The Best Ways To Use Up Leftover Buffalo Chicken Dip

The brainchild of Frank Bellissimo of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, Buffalo chicken dip was originally intended to be passed around at midnight, free of charge, to bar patrons. That was in 1964. Since that time, its simple deliciousness has created a dip diaspora, sending inspiration across the country and into pubs and homes from coast to coast.


As far as leftovers go, it's hard to beat Buffalo chicken dip. Most of the time, people serve it with chips or little slices of toast and celery sticks. While it's probably not often that the dip doesn't get eaten down to the last drop, it does occasionally happen. Most commonly, lovers of this dip just toss it in the microburner, divvy out a few more chips, and an occasional celery stick, and eat up. But there's so much more to leftover Buffalo chicken dip than just chips and celery with a little bit of culinary creativity.

Many dishes benefit from the infusion of Buffalo chicken dip as an ingredient, from pasta to vegetables. Its cheesy goo and succulent chicken chunks, as well as the spicy nip that distinguishes this dip from others, make for an excellent alternative to many other types of ingredients. In this piece, you'll take a deep dive, or rather a deep dip, into ways to use leftover Buffalo chicken dip that you might not have thought of.


Make some spicy mac and cheese

For food nerds, taking a mammoth-sized bite of mac and cheese after a stressful day is the comfort food equivalent of winning the tastebud lottery. Aside from tasting completely delicious, the casein in the cheese transforms into casomorphins in your body's chemical conversion factory, which the brain eventually responds to in the same way that it does to opioids. While we would never suggest that you should enter a detox program after you nosh on a bowlful of mac and cheese, the casomorphins do directly affect the pleasure centers of your brain, making you and your stressed-out tastebuds particularly susceptible to this recipe's cheesy delectableness. The only thing that would make this dish even more enticing is to add a can't-eat-just-one-bite flavor, something you'll find in abundance in your average Buffalo chicken dip recipe


Buffalo chicken dip brings the creamy goodness of cream cheese and backs it up with the pungent flavor of blue cheese, spices, and chunks of chicken. In other words, it makes mac and cheese as creamy as you remember it from childhood but heartier and spicier than the classic version of the recipe. If you're going to be nearly addicted to anything, this might as well be it.

Spice up some quesadillas

Quesadillas, whether they be filled with just cheese, chicken, or beef and grilled vegetables, usually take 30 minutes or less to make. The only thing that would make this last-minute meal more amazing would be a little spicy pizzazz. Spicy Buffalo chicken dip brings pizzazz in large spoonsful, making quesadillas quesa-yummy.


The simplest way to infuse your quesadillas with Buffalo chicken dip flavor is to heat up a small bowl and serve it on the side of your meal. Then, simply dab your quesadillas into the hot dip. This option flavors each bite without overwhelming the taste of the goody-stuffed tortilla treat. If you're eating quesadillas with beef or lamb, for example, this option blends the taste of the chicken into the mix without overpowering the flavors.

If tasting the full force of the Buffalo chicken dip in your quesadilla appeals to you, skip the bowl of dip and go ahead and slather the dip in between the two tortilla shells of the quesadilla. Additional sprinkles of shredded cheddar or pepper Jack cheese inside the 'dilla crank up the recipe's cheesy countenance, making its texture both creamy and gooey, as a good cheesy melt should be. And as a bonus, because the dip already contains chicken, you get chicken quesadillas without breaking out any extra chicken (unless, of course, you want to).


Make pizza pop

According to Pizza Today, chicken is pizza lovers' sixth favorite pizza topping. For traditionalists who tend to stick to toppings like pepperoni, this may come as a surprise, but for chicken lovers, such a declaration sounds natural. Chicken recipes that include breaded and fried chicken translate well as pizza toppings, each bringing its own unique flavor profile to an already delectable mix of flavors and toppings.


This brings you, dear food nerd, to the subject of Buffalo chicken dip as a pizza topping. This topping has a couple of flavor benefits to offer to pizza lovers who already top their pizzas with chicken. First, the dip itself, due to its ingredient makeup, functions as a substitute for the red or white sauce that normally goes on pizza. Its flavor countenance is somewhere between pizza with white sauce and spicy cheese dip, with a little chicken added for good measure. Although the dip already has chicken in it, the recipe for Buffalo chicken dip is flexible enough to accommodate other kinds of chicken as toppings, like breaded chicken, too, if you'd like to bring a bit of variety to the mix.


Further, not all pizza eaters love sauce, or are, at least, tired enough of it to want to venture into other flavors for a bit. Because Buffalo chicken dip replaces red sauce, these chicken pizza lovers get the opportunity to immerse themselves in a Wonderland of spicy taste while still sticking to a flavor they love.

