Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

These meatballs are a lighter, healthier alternative to buffalo wings, and you can easily make them right in the slow cooker!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs - A lighter, healthier alternative to buffalo wings that you can make right in the slow cooker!

It’s been insanely warm out here in the Bay Area, and I even think it high 90 degrees in the house yesterday. So the last thing I want to do is leave the stovetop or oven on. That’s why I finally dusted off my slow cooker, and seeing that I had an entire bottle of Frank’s RedHot ready to be used up, I just had to make these epic buffalo chicken meatballs. I’m not even a buffalo fan but these meatballs still blew my mind!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs - A lighter, healthier alternative to buffalo wings that you can make right in the slow cooker!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs - A lighter, healthier alternative to buffalo wings that you can make right in the slow cooker!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs - A lighter, healthier alternative to buffalo wings that you can make right in the slow cooker!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs - A lighter, healthier alternative to buffalo wings that you can make right in the slow cooker!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs - A lighter, healthier alternative to buffalo wings that you can make right in the slow cooker!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs - A lighter, healthier alternative to buffalo wings that you can make right in the slow cooker!

You can even make these ahead of time up to the point of baking them. When you’re ready to serve, pop these babies right into the slow cooker for about 2 hours, really letting the buffalo flavors soak right in. From there, you can drizzle on that blue cheese dressing goodness to taste. Best of all, these can be served as a snack, a party appetizer or even a light dinner!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs - A lighter, healthier alternative to buffalo wings that you can make right in the slow cooker!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 2 hours, 5 minutes

Total Time 2 hours, 20 minutes

Yield 6 servings

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

These meatballs are a lighter, healthier alternative to buffalo wings, and you can easily make them right in the slow cooker!


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 3/4 cup Panko*
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese dressing


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, Panko, egg, garlic and onion powder and green onions; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch meatballs, forming about 24 meatballs.
  • Place meatballs onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 4-5 minutes, or until all sides are browned.
  • Place meatballs into a slow cooker. Add buffalo sauce and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours.
  • Serve immediately, drizzled with blue cheese dressing, if desired.


*Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb and can be found in the Asian section of your local grocery store.

Adapted from Cheeky Kitchen


  1. Joan Teskey says

    love your recipes….but 3/4 cup of Franks???????? I think I am brave when I use 2 tablespoons!!!!!!!!

  2. robin says

    Hot weather???? I live in Arizona its been hot for about a month or two. LOL! Look forward to making these. You had me at crock pot!……. Great photos! On a serious note , your recipes have renewed my love of cooking , thanks…..

  3. Kathy says

    I’m thinking I may bake them, then freeze until I need them quickly one night. Wonder if I could just put them in the slow cooker frozen. I have recipes for the slow cooker where you use frozen chicken thighs, etc. How do you think the meatball would survive being slow cooked from frozen?

  4. says

    It’s the boyfriend’s birthday party next weekend and I have a feeling these will be very popular with the lads! The best part is I can prepare everything ahead of time! One less thing to worry about :) Thank you!!!

  5. says

    Oh my goodness, I was subscribed to your Tumblr feed still. I’ve just been going through all my feeds to update them and noticed. Ugh! Sorry I’ve been MIA for so long.

    So need to try these meatballs. In fact, it’s dinner time here now and I’m literally salivating all over the keyboard! *wipes mouth* :)

  6. says

    These are a total lifesaver! I’m out near Sacramento, and we were above 90° the entire past week. It was almost torture to go outside during mid-afternoon, and I’m definitely not looking forward to the summer when the thermometer reads 100°+ nearly every other day. So smart to pull out the slow cooker! And all those delicious flavors? Count me in!

  7. Maria says

    Hot weather? Please send some to the New England area :-(
    I would love to feel that heat, so tired of wet and damp. These look wonderful.

  8. Tammy Bowman says

    I made these last night for Cinco de Mayo. I added about 2 tbsp. of crumbled blue cheese to the meatball mixture and decided to make mini hoagie sliders with them. I made a ‘slaw’ out of shredded (chiffonade) Romaine lettuce, shredded carrots and diced celery. I topped the mini hoagie roll with the slaw mix, plopped the meatballs on top and drizzled with Blue cheese dressing. Wow! It may not have been ‘authentic’ Mexican fare, but it sure tasted delicious with a Margarita!!!

    • sandi says

      Your changes sound great!!! I am not on the “blue cheese” bandwagon yet but putting it in the meatballs might get me there yet.!!!

  9. says

    If I needed to cook them entirely in the oven, how long would they stay in? Maybe brown them at 400 for 4-5 minutes, then turn the oven down to 325, sauce them and leave them in for an additional 20 or 30 minutes?

    • Chung-Ah says

      Unfortunately, I cannot give you the exact time/oven temp as this is a recipe specifically for a slow cooker. I recommend using your best judgement to ensure that the meatballs are completely cooked through.

  10. says

    I understand. I kept the temperature at 400 degrees, cooking them for a total of 30 minutes, turning them twice the first 20 minutes, basting with buffalo sauce and cooking for an additional 10. Perfect! :)

    • Chung-Ah says

      You can certainly use ground beef but I worry that the texture may be a bit more tough than using ground chicken.

      • Nancy says

        thank you – I’m actually making them tonight for dinner so I will let you know how the ground beef is….

  11. Melissa says

    I like the ease of this recipe, but I’m not a fan of buffalo sauce. How would these meatballs be without the buffalo sauce?

  12. Tina says

    Instead of cooking in oven first, do you think cooking them in crock pot longer would work.? Slow cook on low for 4-6 hours? They look yummy!

