Well, it is playoff season. Although I am still trying to eat very healthy during the week I feel the weekends are time to let off steam… not just from work but from super healthy eating too. So, let’s indulge a little bit.
This all started because I had a package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I only needed two to make my Cassoulet Soup last week but the package came with six. I roasted the four extra chicken thighs in the oven (olive oil, salt, pepper & granulated garlic powder, roast in a 350 oven on a foil lined baking sheet for 20-25 minutes). I threw them in the fridge to have on hand during the week. Excellent option for my weekday healthy eating. But this was Sunday. And a playoff football Sunday at that.
What to do? What to do?
Clearly, I needed to make a dip.
Everyone loves chicken wings but lets face it, they are a MESS! They make your face and fingers sticky (and kind of burny), you can’t take a sip of your beverage without using the weird two-palm technique because of the messy finger situation, you need 1,000 napkins that don’t really help anyway and you are never going to eat them on a first date. But you can get all of the flavor with none of the awkwardness or mess with this Buffalo Chicken Dip. Oh, and it is waaaayyy easier to make than actual chicken wings.
It was just the 4 of us at home so we certainly did not need a vat of dip. Not only that, my kids won’t eat anything spicy at all. So we just needed a little bit of dip. Luckily I had all of the ingredients laying around my house so I could throw this together and enjoy the game (even if I didn’t enjoy the outcome, sad face).
I shredded one of my roasted chicken thighs using two forks. I mixed 2 ounces or ¼ of a brick of room temperature cream cheese (all I had left in the house), some ranch dressing, blue cheese crumbles and hot sauce in a bowl.
I added the chicken and mixed it all together. Pretty, isn’t it?
I sprayed a little oven-safe soup bowl with nonstick cooking spray and added my concoction. I sprinkled the top with a little shredded cheese and threw it in the oven. Actually I didn’t. I threw it in the fridge and waited for a couple hours until the game started. Another bonus to this recipe: Make Ahead! But, when the game started I did throw it in the oven.
While the dip was baking I prepared a little plate. I added some tortilla chips, crackers, carrots and celery. I threw the dip on when it was ready and it was Game On!
Please note how I cut the carrots and celery. I picked this up from my friend Meribeth. I don’t think I ever told her how genius I thought it was at the time but she’ll know now. We were eating hummus at her house and she cut the celery and carrots into perfect bite size pieces. I hate having a big piece of veg and you get only one dip. Of course I’m not going to double dip but I ALWAYS want to! So, when you have a perfect bite-size piece everyone is happy both germophobs and eaters alike. Oh, and everyone, please stop buying baby carrots. They have no taste. Buy normal carrots. You can prep them on Sunday or something if you are rushed for time during the week. Ok, I’m done now.
Back to the dip. I don’t really care for spicy and this is definitely at the top of my spice tolerance level. That may be why I preferred the buffalo chicken dip with the carrots and celery. The cool, crunchy veggies really mellow out the heat of the dip. Don’t get me wrong, I ate it with the chips and crackers too. I had to try all the options to make sure I wasn’t steering you in the wrong direction. They are all great but I really preferred the veggies. Plus, I’m eating more veggies that way. Win-Win! And so are my kids. Even though they won’t eat the dip they get excited about chips crackers and carrots (they still won’t touch the celery).
We only needed a little bit but this recipe would be VERY easy to scale up if you are having a crowd. Just remember there are 4 tablespoons in a ¼ cup and go from there. Hope your team is still in the hunt!
Small Batch Buffalo Chicken Dip
2 oz Cream Cheese, at room temperature (¼ of a brick)
2 T Ranch Dressing
2 T Frank’s Red Hot
2 T Blue Cheese crumbles
1 skinless, boneless Chicken Thigh, cooked* and shredded
1-2 T Shredded Colby Jack (or whatever shredded cheese you have at home)
Options For Serving: Tortilla Chips, Crakcers, Carrots, Celery
Preheat the oven to 350.
Mix the first 4 ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until combined.
Add the shredded chicken and stir together.
Spray a small oven-safe dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Pour the chicken mixture into the prepared bowl.
Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbly.
Serve hot with plenty of options for dipping.
*I seasoned the skinless, boneless chicken thigh with olive oil, salt, pepper and granulated garlic powder then roasted it in a 350 oven for 20-25 minutes. When it was cool enough to handle I shredded it. This would be a great use for any leftover chicken.
**You can make this ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. Add 5-10 minutes to the bake time.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
- 2 oz Cream Cheese at room temperature (¼ of a brick)
- 2 T Ranch Dressing
- 2 T Frank’s Red Hot
- 2 T Blue Cheese crumbles
- 1 skinless boneless Chicken Thigh, cooked* and shredded
- 1-2 T Shredded Colby Jack or whatever shredded cheese you have at home
- Options For Serving: Tortilla Chips, Crakcers, Carrots, Celery
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Mix the first 4 ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until combined. Add the shredded chicken and stir together.
- Spray a small oven-safe dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the chicken mixture into the prepared bowl. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbly.
- Serve hot with plenty of options for dipping.