Buffalo chicken meatballs stuffed with feta — all the flavor, less of the mess


It’s Friday, friends! And I want to talk to you about meatballs. I’ve never been overly fond of them, honestly, but that’s probably because I never found the right ones.

These? These are the right ones. They’re spicy and easy to make and absolutely delicious. They’re a little weird, maybe, but sometimes weird is good.

Sometimes it’s very good.

The idea of sticking feta cheese into ground chicken with ranch dressing mix and a host of other spices? Well, I wasn’t completely sold. But I did know I needed an impressive appetizer to bring to a friend’s appetizers-only New Year’s Eve party, and I knew I’d better bring some protein because seriously, we cannot live on chips and salsa alone.

Enter this recipe for feta-stuffed Buffalo chicken meatballs, which may go down as one of the more popular dishes I’ve ever brought to a gathering. Even more popular than, say, my most popular food item of all time (and the dessert for which I am proudly known): Key lime cupcakes.

It’s all the flavor of a Buffalo chicken wing . . . in an easy-to-grab meatball.


I made these in between work and running out the door — and felt too harried to take “real” pictures, sadly. But Iowa Girl Eats has plenty, and mine looked just like the pictures. That never happens.

If I’d had half a mind to document them later, I could not . . . because all 32 were gone by 8 p.m. I doubled the recipe and it yielded the perfect amount, and I would make these again in a heartbeat! If you’re a fan of Frank’s RedHot (which, c’mon — I don’t do spicy and even I love it!), you’ll love these. My husband hails from Western New York, so we’re all about the Buffalo flavor around here.

Just add celery.

Feta-Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

Makes 16 meatballs

1 lb ground chicken breast
1/4 small red onion, grated or minced
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 egg white
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon powdered Ranch Dip mix
4 oz block feta cheese, cut into 1/2” cubes
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup buffalo wing sauce


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together red onion, garlic, egg white, bread crumbs, and ranch dip mix in a large bowl. Add ground chicken then mix until just combined. Divide mixture into quarters, then each quarter into 4 balls. Press a cube of feta into the center of each ball then close mixture around cheese to seal. Place meatballs onto a non-stick sprayed cooling rack set on top of a baking sheet, then bake for 16-18 minutes, or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat then add buffalo wing sauce and stir to combine. Add cooked meatballs to skillet then use a spoon to coat in sauce. Place a lid on top and turn heat to low to keep warm.

My notes: This recipe was very easy to double, and the meatballs were a decent (two bite) size. I used fat-free feta cheese and it worked wonderfully, so don’t be afraid to lighten this one up! Also, we transferred these to a 13×9 dish with lid to transport and added plenty of sauce to keep them moist. They stayed warm and traveled well.

Hot bacon dip — or why you can’t go wrong with bacon

I’ve never been a breakfast person. Pancakes coated in syrup leave me totally cold; sausage and eggs make me want to gag. On vacations and other extravagant adventures, I can down a few slices of French toast — but even that makes me feel queasy after a while. You know what I had for breakfast on Thursday? Leftover spaghetti. And the day before that, it was a can of Diet Pepsi and some cottage cheese.

Basically, I’m weird about morning meals. But I digress.

You know what breakfast food I can totally get behind? Bacon, friends. Crisp, delicious, oh-so-bad-for-you bacon. And if you mention a recipe that includes both bacon, cheese and bread, three of the things I love most in the world, I’m right there with you.

Such was the case on Halloween. Being the true foodies that we are, Spencer and I decided we needed to make a snack to eat while we were waiting for our other food to cook — in this case, green bean casserole and a beef stew for dinner. In between carving pumpkins and getting ready for our Halloween movie marathon, we gathered the ingredients for this tasty dip, which comes courtesy of a recipe written for Spence by Alex, his awesome mom.

And once we pulled the hollowed-out sourdough bread shell from the oven, bubbling over with cheesy, onion and garlicky goodness? Well, it was heaven. I washed my hands of pumpkin guts long enough to nibble on endless slices of French bread, and this dip barely lasted long enough for us to share it with Eric, my sister’s boyfriend. That’s what he gets for arriving late to the festivities. (Okay, so he wasn’t really late — and he called to tell us when he’d be arriving. Maybe I was just being selfish and wanted all the dip to myself! . . . Maybe.)

This was so good, in fact, that it totally ruined us for the dinner we’d had in the Crockpot for hours.

But now I’m eating all the leftovers for lunch at work — and saving $10.

See? This dip is awesome. This dip saves me money.

Hot Bacon Dip

Recipe from Alexandra J.

• 12 slices center cut bacon – crisp and crumbled
• 1 package (8 oz.) shredded Colby/Monterey Jack cheese
• 1 cup (4 oz.) grated parmesan cheese
• 1 cup real mayonnaise
• 1 small onion — finely chopped
• 1 clove garlic (minced)
• 1 round loaf of bread (not wheat – Italian or French is best)


Mix ingredients together in large bowl. Spoon into round, scooped out bread shell (bread bowl). Cover shell with the cut-off bread top. Place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until cheese is bubbly. Serve warm. Cube up loaf of French bread for dipping, and use bread removed from round loaf for extra dipping.

Best ever spinach dip becomes… mediocre

So I did attempt to make my spinach and artichoke dip on Sunday — though with a slightly different, and easier, recipe. And with moderate success! It was good, but not nearly as creamy as I hoped it would be. I doubled the recipe and, when I increased the amount of spinach, I think I was a little stingy with the alfredo sauce and mayo! It definitely needed more wet ingredients. But I’ll keep all that locked away in my “failed recipes” file for now!

It looked pretty, though:


And my artichoke hearts were quite delicious! Even though saying I ate the “heart” of something makes my stomach flip over.


Here’s the original recipe I used — it was very simple and straight-forward. My only helpful advice? Double the amount of cheese and alfredo sauce! And add in some salt. A pinch or two won’t hurt you!

Best Ever Spinach & Artichoke Dip

1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup Alfredo sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a small casserole dish, mix the spinach, artichoke hearts, cheese, mayonnaise, and Alfredo sauce.
3. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly bubbly and lightly browned.

Pass the spinach dip

Sweet jellybeans, I love spinach dip. If I found myself stranded on a ship in the middle of the ocean with nothing to eat but tins and tins of the stuff, I’m pretty sure I’d still be fat and happy by the time a passing vessel finally found me. It’s creamy, it’s filling, and hey — it has vegetables! That’s good for you, right?

Palmer and I have strategic systems of rating which local restaurants (and they’re chains) have the best spinach dip — often touted at these establishments as spinach and artichoke dip. I’ll take it either way. To date, my favorite recipe has to be Red Robin’s! It has tomatoes and onions, too, and it’s just… it’s delicious. Runner-up honors go to Olive Garden, which serves theirs with bread, and TGI Friday’s, which is very cheesy.

It’s with this spinach dip love that I came across a recipe for a hot artichoke spinach dip on AllRecipes, and that’s sounding incredibly good right now! Especially after I’ve been sick. And it’s snowing outside? An excellent comfort food! Too bad I’m not slipping and sliding my way over to the grocery store to get the needed ingredients, but I’m stashing this recipe away for a future rainy — or snowy — day.

Hot Artichoke Spinach Dip


1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
1/3 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
2. In a blender or food processor, place artichoke hearts, Romano cheese, Parmesan cheese and garlic. Pulse until chopped, but not ground. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together spinach, heavy cream, sour cream and mozzarella cheese. Stir in artichoke mixture. Spoon into prepared baking dish.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Yield is 16 servings.