A deliciously spicy healthy buffalo chicken dip recipe perfect for your next party. Serve with cut vegetables, tortilla chips, and multigrain crackers. This recipe has approximately 100 calories per serving and 10 grams of protein.
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During football season, tailgates, or my annual super bowl party, it seems like all the food is decadent. This healthier buffalo dip is perfect for balancing out heavier food.
It is a classic appetizer recipe, naturally gluten-free, and so delicious that no one has to know it is a lighter version!
📖Why This Recipe Works
When reinventing a classic recipe, I review what ingredients are essential, what is overkill, and what could make it better.
For this recipe, I removed any type of ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing. The flavor is overpowered by the buffalo sauce. Instead, we opted for Greek yogurt to replace the creaminess dressings can add.
I also skipped ranch seasoning, which is loaded with sodium. Instead, I used fresh herbs, green onions, and garlic.
This recipe also has hidden veggies with diced celery and shredded carrots. Just to make it a tad bit more nutritious.
Chicken- Your chicken needs to be cooked before being added to the dip. You can roast your own chicken breasts and shred, use a store-bought rotisserie chicken, or do what I do and use canned.
Yes, I use canned chicken in my buffalo dip. And no one has ever noticed.
Buffalo Sauce- I stick with the classic Frank's Red Hot Sauce. But you can also get crazy and try a spicy BBQ sauce.
Neufchatel Cheese- This French-style block cheese is similar to full-fat cream cheese but is slightly tangier and is made with just milk and no cream making it lower in fat. If you can't find it, substitute with low-fat cream cheese instead.
Greek Yogurt- Use a full-fat yogurt. Or you can substitute cottage cheese or sour cream. All three work but plain Greek yogurt has the superior texture.
Cheese- I use low-fat cheddar cheese, the block style, that I shred at home. Pepper jack cheese is a fun substitution. Or you can skip it entirely to reduce the overall calories.
You will also need:
- Shredded Carrot
- Diced Celery
- Minced Fresh Parsley (or chives)
- Fresh Garlic Cloves
You probably noticed that I don't use blue cheese in my buffalo dip. I am a huge blue cheese fan, but I find its unique flavor gets lost in the dip. And good quality blue cheese is expensive, so I prefer to save the money for a blue cheese forward dish like my bacon and blue cheese potato salad.
For garnishing the dip, you can add a few blue cheese crumbles, but I actually used cotija cheese when I made it for this post. I also like to add extra scallions, parsley, and sliced jalapenos.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
⏲️How to Make Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip
This recipe is quick and easy, which is why it makes the perfect party dip. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees and prepare a small baking dish. The largest dish you want to use is a 9x9 baking pan.
Your dish needs to be greased. Brush it with olive oil or use a cooking spray.
Step 1- Mix
This recipe can be hand mixed, no electric mixer is required or even recommended.
Instead, ensure your cream cheese has softened. and all the ingredients except for the cheese to a large bowl. Stir with a rubber spatula to thoroughly combine.
A few notes on the hidden vegetables. First, shred the carrot on a box grater. Finely chop the garlic. And the celery should be tiny, about a ¼ inch dice. For the spring onions, add the white parts to the dip and save the green parts back for garnish.
These elements add flavor, but the chicken should be the star.
Step 2- Bake
Pour the chicken dip into your prepared baking dish. Smooth out the top with a rubber spatula.
Top with the shredded cheese. And bake for 20 to 25 minutes that cheese should be melted, and the side should be starting to bubble up just a little bit.
Broiling the top is optional, but I like the nice cheesy crust that the dip gets. Broil for two to three minutes keeping a close eye on the chicken dip, ensuring that the top is perfectly boiled and golden brown.
Cool the dip for at least 10 minutes before serving. Garnish as desired but I always recommend at least the green tops from the scallions to brighten up this healthy dip.
🥗What to Serve with Buffalo Chicken Dip
This creamy Buffalo dip can be served with traditional crudité like celery sticks, carrot sticks, and bell peppers. But I also like nontraditional veggies like snap peas, blanched green beans, cucumbers, cauliflower, and broccoli.
You can also serve with multigrain crackers, gluten-free flatbread, or tortilla chips.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tip
If you can't find Neufchatel cheese substitute low-fat cream cheese. They are similar in taste and texture.
Cold Buffalo Chicken Dip
Serving Buffalo dip chilled is the perfect solution for a hot summer day. To serve this dip cold, stir all the ingredients together except for the shredded cheddar cheese.
Transfer to a serving dish and top with green onions jalapenos and fresh parsley.
Meatless Buffalo Dip
Do you need a vegetarian version of buffalo chicken dip? Swap out the chicken or chickpeas. Add one can of drained chickpeas to a food processor and pulse to break them up. Add in place of the chicken. This version of the dip can be served warm or cold.
The leftover dip should be kept in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave t 50% power until warmed through or reheat in the oven at 300 F degrees. The dip will keep for 3 to 5 days.
To make in advance, you can assemble the dip up to 48 hours in advance. Cover with foil. Store in the refrigerator. Before baking, allow the dip to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
More Healthy Party Foods
💬Frequently Asked Questions
While not labeled or certified gluten-free, Frank's Red Hot Sauce does not have any gluten-containing ingredients and the company follows hygiene practices to prevent cross-contamination.
Yes, you can make this recipe in a crock pot or slow cooker. Simply make the dip per the recipe (without the cheese) and cook on high for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Top with the cheese and cook for 30 minutes. Turn down to the low or warm setting for serving.
Essentially yes. This recipe is a healthier buffalo chicken dip recipe. We simply don't agree with calling foods (or people) skinny.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please leave us a rating or a comment. It helps other wonderful people connect with our food.
Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip
- 1 ½ cups cooked chicken shredded
- ½ cup carrots shredded
- ¼ cup celery diced
- ½ cup Frank's Original Red Hot Sauce
- 8 ounces Neufchatel cheese softened
- ½ cup Greek Yogurt
- 6 scallions sliced and divided
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley minced
- 1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese
- Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees and spray a 9x9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Mix together the shredded chicken, vegetables, hot sauce, cream cheese (neufchatel), yogurt, garlic, parsley, and the white part of the scallions only. Reserve the green tops for garnish.1 ½ cups cooked chicken, ½ cup carrots, ½ cup Frank's Original Red Hot Sauce, 8 ounces Neufchatel cheese, ½ cup Greek Yogurt, 6 scallions, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, ¼ cup celery
- Transfer the chicken mixture to your prepared baking pan and top with the cheddar cheese.1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the sides are starting to bubble.
- Set the oven to BROIL. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes and serve with fresh vegetables and tortilla chips.
- Low-fat cream cheese can be substituted for the Neufchatel cheese.
- For an even lighter version, skip or reduce the cheddar cheese on top.
- Serve with cut vegetables, tortilla chips, or seed crackers.