A few years ago, my husband and I had a heated debate over whether “chicken dip” was a thing. I adamantly insisted that vegan buffalo chicken dip was a classic American snack, while he was convinced I was having a fever dream. Nathan — I dedicate this recipe to you. Convinced yet?
My dairy-free version of this beloved dip is:
- Creamy, smoky, and slightly spicy
- Ready in under 30 minutes
- Perfect for game day snacking
You only need eight ingredients for this vegan buffalo chicken dip!
Scallions: Separate the white/light green base from the dark green tops. You’ll sauté the lighter parts and mix them into the dip, while the darker tops are for garnish.
Vegan cream cheese: There are many brands readily available now, so just use what you like to eat. I always recommend Kite Hill and Miyoko’s brands because they use cultured nut milk as the base instead of oil and starch. For me, the difference in flavor is noticeable.
Vegan mozzarella: The same notes apply as above! While I use shredded cheese, you can use slices or even liquid forms of your favorite white vegan cheese.
Vegan chicken: Make sure you look for an unbreaded product. I really like Morningstar Farms for this recipe. You’ll want something you can dice or shred pretty finely so that it blends into the dip nicely.
Buffalo sauce: I find buffalo sauce can get really overpoweringly spicy and acidic quickly. I recommend using mild buffalo sauce in this and just sticking to 1/3 cup. It’s enough to cut through the richness of the dip without being too strong.
Garlic and onion powder: A bit of both add umami and extra onion flavor to the dip.
Liquid smoke: This is optional but highly recommended! Just 1/4 teaspoon goes a long way in adding a smoky depth to this dish that takes it to the next level.
How to Make Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip
Everything comes together in just one pan.
First, chop the green onions, reserving the dark green tops for garnish.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of vegan butter, and once melted, add the white/light green parts of the scallions. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients except for the scallion tops. Mix until well combined.
Bake under the broiler for a few minutes until the top is golden and bubbly, keeping a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.
Serve with tortilla chips and fresh veggies (more serving suggestions below).
What Can I Use to Eat Buffalo Chicken Dip?
You can eat this dip with chips, crackers, or fresh veggies as a starting point, but there are endless ways to enjoy it! Here are my favorite ways to serve it:
- Dip it with carrot sticks, celery sticks, or cucumber slices
- Scoop it with tortilla chips
- Slather it between toasted slider buns with slaw
Recipe Variations and Substitution Notes
You gotta dip your way! Here are some notes for substitutions and recipe variations.
What to use instead of vegan chicken: If vegan chicken isn’t your thing, either because you can’t find a gluten-free one or because you’re not into mock meats, try any of these instead:
- Shredded jackfruit (in brine, not syrup!)
- Shredded oyster mushrooms, sauteed
- Tempeh crumbles (this will resemble more of a ground beef consistency, but will still be delicious)
Nut free: For a nut-free dip, make sure your vegan cream cheese isn’t nut-based. Violife and Daiya brands should be nut-free, but always double check the ingredients list to be sure.
Baking dish: This recipe calls for a cast iron skillet because it allows you to cook the dip and bake it all in one dish (less cleanup!). However, if you don’t have one, you can cook the dip in a regular skillet and then transfer it to an oven-safe baking dish.
Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip
- cast iron skillet
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 bunch scallions (diced, white and green parts separated)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
- 8 oz vegan cream cheese
- 8 oz shredded vegan mozzarella
- 1/3 cup buffalo sauce (mild)
- 1 13.5-oz package unbreaded vegan chicken pieces (small diced)
- crackers, tortilla chips, and/or fresh vegetables (for serving)
- Set the oven to broil and set a rack on the highest slot.
- Preheat a medium cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the butter.
- Once the butter is melted, add the white and light green parts of the scallions, reserving the green parts for garnish. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except for the green scallion tops and mix well to combine.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven under the broiler and, keeping a close eye on it, broil for about 2 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and browned.
- Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes, and serve with tortilla chips, crackers, or fresh veggies.