Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip
This extra cheesy, creamy buffalo chicken dip is packed with protein and can be customized to be surprisingly low calorie. You can make it in an Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or even a crockpot. And since it reheats really well, it’s great for a make-ahead healthy appetizer for your next hootenanny.
I’ll walk you through the recipe below and cover questions like Instant Pot vs crockpot, ingredient notes, and more. If you’re confident and would like to skip ahead, there’s a full recipe card at the bottom of the post.
How to Make Buffalo Chicken Dip in an Instant Pot
This is an easy recipe, but I have a few equipment notes before we get into things.
I used a Instant Pot Air Fryer + Pressure Cooker combo which has an 8-quart pot. I’ve tested cook times in comparison to my 6.5-quart Ninja Foodi, and they are nearly spot on. For example, I prepped my shredded buffalo chicken nachos in the Ninja Foodi, and the cook time was about the same.
This buffalo chicken dip does call for broiling cheddar cheese on top in the final step, which will be unique to the Instant Pot Air Fryer or Ninja Foodi, but I’ll cover some alternative methods if you’re using a standard pressure cooker. Now, to the recipe!
Step 1: Sauté diced onion and minced garlic in olive oil for 8-10 minutes.
These goodies will completely cook down by the time your chicken dip is done. I have one of the world’s leading experts on picky eating living under my roof, and she loves this dip. Just be sure to cook the onion and garlic until the onion softens before moving on.
Step 2: Stir in buffalo sauce, chicken broth, and ranch seasoning before adding 1 pound of chicken breast.
From my buffalo chicken mac and cheese to buffalo air fryer tuna cakes, I use Frank’s RedHot buffalo sauce. If you don’t have any ranch seasoning on hand, you could add some extra garlic and onion powder, dill weed, and parsley. And if you happened to have buttermilk powder for some reason, you’ll pretty much have ranch seasoning.
Step 3: Pressure cook for 12 minutes with quick release pressure.
Again, different Instant Pot models or pressure cookers may affect the cook time. Check your chicken to make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF before shredding. If you vent your pressure cooker at the 12-minute mark and the chicken is not fully cooked, you can simply reseal and cook for another minute or two.
Step 4: Shred the chicken in a separate bowl and add cream cheese to the Instant Pot.
The recipe card below includes nutrition facts for both fat free and reduced fat cream cheese. Fat free cream cheese is an elusive thing, but I can always find it in HEB (if you’re a fellow Texan) or Walmart.
It’s hard to notice any major differences in the finished buffalo chicken dip, and you’ll cut the fat and save 40 calories per serving with the fat free.
Step 5: Add the shredded chicken back to the creamy buffalo sauce.
Like I mentioned in my shredded pork tacos, I like to shred with two forks. But if you have a stand mixer in your kitchen, using the paddle attachment to shred your chicken really speeds things up. You could also use something like the meat claws I used in my pork tenderloin carnitas recipe.
No matter how you shred, you’ll want it finely shredded for an easy-to-dip buffalo chicken dip.
Step 6: Top with shredded cheddar and broil for 8-10 minutes.
Here are a few workaround ideas if you’re using a standard pressure cooker:
- cover it and let the cheddar melt on top via residual heat
- mix the cheddar straight in with the dip
- transfer the buffalo chicken dip to an oven safe dish and broil in your oven (I don’t think the Instant Pot’s stainless steel pot is oven safe)
- omit the cheddar altogether (not recommended, obviously)
And that’s that. Top your buffalo chicken dip with some freshly sliced green onion and go to town!
Okay, a couple of recipe questions to wrap things up.
Can I make this buffalo chicken dip in a crockpot?
Totes. You could sauté the onion and garlic on the stovetop in a separate pan before transferring to a crockpot with the chicken breast, buffalo sauce, chicken broth, and ranch seasoning. OR you could throw everything in together and expect slightly more prominent onion in the finished dip.
Cook on high for 1.5-2.5 hours before shredding the chicken and adding the cream cheese. Yes, you read that cook time correctly. Like I mentioned in my Carolina BBQ crockpot shredded chicken recipe, most people are over cooking their chicken in crockpot recipes. Get it to 165ºF and shred that chicken before turning it to rubber!
What to serve with buffalo chicken dip?
My dipping apparatus of choice will be tortilla chips 10 times out of 10. However, here are other options:
- celery or carrot sticks
- crackers or pretzels
- toasted breads
If you need a lower calorie dipping apparatus without going the celery (ew) route, you could always toast low calorie flatbreads and tortillas in the oven. My low calorie tortilla chips and healthier chilaquiles, for example, use Mission extra thin corn tortillas. And my creamy low carb chicken enchiladas use CutDaCarb flatbreads.
And then you always have the option of pre-made options, but there are too many to keep up with at this point. So let me know in the comments below what you’re serving your buffalo chicken dip with!
Using my buffalo chicken stuffed peppers recipe as a guide, you could stuff this buffalo chicken dip into 8-10 bell peppers and bake for 40-50 minutes covered for the first half and with shredded cheese on the back half.
Buffalo Chicken Dip Pizza
You could also use your buffalo chicken dip to make non-dip options like quesadillas, stuffed baked potatoes, loaded fries, or a buffalo chicken dip pizza. I used my cheesy air fryer bread recipe as a base and topped it with 3/4 cup (210g) of dip and 1/4 cup (28g) of shredded cheddar.
This bread is easy to make, and you could do it right in your Instant Pot Air Fryer or Ninja Foodi. All you’ll need is some all purpose flour, salt, garlic powder, baking powder, and fat free Greek yogurt. Go check it out!
Now, that’s all the notes I have for you. The printable recipe card is below. Enjoy your buffalo chicken dip!
- 1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
- 1 Tbsp (16g) Olive Oil
- 1 large (350g) Yellow Onion, diced
- 5 cloves (30g) Garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp Ranch Seasoning
- 1/2 C (120g) Buffalo Sauce
- 4 oz Chicken Broth
- 8 oz Fat Free or Reduced Fat Cream Cheese, room temp
- 3/4 C (84g) Shredded Cheddar
- Use the Instant Pot's sauté function to cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 8-10 minutes until soft.
- Turn off the heat and add the buffalo sauce, chicken broth, and ranch seasoning. Stir everything together before adding the chicken breast.
- Seal and cook with high pressure for 12 minutes with quick release or until the chicken reaches 165ºF.
- Transfer the cooked chicken to a bowl to shred and add the cream cheese to the buffalo sauce mixture. Once the cream cheese is fully incorporated, add the shredded chicken back and stir together.
- Top with the shredded cheddar and use the broil function* for 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with fresh green onion and your choice of chips.
*I used the Instant Pot Air Fryer and Pressure Cooker combo. The Ninja Foodi has a broil function as well. If you don't have either, you could cover and wait for the cheddar to melt or use your oven's broiler.
For Buffalo Chicken Dip in the Crockpot
You can either a) sauté the onion and garlic in a separate pan before adding to a crockpot with everything else except the cream cheese and cheddar; or b) add everything except the cream cheese and cheddar to a crockpot together.
Cook on high for 1.5-2.5 hours until the chicken reaches 165ºF before shredding and adding the cream cheese.
Nutrition Information Notes
- Each serving of buffalo chicken dip has 3 WW SmartPoints (blue).
- The nutrition facts are with fat free cream cheese. For reduced fat (1/3 less fat) cream cheese, each serving has 215 calories, 18g of protein, 8g of carbs, 12g of fat, and 5 SmartPoints (blue).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Servings Serving Size: 1/2 C (140g)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 175Total Fat: 6gCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 20g