Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spicy Buffalo Turkey Meatballs with Gorgonzola Sauce

There are a couple appetizers that most everyone in the world seems to have as their favorites – buffalo wings and deep fried calamari. Unfortunately neither are on my list of favorites. People are often amazed that I do not like calamari. I guess since I am a foodie, I fall into the category of – “you must like everything”. For me it is a texture thing – perhaps one day I will grow up and like it. Until then, there are so many great things out there.

Since I am not a huge fan of chicken wings, I never really jumped on the buffalo wing train years ago. Although I am sure they are super tasty. When I was watching a Martha Stewart episode several weeks ago, she had as her guests, Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow of The Meatball Shop in New York City. Their mission is meatballs all the time and just meatballs – brilliant concept.

One of their most popular items is the Mini Spicy Buffalo Chicken Balls with Blue Cheese and Hot Sauce. They focus on simplicity and deliciousness with a wide variety of great flavors and options. Once I saw these being demonstrated on Martha, I knew I had to make them. I switched the chicken for turkey and the blue cheese for gorgonzola to mix it up.

They are simply amazing! Not too mention, super simple to make and perfect crowd pleaser appetizer or just enjoying the ball game on television.

Spicy Buffalo Turkey Meatballs

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup Frank's Red-Hot hot sauce, plus more for serving
2 pounds ground turkey
2 large eggs
2 ribs celery, minced (about 1 cup)
1 2/3 cups dried breadcrumbs (Panko works great)
2 teaspoons coarse salt
Celery sticks, for serving

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Evenly coat a large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.

Place butter and hot sauce in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, whisking, until butter is melted and hot sauce is well incorporated. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl; let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.

Add turkey, eggs, celery, breadcrumbs, and salt to bowl with butter mixture; using your hands, mix until well combined. Roll turkey mixture into firm, 1-inch round balls and place on prepared baking sheet; arrange the meatballs in rows so that they are touching on all sides. Transfer to oven and bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Take out of oven and let stand 5 minutes before removing from baking sheet. Place on a serving platter and drizzle with hot sauce; serve with dressing and celery sticks.

Gorgonzola Dipping Sauce

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until well combined.


  1. What?!? You don't like calamari!?

    It's okay, I can understand, at least conceptually, why.

    I LOVE this recipe - I will absolutely be trying this soon!

  2. I cannot take calamari either!! but these spicy meatballs are sure to please my tastebuds!!


  3. I love this recipe. Such neat pictures. Found your blog through SFO bake sale website. I am sure I will be visiting your space often.

  4. These meatballs sound delicious, I like that used minced turkey and Im sure celery adds nice flavor to it

  5. ok, now this is worthy of making a huge fuss about most diffinite hit in my house for sure!! Pure genius idea... my hubby and kids will love you for this recipe thank you!!!!!!!

  6. Meatballs are hot, hot, hot! And these are on more than one level I guess :) I'm not a wings fan either, too messy - but I love these - definitely making some this weekend. Thanks, Lisa - hope you have a terrific weekend and things are warming up for you all in the Bay Area.

  7. Hi Lisa,
    Wish I'd of seen this earlier, I had turkey meatballs last night, but not this tasty. I'm glad I'm not the only one that doesn't love wings. Hope you have a great weekend.

  8. I had a craving for meatballs the other night and made spaghetti with meatballs, yum.
    I agree with you, I am not a lover of chicken wings but I think you're on to something really good here with this take on meatballs;-)

  9. Though I love both you mentioned, I understand that some people just don't like calamari. Unlike you, whenever I see them on a menu, I always want to have them. I don't cave in all the time, though! :-)

    And I don't freely admit that I love buffalo wings but I do! I eat them once every couple of years and the last time was in Catalina last week. I was so tired from the bike ride that I ate almost a plateful of them, LOL! Frank's Red Hot is the standard, isn't it? I really like your more elegant and healthy take on them. Great job, Lisa!

  10. Perfect appetizers, and your gorgonzola is amazing!

  11. Those are wonderful! Great fingerfood.




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