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This Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip is the best healthy twist on this American classic. It’s equally rich, spicy, hearty, and cheesy – everything you’d want in a delicious game day dip. Gluten-free, Nut-free.
This Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip is a must-make for your next party, get together, or family movie night. It’s made with just 15 minutes of prep time and served warm right from the oven. No one will believe it doesn’t contain animal products!
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A Healthier Twist on Everyone’s Favorite Party Dip
Growing up, buffalo chicken dip was a staple at every party, game day, and casual hang out I could remember. Since I was raised a vegetarian, I never tried the ultra popular classic, but I did always marvel at its popularity. People were seriously obsessed!
Now that I’ve made my own version of this fan favorite, I can understand the hype. It’s spicy, creamy, cheesy, and has the perfect amount of texture. This version is what I’d call healthy buffalo chicken dip. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t miss out on any of the flavor. I’ve just made a few simple swaps for better, more nutritious ingredients. Vegans and non vegans alike will be raving about this one!
Ingredients for Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip
Classic versions of this dip are typically made with 4 components: shredded chicken, cream cheese, buffalo wing sauce, and ranch dressing. This plant-based version is of course a vegan and dairy free variation, yet equally creamy, spicy, tangy and the perfect thick, warm dip to spread on your favorite dippers. Here are a few key ingredient notes:
- Jackfruit – This is our vegan chicken. I’ve used both packaged and canned jackfruit and both work just fine! If choosing packaged jackfruit, look for a plain or very lightly seasoned version.
- Silken tofu – When paired with dried herbs, this combo makes a healthy, plant-based vegan ranch dressing.
- Cream cheese – The vegan cheese and true star of this rich and creamy dip. My favorite is Kite Hill – it’s naturally oil-free and has the perfect amount of tang, but feel free to use your personal favorite!
- Buffalo sauce – Essential to achieving that classic kick and spicy flavor. Good news is most versions are naturally vegan as-is. I typically use Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce.
How to Make Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Drain and rinse the jackfruit. Cut out the hard “core” and pods, then shred the remaining jackfruit pieces and set aside.
- Sauté the onion until translucent. Add in the garlic, parsley, dill, and black pepper and sauté for a couple minutes, or until fragrant.
- Blend the cooked onion mixture, vegan cream cheese, tofu, hot sauce, nutritional yeast, and tahini in a high speed blender until thick and smooth.
- Spread the jackfruit across the bottom of the baking dish. Pour the sauce on top and mix everything together well.
- Smooth out the top of the dip, then bake until set on the outer edges. Broil for the last couple of minutes for a crispier top.
- Let the dip cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm topped with green onions and desired dippers. Enjoy!
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Use jackfruit packed in brine, not syrup! When shopping for jackfruit in your local grocery store, it will likely be stocked with the other canned fruits, such as canned pineapple, canned peaches, etc. Make sure to purchase young, green jackfruit in brine. This jackfruit is picked before it ripens and has a neutral taste, making it the perfect meat substitute. Jackfruit in syrup, however, is fully ripened and very sweet. Save these sweet varieties for dessert recipes such as Turon (Banana Lumpia).
- Purchase quality tahini. The tahini is optional, but it does add a great cheesy flavor. And if you are new to vegan, plant-based cooking, you’ll likely see it popping up in several recipes and will want to add it to your pantry. Brands of store-bought tahini can vary widely in flavor, consistency and quality. Some of my favorite brands are Soom Foods and Shirley Bar Living – both I purchase online.
Vegan buffalo chicken dip makes an excellent game-day or hosting appetizer. I recommend serving warm or room temperature with vegan crackers, tortilla chips, carrot sticks, celery sticks, crisp bell pepper strips or pita bread. If you happen to have any leftovers, spread it on a sandwich, wrap or tortillas for a buffalo taco!
