Buffalo Chickpea Meatballs with Yogurt Ranch

5 from 5 votes
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Buffalo Chickpea Meatballs with Yogurt Ranch Dip and all the fixings! Enjoy these vegetarian meatballs as an entree, game day appetizer, or fun weeknight finger food.Buffalo chickpea meatballs in a white bowl topped with yogurt ranch and herbs

Today, we’re playing on the flavors of bar food favorites, but with a healthier, plant-centric twist.

This recipe is a twist on my famous Chickpea Meatballs, which hundreds of readers have made and adored. They’re SO simple, flavorful, and perfectly tender.

Infusing them with buffalo sauce and pairing them with ranch dip may be the BEST possible upgrade.

This recipe comes together in just 30 minutes and will adored by vegetarians and meat eaters. Because truly, who can resist a saucy buffalo situation and homemade ranch?

The garnishes are optional, however I love adding extra oomph with blue cheese and chives.

How to Make Buffalo Chickpea Meatballs

The main ingredient in these vegetarian meatballs is a humble can of chickpeas.

Other flavor enhancers like buffalo sauce and dried spices make them downright crave-worthy.

Plus, they mostly come together in a food processor, making the legwork pretty minimal.

The IngredientsRecipe ingredients in separate bowls on a white board with labels

  • Chickpeas: Inexpensive and endlessly versatile, 1 can of chickpeas does the heavy lifting in this recipe. Just make sure to rinse, drain, and thoroughly dry the chickpeas before blending.  
  • Buffalo Sauce: Use any store-bought or homemade buffalo sauce you like! My go-to is Noble Made brand, which I purchase in mild or medium.
  • Breadcrumbs: A classic binding and bulking agent in most meatball recipes, breadcrumbs are a necessity here. However if you’re allergic or sensitive to gluten, feel free to use almond meal instead.
  • Spices: A mix of smoked paprika, dried parsley, garlic powder, and onion powder add bold flavor to the meatballs.
  • Eggs: Another classic binder in most meatball/meatloaf recipes. However if you’re making these vegan, you can sub for two flax eggs.
  • Yogurt: Look for plain 2% fat Greek yogurt for the ranch dip. Alternatively, you can use full-fat, however I suggest avoiding skim/0% fat.
  • Mayo: I prefer mixing the yogurt with mayo (preferably an avocado oil mayo, such as Chosen Foods brand). It helps cut the tanginess of the yogurt, and makes for a richer dip.
  • Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice helps lift and brighten the dip.
  • Herbs: A mix of fresh chives and dill infuse the yogurt ranch dip with classic herb flavor. Pro tip: chop some extra chives for garnish!

The Directions

Step 1: Prepare Yogurt Ranch Dip

In a medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, chives, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper; mix to combine. Yogurt ranch dip in a wooden bowl

Step 2: Blend Chickpea Meatball Ingredients

In the bowl of a food processor, combine chickpeas, breadcrumbs, eggs, buffalo spices, dried spices, salt, and pepper. Blend mixture until mostly smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.

The mixture will be a little coarse, which is perfectly fine. You just want the mixture to be cohesive so you can roll it into balls.Chickpeas, eggs, breadcrumbs, and herbs being blended in a food processor

Step 3: Roll into Balls

Use a cookie scoop to measure into 12 to 14 golf ball-sized portions, and roll into balls.Chickpea mixture being rolled into balls

Step 4: Saute Buffalo Chickpea Meatballs

Heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the chickpea meatballs and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, turning to brown all sides, until golden.Chickpea meatballs being sautéed in a skillet

Step 5: Serve with Yogurt Ranch

Arrange buffalo chickpea meatballs on a serving dish, and drizzle with extra buffalo sauce. Serve yogurt ranch on the side, or thin it out enough to drizzle overtop. Garnish with blue cheese and chopped chives, if desired. Buffalo chickpea meatballs stacked in a bowl drizzled with ranch

Make-Ahead and Storage Tips:

  • Make-Ahead: The yogurt ranch can be made up to 3 days in advance. Refrigerate in an airtight container.
    • You can also prepare the chickpea meatball mixture 1 to 2 days in advance. Refrigerate until ready to roll and sauté.
  • Store: Refrigerate leftover meatballs in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Yogurt ranch will last up to 1 week.
  • Reheat: Microwave chickpea meatballs until warm. Alternatively, you can rewarm them in the toaster oven or air fryer until heated through.