    • Chungah says

      I’ve actually tried cooking them completely in the crockpot before and I was personally not a fan. A lot of the fat surrounding the meatballs had floated to the top, leaving it to be very unappetizing.

  13. Amber says

    I just came across your blog and I’m so excited to try these for a college football game tonight! As well as your Parmesan zucchini crisps. Your dishes look amazing, surely I’ll be trying many more! Thanks for sharing your skills with all of us! :D


  14. Annu says

    When you bake the meatballs, does 1 side become flat. I tried another recipe awhile back and baked them but 1 side was flat.

    • Chungah says

      The meatballs inevitably flatten a bit on one side. After all, they are sitting flat on a baking sheet the entire time they are baked!

      • Annu says

        Thanks for the quick response! I just found your blog through Pinterest and I cannot wait to try this and other recipes you have posted :)

  15. Annie says

    Hi! I just found your blog and will be making this recipe tonight! I will add a small ball of fresh mozzarella to the center of the meatballs for some extra melty, cheesy goodness.

    This recipe seems to be a great, lower-calorie alternative with all the same buffalo flavor. Even with the added cheese I calculated 388 calories per serving (at 4 servings for me, not 6), so your original without the cheese would be even less. And Frank’s Red Hot is my fave too! Sorry to ramble, but thank for the recipe and I’m sure they will turn out delicious!

  16. Sabrina K says

    Love this recipe! I’ve been making these for the past couple of weeks for every football Sunday and my husband and friends are obsessed! I’m thinking of preparing them and baking them tonight so I’ll have less of a clean up tomorrow but I was wondering.. If I double the recipe (to about 40 small meatballs) could I still put them all in one crockpot? Or do you think they need to all be in one single layer?

    • Tracy says

      this comment is probably a bit late but I cooked mine in the oven and put them into the crockpot and into the refrigerator until the next day as I was making them for Christmas Eve and it worked perfectly!! These are incredible!

    • Chungah says

      You can certainly try substituting ground beef but without further recipe testing, I cannot speak for how much this will change the overall taste/texture of the dish. It is always best to use the ingredients listed in the recipe to obtain the best results possible.

  17. Cheryl says

    I am new to your site and so glad that I found it! You do an amazing job!!
    I have never used buffalo sauce any suggestions for a brand?

  18. Tania R says

    thank you for this great recipe! Made these for a small gathering and they were a hit! I did make and bake them early, then put in the crock pot later in the day. Turned out perfect! Used more Frank’s for our taste and made a blue cheese dressing. Will become a staple in our home!

  19. Dina says

    Thank you for sharing! I am making them as I type :) today is my Husbands Bday so I want to surprise him when he gets home from work with this as an appetizer. I think he will love them! I forgot the green onions, so I replaced with a tsp or so of freeze dried chives. I am sure he will love them! also he is not a fan of bleu cheese dressing so I grabbed a bottle of the buffalo ranch dressing. Cant wait to surprise him! ps- My slow cooker is still packed since we just moved so I will probably just cook them very very low and slow on stove top in a sauce pot with lid on. I think that will work. Thanks again! Happy Holidays!

  20. Pat says

    It took me much longer than 4-5 minutes to have the meatballs brown. It took almost 15 minutes. Can’t wait to try them this evening as we ring in 2015!! Can’t wait to check out all your other recipes on here!!

    • Chungah says

      Pat, I’m so glad you tried this recipe! As for browning, your heat source may have been set too low. Also, please keep in mind that the meatballs do not have to be completely cooked through in this step. You are simply browning it for the slow cooker.

    • Chungah says

      I’m not entirely sure if the meatballs will be fully cooked through after one hour. It may be best to taste-test one of the meatballs prior to serving.

  21. david a says

    I’ve made these and there great, i even subbed the tooth pick with a celery stick so you can eat the whole thing, with out ever having to worry were to ditch the stick…hahah

  22. katherine says

    hi love the recipe but I am cooking for a 2 and 6yr old do you think I could substitute buffalo sauce for bbq sauce so its not so spicy??

    • Chungah says

      That sounds like a great idea but without further recipe testing, I cannot say with certainty how this will turn out. Please use your best judgment to make the appropriate substitutions.

  23. Kevin says

    When you say Franks Buffalo sauce, is it the pre-made variety or do you make it with the straight Franks hot sauce mixed with butter? Thanks..Kevin

  24. D. Doerr says

    I took a chance and made these for the first time to enter into our appetizer contest at work for our Super Bowl party, and I won! I doubled the recipe and baked the meatballs the night before, (they do take longer than 5 min, they take about 10 min). The next day before the party, I put them in the crockpot with the sauce for 2 1/2 hrs. on low, they were prize winning!

  25. Jessica says

    I’d love to make these for a potluck but I’d have to make them ahead and then drive 2 hours… any ideas on how to reheat them without making them dry?

    • Chungah says

      Unfortunately I cannot answer this with certainty as I have not tried reheating these myself. Please your best judgment on storing and reheating.

  26. becca says

    hello i am about to make these for the super bowl do you think it would still taste good if i cooked the meatballs on a pan instead of baking them? thank you

  27. Carol says

    Fabulous recipe! Your directions and photos were perfect. I made these as an appetizer for our Super Bowl party and they were a big hit! Next time I will double the recipe as everyone wanted more!

  28. Courtney says

    These were delicious! Just made them tonight and accidentally forgot the egg but they still turned out great. Thank you!

  29. cori says

    Just made these. Smell awesome. Going to serve them with a bowl of the Bleu Cheese dressing for dip and celery sticks

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