Prepare to be tempted by this buffalo chicken meatball sandwich with celery slaw, combining the bold flavors of buffalo chicken with a refreshing crunch of slaw! All this deliciousness is nestled between a hoagie roll that has been coated and toasted in melted butter infused with buffalo sauce. This recipe promises to be a crowd-pleaser, satisfying cravings for both comfort food and bold flavors. The tender and flavorful buffalo chicken meatballs are delicious on their own, too!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Chicken: I used 2 pounds of ground chicken in this recipe. You could also try this recipe with ground beef or ground turkey.
Panko: Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb that is lighter and will stay crispier longer. Look for panko in the Asian food aisle of the grocery store. If you only have regular breadcrumbs, you could use those, but the texture of the meatballs will be different.
Dry Ranch Seasoning Mix: For the most flavor, make your own dry ranch seasoning. You will need 3 tablespoons or about 1 1/2 packets of storebought seasoning.
Buffalo Sauce: If you don’t have any on hand, make homemade buffalo sauce! It will be used in the meatballs and added to melted butter to brush on the rolls.
Slaw: The vibrant and refreshing celery slaw is good enough to eat on its own, and it is also perfect for these meatball sandwiches!
Rolls: Hoagie rolls are most commonly used in a meatball sub or sandwich. Choose a crusty roll with a soft center. I prefer to toast my rolls in the oven, but you could also toast the rolls in a skillet on the stovetop.
Can I Make A Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sandwich Ahead Of Time?
You can certainly get a head start on parts of this sandwich to make it easy to assemble when ready. The meatballs can be put together in advance. Once assembled, before cooking, place the meatballs in a dish, cover them, and store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Or, after cooking the meatballs, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Heat them up when ready to assemble the sandwich. The slaw can also be put together up to a day ahead of time, but it’s best when fresh.
You might enjoy serving this with an easy Crudites platter, which can also be prepared ahead of time!
Can I Freeze The Meatballs?
Sure! Meatballs can be frozen before or after cooking them.
To Freeze Meatballs Before Cooking: Follow all the instructions up to the pan-frying of the meatballs. Then, on a parchment-lined baking sheet, pop them into the freezer for an hour or two. After they are frozen, store them in the freezer bags, remembering to date them.
To Freeze Meatballs After Cooking: Cook them as instructed and let them cool down completely. Put them into freezer bags and freeze them for up to 3 months. Remember to date the bags so you know how long they have been in the freezer! You may also want to write how to reheat the meatballs in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 400°F.
Can I Bake Buffalo Chicken Meatballs?
Sure! If you prefer, you can bake the meatballs in the oven rather than pan-fry them. Place the meatballs onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Then, roll the meatballs and place them on the lined baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until they have reached an internal temperature of 165°F.
Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sandwich with Celery Slaw
- 4 ribs celery, finely diced
- 3 green onions, finely chopped
- ½ cup (44.5 g) green cabbage, shredded
- ½ cup (56 g) crumbled blue cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup (61 g) blue cheese dressing
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 hoagie rolls
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup (68 g) buffalo sauce
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To a large bowl, add ground chicken, panko, beaten eggs, cheese, ranch seasoning mix, ¼ cup buffalo sauce, and garlic powder. Mix together until just combined, being careful not to overwork the ingredients.
- Greasing hands before starting, form the mixture into desired-sized meatballs. Place the meatballs onto the lined baking sheet. (I made 35 meatballs, which gave me a few extra to enjoy on their own!)
- To a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add oil and butter. Once hot, place the meatballs in the skillet, working in batches to not overcrowd the pan. Cook until the outsides are browned and they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (5-8 minutes). Toss the meatballs with the remaining ¼ cup of buffalo sauce. Cover the skillet to keep the meatballs warm as you prepare the slaw and the buns.
- To a medium bowl, add celery, green onion, cabbage, blue cheese crumbles, chives, lemon juice, blue cheese dressing, and kosher salt. Mix until combined. This yields about 2 cups of slaw.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, mix melted butter with buffalo sauce.
- If not already cut, slice the hoagie rolls open lengthwise down the center, being careful not to cut all the way through the bread. Brush the inside and outside of each roll with the buffalo butter. Place onto the lined baking sheet.
- Toast the rolls in the oven for 8-10 minutes.
- After toasting the rolls, place 2-3 tablespoons of slaw on the bottom of each. Top with 3-5 meatballs and 1-2 more tablespoons of slaw. Drizzle the top with blue cheese dressing, blue cheese crumbles, and buffalo sauce. Enjoy!
Did you make this recipe?
You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.
What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:
Oh my word, this is so good! If you're a fan of buffalo chicken, this is an absolute must-try. The meatballs have the perfect amount of spicy kick, which is complemented by the refreshing blue cheese celery slaw. The addition of celery adds a crunch that enhances the overall texture and flavor profile of this sub. It's tangy, slightly crunchy, and perfectly balanced.
Each part of this recipe stands on its own, from the buffalo chicken meatballs, celery slaw, and hoagie roll. And then, when put all together, it is amazing! Grab a fork for this one, you don't want to miss any flavors that may fall onto the plate as you bite into this sandwich.
SO GOOD!! Buffalo anything and I am on board! This sandwich was fantastic and the slaw really put this buffalo sandwich over the top. I am a ranch lover personally so you could easily swap out for ranch. But, I loved the blue cheese on here and I am not the biggest blue cheese fan.
This is such an interesting buffalo chicken recipe to try! The chicken meatballs held up very well. They soak up the tangy, spicy buffalo sauce. The celery slaw is so good! It adds a nice crunch.
I adored the crispy meatball on the toasted bun. I prefer ranch with buffalo so I would definitely switch out the bleu cheese on this but really enjoyed the textures and flavors of this sandwich!