Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip (no crock pot needed!)

Every Memorial Day,  B’s family gathers at his uncle’s house for your typical summer holiday barbecue. B’s uncle prepares the main dish, and everyone else gets assigned something else – a side dish, salad, drinks, appetizer or dessert. This year, B and I were told to bring an appetizer. After much debate, we decided to bring some sort of bean dip/hummus (we decided to make this SO good 5 Ingredient Garlicky Bean Dip) and B’s famous Bacon Blue Cheese Guacamole. But when we went to the grocery store Monday (yes, we went the Monday of Memorial Day, when everyone else and their mom was there), they had no ripe avocados. So, guacamole was out. So it was going to be either pizza dip or buffalo chicken dip. I quickly googled the pizza dip recipe, realized it would take a few more ingredients and a little more time (of course we were running a little late for that day’s bbq already) so the answer was clear – Buffalo Chicken Dip.

I’d made the dip before (honestly, what girl hasn’t brought Buffalo Chicken Dip to a party in a cute little crock pot for an appetizer before?) and knew it would be a hit. Especially if I bought those awesome Fritos scoops to dip with. And celery, because celery goes GREAT with buffalo chicken dip… and peanut butter.  But not together.

If you’ve never made Buffalo Chicken Dip, here’s the recipe I use. It’s a hybrid of quite a few other recipes I’ve seen but it’s my favorite.  I think I’ve got the ratio of buffalo sauce to ranch JUST perfect! Enjoy 🙂

buffalo chicken dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip 

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 cooked boneless chicken breasts (about 10-12 oz total) OR 2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained. Yes, they make chicken in a can, not to be confused with Chicken of the Sea, which is tuna, as Jessica Simpson now understands (no idea what I mean? Check out this video. Sorry for the sidetrack but it’s very important you watch this video because you may understand what happened to Nick and Jessica’s relationship).  Anyway, I’ve made it both ways, and I hate to say it – but you can’t really tell a difference when you use real vs. canned chicken.
  • 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot Wing sauce
  • 3/4 -1 cup ranch dressing – I use full fat Hidden Valley Ranch because I can’t stand lowfat Ranch. I use 3/4 c but if you are sensitive to hot sauce (or can’t stand the heat) definitely use the full cup.
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese at room temperature. I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese because I think it tastes just as good. Unlike lowfat Ranch (see note above).
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim cheddar cheese, divided in half

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, heat up chicken and hot sauce, until heated through.
  3. Stir in ranch dressing and cream cheese. Continue cooking and stir until well blended and cream cheese is no longer lumpy. Then add in half the cheddar cheese and continue mixing until melted.
  4. Transfer mixture into a casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over top and then cook in 325 degree oven for 10ish minutes until cheese is bubbly. Serve warm with celery and those awesome Fritos scoops. If you’re bringing to a potluck, you can save the cooking in the oven until you get there. OR you can just heat up in the microwave for 2-3 minutes when you get there. And sit back, relax, and watch everyone enjoy your amazing dip!

Some thoughts to ponder –

  • Do you like buffalo chicken? I love anything buffalo flavored! Buffalo chicken salad. Buffalo roasted chickpeas. Buffalo chicken wraps. Buffalo chicken soup. I once made B stop on our drive out to NY in Buffalo so we could try the original buffalo wings. 
  • What’s your go-to potluck recipe?
  • Do you like low-fat substitutions? I generally do, but I can’t stand lowfat ranch dressing. The smell makes me feel sick, too.
  • Do you celebrate Memorial Day with a cookout?
buffalo chicken dip

Heat chicken, hot sauce, cream cheese and ranch dressing in a skillet.

Add half cheddar cheese and cook through.

Add half cheddar cheese and cook through.

transfer into a casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining cheddar.

transfer into a casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining cheddar.

enjoy! If you're bringing to a potluck, feel free to set aside a little for yourself to enjoy pre-event :)

enjoy! If you’re bringing to a potluck, feel free to set aside a little for yourself to enjoy pre-event 🙂

5 Ingredient Garlicky White Bean Dip

You may recall, B and I were assigned appetizers to bring to his family’s Memorial Day gathering. We were going to be bringing two appetizers, and this bean dip was the second appetizer we brought, along with Buffalo Chicken Dip (recipe coming soon). It’s so easy, I managed to make it AND clean up while the Buff Chick Dip was cooking.

