of using both ground chicken or turkey. While I prefer the turkey, personally, because it’s a little juicier, I also know that ground chicken is often easier to find. Either way, it’s going to be good.
Unlike other recipes I’ve shared from the upcoming cookbook, I don’t really have a favorite blue cheese for this one. Because you have so many flavors going on, using a specialty cheese doesn’t really make sense…the hot sauce will pretty much obscure any nuance an artisan blue will offer.
One note: be sure you pinch the meatball mixture tightly around the cheese. Otherwise you might have cheesus leakus as you bake the meatballs. Not fatal, but we DO want to keep all that luscious blue cheese inside the meatball to be enjoyed!
Game on, folks. This was one of my Super Bowl apps this year, even though the Super Bowl party consisted of me and Captain Wonderful. Just ’cause we are refraining from parties and groups and staying distant, we don’t have to refrain from top-notch football feeding, right?
Buffalo Blue Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs
- 1 lb ground chicken or turkey
- 1/4 small red onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 cup panko crumbs
- 1 Tbsp powdered Ranch dressing/dip mix
- 4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup buffalo hot wing sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Spray a sheet pan with baking spray and top with a cooling rack or similar; spray tray with baking spray as well.
- With a fork, stir together in a large bowl the ground chicken or turkey, onion, garlic, egg white, panko crumbs and Ranch dip mix until just combined. Divide mixture into 16 equal portions.
- Make a well in the center of a meatball and add about 1/2 Tbsp of crumbled blue cheese. Form the meatball around the blue cheese and pinch ends to seal. Roll into a ball. Place meatball on the cooling rack. Repeat until all 16 meatballs have been stuffed and formed.
- Bake meatballs for 18-22 minutes, rotating sheet pan once through baking time, until meatballs are cooked through.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Then add buffalo wing sauce and stir to combine. When baked, add meatballs to the buffalo sauce mixture and roll in the sauce, using a spoon to make sure meatballs are well coated. Cover the skillet with a lid and turn heat to low to keep meatballs warm.
- If you are making this for a crowd, you can use your slow cooker to sauce the meatballs and keep them warm while serving. Simply add the meatballs to the warmed slow cooker, pour sauce mixture over and stir to coat.
- Serve as-is or with your favorite "buffalo wing" sides, such as carrots and celery sticks with Ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.