These buffalo ranch meatballs combine simplicity, flavor, and convenience, making them a perfect addition to your weeknight dinner repertoire. With minimal ingredients, quick preparation time, and one-pan cleanup, they offer a stress-free and delicious meal solution for busy individuals and families alike. All you need for these Buffalo Ranch Meatballs is the chicken meatballs, buffalo sauce, ranch of choice and feta cheese.
These buffalo ranch meatballs are gluten free and nut free and have a dairy free option. They are low fat and can be made low carb.
why you’ll love this recipe
- Fast and simple: This buffalo ranch meatballs recipe is designed for busy weeknights. With minimal prep work and a quick 15-minute bake time, you’ll have a delicious meal on the table in no time.
- One-pan wonder: Dirty dishes are a nightmare? This recipe utilizes just one skillet for both baking the meatballs and tossing them in the flavorful buffalo-ranch sauce. Cleanup is a breeze!
- Weeknight hero: Whether you’re short on time or aiming for quick meal prep, these meatballs are your answer. Whip up a batch and enjoy them throughout the week for a satisfying and hassle-free lunch or dinner.
- Dietary friendly: Gluten-free breadcrumbs and dairy-free parmesan cheese make this recipe accessible to everyone. You can even use ground turkey or a leaner protein to create a fat-free version.
- Customizable flavors: Don’t like spicy? Adjust the amount of buffalo sauce to your liking. Craving more vegetables? Add chopped carrots or celery to the meatball mixture. The options are endless!
- Effortless and delicious: These Buffalo Ranch Meatballs are packed with flavor and offer a complete meal in one pan. They’re perfect for busy weeknights, meal prep, and satisfying picky eaters. So why not give them a try and experience the ease and deliciousness for yourself?
ingredients & substitutions
Lean ground chicken forms the base of these buffalo ranch meatballs, providing a protein foundation and a neutral flavor canvas for the buffalo ranch sauce. For a richer flavor, ground turkey or a combination of both can be used. If you’re vegetarian, lentils or crumbled tofu can be substituted for a meat-free option.
Oat milk adds moisture and binds the other ingredients together, creating a juicy and tender buffalo ranch meatball. Substitute with any plant-based milk of your choice, such as almond milk, soy milk, or cashew milk. For non-vegan diets, regular milk or even water can be used.
Gluten-free Seasoned Breadcrumbs:
These breadcrumbs add texture and bulk to the buffalo ranch meatballs, contributing to their satisfying bite. Use regular seasoned breadcrumbs if gluten isn’t a concern. Crushed crackers, oats, or even mashed potatoes can be used as substitutes.
An egg acts as a binder, helping the buffalo ranch meatballs hold their shape while baking. A flaxseed egg or a chia seed egg can be used as vegan alternatives. If you’re allergic to eggs, simply add a bit more breadcrumbs to achieve the desired consistency.
Dairy-free Parmesan Cheese:
While optional, the parmesan cheese adds a touch of savory umami flavor to the buffalo ranch meatballs. Nutritional yeast or even a sprinkle of salt can be used to mimic the flavor depth in dairy-free versions.
The star of the show, buffalo sauce provides the signature spicy tang that defines the dish. Choose your favorite brand or adjust the amount to control the level of heat. For a completely homemade approach, you can even whip up your own buffalo sauce using hot sauce, butter, vinegar, and spices.
Ranch dressing adds a creamy balance to the spiciness of the buffalo sauce. Choose a dairy-free option or make your own with dairy-free buttermilk, mayonnaise, herbs, and spices. For a lighter touch, you can even use plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.
Crumbled feta cheese adds a salty and creamy element to the finished dish. Substitute with any crumbled cheese you enjoy, such as blue cheese, gorgonzola, or even goat cheese. For the dairy free recipe use dairy free feta cheese. For the low fat recipe use low fat or fat free feta cheese.
Green onions offer a fresh and slightly spicy bite, complementing the other flavors beautifully. Chopped chives or even fresh parsley can be used as alternatives.
Arugula adds a peppery and slightly bitter note. It creating a refreshing contrast to the richness of the meatballs. Spinach or baby kale can be used as substitutes if arugula is unavailable.
taste & texture
The buffalo ranch meatballs are juicy and tender on the inside. The outside has a slightly crispy texture from the breadcrumbs. The buffalo sauce adds a spicy flavor, while the ranch dressing adds a creamy balance. The crumbled feta cheese adds a salty element. The green onions and arugula provide a fresh and slightly bitter contrast.
In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, oat milk, breadcrumbs, egg, parmesan cheese. Mix until well combined. Form the meat mixture into 9-12 meatballs.
Place the meatballs in an oven-safe skillet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.
Once the meatballs are cooked, top them with the buffalo and ranch sauces.
Top with crumbled feta cheese, sliced green onions, and arugula.
expert tips & tricks
Use a cookie scoop to portion the buffalo ranch meatballs. This will help ensure they are all the same size and cook evenly.
Make a double batch and freeze half for later. This is a great way to have a quick and easy meal ready to go on busy weeknights.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors. You can add other spices to the meatballs, such as cumin, paprika, or garlic powder.
how to make this lower carb
To make this a low carb buffalo ranch meatball recipe use pork rinds intead of breadcrumbs!
how to make this low fat or healthier
Use low-fat or fat-free ranch dressing. Choose low-fat cheese crumbles or omit them altogether.
how to make this vegan
Use ground lentils or crumbled tofu instead of ground chicken. Opt for a vegan egg substitute such as a flaxseed egg or chia seed egg. Choose dairy-free parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast.
Use vegan ranch dressing or make your own with plant-based milk, mayonnaise alternative, herbs, and spices. Top with vegan cheese crumbles or chopped nuts instead of feta cheese.
how to serve, store and meal prep
Serving and Storage:
Serve the buffalo ranch meatballs warm with your desired dipping sauce, such as ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, or honey mustard. They can also be enjoyed on their own as a finger food.
For storing leftover buffalo ranch meatballs, first let them cool completely to room temperature. Then, transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
For longer storage, you can freeze the buffalo ranch meatballs. Allow them to cool completely, then arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for about 2 hours, or until solid. Once frozen, transfer the meatballs to an airtight freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.
To reheat frozen buffalo ranch meatballs, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or defrost them quickly in the microwave. You can reheat them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through. Alternatively, reheat them in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
For easy grab-and-go lunches or dinners, you can easily meal prep these buffalo ranch meatballs in individual portions. Simply bake the meatballs according to the recipe, then let them cool completely. Divide them into individual containers, top with your desired sauce and toppings, and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This way, you have a delicious and convenient meal ready to enjoy whenever you’re short on time.
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Buffalo Ranch Meatballs
For the meatballs:
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 3 tablespoons oat milk
- 1 cup gluten-free italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons dairy-free parmesan cheese
For the topping:
- 1/2 cup buffalo sauce
- 1/4 cup ranch dressing
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- 1 cup arugula optional for topping
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, oat milk, breadcrumbs, egg, parmesan cheese. Mix until well combined.
- Form the meat mixture into 9-12 meatballs.
- Place the meatballs in an oven-safe skillet.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Once the meatballs are cooked, top them with the buffalo and ranch sauces.
- Top with crumbled feta cheese, sliced green onions, and arugula.
- Serve immediately.