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Mealtime with Meredith: Buffalo chicken dip

 Perkins' Buffalo Chicken Dip is the perfect dish to bring to your next potluck or party, served with chips or celery.
Perkins' Buffalo Chicken Dip is the perfect dish to bring to your next potluck or party, served with chips or celery.

Buffalo chicken dip is a masterpiece of American cuisine. It combines three seemingly random ingredients — an overflowing cup of hot sauce, a pound’s worth of cheese, and a store-bought rotisserie chicken — into a simple, yet marvelous culinary experience that can bring any group together.

The dip is the descendant of the buffalo wing, a classic sports bar staple created in Buffalo, New York, in the 1960s. The first recipe to popularize the dish was created by Frank’s Red Hot, who still distributes the original recipe on every bottle.

I love buffalo chicken dip because it transcends culinary boundaries. You can serve it on celery sticks, dip into it with tortilla chips, mix it with macaroni and cheese, serve it on sliders — you can even make buffalo chicken dip tacos, garnished with celery slices. 

For my buffalo chicken dip recipe, I do a twist on the traditional Frank’s Red Hot recipe by adding extra seasonings and, somewhat controversially, chopped bacon. 

By preparing bacon bits and soaking the rotisserie chicken in the leftover bacon fat, the dip takes on a deeper, smokier flavor that pairs beautifully with the heat of the Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. I also opt to use a block of sharp cheddar cheese, rather than two blocks of cream cheese, to add a sharper flavor to the dish.

If you make this recipe, I must warn you — you’re going to be asked to make it for the rest of your life. OK, I’m slightly exaggerating. But this dip is pretty damn good.

You’ll start with dicing half a package of applewood smoked bacon and tossing the bacon bits into a skillet heated to medium-high. You’ll want to make sure you’re cooking with a decent-sized skillet, as you’ll be adding all your ingredients into this later.

While your bacon cooks, peel the skin off a rotisserie chicken and shred the chicken into thin pieces. I recommend shredding the chicken by hand rather than by fork to make the process go faster. 

Dump the shredded chicken into the saucepan, combining with the bacon fat until the mixture of bacon and chicken is well dispersed.

Now, it’s cheese time, arguably the most important ingredient. Crumble a block of cream cheese and microwave it for about a minute to soften. While the cream cheese microwaves, shred one block of extra sharp cheddar cheese and add it to the pan. If you don’t own a cheese grater, hand-crumbling works just as well.

Then combine cream cheese and stir until melted.

Once combined, add two tablespoons of garlic powder and Frank’s Red Hot hot sauce to taste. The traditional recipe calls for one cup of hot sauce, but I recommend adding in ¼ cup portions to customize to your spice level. I added around 1 ⅓ cups to my batch.

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To serve, spread the dip in a small pan or large bowl and garnish with diced green onions. If you prepare the dip in advance, you can store it in the refrigerator and heat in the microwave for one minute increments, stirring between microwave intervals to disperse the heat evenly. 

This dip pairs perfectly with celery, tortilla chips or crackers.

The dip will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours.



  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded ($9.99) (leftover chicken works too, if you want to make a smaller batch)
  • 1 ⅓ cup of Frank’s Red Hot ($4.49)
  • 1 block of sharp cheddar cheese, hand-shredded ($3.49)
  • 1 block of cream cheese, softened ($2.99)
  • 2 tsp of garlic powder ($0.99)
  • 1 green onion, chopped ($0.99)
  • ½ package of applewood smoked bacon, diced ($4.99)


  1. Dice ½ package of bacon and hand-shred rotisserie chicken, being sure to exclude the skin and bones.

  2. Add bacon to a medium-high pan and cook until crispy. Stir shredded rotisserie chicken into the pan.

  3. Crumble or shred 1 block of sharp cheddar cheese and 1 block of softened cream cheese and stir until melted.

  4. Add 2 tsp of garlic powder and 1 ⅓ cups of Franks Red Hot. Portion of hot sauce can be adjusted to taste.

  5. Garnish with chopped green onions. Serve hot with tortilla chips, celery sticks or crackers.