Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip
This Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip made with Greek yogurt is a makeover of a craveable game day snack. It might be reduced fat and calories but it is NOT reduced flavor.
After Thanksgiving, is it possible that “the big game” (don’t you hate how everybody has to call it that due to copyright issues?) is the second biggest food “holiday” of the year? I know we take menu planning for it pretty seriously around here!
If I’m attending a gathering, I might show up with individual charcuterie cups or Korean meatballs for nibbling before the game. If I’m hanging around home, I might make a little football charcuterie board for my fam, or maybe some shrimp deviled eggs and ham and turkey sliders for snacking.
But my all-time FAVORITE game day dish is this Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe. Let me tell you why it’s so good, and maybe you’ll want it to be a part of your game day celebration, too!
Is buffalo chicken dip healthy?
Buffalo chicken dip has seemed to show up at every sports-watching party I’ve attended in the last decade. And for good reason….this stuff is delicious.
I mean, it’s basically just shredded chicken, cream cheese, sour cream, buffalo sauce and blue cheese. All good things. There’s no way this dip can be bad.
The only bad thing? Yeah, this dip isn’t so good for you. In fact, it’s kind of a calorie and fat bomb. So, I set out to create a healthier buffalo chicken dip recipe that is just as good as the original.
Start this healthy buffalo chicken dip with a few lightened-up swaps for the creamy ingredients.
In general, creamy dips are usually pretty easy to lighten up a little bit. Instead of full fat cream cheese, try light cream cheese (neufchatel), which has about a third less fat than the regular stuff (save the full fat variety for chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting).
Neufchatel is also an easy way to lighten up my crab stuffed salmon recipe a little bit.
Another easy swap is to use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream in this healthier buffalo chicken dip (I’ll do this with my roasted garlic dip sometimes, too). Even if you use full fat (5%) Greek yogurt (like I use in my Greek yogurt pasta sauce and for yogurt parfait bars), it still has quite a bit less calories and fat than sour cream.
And as a bonus, Greek yogurt adds more protein and probiotics to this healthy buffalo chicken dip recipe, too! I also love it in Greek yogurt mashed potatoes and Greek chicken meatballs. You won’t miss the sour cream.
Choose your chicken carefully.
This is a touchy topic for me, because buffalo chicken dip is often made with canned chicken, and that honestly just grosses me out so much. You’ll never see canned chicken around this blog, trust me.
I’ve also seen it made with shredded rotisserie chicken quite a bit. This is an easy (and delicious!) option for this dip, or for a quick chicken pizza or as part of a crostini pizza bar, but I think we’ve all realized by now that rotisserie chicken is kind of packed with fat and sodium, sadly.
So, when I make this healthy buffalo chicken dip recipe, which calls for 2 cups of shredded cooked chicken, I usually just buy a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (just like for pistachio crusted chicken) and bake them in a 350 degree oven until they’re cooked through. Then, I let them cool and just shred them up.
This healthier buffalo chicken dip is reduced fat, but not reduced flavor!
Look, we’ve all been there. Somebody shows up at a party with a “lightened up” dish that they insist is every bit as good as the original. And it never is. Brownies made from beans? I’m sorry, no…those are never as good as the real thing.
But this healthy buffalo chicken dip is as good as the real thing. I promise. I think the key here is that buffalo sauce has such a strong, delicious flavor. It completely masks the fact that this dip is made with lower fat ingredients.
I’ve made this healthier buffalo chicken dip with Greek yogurt for many parties, and I don’t think anybody has ever realized it’s a lighter version unless I’ve mentioned it. Give it a try yourself and let me know what you think.
Serve this buffalo chicken dip with Greek yogurt with a variety of dippers:
- crackers – any variety of cracker you like here is great, but I think Triscuits are best with light buffalo chicken dip.
- tortilla chips – you can keep it ultra healthy and use baked tortilla chips, but honestly, I like the scoop-shaped ones for healthy buffalo chicken dip.
- celery sticks – there’s a bit of celery in this buffalo chicken dip with Greek yogurt, but you probably still have more celery in the package you bought. Why not slice it up and serve it as a dipper? Then if you STILL have some left, throw it in meat sauce rigatoni.
- sliced peppers – I love all colors of bell pepper for dipping, but here I used red bell pepper.
- carrot chips – you can also use carrot sticks or baby carrots, but carrot chips are kind of fun.
The blue cheese is optional!
Honestly, the flavor of blue cheese is pretty polarizing. You either love it or you hate it, and I don’t blame you either way.
So, depending on the crowd I’ll be serving this healthy buffalo chicken dip to, sometimes I’ll add the blue cheese, and sometimes I won’t. It’s truly delicious either way.
Or, if I want to hedge my bets, I’ll just serve a small dish of crumbled blue cheese on the side, so anybody who does want blue cheese can just add a sprinkle to their serving.
Can I make this ahead of time?
You sure can! You can make this Greek yogurt buffalo chicken dip up to 3 days in advance of baking it.
Complete the recipe through Step 1, then transfer it to a baking dish. Cover it tightly and store it in the refrigerator.
When you’re ready to serve, let the dip come to room temperature for 30 minutes, and then proceed with baking it. It might need an extra 5 to 10 minutes in the oven, so just keep an eye on it and bake until it’s bubbly! Grab a lemon shandy and it’s time to eat.
My spicy potato chips are another easy make-ahead recipe perfect for game day.
- 1 package (8 ounces) light cream cheese (Neufchâtel)
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2/3 cup buffalo wing sauce, plus extra for garnish, if desired
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1 cup chopped celery (about 2 ribs)
- 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese (optional)
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- Crackers, chips and/or sliced vegetables, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In medium saucepot, cook cream cheese over medium heat 3 minutes or until smooth, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; add yogurt, buffalo sauce and lemon juice and whisk until well combined (mixture will be slightly lumpy). Stir in chicken and celery.
- Transfer mixture to medium baking dish and sprinkle with blue cheese, if using. Transfer to oven and bake 20 minutes or until edges are bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes to thicken. Serve garnished with green onions and extra buffalo sauce, if desired, and serve with crackers, chips and/or sliced vegetables.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 152Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 645mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 17g
Nutritional information does not include garnishes or dippers. This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.