Topped with a crusty, melty layer of cheese you won’t be able to resist the spicy bites of smoked chicken in this Smoked Buffalo Chicken Dip. Simple to prepare and quick to consume, this is a must for all parties.
If you’re like me, you’ve enjoyed many bites of delicious buffalo chicken dip over the years. This is not a new idea, joining the lineup of a common appetizer hit for game day.
This recipe not only gives you the recipe for the creamiest buffalo chicken but also guides you on how to properly layer the cheese for that extra melty topping. It all starts with a healthy dose of Smoked Pulled Chicken, so go check that out!
Why This Recipe Works
Smoky & spicy. Smoking the chicken gives you an opportunity to layer flavors. Season the chicken with sweet or spicy rubs, smoke, and get ready to bathe it in hot sauce.
Very creamy. Don’t worry, there are no lumps in this dip. Melting the cream cheese with the other ingredients provides an extra creamy layer of cheesy smoked chicken. That’s what you want to dip into.
Simple prep. Smoke the chicken ahead of time if you want to, or you can even shred it and immediately use it. There’s very little prep for this dish outside of having shredded chicken.
Ingredients You’ll Need
This recipe is easy to prepare, and thankfully uses a number of accessible ingredients. There’s a good chance you probably have most of them on hand already.
- Smoked shredded chicken – You could use any shredded chicken, but smoked chicken is going to add quite a bit more flavor to this dish. Start here if you need tips for preparing smoked shredded chicken.
- Hot Sauce – Stick with Frank’s RedHot for the most classic buffalo sauce flavor. There are other cayenne hot sauces out there, or you can mix it up with your favorite. Be mindful that this recipe is written for Frank’s, and that other hot sauces can be thinner/thicker and will effect the outcome.
- Blue Cheese or Ranch Dressing – Go with homemade or your favorite brand, but this creamy dressing will add a nice base with the melted cream cheese to envelope the smoked chicken. If you must, I would recommend substituting it with sour cream.
- Garlic Powder – A little garlic never hurt anything. You can use grated garlic for an extra strong punch, but I’ve found the garlic powder is more balanced with this dip. Don’t forget, the smoked chicken, dressing, and hot sauce all have their own flavor profiles too.
- Celery Seeds – Buffalo sauce and celery sticks go hand in hand. You can omit this if you don’t have it, but the addition adds a nice fresh pop with each bite.
- Cheddar and Mozzarella – Hand shred your cheeses and get ready. This dip is not just creamy, but also has a nice layer of crispy, melted cheese on the top for that classic cheese pull.
Step 1: Warm Up the Creamy Sauce
Place a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add the room-temperature cream cheese, blue cheese dressing, and Frank’s RedHot sauce into the skillet. Stir or whisk to melt everything together until combined.
This should only take a few minutes before it comes together.
Room-temperature cream cheese is critical, otherwise, the cold cream cheese will not melt evenly and leave little white clumps throughout the sauce. You don’t want to be eating creamy chicken with little white bits.
Step 2: Reduce Heat, Add Cheddar
Once the sauce has come together, reduce the heat to low and slowly stir in half of the grated cheddar cheese.
Mix to fully melt the cheese. There’s no need to keep the heat higher, the cast iron will retain the heat for an extended period of time and you don’t want the oils to separate from the cheeses.
Step 3: Add Shredded Chicken and Spices
Stir in the shredded chicken and make sure it’s completely coated. The sauce will thicken up substantially at this point, so make sure everything is evenly distributed in the skillet.
Taste and adjust with seasoning as needed, remembering that more cheese will go on top. I like to add a little more BBQ seasoning to the chicken at this point, using my Signature Sweet & Smoky Rub.
Everything up to this step can be prepared ahead of time and transferred to a baking dish to place in the fridge. This is helpful if you’re trying to plan for a party, or even to bring it to someone’s house and finish it in the oven.
Step 4: Add More Cheese and Smoke (or Bake)
Preheat your smoker or oven to 350°F. Top with the rest of the shredded cheddar and mozzarella. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the top of the cheese starts to brown and bubble.
I do not recommend adding the cheese until you’re ready to bake, in case you are thinking of preparing it ahead of time.
Serve immediately! Make sure you have chips ready to go, people will be hungry.
Toppings and Variations
This smoked buffalo chicken dip is ready to be eaten right away, but don’t let that stop you from adding a little touch at the end. Any of these toppings will add a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to each bite.
- Scallions or chives
- Pickled jalapenos
- Chopped celery
- Cilantro and other herbs
- Crumbled blue cheese
- Toasted cashews or peanuts
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, using the same time and temp as the smoker. You can also use an oven-safe baking dish if you’d prefer.
I’ve tested this with sour cream and had the best results. I have not tried using yogurt, as I feel the water content is probably too high.
Yes, you do not need smoked shredded chicken. Any cooked chicken will do, especially rotisserie chicken. Make sure you taste the dip before baking to make sure it does not need any additional seasoning.
More Appetizers to Love:
- Sausage Popper Boats (Fan Favorite!)
- Grilled Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
- Grilled Chicken Fajita Wings
- Spicy Smoked Ham Salad
- Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends
- Place a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add the cream cheese, dressing, and Frank’s RedHot sauce into the skillet. Whisk for a few minutes until everything has melted together.
- Once the sauce has come together, reduce the heat to low and slowly stir in half of the grated cheddar cheese until melted.
- Add the garlic powder, celery seeds, and shredded chicken. Stir to make sure the chicken is evenly coated and spread out in the skillet. Sprinkle on additional BBQ seasoning if desired. Turn off the heat.
- Sprinkle on the remaining cheddar and mozzarella cheese on top.
- Preheat the smoker or oven to 350°F. Bake the skillet for about 20 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned and bubbling.
- Remove the skillet and garnish with green onions. Serve immediately with tortilla chips, potato chips, or veggies.
- This dip can be prepared the day before, transferred to a baking dish, and covered in the fridge. When ready to warm up, remove from the fridge and uncover. You will need to warm the dip for a little longer than the recipe requires, just monitor the top of the cheese.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 20
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Smoking
- Cuisine: Appetizer
Keywords: buffalo chicken dip, smoked buffalo chicken, buffalo chicken, cream cheese, smoked shredded chicken