Buffalo Chicken Dip with a Surprise Ingredient: Spaghetti Squash! ♥

Buffalo Chicken Dip, another easy-easy appetizer ♥ AVeggieVenture.com, here with a surprise ingredient, spaghetti squash. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb. High Protein.
Today's easy-easy appetizer recipe: Buffalo chicken bulked up with a surprise ingredient, low-calorie spaghetti squash! Now before you go thinkin' that spaghetti squash is a weird thing to put into everyone's chicken and cream cheese with hot sauce favorite, know this. The spaghetti squash is so mild and soft, it almost "melts" into the dip. If you don't know it's there? You don't know it's there.

Real Food, Fast & Casual, Definitely Crowd-Pleasing Party Fare. Just Five Ingredients. Weight Watchers Friendly. Budget Friendly. Low Carb. High Protein. Little Effort, Big Taste. Naturally Gluten Free.


So What Is It, Really, That People Love About "Buffalo" Anything?

You know. Buffalo wings. Buffalo chicken. Buffalo deviled eggs. Buffalo hummus. Buffalo mac n cheese. Buffalo pizza. Buffalo quinoa. These, of course, are the hot sauce hopped-up versions of their plain and some times bland selves.

Now I ask about what we love about "buffalo" recipes as representative of a rare breed, someone who's actually cooked a real buffalo – yes, a whole buffalo, all 700-some pounds of dressed meat, not once but three times, if you must know :-) – with nary a drop of hot sauce within at least ten hollers. [By the way, a Note to Vegetarians.]

Superbowl = Buffalo Something + Good Guacamole

Seems like, essential football fare calls for a bucket of hot sauce and a barrel of avocados. (I've got you covered for that guacamole too, definitely recommend My Guacamole, a restaurant-style guacamole and our house recipe.)

And it turns out, this Buffalo Chicken Dip was my personal favorite at a little Superbowl shindig awhile back, the easiest of too many ten things feasted upon over the course of four loooooong quarters of sloooooooow football. The dip has just a little bit of heat, to my taste the exact right amount but people who love hot sauce might want to drizzle more overtop.

But here's the thing. Buffalo chicken dips are usually ooey-gooey cheesy affairs, packed with calories. This recipe? I bulked up the dip with a surprise ingredient, one that melted into the background both texture and taste-wise.

What is the surprise ingredient, you ask? Spaghetti squash! Now I'm no fan of spaghetti squash, it just doesn't taste like much and offers about zero nutritional benefit. But here, spaghetti squash was the perfect choice. I'll make Buffalo Chicken Dip again any time I'm asked, no whole buffalo required.

How to Make Buffalo Chicken Dip: Just Five Ingredients

The detailed recipe is written in traditional recipe form below but here are the highlights in three easy steps. You can do this!

STEP ONE: ROAST THE SQUASH This will take a little time so do plan ahead. You could definitely do this ahead of time, even the day or so beforehand. And a thought here, butternut squash would work here too although without the "noodle-y" upside.

STEP TWO: MIX ALL THE INGREDIENTS, stirring well, then transfer to an oven-safe dish. This too could be done ahead of time, even a day ahead.

STEP THREE: BAKE! Just toss this baby in the oven and let the heat turn everything all loose and cheesy. So good!

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Buffalo Chicken Dip ♥ AVeggieVenture.com, an easy-easy appetizer with a surprise ingredient, spaghetti squash. WW Friendly. Low Fat. Low Carb. High Protein.





RECIPE for BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP with SPAGHETTI SQUASH

Hands-on time: 10 minutes, if spaghetti squash is already cooked, 20 minutes if not
Time to table: 45 minutes if spaghetti squash already cooked, 2-1/2 hours if not
Makes 5 cups (easily halved)

About 1 pound spaghetti squash cooked "noodles" (see ALANNA's TIPS)
8 ounces (225g) Neufchatel low-fat cream cheese, room temperature
4 ounces (112g) shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup (45g) Frank's Original Hot Sauce
1 pound (454g) cooked chicken, "pulled" with a fork into shreds (see TIPS)
Thin rounds of small sweet red chili peppers, optional, for garnish

Heat oven to 350F/a80C. Combine all ingredients, stirring well to combine. Top with chile rounds if using. Transfer to an oven-safe baking dish, spray it with baking spray first. Bake for about 30 minutes until hot and bubbly clear through. Serve with something firm to dip with – sorry, tortilla chips break too easily. Crostini would work, pita chips work perfectly.

MAKE-AHEAD Mix all the ingredients except the garnish, cover and refrigerate for up to a day or two. Bake uncovered at 350F/180C for about 45 minutes until hot and bubbly clear through.

ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
For the spaghetti squash, start with about a two-pound squash and cook it whole, following this technique, Spaghetti Squash Cooked Whole. If for some reason the squash isn't done after an hour, cut it in half lengthwise and put the halves face-down on foil on a baking sheet until the interior squash is fully cooked, maybe another 30 minutes, maybe longer. (Sorry, usually I can be more precise but I find that spaghetti squash are just unpredictable about cooking time.) After roasting, use a fork to "pull" the interior of the squash into its noodle-like strings.
I have great luck with the low-fat version of cream cheese called Neufchatel but abhor the non-fat products. Full-fat cream cheese would work fine here.
Instead of chicken, you might use leftover Thanksgiving turkey breast from the freezer. Breast meat from a rotisserie chicken is another great choice, so would leftover fried chicken, just remove the breading first.
It would be easy to play with this base recipe, adding a small can of green chilies or chopped cooked bacon or toasted fresh sweet corn.



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Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

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2014 & 2021 (repub)

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

Comments

  1. I've never heard of anyone using spaghetti squash like this but it makes sense now! I haven't tried this yet but I'm definitely adding it to my "to-cook" list. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. That's a clever way to add extra veggies into the dip. I guess you could also add shredded zucchini (steamed?) or riced cauliflower.

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  3. I have already used spaghetti sauce over the spaghetti squash and it was good so I can't wait to try your hot sauce version. I like reading your tips and notes along with the weight watchers points and your nutritional information. Thanks for sharing with us!

    ReplyDelete
  4. love this idea--must try sometime!!

    ReplyDelete

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. (So sorry, as of 4/23/22, I’ve had to turn comments off to prevent hundreds of spam comments a day. Stupid Spammers.) ~ Alanna