Appetizers

Paleo Buffalo Chicken Dip (Healthy & Dairy Free)

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When’s the last time you had a nice cheesy party-time dip? If the answer is “too long ago” it’s time to change that and whip up a delicious yet nutritious dip that’s bursting with protein and healthy fat.

buffalo dip

I love this wholesome buffalo chicken dip! It tastes just as good as the real thing, but is so much healthier. You’re getting a protein boost from both chicken as well as cashews, plus healthy fat and fiber.


For a long time I thought I couldn’t indulge in things like buffalo chicken dip because of the Paleo rules. I was in the mentality that dieting meant giving up snack foods like this and depriving myself of good times involving food. But you’ve probably noticed that there are tons of recipes out there that allow you to have foods you love but in a healthier way.

It’s no fun going to a party and not being able to eat the food there, so you can either avoid it, bring your own if it’s potluck style, or eat it and then feel bad about it later. You could also host the party to have some quality control over what’s available in terms of food.

sauce
dip ingredients

The first time I tried making this I pulled up some traditional recipes in order to find out what absolutely has to be in it. Of course there’s hot sauce, and for that I’ve gone with cayenne pepper rather than trusting what comes in store bought hot sauce bottles. They like to sneak in preservatives and other chemicals that just don’t belong.

Make sure to use some high quality organic chicken, cook it, and shred it up. To save time you can grab a rotisserie chicken and that cuts out a lot of your prep time. You can typically find an organic rotisserie chicken for a few dollars more next to the conventional ones.

A lot of these dips called for massive amounts of cheese, which was disappointing because cheese is a no-go, especially in large quantities like the ones prescribed in those traditional recipes. But you can take a page from the vegan cookbooks and use cashews to replicate the creamy, buttery taste that you just have to have in a buffalo chicken dip.

Plus you get the healthy benefits from cashews instead of the drawbacks of cheese. Cashews are a rich source of healthy fat, protein, and also contain a fair amount of fiber. There’s something about their consistency once they’re soaked and blended up. You don’t get the same texture from other nuts like almonds or walnuts.

paleo buffalo chicken dip

Once you crack the “need cheese but can’t use it” problem the rest is just a matter of getting the right additional ingredients to sync up. I found that a mix of garlic, vinegar, red chili, and lemon juice is just what it needed, and then put the button on the whole thing with some nutritional yeast, which gives it a rich cheesy flavor.

Now you’ll be able to bring a Paleo-friendly dip to all of the big games, potlucks, and other parties and take part in the festivities without any remorse that you’re messing up your progress.


Ingredients

    • 1 cup cashew nuts, soaked three hours
    • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
    • 1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
    • 2 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 ½ cups shredded cooked chicken
    • 1 red chili
    • 1 tsp vinegar
    • 2 tbsp water
    • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 egg yolk
    • ½ cup macadamia oil
    • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
    • salt, pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place the cashew nuts in a glass bowl, cover with water and soak for three hours. Place the chili, vinegar, water and pinch of salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Let rest for an hour, then strain .
  2. Set the chili sauce aside. To make the mayonnaise, in a small bowl whisk the egg yolk. Add slowly half of oil, drop by drop whisking constantly. Then add ½ tbsp of lemon juice and mix well. Add the rest of oil in a slow stream and continue whisking until all of the oil is incorporated. Transfer in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Drain the cashew nuts well and place them in a blender with the remaining lemon juice, nutritional yeast and minced garlic and process until smooth and thick. Add the chili sauce and cayenne pepper and mix well to combine.
  4. In a small baking dish, combine the shredded chicken, mayo and cashew mixture. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and serve warm with your favorite veggies.

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  1. What can I substitute for Macadamia Oil? Will Olive Oil work?

    Also, you mentioned the preparation of the mayonnaise but you didnt use it afterwards. What do I do with it?

    • Sorry! Forgot to add it in the directions. It is corrected now 🙂

      Also, olive oil will work perfectly as well, and should not effect the end result.

    • I’ve substituted EVOO in Paleo mayo before and it turned out quite oily. [I’ve read that if you use light olive oil, it has a more palatable flavor.] Grape seed oil works well as a substitute, and it’s typically fairly easy to find at a regular grocery store.

      This dip was delicious and definitely satiated a craving without sacrificing flavor. Thank you for the recipe!

  2. The dip was delicious and well worth the effort. I am not sure what part of the recipe the mayonnaise is for, since the recipe has you make it, set it aside and then never tells you to use it. I also added Frank’s hot sauce to the blender.

  3. If I already have pre-made paleo mayo how much goes into this recipe? It’s a staple in my house and I alway have a batch on hand, so making more just for this recipe is a little redundant. 😉

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