How to Freeze Chickpea Meatballs:

  • For best results, let them cool to room temperature before placing in a zip-top freezer bag.
  • Before sealing, press down to release as much air from the bag as possible. Freeze up to 3 months.
  • To reheat, I prefer to place them in the oven (or toaster oven) and bake at 325°F for about 20 minutes, or until heated through. This method is preferred over microwaving from frozen because it helps salvage their crispy exterior.

A bite taken out of a meatball to show inside texture

More Delicious Chickpea Recipes to Try:

Harissa Chickpea and Broccoli Bowls with Garlic Sauce

Al Pastor Chickpea Tacos

Buffalo Chickpea Salad with Ranch Dressing

Honey-Roasted Chickpea and Avocado Salad

If you give this recipe a try, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!

5 from 5 votes

Buffalo Chickpea Meatballs with Yogurt Ranch

Buffalo Chickpea Meatballs with Yogurt Ranch Dip and all the fixings! Enjoy these vegetarian meatballs as an entree, game day appetizer, or fun weeknight finger food.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Food processor
  • Medium skillet
  • Mixing bowl

Ingredients  

Yogurt Ranch

  • 1/3 cup 2% fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh dill (sub 1/2 tsp. dried dill)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. each kosher salt and black pepper

Buffalo Chickpea Meatballs

  • 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. buffalo sauce (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 3/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil for cooking
  • Optional garnish: crumbled blue cheese and extra chopped chives
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Instructions 

  • Prepare Yogurt Ranch:
    In a medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper; mix to combine. 
  • Blend Meatball Mixture:
    In the bowl of a food processor, combine chickpeas, breadcrumbs, eggs, buffalo sauce, dried parsley, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Blend mixture until mostly smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
    Use a small cookie scoop to measure mixture into 12 to 14 golf ball-sized portions, and gently roll into balls.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the chickpea meatballs and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, turning to brown all sides, until golden.
    Arrange meatballs on a serving dish, and drizzle with extra buffalo sauce. Serve yogurt ranch on the side, or mix in a little water to thin it out enough to drizzle overtop. Garnish with blue cheese and extra chopped chives, if desired. 

Notes

  • Make-Ahead: The yogurt ranch can be made up to 3 days in advance. Refrigerate in an airtight container.
    • You can also prepare the chickpea meatball mixture 1 to 2 days in advance. Refrigerate until ready to roll and sauté.
  • Store: Refrigerate leftover meatballs in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Yogurt ranch will last up to 1 week.
  • Reheat: Microwave chickpea meatballs until warm. Alternatively, you can rewarm them in the toaster oven or air fryer until heated through.
  • Freeze: Freeze meatballs for up t0 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat in a toaster oven or bake at 325°F for about 20 minutes, or until heated through. 

Nutrition

Serving: 4meatballs with sauce | Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 990mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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9 Comments

  1. Traci says:

    5 stars
    I love, love these! Plant-based AND delish. My husband loves them too.

  2. Lindsey says:

    I’m literally shocked at how great these taste. It’s been hours since dinner and I’m still thinking about these meat-less balls 🙂 This recipe will be a new weekly staple in my house.

  3. Diane says:

    Wondering how well they would work in air fryer…I’m new to the air fryer so just not sure.

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Diane – I haven’t personally tested them in the air fryer, however I imagine they would work well!

      1. Diane says:

        5 stars
        So, I just tried the recipe in the air fryer at 375 for 14 minutes and they were slightly over done, but still delicious. I also subbed ground rolled oats to make them gluten free. Thanks for great recipe!

  4. Siena says:

    5 stars
    These chickpea meatballs were fantastic. I thought they were not too dense and had great flavor. It is a really easy recipe to follow and seems easily modified! I might use this recipe as a base to do a take on spaghetti with meatballs.

  5. Emma says:

    5 stars
    These were SO good! I’m such a big fan of all your recipes, but these especially were a bit! Very simple to make and delicious. The yogurt ranch was amazing (and we are picky about ranch). Will be adding into our normal rotation!

  6. Lauryn Shaw says:

    5 stars
    These are SO delicious and easy!! I made them with your corn salad for dinner and even my meat-loving husband asked for seconds. We will definitely be making this one again!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Lauryn – I’m so glad the recipe was a hit! Thank you for coming back and leaving a review!