Make This Buffalo Chicken Dip for a Party (or Just Yourself) (2024)

The only thing better than a good recipe? When something’s so easy to make that you don’t even need one. Welcome to It’s That Simple, a column where we talk you through the process of making the dishes and drinks we can make with our eyes closed. This time, Buffalo chicken dip.

The first time I tasted Buffalo chicken dip was in upstate New York. It was over winter break, and a few of us were staying at a friend’s place, completely unaware that we’d be snowed in two days later. One night, my friend Michael’s sister, Debbie, put down a square glass dish of suspiciously, delicious orange goo. “Buffalo chicken dip,” she casually announced, like she didn’t just recenter my world.

I had only recently been introduced to the carnal joy of 25-cent Buffalo wings at school, so I promptly lost my mind. Wings? But…but actually a dip? What was this magic and how could I have a constant supply forevermore?

Debbie taught me her ways and ever since, I’ve made my version of Buffalo chicken dip for every large gathering, in which it remains the most popular appetizer by far—the ultimate crowd-pleaser, always demolished first, with seconds requested loudly. Here’s the template I follow, plus a full Buffalo chicken dip recipe at the end if that’s more your speed.

Chicken pickin’.

She’s beauty, she’s convenience, she’s Miss Rotisserie Chicken—and she’s the best contender for this dip. Remove the skin (too chewy) and bones, then pull the chicken in large ropey shreds for maximum texture. Leftover grilled or poached chicken breasts and thighs, minimally seasoned, also work. Debbie used canned chicken in her dip, proving that it’s a worthwhile option too. In a rare instance, I’d warn against all dark meat—the slippery oiliness is too cloying combined with all the cheese; go for all light or a mix of light and dark. A pound of shredded meat is good for up to six people.

Sauce it up.

Buffalo anything requires hot sauce, and lots of it. (After all, classic Buffalo wing sauce is little more than hot sauce and melted butter.) Frank’s RedHot is good, Crystal is arguably better. Set the fancy stuff down—it would get lost in the shuffle, and you want the brash acidity and fruity heat of the classics. Start with ¼ cup if your crowd is heat-averse or go all the way up to 1 cup for a definitive bite.

Make This Buffalo Chicken Dip for a Party (or Just Yourself) (2)

Crystal Louisiana Wing Sauce

Build your base.

A half pound of cream cheese provides a neutral background, anchoring the rest of the dip with its quiet opulence and silky heft. A lot of easy Buffalo chicken dip recipes call for bottled ranch dressing, but an 8-oz. container of sour cream spiked with a teaspoon each of garlic and onion powders is just as easy while offering more control over the final taste. Finely grated lemon zest is my unexpected but favorite addition—it adds a sparkle of vital freshness.

Add cheese.

Many Buffalo chicken dip recipes lean hard on mozzarella, which is wonderfully gooey, but mild. Let’s up the ante. Shards of blue cheese add a piquant edge to the dip. Use anywhere between 2–4 oz. of a mild, creamy blue like Gorgonzola or Point Reyes Bay Blue, and keep it in large chunks so it doesn’t muddy the flavor of the dip. (On that note, avoid blue cheese dressing, which varies vastly by brand, and blue cheese crumbles, which can be chalky in texture.) Then a cup or two of shredded cheese keeps things ooey-gooey without being overwhelming: Mild cheddar cheese melts nicely, but sharp is my go-to for its nutty-tangy vibe. (Skip the ultra sharp cheddar cheese, which breaks into oily pools under the heat.)

Top things off.

A little garnish goes a long way. The green oniony sharpness from a final flourish of scallions (or chives, should you have some) cuts through the cheese nicely. And in a move directly copped from Ottolenghi’s book, Extra Good Things, I’ve taken to strewing thinly sliced celery, soaked in lemon juice, on top of my chicken dip for an additional pop of tartness.

Make This Buffalo Chicken Dip for a Party (or Just Yourself) (3)

Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things

Serve it hot or cold.

Come game day, a Super Bowl party, or, you know, just Thursday night: Build your dip in a skillet and broil it until bubbling, or simply stir everything together in a large bowl if you’d like to keep it cold. If you want to make it ahead of time, you can keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days, then serve chilled or pop it in a baking dish and reheat.

Can you make this in a Crockpot or slow cooker? Technically, yes. But it won’t save you any prep time, and it’ll rob you of the opportunity to broil the dip at the end, which, to me, is what sends it over the top. Stovetop is best here.

