Healthier BUFFalo Chicken Dip
I remember making buffalo chicken dip by myself for the first time. My husband invited me to a New Year’s Eve party about a week after we met in December 2009 hosted by his colleague and colleague’s wife. I so desperately wanted to impress everyone, especially Nate. So I chose to make something that pleases practically all tastebuds and that I knew how to make: buffalo chicken dip. I helped my sister to make this recipe a couple times before. It called for an entire brick of cream cheese, a bottle of bleu cheese dressing, a bottle of ranch dressing and a lot of cheddar cheese.
Here’s how my recipe is healthier than the original:
|Original Buffalo Chicken Dip||Healthier BUFFalo Chicken Dip|
|1 block of cream cheese||½ block of reduced-fat or fat-free cream cheese OR 2 cups of cottage cheese|
|Cheddar cheese||Reduced-fat bleu cheese (lower in calories per ounce than cheddar)|
|Dressing||Nonfat plain Greek yogurt and spices that mimic flavor of Ranch seasoning|
With the Greek yogurt or cottage cheese and chicken, this is packed with protein – hence the “buff”! I love this recipe, because it’s so full of healthy swaps without compromising taste or texture.
- 4 oz. (half a block) reduced-fat or fat-free cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup hot sauce
- ½ cup crumbled reduced-fat bleu cheese
- 1 pound or 3 cooked chicken breasts shredded or chopped
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. onion powder
- Carrots and celery, crackers or baked tortilla chips for dipping
- Swap out the cream cheese and Greek yogurt for 2 cups 2% milk fat, reduced-sodium cottage cheese
- 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
I’ve tried a lot of buffalo chicken dip in my time, and there still isn’t a consensus on how best to make it. People argue about canned vs. real chicken and, for those who agree on real chicken, one person likes cubed, and the other person likes shredded. My husband’s friend from college [thinks he :)] makes the best recipe. It is very good. He shreds his chicken with a fork while I typically chop the chicken before cooking it in a skillet and pick it apart with a spatula, and he bakes his, while I make mine on the stove. I find that baking it in the oven tends to dry it out a little. However, in this recipe, I’m providing options to choose from based on the amount of time you have.
- 15 minutes – on the stove: Stir all ingredients together in a medium nonstick saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes (cheese melted and dip simmering).
- 30 minutes – in the oven: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, stir all ingredients together. Spray a small baking dish with oil, and place mixture in it. Bake for 30 minutes (cheese melted and edges light brown).
- 4 hours – in the crockpot: Stir all ingredients together in a crockpot. Turn the crockpot on low for 4 hours or until the cheese is melted.