Grilled Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sliders are an outstanding snack when you're craving a classic chicken wing but want to change it up a bit. We deconstruct a classic chicken wing and turn it into a flavorful meatball for sliders. A healthier alternative to fried wings!
Preheat Grill: Prepare the grill for indirect grilling targeting 350 degrees Fahrenheit as the ambient temperature.
Make Bacon Paste: Place two slices of bacon into a food processer and pulse until the bacon is a paste-like texture. Some small chunks are fine.
Make Meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the bacon paste, ground chicken, ¼ cup of wing sauce, celery, and dry rub, and mix with your hands until incorporated. Using an ice cream scoop, make 12 golf ball size meatballs. Place on a tray and store in the refrigerator for 15 - 20 minutes to set.
Grill Meatballs: Place the meatballs on the preheated grill straight from the refrigerator and cook until the internal temperature of the meatballs reaches 160 - 165 degrees Fahrenheit (about 20 minutes).
For the Ranch Sauce: While the meatballs are grilling, combine the ranch, wing sauce, and softened cream cheese in a medium sized bowl. Stir to incorporate. It's ok if it's a little chunky.
Finish Meatballs: When the meatballs reach 160 - 165 degrees, remove them from the grill and place in a large bowl. Toss remaining ¼ cup of the wing sauce in the bowl and stir to combine.
Make the Sliders: On a wired drying rack sheet, cut the 12 pack of bread in half placing the tops next to the bottoms and try to keep them all in one piece. On the bottoms of rolls layer the cheese. Next add the meatballs and top with a sliced pickle. The last step is brushing the tops of the rolls with melted butter, and sprinkling the salt and garlic for extra flavor.
Grill the Sliders: Place the sliders back on the grill for up to 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove and then top each meatball with about a small spoonfull of the ranch sauce, then place the tops back on, cut up the sliders and then serve.
This recipe can easily be replicated with ground turkey, or beef. We just like the chicken with a nod to chicken wings.