Make This Buffalo Chicken Dip for a Party (or Just Yourself) (2024)


Can buffalo chicken dip sit out overnight? ›

Make sure to store it in an airtight container! How long can it sit out? Buffalo Chicken Dip should not sit out at room temperature for longer than two hours. If you can keep it warm (like in a slow cooker on “warm” setting) then it will last for longer.

How do you keep buffalo chicken dip from getting greasy? ›

Here are a few tips to consider to prevent that from becoming an issue:
  1. Be careful not to use too much cheese! ...
  2. Try reduced-fat cream cheese! ...
  3. Use lean chicken or remove the skin! ...
  4. Drain excess liquid from the cooked chicken. ...
  5. Bake it for the recommended time, not longer. ...
  6. Skim off any excess oil during baking.
Dec 30, 2013

Is buffalo chicken dip better hot or cold? ›

Based on the ingredients, the mixture should keep in the refrigerator for at least a few days. The dip can be served cold or, if preferred, baked till hot in a shallow casserole dish. For dipping, offer corn chips, ideally with low salt. Place cream cheese, unwrapped, in a large mixing bowl to warm and soften.

How long does it take for buffalo chicken dip to get old? ›

Leftovers – Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove over low heat. You can also use leftover dip as a filling for some amazing quesadillas, sandwiches, and sliders!

How long is homemade buffalo chicken dip good for? ›

If you've made it at home, it's best to enjoy within three to four days. If you'd like to keep it for longer, freezing is an option. Buffalo chicken dip can be frozen and stay good for up to 2 months.

How long is homemade buffalo dip good for? ›

Buffalo chicken dip lasts for up to four days—if you're lucky enough to end up with leftovers, that is! Store the dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Warm leftover dip in the microwave or oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°.

Can you overcook buffalo chicken dip? ›

It is done when the cheese is completely melted and you don't see any chunks of cream cheese remaining. Do not over-cook and do not turn the heat up to high. Store the leftover dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Homemade buffalo chicken dip will last up to one week in the fridge.

Why is my buffalo chicken dip so liquidy? ›

Buffalo chicken dip can be runny if you use a reduced fat cream cheese. It can also be runny if you use too much ranch dressing or not enough chicken. You can thicken the dip by adding more shredded chicken, or even more cubes of full fat cream cheese or even more shredded cheddar cheese.

What kind of chips to serve with Buffalo chicken dip? ›

Tortilla chips – I recommend a thick, hearty chip that can stand up to these cheesy chicken dip. You could also spoon the dip over the tortilla chip “scoops”. Corn chips – Frito scoops are perfect for dipping up this buffalo chicken dip! Crackers – I recommend a thick cracker, like Wheat Thins or Triscuits.

How do you tone down Buffalo chicken dip? ›

Dairy has a natural ability to counteract spiciness, so a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkling of cheese can help tone down the heat. You can also try stirring in things such as butter, cream, or yogurt. In addition to that, you can also try making a cream or sauce that can be added on top of the dish.

Is buffalo chicken dip good the next day? ›

If you have leftover Buffalo Chicken Dip, you can store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. You can reheat any leftovers in the microwave or in the oven – this is up to your preference!

Can I eat buffalo chicken dip after 6 days? ›

Store leftover buffalo chicken dip in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Make sure it has fully cooled first. To reheat, place in the oven at a low temperature (around 300F) for about 20 minutes.

When did buffalo chicken dip became popular? ›

Dom and Frank also agree that the wings were an immediate success—famous throughout Buffalo within weeks,” stated Trillin. Years after its invention, Buffalo chicken wings are as popular as ever and have inspired many iterations of the recipe, including Buffalo chicken wing dip, which became popular in the early 2000s.

Does buffalo chicken dip need to be refrigerated? ›

Making and storing buffalo chicken dip

Since the dip has numerous ingredients, it might open the door for questions about how long you should keep leftovers in the fridge. You can store leftover dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days, according to The Kitchn.

How long can buffalo chicken sit out? ›

Once the chicken is cooked and cooled, refrigerate it within 2 hours of sitting at room temperature. Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator (at 40 F or less). Be sure to label the container with the date and contents.

How long can buffalo chicken stay out? ›

You have been misinformed. Leaving cooked chicken out for more than two hours, whether it is covered or not, is not safe. There may be enough bacteria present to give you food poisoning.

Can dip be left out overnight? ›

The FDA standard on how long it can be left out is 4 hours at room temperature. Once the dip is left open and unrefrigerated, it is exposed to various bacteria and microbes that may accelerate its spoilage, and it does go bad if left out for too long..


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