this exceptionally creamy and cheesy Dairy-Free Buffalo Chicken Dip requires just a handful of easy-to-find ingredients and is ready in about 30 minutes. perfect for game-day celebrations and cool weather potlucks!
Table of contents:
- this exceptionally creamy and cheesy Dairy-Free Buffalo Chicken Dip requires just a handful of easy-to-find ingredients and is ready in about 30 minutes. perfect for game-day celebrations and cool weather potlucks!
- Save this recipe for later on Pinterest:
- Why you'll love this dairy-free buffalo chicken dip
- Ingredient substitutions:
- How to make dairy-free buffalo chicken dip
- Recipe pro-tips:
- Dietary Preferences:
- Make-Ahead, Storage, & Reheating Tips:
- Recipe FAQs:
- Tools needed to make this recipe:
- More appetizer & dip recipes:
Football is officially here, which in my world means that it's Dip Season! Regardless of who you're rooting for (or if you're even watching the game 🙋♀️), having an excuse to host friends and offer a smorgasbord of salty snacks is one of my favorite things about fall.
Most of my favorite dips are laden with tons of dairy like cream cheese and sour cream, so I was worried that I wouldn't get to partake in much of the festivities this year. Luckily, I've cracked the code on making at least one of my favorite dips totally dairy-free.
This healthy buffalo chicken dip has all the zesty flavor of the original without any of the unfortunate lactose-based side effects. While it does require slightly more effort than your typical cheesy buffalo chicken dip, I guarantee it's worth every moment.
Come along with me to the kitchen to learn how to make this undeniably delicious spicy, tangy, creamy goodness. You'll be so glad you did!
Save this recipe for later on Pinterest:
Why you'll love this dairy-free buffalo chicken dip
When it comes to game-day snacks, there are few things I love more than a big bowl of creamy dip with assorted crunchy snacks to shovel it into my face. This dairy-free version of Frank's Red Hot buffalo chicken dip recipe is:
- Allergen-Friendly. It's already naturally dairy-free and nut-free, and is easy to make soy-free, egg-free, and gluten-free to boot. Read on below for all the details on how to customize this dip to your dietary needs.
- Meal-Prep & Freezer-Friendly. That means all you have to do is bake it up when your guests start to arrive!
- Comforting & Hearty. It's rich, creamy, warm, and filled with stick-to-your-ribs tastiness.
- A Convincing Dupe For The Original! I'm happy to report that making buffalo chicken dip dairy-free doesn't detract from the flavor at all. I've had many folks be shocked when I tell them this recipe is dairy-free!
As promised, you only need a handful of easy-to-find ingredients to make this tasty non-dairy buffalo chicken dip. Here's what to grab:
- Vegan Butter - For richness.
- Onion - I suggest using white or yellow for the best flavor.
- All-Purpose Flour - To help with thickening.
- Plant-Based Milk - Make sure you reach for unflavored and unsweetened options here. I used almond milk, but oat milk, soy milk, or any other non-dairy milk should work well, too.
- Vegan Cheddar Cheese - For all that stretchy, cheesy goodness.
- Mayonnaise - You can use light or regular mayo depending on your personal preferences.
- Buffalo Hot Sauce - When it comes to buffalo chicken dip, Frank's Red Hot Sauce is the gold standard.
- Nutritional Yeast - For an added cheesy boost.
- Salt - For seasoning.
- Onion Powder & Garlic Powder - For extra allium flavor.
- Cooked Shredded Chicken - It is a chicken dip, after all.
- Vegan Mozzarella Cheese - For extra cheesiness in the topping. YUM.
Types of chicken you can use in buffalo chicken dip:
So, what's the best kind of chicken to use for this simple dairy-free buffalo dip? Pretty much any kind that you have on hand including:
- Rotisserie Chicken
- Baked or Poached Chicken Breasts
- Leftover Roasted Chicken
- Drained & Flaked Canned Chicken
I personally find that white meat shreds easier than dark cuts like thighs, so I typically stick to chicken breasts. That said, feel free to use whatever type or cut of chicken works best for you.
- Vegan Butter - You can also use margarine if you prefer, or regular butter if dairy isn't an issue.
- Onion - Depending on what you have on hand, you can also try using shallots or green onions instead of white or yellow.
- All-Purpose Flour - Feel free to use 1-to-1 gluten-free flour instead.
- Plant-Based Milk, Vegan Cheddar Cheese, & Vegan Mozzarella Cheese - If lactose is the only issue you have with dairy, feel free to swap in lactose-free dairy products like Lactaid or Fair Life. You can also try using different types of vegan or lactose-free cheeses like gouda or blue cheese if you prefer!
- Mayonnaise - You can swap in vegan cream cheese for the mayo.
- Buffalo Hot Sauce - "Buffalo" is a particular type of hot sauce flavor, but you can easily swap in non-buffalo-flavored vinegar based hot sauces like Crystal, Cholula, or Tapatio if you want.