Crank your chicken nachos up a notch

A big, fat plate of gooey, cheesy chicken nachos counts as a staple of Friday night pub fare, but there's more than what meets the eye (and the tummy) here. According to Evolve You, certain foods, including the saturated fats in dairy and poultry, release the bonding hormone, oxytocin. Fortunately for nacho lovers everywhere, chicken nachos already have plenty of ingredients that boost the love hormone in the brain. No guilt or effort is required.


Aside from having such oxytocin boosters, like cheese, sour cream, and chicken, chicken nacho recipes usually come with other love-hormone-boosting goodies, like avocados and beans. The only thing that would make your favorite plate of Mexi-yum even better is a dollop, or possibly six, of your leftover Buffalo chicken dip. Not only does this concoction improve the taste but it also gives you a bit more access to the social-bonding hormone, which makes sharing a plate of chicken nachos with a group of friends such fun.

Use it as a topping for a baked potato bar

Steamed broccoli. Bacon bits. Shredded cheese. These ingredients count among the most popular ones on a standard baked potato bar, and while you want to include some old standbys when setting up this specialized buffet, it's also fun to include some not-to-run-of-the-mill ingredients, too. Maybe this is lobster or kimchee or —you guessed it — Buffalo chicken dip.


This topping works well on the tater bar because it gives potato bar participants something to mitigate the dryness of the potato. Add some extra sour cream or cream cheese to the dip before you serve it to make it extra creamy. A bit of half-and-half offers a good option as an extra, too.

And as far as serving it goes, break out your mini Crock-Pot and set it to warm. This keeps the sauce warm and the creamy, well, creamy. Do note that it's best to reheat the Buffalo chicken dip in the microwave or on the stove and not in the slow cooker. Anything in the Crock can only sit there for about two to four hours before it becomes a science beaker filled with pathogens. In light of this, it's best to keep the Crock-Pot at 165 F, which pushes it above the highest danger zone temperature of 140 F. Still, stick to the small time window just to stay on the safe side.


Throw together a Buffalo chicken dip sandwich

Pop quiz for you: How do you turn an ordinary chicken salad sandwich into an extraordinary taste experience? You pull your leftover spicy chicken dip from the fridge, dump in another can of chunk chicken, and put it in the sandwich maker to cook to a golden crispy, that's what. And the Buffalo chicken dip sandwich that comes out the other side of the process nips at your tongue with the kind of bite that makes your tastebuds pay attention.


The only drawback of this sammy, if you could call it a drawback, is that it gets a bit messy because of the soft cheese in it. Adding more chicken chunks will help that a bit. Drain the extra chicken juice off the canned chicken chunks so that the chicken is dry enough to soak up some of the dip's creaminess. As a side note, your leftover fried chicken works here, too. White meat from the bird is ideal because of its relative dryness compared to the dark meat of the chicken. The moisture in the cream cheese will perk up the white meat from your fried chicken, leaving you with a yummy sandwich made completely from leftovers.

Fill lasagna with it

If it's a taste mash-up you're after, you'll hardly find one more satisfying than the combination of the Mediterranean deliciousness that is lasagna, combined with Buffalo chicken dip. Aside from adding a spicy nip to the flavor of the lasagna, it's an economical way to introduce ingredients, like cream cheese and chicken chunks, to the mix.


To create this, you'll start with your favorite vegetarian or chicken lasagna recipe. You have options in terms of how you layer the ingredients, the first consideration for which is how much Buffalo chicken dip you have. If you only have a little, then you may want to make one layer of the chicken dip, add a second layer of a mix of cheeses, then, a third layer of more chicken dip, ad infinitum.

If the dip is too spicy for your taste, tone it down with extra layers of other kinds of plain cheeses, like ricotta and mozzarella. You may have to experiment to find the perfect mix, but on the bright side, even the mistakes are probably pretty tasty, so eating your mistakes won't be a hardship.

Concoct a Buffalo chicken dip breakfast skillet

While breakfast skillets differ in individual ingredient makeup, depending on the recipe you're following, all breakfast skillets share a few commonalities. Eggs, potatoes, vegetables, cheese, and meat typically make an appearance in the dish. The basic structure of the breakfast skillet encourages the mixing and matching of ingredients, making it an important part of your bag of tricks for using up your leftovers, including the Buffalo chicken dip.


Introducing a creamy ingredient, like the spicy chicken dip, into your breakfast skillet requires an order of operations, so to speak, so that all the ingredients cook thoroughly. In other words, certain meats, vegetables, and potatoes, and to a lesser degree, eggs, need to be cooked thoroughly before you add in an ingredient with a creamy texture. For example, if you like seared beef in your skillet, the temperature in the skillet has to get high enough to create the Maillard reaction, which is why meat changes color when it's cooked. Introducing a creamy ingredient messes with this reaction, cutting you off from the seared flavor you want from your meat.

