Chicken Caesar Salad Dip

Football is a big seasonal sport in our house. For some in our household, football season is about actually watching the games. For the rest of us it is about making snacks to eat during the game. We love to have some type of chips and dip combo and this week we decided to mix things up by making a Chicken Caesar Salad Dip. This dip is everything you love about creamy Caesar salad dressing combined with cheese and baked. It’s a gooey, melt-in-your-mouth kind of dip that we can snack on all game long.

Chicken Caesar Salad Dip
Makes: 2 cups of dip
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 8 oz cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Caesar salad dressing
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bring a pot to boil with approximately 3 cups of water. Once boiling, add the chicken breasts. Boil over high heat for 15 minutes or until the chicken breasts are cooked completely through. Remove from the water and set aside to cool.
  3. In a pot, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the cream cheese and milk and continuously stir until the cream cheese is melted and smooth.
  4. Add the Caesar salad dressing and mix to combine. Season the dip with salt and pepper to taste and pour the dip into an oven safe bowl. Top with the parmesan cheese and bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve with bread, crackers, veggies or any other dipping vessel of your choice!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip was not something that Tuck’s mom was familiar with until she met Tuck’s dad. He is obsessed with buffalo chicken and will eat it in wrap form, fried chicken form, but most beloved, in dip form. There are countless ways to make this dip, and we consider this the indulgent but mostly healthy version. What we like about this recipe is that for all of its creaminess, Greek yogurt is the base of the dip, which means you can snack away guilt free while plopped in front of the TV watching the Super Bowl this Sunday.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Makes: 8+ appetizer servings

Active Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 large chicken breasts (about 1.25 lbs)
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 yellow onion, small dice
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Ingredients for Bread Crumbs:

  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 4 tbs butter, melted
  • 1 tbs garlic powder
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the water to a simmer and add the chicken breasts to the pot. Cook for 12 minutes, or until the chicken is just cooked through. If the chicken is slightly under cooked, no worries, you will be cooking it again in the oven later. Remove the chicken from the pot and set on a cutting board. When the chicken is cool enough to touch, shred it with two forks or finely chop into small pieces.
  3. Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add the butter to the pan. When it has melted, add the onion and saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions start to become translucent. Add the garlic and saute another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and Frank’s Hot Sauce to the pan. Stir gradually and cook until the the cream cheese has completely melted. Add the chicken, stir everything well, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low.
  5. Make the breadcrumbs by combining all of the bread crumb ingredients in a bowl (bread crumbs – scallions). Use your hands to gently mix everything together- it should have the consistency of wet sand. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
  6. Spread the chicken dip with a spatula so that everything is in an even layer. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over top and put in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the dip is bubbling underneath the bread crumbs. Serve immediately with tortilla chips and celery.

Homemade Guacamole

All puns for the Golden Globes aside, we LOVE this guacamole recipe. It is the recipe that Tate’s mom has used for years, and as a result is the go-to guacamole recipe for everyone that tastes it. There is nothing sneaky about this recipe- it is just the perfect blend of all of the essential ingredients. 

Homemade Guacamole 
Makes: 6 appetizer servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes      Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 3 large, ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (ideally from fresh limes)
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 serrano chili, stem and seeds removed
  • 1/3 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • salt and pepper, to taste 

Directions: 

  1. Place the garlic, red onion, jalapeno, serrano, and cilantro in a small food processor. Pulse until all of the components are minced. Add to a medium-sized bowl. If you do not have a food processor available, finely chop these ingredients and be careful not to touch your eyes after chopping! 
  2. Cut the avocados around the middle with a good knife. Split in half and stab the pit with your knife to remove it. Use a spoon to scrape out the avocado from the skin and into the bowl. Immediately add the lime juice to the avocados to prevent browning.
  3. Use a potato masher to break down the avocados. We like our guacamole on the chunky side, but mash until all of the ingredients are incorporated and the texture you desire. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. Keep covered and chilled in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips and mixed vegetables for dipping.

Whipped Feta & Vegetable Platter

We know that this point in the holiday season can feel like a revolving door of guests and family coming over. There is a constant struggle of wanting to be the hostess with the mostest and also relaxing during the holidays. To help our cause we stock up on lots of  snacks so that we can throw together an appetizer board in just a few minutes. We love this whipped feta platter because it turns something ordinary into something much more extraordinary that really impresses your guests. Instead of a quick trip to the grocery to purchase the standard box of veggies and ranch, a trip through the produce section will give you the ingredients for this Martha Stewart-on-steroids Whipped Feta & Vegetable Platter. 

Making a Martha-esque veggie platter means expanding your horizons in the produce section of your grocery store. Instead of celery, opt for endive and asparagus. Instead of baby carrots, choose the longer rainbow variety to give your veggie platter some color. When making any type of appetizer board or platter, we always try to choose a variety of colors, textures, and tastes. This way there is something on the board for everyone. To compliment this array of veggies, we have made a Whipped Feta Dip with lots of fresh herbs. The feta gives the dip a nice punch of salt, Greek yogurt adds a nice tang, and the fresh herbs make it feel like summer even in the coolest of winter days. 

