Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs (Paleo, Whole30, Keto)

Enjoy the taste of buffalo chicken without the mess with these Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs . Oven-baking option included if you don’t own an Instant Pot!

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

It’s been 6 months since I purchased my very first Instant Pot, and it’s seriously been the best game changer in my kitchen. I didn’t think I would rely on it almost every day of the week, but it’s abilities are endless and amazing. If you’ve never heard of the Instant Pot before, it’s an electrical pressure cooker that also has a rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer, warmer, and sauté and browning function all in one. The new version, which I don’t have, also has a yogurt maker. It’s just wonderful.

As I got familiar and more comfortable with mine over the past several months, I’ve been thrilled at how I can cook rice in 10 minutes, bone broth that gels in under 2 hours, whole chicken in 20 minutes, and just transforming tough meat into fall-off-the-bone deliciousness in 30 minutes, which would’ve taken hours in the slow cooker.

As more and more people purchase this beautiful appliance, I have been receiving a ton of interest in how to cook with them every time I mention it. Because of this, I decided to start posting more Instant Pot recipes and uses. First up: buffalo chicken meatballs!

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

I think everyone loves buffalo sauce-flavored anything, right? At least that’s how C feels about it. He gets excited anytime he smells buffalo sauce scent drifting from the kitchen, or when he sees me making oven baked wingsIt’s so popular at gatherings and sporting events, and it’s because of the spicy kick that’s so addicting and yummy for many people. I love these meatballs, because you get the same delicious flavors as wings but it’s less messy and you don’t have to deal with the bones.

Working with ground chicken can be sticky and difficult, so your raw meatballs may not look as round as you like. Don’t worry about it! Grease your hands well before shaping the meat, and even if they don’t look perfect, they’ll firm up and look delicious once they are cooked.

Don’t have an Instant Pot? These can easily be baked! Check out the recipe below to find out how to cook them in the oven.

What’s your favorite way to use your Instant Pot?

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken MeatballsInstant Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 357 kcal
Author: Jean Choi

Enjoy the taste of buffalo chicken without the mess with these Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs. Oven-baking option included if you don't own an Instant Pot!



  • 1.5 lb ground chicken
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 6 tbsp hot sauce
  • 4 tbsp ghee or butter
  • Chopped green onions, for garnish


  1. In a large bowl, combine chicken, almond meal, salt, minced garlic cloves, and green onions.
  2. Use your hands to combine everything together, but be careful not to overwork the meat.
  3. Grease your hands with ghee or coconut oil, then shape the meat into balls 1-2 inches wide.
  4. Set your Instant Pot to sauté setting and add 2 tbsp of ghee.
  5. Working in batches, gently place the chicken meatballs in the Instant Pot to brown them. Turn them every minute until all sides are brown.
  6. While the meatballs are browning, combine hot sauce and 4 tbsp of butter or ghee and heat them in the microwave or the stove top until the butter is completely melted. Use a spoon to stir. This is your buffalo sauce.

  7. Place all the browned meatballs in the Instant Pot, then pour the buffalo sauce evenly over the meatballs.
  8. Screw on the lid to the Instant Pot, make sure that the pressure valve is set to "sealing," then set it to "Poultry."
  9. Once the meatballs are finished cooking (about 15-20 minutes), the Instant Pot will beep. If you are eating right away, hit "Cancel" then release the pressure valve, making sure your hand is away from the opening where the steam escapes. If not, the Instant Pot will automatically switch to the "Warm" setting for the next 10 hours and the pressure will slowly lower on its own.
  10. Serve over rice, cauliflower rice, zoodles. or just eat on its own!

Recipe Notes

To reheat, cook over medium heat on a skillet turning over the meatballs until heated through.

Don't have an Instant Pot? You can sear the meatballs on a skillet, then bake in the 400 degree F oven for 15 minutes!

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 357 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 43%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 130mg 43%
Sodium 867mg 36%
Potassium 621mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 23g 46%
Vitamin A 6%
Vitamin C 13.1%
Calcium 4.3%
Iron 8.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Enjoy the taste of buffalo chicken without the mess with these Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs . Oven-baking option included if you don't own an Instant Pot! #paleo #whole30 #keto #glutenfree #instantpot #lowcarb #lchf

55 thoughts on “Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs (Paleo, Whole30, Keto)

    1. Jean Choi Post author

      Hi Shauna, you can try flax meal, although it might taste the flavor a bit. You can also try coconut flour, but I would reduce the amount so it doesn’t dry out.

    1. Jean Choi Post author

      Hi Lisa – Make sure that the oil is hot enough before you add the meatballs. I would wait about 10 minutes for the pot to heat up. This should help!

  1. Shontel

    I was hoping these would be good! My husband and son love buffalo chicken, so I was hoping they’d love these too! The meatballs do not really have any flavor-disappointed. 🙁

    1. Jean Choi Post author

      Sorry it didn’t work out for you! I’ve been hearing great things from people who tried it, so I’m surprised. Let me know if you try anything different with it to make it better! I would love to learn and improve. 🙂

  2. Esteban

    anything a suitable substitute for ghee or coconut oil? Regular butter or EVOO? These look good, hope to try them soon.

  3. Sonya

    My husband has a dairy allergy so I will use EVOO in place of the ghee. Since we don’t need to worry about wheat, what can I use instead of going out to buy almond flour? Regular flour? Panko? Cornmeal?

