March 9, 2023

Whole30 Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

We love buffalo chicken recipes and meatballs here at Whole30, so why not put them together in a Buffalo Chicken Meatballs recipe? Not only are they Whole30, they are also gluten-free and dairy-free. Check out the substitutions below to make them nut-free or egg-free as needed. 

Meatballs are the perfect dinner or appetizer. Delicious for dipping or as an entree for a busy weeknight meal. These Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are fast and easy to make. Plus, they freeze well for meal prep or a make-ahead meal. 

We love incorporating our Homemade Buffalo Sauce into this recipe, but you can use whatever compatible buffalo sauce is accessible to you. These meatballs have a mild heat level out of the oven or airfryer. Toss with the remaining buffalo sauce to crank up the spice to medium or hot.

Tips and tricks:

Traditional meatballs use breadcrumbs to keep them tender and juicy. As Whole30 is grain-free, that’s not an option, so we looked for other ways to prevent them from drying out.

  • Add veggies into the mixture to increase the moisture content. We do that here with finely chopped celery and carrots.
  • Don’t over-mix – the more you mix the meat, the tougher your meatballs will be. 
  • Keep your meatballs at least 1 inch in size or bigger. Also, try to make your meatballs all the same size so they will cook at the same rate. A metal cookie scoop can be perfect for this! We used a 1 ½ tablespoon one for this recipe.
  • Air fry your meatball skewers! Air frying is a great way to keep meat juicy while cooking.
  • Adding sauce to the meatball mixture. We did that in this recipe with the buffalo sauce – for a hit of kick and added moisture.

Make sure to finely chop your carrots and celery for this recipe. This gives the buffalo meatballs a more even texture and flavor. We do that with a mini food processor.


  • Use ground turkey instead of ground chicken
  • For nut-free, use ⅔ cup mashed potatoes for the almond flour.
  • For egg-free, substitute ¼ cup mashed potatoes or a flax egg for the egg.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Whole30 Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Recipe author: Autumn Michaelis
Made By Whole30Made By Whole30

Whole30 Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Air Fryer variation 10 minutes


  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 2/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup buffalo sauce divided
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg


  • Compatible Ranch Dressing, for dipping


  • COMBINE all ingredients except only ¼ cup buffalo sauce in a medium bowl, being careful not to overmix. We usually do this step with our hands. Shape into 30 1 ½ tablespoon meatballs.
  • SPRAY whatever rack or tray you are using with cooking oil, so meatballs won’t stick.
  • AIR FRY in a single layer at 350°F for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through and browned.
  • Or BROIL in the oven on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment and a cooling rack set inside for 10-12 minutes, until browned, flip and then broil the other side for 2-3 minutes.
  • TOSS cooked meatballs with remaining buffalo sauce, if desired for more heat.
  • FREEZE meatballs in a sealed container for up to 3 months.
Autumn Michaelis wearing an apron and holding a bowl of fresh salad smiling at the camera.

Autumn Michaelis

Autumn Michaelis is an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist, with a B.S. in Exercise Science from BYU. Though exercise was her first love in the health world, nutrition has become her passion. She created the blog Wholefoodfor7, sharing easy and budget-friendly Whole30, Paleo, and gluten-free + dairy-free recipes for families. In August 2022, Autumn released the newest Whole30 Endorsed cookbook, Whole Food for Your Family. She is mom to 5 boys (yes 5!) and when not in the kitchen can be found adventuring, hiking, and tearing up the dance floor.