Packed full of spicy flavor, these Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites are a healthy way to celebrate game day. Don’t forget the blue cheese yogurt dip! It’s life-changing.
Ready in 45 minutes
You know what phrase I really, really despise? Man food. Ugh. Just typing makes me want to burn my bra and picket something. I hate the concept that a woman is more feminine if she orders a salad. Or a man is more manly if he orders a hamburger. Commercials like these make me want to leap up and throw my sports-watching, beer-drinking fist through the TV.
Why can’t a hamburger be feminine? Why can’t a salad be masculine? And honestly, why does it even matter? It’s just all silly, really.
So in an effort to break down some food-related gender stereotypes, let’s toss a little bit of “man food” (OH GOD, NOT AGAIN) onto Wholefully. As if my copious bacon use hasn’t been a big enough indicator that I have pretty decently sized hunk of tomboy in me, let’s throw some buffalo sauce on it.
These little balls of cheesy, spicy, chicken-y goodness just flat-out rock. If you know much about me, you know that I am not a huge fan of spicy foods. On the spice-o-meter my tolerance level falls somewhere between a newborn and a baby lamb.
Because baby lambs like it mild, dontcha know?
Thankfully, these bites are totally spice-level customizable. If you are like me, toss in a 1/4 cup of the baby lamb level buffalo sauce and call it a day. Have the tolerance of a fire-breathing dragon? Buy some suicide sauce and throw in 1/2 cup or more. And then keep those suckers far away from me.
Let’s talk about the blue cheese yogurt dip. Because really, the whole point of eating something spicy is to balance it out with something cool and refreshing. Enter blue cheese yogurt dip. This stuff is so good that I caught Babyface sticking his finger in the bowl more than once. Even if you don’t take the time to pull together the chicken bites, I highly recommend taking 5 minutes and making this dip. Eat it with celery. Eat it with crackers. Eat it with a spoon. Trust me, you will not be sorry.
We had these for dinner (served with a side of celery sticks and beer-soaked fries), but these would make an amazing appetizer. For a dinner-sized portion, I rolled them into 12 balls, but you could easily make a few dozen smaller, one-bite balls.
FOR THE BLUE CHEESE YOGURT DIP
- 1 cup 2% Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons finely-chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup finely-diced red onion
- Salt and pepper
FOR THE BUFFALO CHICKEN BITES
- Cooking spray
- 3 cups chopped cooked chicken (about two large chicken breasts)
- 1/4-3/4 cup buffalo wing sauce, to taste
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 bunch green onions, white and pale green parts chopped
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper
- Mix all the dip ingredients together well. Stash in the fridge while you prepare the chicken.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Place a baking rack in the middle of a baking sheet, spray with cooking spray and set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine chicken, wing sauce, cheese, green onions, and cream cheese. Pulse until well combined and no large chunks of chicken remain.
- Mix panko and a pinch of salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Form chicken mixture into 2-1/2″ balls (for dinner-sized) or 1-1/2″ balls (for appetizer-sized). Roll the chicken balls in the panko and place in a greased cookie sheet.
- Before cooking, spray the tops of the balls with cooking spray. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until tops of bites are brown and crunchy. Serve with celery sticks and the dip.
If the blue cheese yogurt dip is too thick to dip, just add a little water to thin it out.
Straight out of the oven, these tend to fall apart when dipped, wait 5-10 minutes before serving and they’ll solidify nicely.