In light of this, you may find it better to wait to introduce the dip until the last few minutes of cooking. This allows the other ingredients to cook all the way through. The skillet will also be hot enough at that point to reheat the dip with no problem.


Stuff some veggies

Stuffing foods like peppers or mushrooms with savory ingredients takes them from ho-hum to yum in nothing flat. Typical stuffing ingredients include ground beef or lamb, chicken, bread crumbs, bacon bits, tomatoes of nearly every iteration, and unsurprisingly, cheese. In other words, the kinda kitchen-sink sort of vibe that happens with stuffed peppers or mushrooms makes them prime candidates for just about any leftover in your fridge.


However, given how large meat and cheese figure into many of these types of recipes, you'd be hard-pressed to find an ingredient that any respectable stuffed veggie would welcome more than Buffalo chicken dip. One thing of note that's worth mentioning before you proceed. These stuffed veggie recipes may require some fillers to make the Buffalo chicken dip hold together inside the veggies. Often, bread crumbs or rice play that role. Finally, usually when you're cooking stuffed veggies, you don't need to cook the "cup" vegetable, that is the pepper or the mushroom cap before adding in the stuffing. Just stuff the veggie and bake.

Spice up crab rangoon

Crab rangoon appetizers start your favorite Asian meal with a little sweet, a little savory, and a healthy taste of crab to make the treat as decadent as you'd expect something stuffed with crab and cream cheese to be. It's pretty much perfect, and therefore, difficult to pass up, unless you add Buffalo chicken dip to the mix, and then, it's impossible to pass up.


Then, all bets are off because this sweet and savory concoction gets a big bite of spice to go along with it, adding something very interesting to the flavor profile of the dish. What makes the chicken dip compatible with the crab rangoon is the common ingredient they share: cream cheese. If you have some leftover crab rangoon stuffing, combine it with the chicken dip. Or leave out the crab altogether and try a new dish — Buffalo chicken rangoon. Do be sure, in the latter case, to mix up some of the sweet and sour sauce to balance out the heat from the spicy dip.

Jazz up pasta salad

Room-temperature cream cheese gussies up a classic pasta salad by infusing it with a creaminess that mayo alone can't create. It also tickles the tongue with the tanginess that this soft cheese is known for. Still, even with the cream cheese's tangy character, macaroni salad sans spice can still taste a bit middle of the road to those who believe that no dish without a bit of picante flavor is worth chowing down on.


Enter the last vestiges of the Buffalo chicken dip in your fridge. Given the spicy profile of the dip, as well as the abundance of cream cheese, it makes a logical addition to your cream-cheese-laden pasta salad for the spice lover in your midst. For best results, allow the spicy chicken dip to sit at room temperature for up to 20 minutes before mixing it into your salad. This allows the dip to soften enough to mix into the salad with ease.

Liven up steamed vegetables

Adding melted cheese to steamed vegetables is an old standby, but for those who eat this dish on the regular, it can become a tired trope. If you'd like your steamed veggies to tell a new story, try livening up the cheesy countenance of the veggies by introducing your favorite Buffalo spicy chicken dip to the equation.


In this instance, steamed vegetables take to cheesy sauces or dips better if the dip first takes a detour in the microwave on its way to the veggie bowl. A bit of half-and-half poured into the dip makes it creamier, which, in turn, makes it a bit easier to ladle it over the steamed vegetables.

Finally, introducing a variety of vegetables to the recipe ensures that the tastebuds won't get bored. Toss in broccoli, zucchini, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, cauliflower, leeks, potatoes, and onions. Use up any leftover chicken you have, too, to make this a spicy yet hearty dinner or lunch option.

Fill up your tacos with spicy dip

Food chains like Taco Bell or Chipotle drench their tacos in queso sauce. The ubiquity of the queso sauce makes it easy to think that the river of cheesy goodness at the bottom of your taco or burrito bowl is a recent invention. Actually, some version of the sauce has existed since at least the late 1800s. According to the New Yorker, an American magazine called "The Land of Sunshine" published the first printed version of the dip in 1896. Certainly, this cheese-based wonder has held Tex-Mex fans in good stead for several hundred years, but for ardent foodies who can't get enough of spicy cheese dips and sauces, an updated version of the sauce to drench their tacos in might be in order.


Fortunately, that Buffalo chicken dip just hanging out in the front of your fridge may be the best and easiest way to update your taco's queso sauce and not require breaking a sweat to do it. If your preference is a thick dip, try spreading some warm Buffalo chicken dip on the bottom of your taco shells before you add ingredients, like chicken or beef, shredded lettuce, cheese, tomato chunks, and olives. If it's a runnier sauce that strikes your fancy, thin out the Buffalo chicken dip with some half-and-half or heavy cream before pouring it over the top of the ingredients.