This is my friend Heather’s recipe for Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip. Born and raised in the Southern United States, she really knows her food – this is ridiculously addictive, can’t-stop-scoffing-it good!
Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip
It will come as no surprise to you that this hot, creamy, cheesy, shredded chicken dip first came into my life during my time in the States.
It will also come as no surprise to regular readers that it was love at first bite. While initially, the idea of chicken in a dip sounded kinda wrong, let me tell you that there is nothing wrong about how it tastes.
Everything about it is 100% right.
Hot. Creamy. Cheesy. Meaty.
Did I say hot? Hot – as in bubbling hot, out of the oven. And hot – as in Buffalo Chicken Wings spicy hot.
It’s obscenely addictive. I may even have to call it – it’s my favourite hot dip. Big call, yep I know!!
What you need for Heather’s Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip
You’ll find simple recipes “out there” calling for far fewer ingredients, or shortcuts like packet ranch dressing powder.
This version is made using a homemade ranch dressing so it calls for more ingredients. But for that small investment of effort, you will be rewarded with the BEST this dip can be!!
- Frank’s Hot Sauce – The traditional hot sauce for Buffalo Wings, widely available these days in Australia. Spicy and vinegary, we need one whole cup – which sounds like a lot, I know. But if we’re making a Buffalo Chicken Dip, let’s make it actually taste like the famous hot wing sauce!! Otherwise, it’s just another creamy dip. Also … Did you ever notice that Frank’s Hot Sauce bizarrely never gets too spicy, no matter how much you use?
- Shredded chicken – Keep life easy by using a store-bought cooked chicken, with the added bonus of the seasoned meat making the dip even tastier. To cook your own chicken breast, use this Foolproof Poached Chicken recipe to ensure the chicken is ultra-juicy. Nobody wants dry, stringy chicken in their dip!
- Cream cheese – The dip base. Philadelphia all the way for me, there is no substitute (and they aren’t paying me to say that!);
- Mayonnaise – Adds flavour and richness to the dip. For best results, use whole egg mayo (Hellmans and S&W are my preferred brands);
- Sour cream – This loosens the mixture to make it more scoop-able, creamy and lightens the mixture (as opposed to using more mayonnaise which makes it ultra rich);
- Buttermilk – An essential ingredient in ranch dressing, and similar to the sour cream it loosens the dip mixture. Simple sub: mix milk with a bit of lemon, leave for 5 minutes to let it curdle = homemade buttermilk! Full direction in recipe notes;
- Parsley and dill – Using fresh herbs found in ranch dressing is one of the things that makes this dip so good, rather than using a packet Ranch mix;
- Onion and garlic powder – Also classic Ranch Dressing flavourings;
- Vinegar and lemon juice – Just a touch of each, to up the tang ever so slightly. It is not the end of the world if you just double up on one or the other ;
- Worcestershire sauce – Everybody’s favourite all-rounder savoury sauce that I can never spell without the aide of spell check;
- Cheese – Rarely does a dip leave my kitchen without some form of cheese in it! Colby and cheddar are ideal here, but you can opt for whatever meltable cheese you have; and
- Green onion – For an oniony hit and garnish.
How to make Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip
This version has a few more steps than the quick and easy “dump ‘n mix” recipes. But the end result is better. Far better!
- Homemade ranch dressing – Mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, parsley, dill, vinegar, lemon, Worcestershire, onion powder and garlic powder in a bowl. Set it aside for 10 minutes to let the flavours develop. This is the homemade ranch dressing which forms the flavour base of the dip – so much tastier than using a packet of store-bought powder!
- Shred chicken – Either buy a chicken already cooked, or poach it yourself. Shred it pretty finely so it melds nicely with the creamy dip, rather than having chunks or cubes of chicken;
- Melty dip base – Combine the homemade ranch with cream cheese and hot sauce in a saucepan. Let the cream cheese melt and mix until smooth;
- Mix with remaining ingredients – Pour the melty dip base into a bowl then add the chicken, cheeses and green onion, and finally give it a good stir;
- Transfer to baking dish then top with cheese;
- Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the edges are bubbling. Ready to be devoured!