    1. Jean Choi Post author

      Hi there. EVOO has a specific flavor so that might over power the taste of the sauce. I would recommend using butter instead. I am actually gluten intolerant, so I haven’t tried it with any kind of wheat flour before. I think panko might work but I can’t guarantee that it’ll turn out the same way.

  4. Angie

    We have a dairy allergy here and can’t even use ghee. What would you recommend in place of butter/ghee to make the sauce?

    1. Jean Choi Post author

      As long the liquid covers the bottom of the pot you are fine, which the buffalo sauce does. Also, the chicken will also release some juice and fat while it cooks.

    1. Jean Choi Post author

      You can if you want! I just don’t like to use it because I try to avoid xanthan gum and canola oil when I’m dining at home. And buffalo sauce is so easy to make yourself.

  5. Sean FN

    Hi, my instant pot actually didn’t have poultry button. Do I set it high pressure to 15 minutes? Many thanks in advance!

  6. lee

    Substituted Chipotle Smoked sauce instead of regular hot sauce, served over spaghetti squash.

    Love this recipe! So good!!

  7. sarah


    I, too, don’t have the “poultry” option on my instant pot.

    Would I use the meat/stew option and then cook on high pressure? Or use the pressure cook option and then cook on high pressure? (New to the instant pot world!)

  8. Ryan

    One of my absolute favorite ingredients / condiments is Buffalo Sauce, so this was an AMAZING addition to my keto diet! Thank you! I also had the problem of the meatballs sticking (probably my fault; I may have not waited for my ghee to get hot enough before adding the meatballs to the pot, AND I used 2 lbs of chicken; though I did adjust the other ingredient amounts accordingly). I just added a little more wing sauce (~1/3cup), a little chicken bone broth (1/4 cup), and a little bit of heavy cream (1-2 tbsp) to give the Instant Pot more liquid to work with because I didn’t want to get the “burn” error. After cooking, I just pulled the meatballs out and pan-reduced the leftover sauce for roughly 8 – 10 minutes and it made an awesome, delicious and slightly creamy buffalo sauce for the meatballs!

    Thanks so much for this recipe! Even though I tweaked it a little because of my own situation, it ended up being wonderful! 🙂


    1. Jean Choi Post author

      So happy you enjoyed it! Glad your adjustments worked out. Thanks so much for your kind words. 🙂

  9. Deb

    New to Instant pot. Mine says you need 1 1/2 cups of liquid to build pressure. Doesn’t seem like the sauce will equal that. I have an 8qt pot. Any suggestions?

    1. Jean Choi Post author

      Have you tried it with the recipe as is? It should be fine as long as the sauce covers the bottom of the pot. If not, you’ll get a “burn” signal. If you are nervous, you can double up on the sauce.

  10. RB

    The amount of crap I have to scroll through to get the details is annoying as hell. Do you get maybe $2 for this?

    1. Jean Choi Post author

      Hi there, you are free to click on “Jump to recipe” on top of the page to avoid all the “crap” that you had to scroll through. I understand ads can be annoying, but please keep in mind that bloggers like me spend countless unpaid hours to provide free content for you. If you are still unhappy, there are literally millions of other recipe blogs you can follow on the internet. Thanks.

    2. Cheri

      Not from you! You get the recipe for free. If a little scrolling is too much for you cry about it. Oh that’s right you already did.


    Even my super picky son loves this recipe…I had too much trouble with the meatballs sticking, so i just browned them in a non-stick pan. So much easier. I also add some blue cheese and ranch dipping sauce too.

  12. Bri

    What would you suggest for a vegetable side dish? This is my 3rd time making this! I’ll serve it over rice but looking for a veggie dish to pair with it.

  13. Donica

    Made these for the family and they were a big hit. I made a double batch for leftovers and because my youngest does not like spicy I left the sauce off of some of them. My youngest loved them without the sauce. Quick question the calories per serving is that one meatball? That seems really high for one meatball so I thought I would check.

    1. Jean Choi Post author

      Thank you so much and so glad you enjoyed it! The nutrition information is for 1 serving, not 1 meatball. There are a total of 6 servings so whatever number of meatballs you make, divide by 6, and that is the nutrition information you are looking at.

    1. Jean Choi Post author

      I’ve never tried but I don’t see why not. Just freeze them in individual portions and take them out when you are ready to eat! 🙂

    1. Jean Choi Post author

      The number will be different every time you make it since meatball sizes will vary. After you are finished, just divide the number of meatballs by 6 and that’s 1 serving!

  14. Christine Molloy

    So for me, trying to cook the meatballs in the IP was a disaster. Even though my pan was hot and I had plenty of ghee on the bottom, they stuck like crazy. So, I tossed the first batch, which was only about 7 of them.

    I put the rest of the raw meatballs on a stoneware baking pan and drizzled the sauce on top of them, generously. I baked then at 409 degrees for 20 minutes, turned them and scooped sauce from the baking pan on top again. Baked another 15 minutes. Let them sit while pouring pan drippings over them again. Delish! My husband said they might be the best meatballs I’ve ever made. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Donna

    Burn, baby, burn. Browning them in the Instant Pot did NOT work out well. I would brown them first in a non-stick pan on the stove top and then take it from there.


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