Baked Firecracker Chicken Meatballs are spicy ground chicken meatballs, tossed in a hot sauce and brown sugar mixture; perfect for a game-day appetizer or a light dinner.
These spicy chicken meatball are delicious! You can control the heat based on your taste, and they make a perfect appetizer for game-day or get togethers. But they're just as easy to turn into the main dish for lunch or dinner.
While not as traditional as ground beef or turkey, ground chicken makes for a delicious, healthier meatball choice. By baking them, like I did in this recipe, they become healthier than their fried friends.
I love making meatballs when I'm having parties. Once, I even hosted a "meatball party" where I made different meatballs featuring beef, turkey, chicken and pork. Each meatball had a little side dish that could go with it if you wanted to create a meal around one type, or you could eat them all.
ingredients for baked firecracker chicken meatballs
- ground chicken
- Panko breadcrumbs
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- hot wing sauce
- brown sugar
- white vinegar
- crushed red pepper
how to make baked chicken meatballs
- Form your meatballs - combine ground chicken, Panko, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper together into a large bowl. Mix until combined, but be careful not to overmix the meat or the meatballs will get tough. Form into 16 evenly sized meatballs.
- Bake the meatballs - preheat the oven to 450. Spray a cooling rack with non-stick spray and place the meatballs on top. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meatballs are 165 degrees.
- Prepare the sauce - whisk together brown sugar, wing sauce, vinegar and crushed red pepper in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, letting sauce simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly to thicken up.
- Sauce your meatballs - Once the meatballs are cooked through, pour the sauce into a large bowl and add the meatballs, tossing until coated. Serve immediately.
make ahead meatballs
Make Ahead: the meatballs and sauce can both be made 1-2 days ahead of time and kept in the fridge. Double the sauce recipe for extra dipping sauce!
To Reheat: Warm them up in a saucepan, a 200 degree oven, a slow cooker on the low setting for an hour, or in a chafing dish. If you didn't mix in the sauce, you can reheat that in a saucepan or the microwave.
what to serve with chicken meatballs
Firecracker meatballs are a great appetizer on their own, but here are some ideas to turn them into a meal:
- Serve on slider rolls with kimchi or coleslaw for an Asian twist
- Plate meatballs on top of a coconut rice for a Thai style take
- Over white rice with broccoli or green beans
do you love meatballs too?
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Baked Firecracker Chicken Meatballs
For the Meatballs
- 1 lb ground chicken
- ½ cup Panko
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp pepper
For the Sauce
- ½ cup wing sauce such as Frank's
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or more, to taste
For the Meatballs
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a cooling rack sprayed with non-stick on top of a sheet pan.
- Combine ground chicken, Panko, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper together into a bowl. Form into 16 evenly sized meatballs.
- Place the meatballs onto the cooling rack and bake for 13-15 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
For the Sauce
- While the meatballs are baking, make the sauce. Combine hot wing sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and crushed red pepper in a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat to let the mixture thicken slightly.
- Transfer sauce to a large heat-safe bowl. Add in meatballs and toss to coat.