Note: Once you start digging in, you will notice that the dip looks somewhat split. That’s just the way it is, and really it looks rather striking seeing the streaks of red oil swirled throughout the creamy dip – rivers of hot, creamy-cheesy, spicy lava!
What to serve with Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip
And as for leftovers? Slather generously onto hot rolls. Devour and weep. It’s quite possibly the best chicken sandwich ever. – Nagi x
PS. In case you’re thinking boozy good times for your gathering, try one of these cocktails.
Watch how to make it
Heather’s Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip
This version has a few more steps than the quick and easy “dump it all in a bowl” recipes. But the end result is better. Far better! Quite possibly my all-time favourite hot dip.
SPICINESS: Pretty spicy but not “blow-your-head-off”. If you’re concerned, hold back half the buffalo sauce, then just stir it in at the end just before baking, adding as much as you think you can handle!
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise , whole egg (Hellman’s and S&W recommended) (Note 1)
- ⅓ cup sour cream , full fat
- ⅓ cup buttermilk (Note 2)
- 2½ tbsp parsley , preferably curly, very finely minced (sub flatleaf parsley)
- 2 tsp fresh dill , finely minced
- ½ tsp apple cider vinegar (or more lemon)
- ½ tsp lemon juice (or more cider vinegar)
- ½ tsp worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
Buffalo Chicken Dip:
- 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce (Note 3)
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (Note 4)
- 250g/ 8oz cream cheese , cut into 8 cubes
- 2½ cups colby cheese , shredded yourself (Note 5)
- 1¼ cups cheddar cheese , shredded yourself (Note 5)
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- ½ cup green onion , finely sliced
Garnish & serving:
- Extra green onion
- Corn chips, crackers, crostini, vegetable sticks (especially celery – very on-theme!)
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
Make ranch dressing base: Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, parsley, dill, vinegar, lemon, Worcestershire, onion powder and garlic powder in a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to let the flavours develop.
Simmer on stove: Transfer the ranch dressing to a saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream cheese, hot sauce and pepper. Stir until cream cheese melts and the mixture is combined and smooth.
Mix: Transfer the hot cream mixture in a large bowl. Add chicken, ¾ of the cheese (reserve rest for top) and green onion. Mix well until fully combined.
Transfer into a 6 cup / 1.5L casserole dish, top with remaining cheese.
Bake 20 minutes until bubbly and golden. For more brown spots, flick the broiler/grill on for the last few minutes.
Garnish with reserved green onion. Devour recklessly with corn chips, crackers or if you’re feeling a bit virtuous, perhaps some vegetable sticks …
2. Buttermilk – Make your own: Mix ⅓ cup full fat normal milk + ½ tsp lemon juice. Set aside for 10 minutes, it will curdle – this is normal. Use per recipe (ie. the curdled mixture and all!).
3. Franks Hot Sauce – The traditional hot sauce used in Buffalo Wings, widely available these days in Australia (condiments aisle in Coles, Woolies, Harris Farm).
4. Chicken – Either buy a cooked rotisserie chicken, or poach your own and shred (poaching is best for juiciest result so it melds well with the creamy dip). You will need 400g / 14oz raw chicken breast to make 300g/3 cups of cooked shredded chicken.
5. Cheese – This recipe works fine with any melting cheese, though I’d suggest not using mozzarella because it doesn’t have as much flavour;
Always shred your own – it melts much better (pre shredded are chunkier and also have anti caking agents which don’t melt well and can make mixtures a bit grainy).
6. Storage – This will keep for 4 to 5 days in the fridge. Just reheat in the microwave to make it molten again, or cover and bake. I haven’t tried freezing – I’m pretty sure it will split.
Leftovers are also sensational used inside sandwiches!
7. Nutrition per serving, assuming 16 servings.
More hot bubbly dips
For fellow Dip Monsters.
Life of Dozer
Currently getting work done on the lower garden to create my dream of having a (mini!) orchard, herbs and veg patch.
Dozer spends a LOT of time down there with the landscape gardener, Stevie from The Courtyard Sydney Landscape Design. Something to do with pats, scraps and lots of dirt to roll around in.