These Paleo Buffalo Chicken Meatballs With Ranch are the perfect make-ahead food… and they are healing!
Everyone seems to have a go-to dish that finds it way into every party or entertaining occasion. You know the one. It’s the one you can make easily, that can be made in advance, that looks pretty, and that everyone seems to like. For me, that dish is usually some type of meatball.
Meatballs are awesome. They make me happy. Dunno why… it just is so.
There are so many kinds to be made.
I love to think of the occasion, the season, the diners, and, then I figure out what kind of balls are called for.
These past few months alone, I think I’ve made Vietnamese meatballs, Italian meatballs, turkey meatballs, cheese-stuffed meatballs, and now… these Paleo Buffalo Chicken Meatballs.
So, are people tired of my meatballs? Nope. Why is that? Because no two varieties ever taste the same. And, I never serve them quite the same way.
If you’ve never had a baked meatball hero casserole, you haven’t fully lived.
And meatballs on skewers with grilled veggies… yum.
And, my personal favorite… meatball soup.
Okay, I guess I better get back to the present recipe, because, these Paleo Buffalo Chicken Meatballs With Ranch are quickly becoming a favorite in our house. First, they are made with ground chicken, which in my opinion tastes way better than turkey. Second, I use Paleo breadcrumbs. There are companies that actually sell these in bags now (ask me, and I’ll fill you in), or you can make them yourself out of store-bought or homemade grain-free bread. The scallions and parsley keep the balls fresh tasting. And the Buffalo sauce makes them… well… Buffalo-y.
Oh, and did I mention that there’s a dairy-free ranch dipping sauce? Well, there is and it’s the perfect compliment to the spiciness of these delicious meatballs.
But, perhaps the best part about this recipe is that after you bake the meatballs in the oven, you transfer them to your slow cooker, add the sauce and then they cook slowly and stay warm up until you are ready to serve them. Easy peasy. Make ahead meatballs… just awesome.
So, if you are a meatball lover like I am, you should also try my recipe for Lamb Meatballs With Herbs And Kale.
Here are some of the great healing ingredients in these Paleo Buffalo Chicken Meatballs With Ranch:
Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…
Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.
Parsley has been shown to reduce tumors in the lungs and to neutralize the effects of carcinogens, including cigarette smoke. It is high in vitamins A and C, and is good for your heart. This herb is also a natural breath freshener. So, if you have a chance to use more than a few sprigs as a garnish, go for it.
Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. The cashews give this dip a velvety, creamy texture.
Nutritional yeast gives things a cheese-y taste without using any dairy and it adds amino acids and Vitamin B, iron, zinc, and selenium to your diet. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein and also contains fiber, so it’s a really good thing!
- For meatballs:
- 2 lb ground chicken
- 1-1/2 cups Paleo breadcrumbs (I ground up almond flour bread slices, but you can buy Paleo crumbs in a lot of markets now)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp dried minced onion flakes
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 2 Tbs minced fresh parsley
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup paleo-friendly Buffalo wing sauce
- For ranch dip:
- ⅓ cup healthy mayonnaise (I used a chickpea based one)
- ⅓ cup non-dairy plain yogurt (I used a cashew yogurt)
- juice of ½ a lemon
- 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbs nutritional yeast
- sea salt, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place all meatball ingredients into a large bowl and mush it up with your hands until it is combined.
- Roll into golf-ball size balls and arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheets, making sure they are not touching each other.
- Bake in the oven for 7 minutes.
- Flip the balls over and bake for an additional 6 minutes.
- Place the balls into your slow cooker.
- Pour the Buffalo sauce over the meatballs.
- Set the cooker on low and cook for 2 hours, then leave them on warm until you are ready to serve them.
- Make the ranch dip:
- Combine all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy.
- Stick toothpicks in the meatballs and serve them alongside the dip, or place the balls on a platter and drizzle them with the sauce.