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Lightened Up – Buffalo {Chicken} Chickpea Dip

After the first few times I mentioned this dip on my blog, I got a bunch of requests for the recipe!  Here it is!

My mom’s buffalo chicken dip is a mainstay for Sundays during football season.  Before I went vegetarian I loved it, often eating it until I felt sick.

I still long for it when I smell it baking, so I had to make a vegetarian version.  And lighten it up, of course.  The following substitutions are a no-brainer:

Shredded chicken -> chickpeas


Cream cheese -> 1/3 less fat cream cheese

Ranch dressing -> fat free ranch



1 cup shredded cheddar mixed in -> 1/4 cup really strong, flavorful cheese on top


Baked until bubbly and delicious.


And I feel like I can eat even more, because it’s healthier.


Oven baked tortilla “chips” are just another reason for one more bite..


Lightened Up Buffalo Chickpea Dip

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained

1/4 cup 1/3 less fat cream cheese

1/4 cup fat free ranch dressing

1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce OR 2 Tbsp Red Hot/Tobasco

1/4 cup strong cheese, shredded (I used a mix of beemster and smoked gouda)

1) Pre-heat oven to 350.

2) Mash garbanzo beans in a bowl until about 1/4 remain whole.

3) Add in cream cheese, ranch, and wing sauce or hot sauce.

4) Spread evenly in a sprayed casserole dish and top with shredded cheese.

5) Bake 20-25 minutes, until top is brown and bubbly.

6) Cheer for the Steelers and eat ’till your heart is content. 

Makes approximately 6 1/3-cup servings (of if you’re me, 3  2/3-cup servings). 


Approximate nutrition (per serving): 125 calories, 4 grams fat, 17 grams carbs, 5 grams protein

Those stats are for the dip only – don’t forget that tortilla chips add up quickly!  Try dipping some celery, carrot sticks, or kale chips instead.

What’s your favorite game day / tailgating food?  Do you try to keep it healthy or just indulge?


17 responses to “Lightened Up – Buffalo {Chicken} Chickpea Dip

  1. Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean December 15, 2011 at 8:40 am

    omg my hubby would LOVE this!!!!! def trying it out soon

  2. sprint2thetable December 15, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Such a great idea! I love dips and ALWAYS go overboard. I bet this would be awesome as a base for a healthier spinach-artichoke dip.

  3. foodsweatandbeers December 15, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Wow, this is totally worth trying. As a fellow buff chick dip lover, I definitely find myself going overboard on the dip front. It’s just so creamy and good. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Kelly @ Foodie Fiasco December 15, 2011 at 11:01 am

    This looks incredible! It’s my birthday today, so I thik I’ll be making it for my party. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Jamie @ Food in Real Life December 15, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    What a creative recipe! And you can guarantee I’ll be cheering on the Steelers!

  6. Matt @ The Athlete's Plate December 15, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I would eat this and I HATE ranch. That’s a good sign 🙂

  7. teabagginit December 16, 2011 at 1:02 am

    i’ve never liked creamy dips or cheese so avoiding game day foods hasn’t been a problem. i usually just park myself next to the crudite and go to town on the veggie platter! however, my man would love this dip! although, i may stick w/ the chicken version to avoid the bean issue! 🙂

  8. Pingback: Lightening Up: 2011 « Live and Love to Eat

  9. Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe January 10, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Very interesting take on this recipe, light and vegitarian with all of the same flavors. Not sure I could do without the chicken, but I commend you for coming up with something without it, bravo!

  10. Pingback: Lightened Up Mozzarella Sticks « Live and Love to Eat

  11. ClaireinCO February 3, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Thinking of making this for our Super Bowl party, and I wanted to be sure… is there a total of 1 1/4 cups of cheese in this? The pictures show 1 cup of cheddar and 1/4 of beemster/gouda on top, but the written recipe part only has the 1/4 cup. Want to be sure I get it right since I’ve been looking forward to trying it for a while!

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