- Nutritional Yeast - You can use an equal amount of white miso paste, Vegemite/Marmite, or vegetable bouillon powder or paste to replace some of that nutty, umami flavor without adding any dairy; just be sure to cut back on the added salt as needed. If dairy isn't the primary issue, you can also use finely grated parmesan cheese which has a lower lactose content than softer cheeses.
- Onion Powder & Garlic Powder - Dried onion and garlic flakes will also work here. If you omit the added salt, you can also use garlic salt or onion salt instead.
- Cooked Shredded Chicken - Make this Frank's buffalo dip pescatarian-friendly by swapping in drained and flaked canned tuna for the chicken.
How to make dairy-free buffalo chicken dip
For the complete recipe and measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Making this stovetop buffalo chicken dip is a snap. Here's how it's done:
Step 1: Prep. Preheat the oven. If you don’t have a 12-inch non-stick and oven-safe skillet, grease an 8 x 8-inch baking pan.
Step 2: Sauté Onions until translucent.
Step 3: Make Roux. Whisk the flour into the onion mixture and cook until the flour is fragrant and golden. Whisk in the milk and cook until thickened.
Step 4: Add Cheese & Mayo over low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the cheese is melted and smooth.
Step 5: Add Flavor. Whisk in the buffalo sauce, nutritional yeast, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder until well combined.
Step 6: Assemble. Fold in the shredded chicken and sprinkle with the vegan mozzarella cheese.
Step 7: Bake the dip until the mozzarella cheese is melted and golden and the dip bubbles around the edges. Serve hot. Enjoy!
Making this keto buffalo chicken dip is pretty straightforward, but I've learned a few tricks along the way:
- Prevent the dip from sticking to your pan by using a non-stick skillet ~OR~ an 1-quart baking pan that you have greased well with vegan butter or non-stick cooking spray.
- Make it extra cheesy by adding extra nutritional yeast.
- Easily shred chicken breasts by working while they are still warm. You can use your fingers, two forks, or even a hand mixer to assist you.
Now that I'm privy to how frustrating it can be to have dietary restrictions, I want to offer as many solutions as possible! Consider any of the following variations to make this healthy buffalo dip work for you and your family:
How to make gluten-free buffalo chicken dip: Swap in a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour blend for the AP flour.
Alternatively, consider making a cornstarch slurry with about a tablespoon of cornstarch/corn flour and 1-2 tablespoons of water or non-dairy milk and add it when you add the buffalo sauce to the dip.
How to make this recipe lactose-free: if lactose is more of your issue than dairy is, substitute lactose-free milk for the plant milk and follow the rest of the recipe as directed.
How to make soy-free buffalo chicken dip: Opt for mayo made with avocado oil or use vegan cream cheese instead.
How to make egg-free buffalo chicken dip: Use vegan mayo or vegan cream cheese.
How to make vegan buffalo chicken dip: Swap in shredded jackfruit, rehydrated soy curls, or pulled & roasted oyster mushrooms for the chicken.
This relatively low-calorie buffalo chicken dip is delightful when served with any number of crunchy things to dip in it like:
- Celery or Carrot Sticks
- Pita chips
- Tortilla Chips or Sturdy Potato Chips
Aside from using it as a dip, it also makes for a stellar filling in:
- Wraps and Sandwiches
- Egg Rolls
Make-Ahead, Storage, & Reheating Tips:
Feel free to assemble the non-dairy buffalo chicken dip and refrigerate it for up to 5 days before baking and serving it. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months! When you're ready to serve, defrost it overnight in the fridge and then bake as directed.
Leftovers can also be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, defrost overnight in the fridge and then bake until warm and gooey.
You sure can! Wrap it well and freeze for up to 3 months.
That's a totally subjective question and it all depends on your taste. I love eating it with tortilla chips (especially the ones that are shaped like cups so I can get a stellar dip-to-chip ratio), but any sturdy chip will work well.
Avoid chips that shatter easily (e.g. Lay's) because they won't be able to stand up to the weight of the dip. I prefer to serve this dip with ruffled potato chips!
I'm of the opinion that this dairy-free buffalo dip is right at home on any appetizer buffet. Feel free to get super meta and serve it alongside buffalo wings. It's also great as a topper for sliders.
It also plays nicely with all kinds of other dips, so feel free to get creative with your spread!
Tools needed to make this recipe:
- Measuring cups & spoons
- 12-inch non-stick oven-safe skillet ~OR~ 1-quart baking dish
- Chef's knife & cutting board
- Cheese grater
- Silicone spatula
More appetizer & dip recipes:
- Cheesy Refried Bean Dip
- Zesty 5-Layer Bean Dip
- Spinach Artichoke Dip Recipe
- Air-Fryer Tater Tots
- Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Bites
- BBQ Chicken Nachos
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