How to Store Leftover Buffalo Chicken Dip
Leftover vegan buffalo chicken dip will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Store in the baking dish tightly covered with aluminum foil, plastic wrap or reusable wrap. Or, transfer the leftover dip to an airtight container (best for freezing).Reheat this buffalo dip in the microwave, or in the oven at 350F. If baking, cover with foil and heat until warmed through, about 15 minutes. If frozen, allow the dip to thaw overnight in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before reheating. If any separation occurs, stir well to combine before reheating.
Substitutions and Variations
- Jackfruit substitutions: If you do not have canned jackfruit in stores near you, substitute another vegan chicken alternative, such as Shredded Beyond Meat Chick’n, Tofurky Lightly Seasoned Plant-Based Chick’n, or another similar vegan chicken substitute. You may even be able to use another mock meat such as shredded homemade seitan or rehydrated, shredded soy curls, or 2 cans of drained and rinsed artichoke hearts in a pinch.
- Nut-free option: Use a nut-free vegan cream cheese from popular brands such as Violife, Tofutti or Trader Joe’s. Note that some do contain coconut oil, but are free from nuts such as cashews and almonds.
- Buffalo sauce options: Both the Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce and the Frank’s Redhot Buffalo Wings Sauce are vegan. For a milder, more savory dip, use the Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce. It contains “butter flavor” but they have stated on their website that this flavoring is not animal derived and is dairy-free. If desired, you can also use an alternative mild buffalo sauce – feel free to use your favorite.
Buffalo chicken dip isn’t always healthy – traditional versions are loaded with dairy ingredients such as cheddar cheese, ranch dressing, sour cream, cream cheese, butter, and more. This version is significantly healthier – it’s naturally dairy free, made cool and creamy with silken tofu and contains 3 cups of jackfruit instead of chicken!
Yes. If you are making this dip for hosting or to bring to a party, follow through step 5. Right before baking, cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Then, remove from the refrigerator and bake as usual when ready to serve.
If you’d like your dip a little thicker, simply bake it for longer. The longer you bake, the thicker it will become. Further, make sure to follow the liquid measurements. This will ensure it is the correct consistency when going in the oven.
I haven’t tested this dip without soy, but you may be able to substitute the silken tofu with a soy-free vegan sour cream or plain vegan yogurt. This will make for a slightly saltier dip, but would likely be the best substitute in terms of consistency and flavor.
Yes, you should be able to use a food processor just fine. It may not be as silky smooth as a blender, but this simply means your dip may be on the more textured side.
Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊
Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip
- 2 20 ounce cans jackfruit in brine about 3 cups shredded
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
- black pepper to taste
- 8 ounces vegan cream cheese
- 8 ounces silken tofu
- 3/4 cup buffalo hot sauce*
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons tahini optional, helps with cheesy flavor
- sliced green onions optional, for serving
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a 2 quart baking dish and set aside.
- Prep the Jackfruit: Drain the jackfruit and rinse well. Use a knife to cut out the hard “core” of the jackfruit pieces and remove any seed pods. Shred the remaining jackfruit pieces and set aside (see recipe video for more detail).
- Aromatics: Warm the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic, parsley, dill, and black pepper to taste. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant.
- Blend the Sauce: Transfer the cooked onion mixture to a blender and add in the cream cheese, tofu, hot sauce, nutritional yeast, and tahini. Blend for 45 to 60 seconds, until a thick and smooth sauce forms.
- Assemble: Spread the jackfruit across the bottom of the baking dish and pour the sauce on top. Use a spatula to mix everything together well, then smooth out the top of the dip.
- Bake: Bake in the top rack of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. If you’d like, you can broil the dip for 3 to 5 minutes for a crispier top!
- Serve: Let the dip cool for 10 minutes before serving, which will allow it to thicken and set. Top with green onions and serve warm. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- I used Frank’s hot sauce for this recipe. Frank’s wing sauce has also been confirmed to be vegan (the “natural butter flavor” is dairy-free).
- Make sure to use jackfruit in brine, not syrup!