Whipped Feta Dip and Vegetable Platter                                                                                                                        
Serving Size: 8-10 appetizer servings                                                                                                       
Prep Time: 30 minutes      Total Time: 30 minutes 

Ingredients for the Feta Dip :

  • 8 oz feta cheese 
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup Greek yogurt 
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh herbs, finely chopped (we used dill, rosemary & chives)
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Ingredients for the Vegetable Platter :

  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed 
  • 1 bunch of radishes, rinsed and quartered 
  •  1 zucchini, cut into spears 
  • 1 package rainbow carrots, stems trimmed and peeled 
  • 2 bunches endive, leaves removed 
  • 1 package cherry tomatoes 
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced on the diagonal to make spears 
  • 1 small bunch of cauliflower 
  • 1 package green onions, ends trimmed and outer layer removed 

Directions:  

  1. To make the dip, put the feta in a medium bowl. Use a hand mixer to whip the feta until it starts to become fluffy- three to four minutes. Add the Greek yogurt and continue to mix. If the mixture is still dry (this will depend on the type of feta you buy) add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is smooth and has a thick, dip-like consistency. Add the fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste. Be aware the feta is very salty, so add the salt sparingly until you get the taste you want to achieve. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve.   
  2. The reason this recipe has a 30 minute prep time, even though the dip takes 5 minutes or less to make, is so that you take the time to prep the vegetables. Wash everything thoroughly and pat dry before assembling on a platter. You can mix and match the veggies we have used in this platter or use up whatever you have in your refrigerator! Just be sure to choose a variety of colors and textures. 


Kale & Artichoke Dip

This recipe goes way back to when Tuck’s mom was first starting out in the food blog game. We love this Kale & Artichoke Dip because it has all the fun of its spinach counterpart, but with half the calories. You can eat the entire bowl of dip with a spoon (we have) and not feel bad about it because of the incorporation of healthy ingredients. We like using kale because unlike spinach, it holds up really well during the cooking process and keeps its texture. We know the feeling of cooking an entire bag of spinach and being left with about two tablespoons when we are finished. If we are spending the day in Tate’s man cave, we need this dip to last for a few hours, not a few minutes! The result with our version is cheesy, hearty, and mostly healthy. It will be your favorite companion all football season long. 

Kale & Artichoke Dip                                                                                                   

Makes: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes     Baking Time: 20 minutes     Total Time: 35 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups finely chopped kale
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups jarred artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
  • 12 oz reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup low fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bring a small pot of hot water to a boil (about 6 cups – you can estimate this). Add the baking soda and the kale, simmer for a minute, and drain the kale into a colander. Rinse the kale with cold water to stop the kale from cooking – the baking soda keeps the kale green and prevents it from turning brown.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, yogurt, sour cream, and mayonnaise until combined. Mix in the garlic, onion, red pepper flakes. Use a spatula to fold in the kale and artichoke hearts until all of the ingredients are mixed evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Spray an 8 x 8 inch baking dish or a small 6 inch round dish with cooking spray. Add the dip to the pan using the spatula to make an even layer. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the top. 
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Serve warm with chips and mixed vegetables. Or just a spoon if you’re Tate’s mom.


Butternut Squash Dip

Over at Tuck & Tate, we love ourselves a good dip. We set out to create a dip that resembled the best of fall and are excited to share this one with you. We’ve taken all the best elements of baked potato dip and brought them to the table for fall with butternut squash. The results are creamy, hearty, and the perfect blend of sweet and savory.  You can serve it with crackers, veggies, a spoon – really anything – it is that good. It’s great as a stand alone appetizer, or can be used in a cheese board as shown below.  

Butternut Squash Dip
Makes: 2 cups of dip
Prep Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 5 strips of bacon
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 3 tbs whole milk or water
  • 2 green onions

Directions:  

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

2) Cut the butternut squash in half and place face up on a cooking sheet. On a separate cooking sheet, lay out the bacon strips. Place both the butternut squash and bacon in the oven for 25 minutes and let it do its thing.

3) While the squash and bacon are baking, slice the onion into 1/4 strips. Put the olive oil in a pan and turn the heat on LOW. Sautee the onions low and slow for at least 25 minutes union the onion are golden and almost jam-like. 

4) Remove the bacon from the oven and set the timer for an additional 20 minutes to finish cooking the squash. You want the squash to be able to be mashed by a fork before removing it from the oven

5) Chop the bacon and green onions.

6) Remove the squash from the oven. Once cooled, scoop out the seeds and discard. 

7) Remove the skin from the squash and place squash in a blender with the cream cheese. Blend until creamy and smooth. You may need to add the milk or water if the puree is too thick.

8) Remove the puree and mix together with the sauteed onions, bacon and green onions. No seasoning needed – the ingredients all blend together to give the right taste! 

9) Serve hot or room temperature.