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Lighten Up, Y’all! Buffalo Chicken Dip

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Healthier Buffalo Chicken Dip

Football Saturdays can feel like 100 yards of healthy eating pitfalls. Seriously, who wants to eat carrot sticks and celery spears with hummus when everyone else is jamming down on hot chicken wings and cheese dip? I always make sure to always have a crudités platter for mindless eating and I love vegetables, but face it — we all know it’s rabbit food. What about gooey, cheesy, spicy, yummy Buffalo Chicken Dip ? YES! Put me in, Coach! Read on to find out how to make my lightened up version of Buffalo Chicken Dip.

Healthier Buffalo Chicken Dip

Lighten Up!

Buffalo Chicken Dip is typically cheesy, gooey, fat-laden goodness. (Publix has a version they sell in their deli that is ridiculously delicious.) However, I love taking fatty-fat-fat recipes and flipping them into a healthier version. This full-flavored dip is perfect for lightening up. Loaded with zippy hot sauce and the bang of blue cheese, no one will notice if you sub out Neufchatel for full-fat cream cheese or swap out Icelandic light yogurt for the sour cream. Poached boneless skinless chicken breasts are used as the base, but you could also use rotisserie chicken breast meat. Just a few small changes make this Buffalo Chicken Dip a version you can enjoy without feeling like you’re killing your healthy eating game plan.

Down, Set, Dip

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you enjoy my recipe for my Lightened Up Buffalo Chicken Dip. It’s about 3 WW points per 1/2 cup — and I promise you won’t miss the fat. Please let me know if you give it a try — and make sure to tag me on social if you post it.

Need more healthy game day options? Check out this piece in Men’s Journal with my Seven Layer Dip and for dessert, give my Double Chocolate Cupcakes a try. Go Dawgs!

Bon Appétit, Y’all

Virginia Willis


Lightened Up Buffalo Chicken Dip

Makes about 4 cups
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Appetizer, hors d'oeuvres, Snack
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: buffalo chicken, dip
Author: Virginia Willis


  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat cream cheese or Neufchatel
  • ½ cup fat-free yogurt
  • ½ cup reduced-fat shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese divided
  • ¼ cup Buffalo-style hot sauce
  • 2 green onions divided
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • Celery sticks carrot sticks, and other veg for serving


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Combine cream cheese, yogurt, Cheddar, half the blue cheese, and hot sauce in a medium bowl; stir until smooth. Fold in chicken and 1/2 of the green onions. Spoon the mixture into a baking dish. Sprinkle over remaining blue cheese and green onions. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Serve with vegetables.


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Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.

Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis’ biography includes making chocolate chip cookies with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, foraging for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvesting capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and hunting for truffles in France. She is talent and chef-instructor for the digital streaming platform Food Network Kitchen. Her segments feature authentic and innovative Southern cooking. She was the celebrity chef at the Mansion at Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Virginia has spoken at SXSW, cooked for the James Beard Foundation, and beguiled celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Morgan Freeman, and Jane Fonda with her cooking — but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. Recently, her work has been inspired by her weight loss success story, Virginia has lost 65# and kept it off for over 2 1/2 years! “If a French-trained, Southern chef can do it, you can, too.” She is the author of Fresh Start; Secrets of the Southern Table; Lighten Up, Y’all; Bon Appétit, Y’all; Basic to Brilliant, Y’all; Okra; and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all won a James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence in the Focus on Health Category. Lighten Up, Y’all as well as her first cookbook, Bon Appétit, Y’all, were finalists in the Best American Cookbook for the International Association of Cookbook Awards and were also named by the Georgia Center of the Book as “Books Georgians Should Read.” She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She’s been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Eater, and Food52 and has contributed to Eating Well, GRLSQUASH, Culture, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” Her legion of fans loves her down-to-earth attitude, approachable spirit, and traveling exploits. Her culinary consulting company, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc specializes in content creation, recipe development, culinary editorial and production services, cookbook writing, media training, spokesperson and brand representation, and public speaking. Virginia is on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Atlanta Community Food Bank Advisory Board, as well as the Community Farmers Market Advisory Board. She is a food and hunger advocate for No Kid Hungry and a premier member of the No Kid Hungry Atlanta Society. She a member of The James Beard Foundation, Chef’s Collaborative, Georgia Organics, and Southern Foodways Alliance.

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