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It's December, and along with the possibility of snow, we can expect a flurry of holiday get-togethers. Naturally, I'll be tackling party favorites in the next several Recipe Rescue posts! I'm starting off with Buffalo Chicken Dip. Although this dip packs in satisfying protein, the fat and calories can add up with multiple servings and when you dip with chips. It only takes a few simple tweaks to make this recipe more waistline-friendly.

(Scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable PDF version of the recipe!)

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Buffalo Chicken Dip


  • 2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • ¾ cup hot sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Changes Made:

  • 2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained: Substituted boneless skinless chicken breast (lowers sodium content; browning chicken in skillet develops flavors without extra calories)
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened: Substituted reduced-fat cream cheese/neufchatel
  • 1 cup ranch dressing: Used light ranch dressing
  • ¾ cup hot sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese: Swapped 1 cup of cheddar for part-skim mozzarella; used reduced-fat shredded cheddar

Nutrition Facts Face-Off!

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons, about the size of an egg) - does not include chips, bread, or other "dippables"

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Buffalo Chicken Dip (Printable PDF Version)

Makes about 7 cups


Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, raw
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
  • 1 cup light ranch salad dressing
  • ¾ cup hot sauce
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Directions:

  1. Cook chicken breast over medium-high heat in a skillet. Remove chicken and shred or chop, then return to skillet.
  2. Add hot sauce to skillet. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing with a wooden spoon, using the spoon to scrape any browned bits off the bottom.
  3. Mix in ½ cup of the mozzarella and cheddar, then transfer mixture to a slow cooker.
  4. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on low setting until hot and bubbly.

Recipe Tips:

  • Serve with celery sticks and whole grain pita chips (here's how to make them at home!)
  • Use extra-hot hot sauce if desired
  • This recipe is a great way to use up leftover chicken! 1 lb raw chicken breast is equivalent to about 2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast

 

Nutrition Facts (1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons): Calories 100, Total Fat 7g (Saturated 4g), Cholesterol 30mg, Sodium 470mg, Total Carbohydrate 1.5g, Dietary Fiber 0g, Protein 7g, Vitamin A 6% DV, Vitamin C 0% DV, Calcium 10% DV, Iron 0% DV

 

Today's post was written by Leia Kedem. Leia Kedem, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator covering Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties. She appears weekly on WCIA-3/WCIX-49 and is a biweekly contributor to the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. She also maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts where she regularly posts health tips and answers nutrition questions for free.