Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf

Someone at my favorite local grocery store must have gotten carried away when they ordered ground chicken recently. For the past month every time I go they’re having a crazy sale on the stuff trying to get rid of it – like $.99/lb crazy. Given that I usually have trouble finding it under $3/lb, that’s a deal I can’t pass up. So I’ve been grabbing a few pounds every time I’m there and shoving them in my freezer.

It’s been awesome for my grocery budget, but not so great for variety in our meals. We only have a handful of go-to ground chicken recipes, and as much as I love these meatballs, they’ve been on our table quite a bit the past few weeks. It was time for a change.

I had the idea to make buffalo chicken meatloaf and found a recipe to serve as my starting point. I’ve made it three times now, adapting it a little more each time to get the desired result, and finally it’s ready to be shared with you guys! The meatloaf has all the classic buffalo chicken flavors you know and love – ok, except the blue cheese which we aren’t fans of, but if you are, I noted a swap below. Shane likes things extra spicy and I like them more mild, and we agreed this meatloaf fell somewhere in the middle that worked for both of us. I know it’s not for everyone, but we are definitely meatloaf lovers in this house – I’m so glad to have another version to add to our arsenal!

Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf
heavily adapted from Busy Cooks

{Note: we aren’t bleu cheese fans, but if you are you could substitute blue cheese dressing for the ranch and blue cheese for the mozzarella.}

Meatloaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoons buffalo wing hot sauce
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ranch dressing
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 lb ground chicken

Glaze
1 tablespoon buffalo wing hot sauce
1/2 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Add the oil to a medium skillet set over medium heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the onion and celery and a pinch each of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the veggies have softened. Stir in the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, stir together the egg, bread crumbs, hot sauce, ranch dressing, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and mozzarella cheese. Mix in the cooled veggies. Add the ground chicken and use your hands to gently mix until well combined.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet. Shape into a rounded loaf. Stir together the hot sauce, ketchup and honey for the glaze. Brush the mixture over the surface of the meatloaf.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165 F. Remove the pan and tent the meatloaf with a sheet of foil – let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.