It’s time for the college basketball playoffs, probably my favorite sporting event of the year. It’s a month of possibilities and excitement. There are the bubble teams, the tournament selection announcements, filling out your brackets for the office pool, the David vs. Goliath upsets, and Cinderella teams making runs deep into the tourney. That also means a month of game-day parties with a seemingly endless supply of finger foods and game day grub.
Whether you are having a big shindig with your fellow fans or just catching the games at home, these Grilled Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are a triple threat because you can serve them as tasty meatballs or use them for meatball sliders or subs.
Grilled Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Savory spicy grilled chicken meatballs are versatile - serve them with a cooling yogurt dipping sauce or use them in sliders and subs.
For the meatballs
- 1.25 pounds ground chicken
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cooked carrot
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the ranch dip
- 1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dill
- 1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
For the Buffalo Sauce
- 1/4 cup hot sauce
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Mix together the chicken, carrot, celery, onion, bread crumbs, salt, paprika, brown sugar, granulated garlic, and pepper. Form into meatballs the size of ping-pong balls. Refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes.
- Mix together the yogurt, mayonnaise, seasoned salt, dill, ancho chile powder and garlic. Refrigerate the dip for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat your grill to 350 degrees.
- Lightly oil a vegetable grill topper like the Char-Broil Square Wok and preheat it as well.
- Place the meatballs on the topper and cook until the bottoms are firmly set, about five minutes.
- Meanwhile place the hot sauce, butter and Worcestershire sauce in a small pot and place over medium-low heat on the grill side burner. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted and combined into the sauce, about three minutes.
- Turn the meatballs to a raw side and cook two more minutes. Repeat until the entire surface of the meatballs is browned.
- Now the meatballs are firm enough to just roll them around every few minutes until they finish cooking, about another 10 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Toss the meatballs in the Buffalo sauce and return them to the grill topper just for one minute to glaze the meatballs.
- Serve the meatballs with the ranch dip or use them to make meatball sliders or sub sandwiches.
A lightly oiled ice cream scoop and food handling gloves make it easier to form the meatballs without them sticking to your hands.
Arrange the meatballs in the grill topper so there is some space between them.
Once the meatballs have a slight crust like this, you can just swirl them around the grill topper instead of turning each one individually. Just don’t forget to wear a heat-resistant glove…I’ve done that. Ouch.
If you don’t have a side burner, you can put a grill safe pot on the grill next to your grill topper.
Once you have sauced the meatballs and put them back on to finish, save the leftover Buffalo sauce to drizzle over them once they come off the grill.
These are excellent served just as is with the ranch dipping sauce on the side.
I like to notch the top of a sub roll, fill it with thin Provolone cheese slices, and top it with the meatballs, ranch, and some blue cheese crumbles. Then I put it back on the grill over medium high heat just long enough for the cheese to melt.
In the off chance that you have some of these spicy beauties left over, try slicing them and putting the slices on a white sauce pizza and splash it with hot sauce. You won’t be disappointed!