Seriously, this is possibly the easiest appetizer you can bring to a party or get together. Not lying – there are 5 ingredients (salt/pepper don’t count in my opinion), only one cooking/mixing container is used (and thus needs to be cleaned), and it’s somewhat healthy. See? A win-win!

5 ingredeint garlicky white bean dip

5 Ingredient Garlicky White Bean Dip (from Giada)

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Here’s what you do:

  1. Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and parsley in your food processor. I have a Cuisinart Mini Chop and it is THE BEST. Small and works perfectly for something like this.
  2. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Transfer to a small bowl and serve with something yummy – I served our with pretzel crisps, pita and veggies. It’d also be great on some crusty bread (Because really, what’s NOT good on crusty bread?). Enjoy! Mine made about 3 cups or so, which was plenty (esp. with the Buff Chick Dip).
5 ingredient garlicky white bean dip

Put the ingredients (beans, oil, garlic, lemon juice, parsley) in your blender or cute Mini Blender.

5 ingredient garlicky white bean dip

Blend until slightly lumpy, like this.

5 ingredient garlicky white bean dip

Serve with crackers, pita, bread, or pretzel thins and enjoy!

Potluck perfect – low fat taco dip!

My coworkers got together for yet another potluck last week, and instead of bringing my usual — dessert! — I decided to bring an appetizer.  I have so many appetizers pinned that I haven’t gotten to try out yet, but decided to find an easy, low fat recipe from one of my favorite low fat bloggers – Skinny Taste. It came out great – but would’ve been better had I not made it the day before. Whoops! So I warn you – do not prepare a day ahead of time.

Just in time for tailgate season – or football watching – I bring you low fat taco dip!

I added black beans to mine – you could always add seasoned cooked ground turkey or beef, or even some jalapenos to give it more of a kick. Enjoy!

low fat taco dip appetizer

Low Fat Taco Dip (borrowed from Skinny Taste)

Here’s what you need:

  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 8 oz reduced fat sour cream
  • 16 oz jar mild salsa (I used half a jar of mild and half a jar of hot salsa for a little kick)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2.25 oz black olives

Here’s what you do:

  1. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, salsa and taco seasoning. Mix well with an electric mixer.
  2. Spread mixture on the bottom of a large shallow dish.
  3. Top mixture with can of black beans, drained.
  4. Top beans with a layer of shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, then shredded cheese and black olives.
  5. Serve with baked tortilla chips.

NOTE: I don’t recommend making  a day ahead of time. I did that once and it seemed to get a little watery/liquidy as opposed to making it fresh.

Looking for some other appetizers? Might I also suggest:

5 Ingredient Garlicky White Bean Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip (with OR without a crock pot)

bacon blue cheese guacamole (trust me on this one)

light spinach artichoke dip

light spinach artichoke dip

Bacon Bleu Cheese Guacamole

In need of a last minute appetizer before the Super Bowl? Looking for a new signature dish for potlucks? Here it is! Bacon bleu cheese guacamole. Yum. I first had this glorious combination at Lopez and was hesitant at first, as I have a strong dislike for bleu cheese. BUT there’s just something glorious about the combination of the avocado, the salty bacon and the tangy bleu cheese that makes it perfect! So B and I decided to make some for ourselves .. and guests … making a few additions – red onion and tomato. Here’s our recipe:

Bacon Bleu Cheese Guacamole

Perfect for a potluck, serves 6-8 as a main appetizer; serve with tortilla chips

What you need:

  • 5 avocados
  • 1/4 lb of bleu cheese (chunks or chopped into chunks)
  • 6-8 slices of thick cut bacon
  • 1 medium sized tomato
  • Half a red onion
  • Garlic powder, to taste

What you do:

  • Finely dice the red onion.
  • Chop the tomato into cubes, about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Cook the bacon. Let it get crispy, and then cool.
  • While bacon is cooking, mash the avocados.
  • Once the avocado is at the consistency you like your guacamole (I like mine smooth with some chunks), you’re ready to add in the other ingredients. Add in bleu cheese chunks to taste.
  • Finely chop the bacon and add to bleu cheese-avocado mixture.
  • Add garlic powder to taste.
  • Add in the onion and fold in tomato.

Enjoy with tortilla chips!