Like every other American, I love the Super Bowl. I’m not particulary fond of football (though I did sport a pretty slammin’ Buffalo Bills Starter Jacket in 6th grade). The thing I love about it is it’s basically an excuse to eat ridiculous amounts of greasy, fatty, bad-for-you, delicious food. Much like the athletes I’ll be watching on Sunday, over the past month I’ve been training for this Sunday day in and day out at the gym. Every strenuous mile on the treadmill, every 1 minute plank hold, every increase in the resistance level on the elliptical, I begrudgingly thought “this is for you, you fatty, fatty dips.” And then I would collapse. So without further adieu, I give to you the Cookeatdrinkrepeat: Super Dip Edition, featuring my three favorite dips. (Pictures of the buffalo and spinach & artichoke dips from pre-cooking. Use your imaginations to imagine the bubbly delicious melty finished products!)
1. Buffalo chicken dip. AKA the reason my husband married me (or so he says). Did you know that instead of the traditional m&m’s or shot glass wedding favors, we opted to hand out mini bottles of Frank’s Red Hot along with a recipe card for buffalo chicken dip? I bet you wish you were friends with us now. In fact, our recipe cards explicitly stated that this dip is the reason we were getting married. That’s how serious we are about food.
This dip was also a hit with my ESL class. I brought the recipe and ingredients in and had them follow the instructions to make the dip for the school’s Thanksgiving potluck. In fact, it was such a hit that they ate the entire dip before the Thanksgiving party even started. Whoops.
So, although you’re missing part of the experience by not making this recipe with a fun mini bottle of Frank’s and you’re not doing this in a fun classroom setting, I like you guys enough to give you the recipe anyway. Please note: if you use anything other than Frank’s,
you’re dead to me I strongly advise against it. As for the cheese, I prefer the Mexican cheese blends (but make sure it’s without the seasoning!!). This is for a single batch, intended for an 8×8 dish. If you are making this for a party, you will definitely want to double it and make it in a 9×13 (as pictured). Guaranteed it’ll be the first thing gone at a party.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese
- 1 can chicken breast (white meat only)
- Frank’s Red Hot
- Ranch dressing
- 1 package shredded cheese
Spread the cream cheese evenly across the bottom of an 8×8 dish. Drain the chicken, and shred with a fork in the can. Layer chicken across cream cheese. Drizzle ranch in a crisscross pattern over the top.
Repeat with Frank’s (the more the better! I usually end up using about half the bottle because 1) it keeps everything from getting too dry and 2) I like SPICE. Top with cheese.
Now, this might be the ONLY time I will ever suggest cooking something in the microwave, but it really makes a difference with the dip. I’ve found that when I bake the dip, the cheese ends up too dry. Microwaving it makes it so deliciously gooey. So, microwave on 60% power for 5-8 minutes (continue checking on it, it’ll be finished when the cheese is melted and the sauces underneath begin to bubble). Or, bake for 25-30 minutes at 350.
Suggested: Serve with blue corn tortilla chips (I LOVE Garden of Eatin’ No Salt Added Blue Corn Tortilla Chips).
2. Spinach and Artichoke Dip. I’m pretty sure my spinach and artichoke dip recipe is the only reason my family ever wants me to visit. My sister demands I make it practically every time we see each other. My dip is unlike others because I use way more lemon and artichokes than other recipes. I humbly think my dip is superior to all other spinach and artichoke dips. For the spinach, I usually take it out of the package and put it right into a large microwaveable mixing bowl and throw it in the microwave on high. After it’s relatively cooked, I break it apart with a fork (it’s ok if there are still frozen sections) I throw the cream cheese directly onto the spinach to soften it and make it easier to stir. As for spices, you can use whatever’s on hand. I make it differently every time depending on what’s available. My go-to is original Mrs. Dash and liberal amounts of pepper. I NEVER add salt, though, because I think the extreme lemon taste makes it unnecessary.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
- 2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and diced
- 1 package chopped frozen spinach, cooked for 3 minutes in the microwave
- 10 oz cream cheese (1 full package plus 2 ounces from a second)
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 lemons
- 1 package shredded cheese (cheddar or a blend is fine)
- Various spices (Mrs. Dash, pepper, paprika, whatever you desire)
Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, stir together cooked spinach and cream cheese until cream cheese is well blended. Add artichoke, mayonnaise, garlic, and the juice of 1 1/2 lemons (save the other half for later) and stir. Add 1 handful of cheese and stir again.
Add spices to taste (really, taste it! It’ll be good even cold). Spread into an 8×8 (or 9×13, it doesn’t matter) baking dish. Top with more cheese (you might not need the whole package), drizzle the juice of the remaining half lemon over the top, and lightly sprinkle Mrs. Dash or pepper. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until bubbly.
Note: I prefer to eat this dip with Triscuits. Also, once it bakes together, the flavors turn into magic. If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, I swear it’s just as good to let it refrigerate overnight and enjoy it cold the next day.
3. Taco Dip. I think I got my fondness for appetizers and dips from this classic I ate at every family get together when I was a child. Taco dip. It was so simple and so good and my sisters and I were like vultures every time the dip came out. My mom literally would have to swat us away from the picnic table to let other people get their chance to eat. Of the three dips, it’s definitely the most cost-efficient and easy to prepare. The only funny thing is to me, you must make it with a fresh brick of cheddar cheese and shred it on your own. It’s just not the same to make it with a bag of pre-shredded cheese (it’s way too dry and doesn’t have the same flavor quality). For the salsa, I usually use medium Tostitos because it reminds me of being a kid. And I usually use fat-free or low-fat sour cream. As for the lettuce, I seem to have a hard time finding the prepackaged shredded iceberg nowadays, so you can also just get a head of iceberg and shred/chop it yourself.
- 1 16 oz container of sour cream
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 jar of salsa
- 1 brick of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 package shredded iceberg lettuce
Stir the packet of taco seasoning into the container of sour cream. Mix well. Spread across the bottom of a 9×13 dish. Layer the jar of salsa on top, spread evenly. Add cheese across the salsa. Top with lettuce.
Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!