Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe
We’re well into the football season and nothing goes better with football than cheesy, spicy Buffalo chicken dip – especially if you are from Buffalo, New York! #GoBills #BillsMafia
Traditional Buffalo chicken dip (aka chicken wing dip) recipes are usually made with cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, and blue cheese or ranch dressing. It tends to be high in fat and not the good kinds that support health (think seed oils from the dressings and poor quality dairy products).
As a holistic nutrition consultant I’m always working to find ways to make the meals and snacks you love more nutritious. I served this recipe to a group of Buffalo chicken dip loving friends and they couldn’t tell a difference! All the flavor and cheesy, creamy goodness of traditional chicken dip with less fat and more protein!
What Makes this Buffalo chicken dip healthy?
- It’s lower in fat than traditional Buffalo chicken dip recipes. I swapped out cream cheese and ranch/blue cheese dressing for grass-fed full-fat greek yogurt and cottage cheese. The greek yogurt and cottage cheese are lower in fat than cream cheese and when they are made with milk from grass-fed cows have a healthier fat profile and more vitamins and minerals. I know a lot of people don’t like cottage cheese, including me (it’s the texture) but I swear you cannot even taste it or tell in this dip! Here are some of the brands I like and can purchase locally: Good Culture Organic Classic 4% Cottage Cheese, Nancy’s Organic Greek Yogurt and Stonyfield Organic Grass Fed Greek Whole Milk Yogurt (plain).
- It’s higher in protein. The cottage cheese and greek yogurt still make this dip rich and creamy but with the added bonus of more protein. Most of my clients are not consuming enough protein and protein provides our body with the building materials (amino acids) for growth and repair.
- I use organic grass-fed block cheddar cheese and shred it myself. Most pre-shredded cheeses have anti-caking agents and mold inhibitors added. While not every food additive is harmful to our health, they also don’t usually offer any health benefits either. I also think the texture and flavor is better.
Nutritional Comparison, per serving
Traditional Chicken Dip Recipe:
Calories – 381 kcal
Total Fat – 31.2 g
Protein – 21.3 g
Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe:
Calories – 244.5 kcal
Total Fat – 13.5 g
Protein – 26 g
Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe
- ~2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (ideally organic, pasture raised) *I usually use two chicken breasts which may give you more than 2 cups!
- 1/2 cup Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
- 1 cup full-fat, grass fed greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup full-fat, grass fed small curd cottage cheese
- 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I like to buy a brick of organic grass-fed cheddar cheese and shred it myself while the chicken is cooking/oven is preheating.)
- Cook and shred the chicken – I usually boil my chicken when making this dip. Take your chicken breasts and place them in a pot on your stove. Cover with enough water or chicken broth to cover the breasts by about an inch. Bring to a boil. Cover the pot and lower the heat slightly so it stays at a pretty rapid simmer. Depending on the size of the breast they should simmer for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes remove one piece from the pot and check the temperature, the internal temp should be 165°. If they need more time check every 5 minutes. Once your chicken is fully cooked removed from the water and let sit for about 10 minutes. Use two forks to shred your chicken.
- Preheat oven to 350°
- In a small bowl mix all ingredients except for 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese
- Pour dip into a glass 8×8 pan. Top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and bake for 25 minutes.
- Serve with chips or veggies of choice. I love to serve with carrots, celery, and organic corn tortilla chips or Siete grain free tortilla chips. I love that the Siete products are made with avocado oil instead of seed oils!
*A Note on Purchasing Dairy Products
While I always recommend purchasing dairy products that are organic and grass-fed I realize these options may not be available where you shop, or they may be out of your budget as unfortunately they do tend to have a higher price point.
Sometimes you can’t find greek yogurt/cottage cheese/cheddar cheese that is both organic and grass-fed. You may be able to find non-organic grass fed, or just organic. If that is the case I recommend first going with the grass-fed option if available. If you cannot find grass-fed the next best option is the USDA organic.
Even if you don’t use organic or grass-fed cottage cheese, greek yogurt, or use pre-shredded cheese this recipe is still healthier than traditional chicken dip. You’re still going to reduce the fat content, increase the protein content, and reduce your intake of seed oils! Every little improvement you can make helps your overall health!
Being told they “can’t” eat their favorite foods is one of the concerns many clients have when they consider working with a nutritionist. This can cause people a lot of stress and create a bad relationship with food. My goal is always to focus on what we can ADD or SWAP to improve someone’s nutrient intake before taking anything away. We can usually always find a healthier alternative! There’s nothing wrong with taking pleasure in food and enjoying some snacks and treats while socializing. It is one of the joys of life! I can help guide you in how to do it in a healthy way that will still support your health and wellness goals. If you’d like to learn more about how I can help you please contact me to schedule a complimentary Nourish to Flourish Strategy Session.
Amanda Watson, BCHN®