Hot Cheesy BBQ Ranch Chicken DipThank goodness for football foods, because I'm stuck in the middle of the seasonal blues with cooking right now.
It's just still too darned hot and humid for thinking about soups and stews, and the only apple I have on my mind right now comes simply sliced with just a dab of peanut butter!
Oh, don't get me wrong. After a hot summer, we are all very grateful for the "cooler" mid to upper-80s and a slight break in the humidity down here in the coastal Deep South. The weather has really been fabulous - just not at all like Fall. We're sure waiting on that next cold front to maybe bring us some sweater weather because right now, the only cool I'm experiencing, is from my still running full blast, central air conditioner.
So football food it is, and, even though our beloved Saints are having a rough season this year, we're still rooting for them ... and eating our way through our stress on game day with things like this outstanding dip.
You may have seen this appetizer around the internet in some variation, because it seems to be becoming the next hot thing since buffalo chicken or jalapeno popper dip. I want to say that I first saw it at Southern Living, but don't hold me to that because really, it's everywhere now - even Schwan's has a version!
Taking that first peek as inspiration, I turned to my Grilled Cheesy BBQ Chicken recipe and my Buffalo Chicken Dip and ended up with my own version of this hot dip with chicken and barbecue sauce. I made this last weekend and wow, talk about good, and what a great addition to the rest of the tailgate and football party food menu. If you love the Buffalo Chicken Dip, I have a feeling that you'll love this one too, and you can adjust the heat to your own taste by using a good, spicy commercial barbecue sauce. I would suggest doubling it.
Here's how to make it.
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Recipe: Hot Cheesy BBQ Ranch Chicken Dip©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 20 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 2 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
- 2 cups shredded or chopped, cooked chicken
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
- 1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1 (3/4 ounce) packet dry ranch dressing mix (like Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing and Dip Mix)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup homemade or commercial barbecue sauce
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese
- 1 green onion, sliced, to garnish
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a deep dish pie plate or 8 x 8 inch baking pan; set aside. Cook bacon, crumble and set aside. Toss the chicken with the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and Cajun seasoning; set aside. In a medium sized bowl, cream the cream cheese, Ranch seasoning, 1/4 cup of mayonnaise and barbecue sauce until well blended. Mix the two cheeses together and add 1 cup to the dip; stir and fold in the chicken. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes; garnish with chopped bacon and sliced green onion. Serve immediately on a warming tray with a side dish of mixed crackers, toast points, corn chips, Triscuit crackers, tortilla chips or your favorite dipper. Reheat in the microwave, if needed, to warm.
Cook's Notes: I used chicken that I had previously cooked and put up in the freezer, but you can shortcut that by purchasing a deli rotisserie chicken or by substituting well drained, canned chicken.
Tailgate version: Quadruple and prepare in a disposable aluminum pan. Cover with aluminum foil. Place the pan on a hot grill and heat until bubbly.
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