Ok so maybe it’s not 100% the healthiest version of buffalo chicken wings, but the attempt was totally there. It’s actually kind of difficult to get a “healthy” buffalo sauce, especially when there is a stick of butter involved. At least this is a SOMEWHAT healthier version of a fan favorite. I love using ground turkey. For some reason unbeknownst to me, ground turkey is super cheap. I don’t ever remember it being so cheap, but hey I’m not complaining; just wondering is all. I like this recipe because it puts the perfect spin on buffalo chicken wings, without going overboard. The meatball is a combination of ground turkey (use dark meat or white meat — but you will get more fat if you use dark meat — this helps in molding the meatballs — in this case fat is your friend), blue cheese, cream cheese, bread crumbs, eggs and some other special ingredients. The rolls are also homemade (you can of course buy pre-made slider rolls). They are huge. I know. This could possibly be the reason I decided to make the meatballs the size of Cilantro’s head. The recipes for the rolls will be up later this week, don’t worry. Oh and the celery salad is the best part of the whole deal. You can’t have buffalo sauce with celery; and you can’t have celery without blue cheese. This salad combines the essential extras that are most definitely necessary while eating something coated in buffalo sauce. We paired with a spectacular beer and these Buffalo Turkey Meatball Sliders were just perfect.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane shall we and explore Bison Brewing. We LOVE LOVE LOVE Bison and everything Bison has to offer. Their beer is always superb and they never ever disappoint in quality and flavor. For this beer pairing, we knew that we needed something somewhat hoppy. Remember, hoppy always goes well with spicy. Bison Brewing’s Hop Cuvée is just the perfect pairing. This beer is not only hoppy, but the perfect summer beer. I’ve been on quite the summer beer kick. I don’t know, maybe because we are in the middle of summer? This beer is refreshing and crisp, with citrusy hints of the tropics. Give it a try. It really is special.
A few alterations can be made to fit your needs for this recipe:
You can certainly eliminate the bun, but then you no longer have a slider…not that this is a bad thing…it’s just not quite the same. When not using a bun, they are the perfect appetizer. Dip them in some blue cheese dressing and your guests will be super satisfied.
The size of the meatballs can totally be altered. Mine are huge. I know. Insanely huge. I did this purposefully so that it would fit the bun. There is nothing I hate more in this world when a burger (or in this case, meatball) does not fit the bun. Extra bun = totally unnecessary.
If you are not a fan of blue cheese (Zach hates it…not that this should come as any surprise to you), just eliminate it out of both the meatball and the celery salad. If you are eliminating from the meatball, just add another tablespoon or so of cream cheese.
The textures of your meatballs are going to vary depending on the ground turkey meat that you decide to use. If you find the mixture to be so wet that you can’t mold them into balls, just add some more bread crumbs. If you find they are too dry, just add another egg or some more cream cheese. Like I said, this is going to vary from person to person.
I 100% recommend baking the meatballs. Use a meat thermometer. It will make your life 10x easier in the end. You can fry them in a frying pan if you wish. Just remember to start with some hot olive oil or you will have some serious stickage.
Alrighty, I think that is all for today. I hope everyone has a great day and I will see you all on Thursday for some absolutely DELISH sweet rolls — the perfect roll for the perfect meatball slider =).
These sliders are a fun and healthier alternative buffalo chicken wings. Turkey brings these buffalo turkey meatball sliders a whole new level of flavor.
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs, unseasoned
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons blue cheese, crumbles
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup hot sauce, Frank''s Red Hot
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- 6 hamburger rolls, slider size
- 3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons blue cheese, crumbles
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and place an oven-safe wire rack into a lipped baking sheet. Spray with a non-stick spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, cream cheese, bleu cheese crumbles, celery, eggs and a dash of salt and pepper. With your hands or a heavy wooden spoon, mix the ingredients together until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Form into 6 equal-sized meatballs (they will be large - about 2 inches in diameter) and place on your prepared pan. Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until fully cooked through and golden brown.
- Meanwhile, prepare your buffalo sauce. In a large saucepan, combine the hot sauce, butter, worcestershire and a dash of pepper. Whisk to combine over medium heat, until the butter has melted. Once melted, turn the burner on low to keep warm until you''re ready to serve.
- To prepare the celery salad, combine the buttermilk, mayo, bleu cheese crumbles, salt, pepper and ground cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Whisk thoroughly to combine and then stir in the celery. Set aside.
- Once your meatballs our fully cooked and golden brown, remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Very gently add the meatballs to the pan with the prepared buffalo sauce and coat them entirely.
- Assemble your sandwiches by placing a layer of celery salad on the bottom of the bun and topping with one meatball. Top it off with the other half of the bun and serve immediately with bleu cheese dressing. Enjoy!
Hardware: * Non-Stick Spray * Lipped Baking Sheet * Wire Rack (oven safe) * Large Bowl * Measuring Cups * Measuring Spoons * Sharp Knife * Cutting Board * Large Saucepan * Whisk * Small Bowl *