One of best friends in graduate school makes in incredible buffalo chicken dip. As she hails from Buffalo, NY – the home and namesake of America’s most flavorful sauce – it fits that this dish is her specialty. When I recently started a more plant-based diet, I realized that I needed a less cheese-heavy version of her dip in my life. I was thrilled to discover this alternative that both embraced the classic flavor and provided a satisfactory serving of protein.Jump to Recipe
The recipe as written below is vegan and gluten-free; no nuts or animal products are used in the making of this dish. I like to serve this “salad” as a dip or as a filling for a wrap – but take heed. If you’re doing the same, make sure to double-check the ingredients of your pita chips or tortillas to ensure they fit with the same dietary restrictions you (or your friends) follow.
“But wait,” you may cry, “I’m not a vegan. I like to eat meat. Why would I bother with this recipe?” Well, unlike buffalo chicken dip, this dish requires no oven time and most of the ingredients can be found in your pantry. If you are short on time and need a light, protein-packed dish, this recipe is still a good option. My omnivorous husband (who gravitates away from meatless dishes) tends to eat as least as much of this dip as I do, if not more. While this is no substitute for a scoop of the classic cheese-based dip, he concedes that it is a pleasant, healthier way to enjoy the same flavors.
The most time-consuming part of this recipe is the ingredient gathering. No matter your dietary restrictions, you will need to drain two 15-ounce cans of chickpeas. You will also need to dice 1 onion and 1 carrot. For spices, you will need garlic powder, dried dill, dried parsley, and paprika. The heat in this recipe comes from Frank’s Red Hot, though feel free to substitute your preferred buffalo sauce. Finally, we will need some form of mayonnaise. To make this dish vegan, I recommend Earth Island’s original Vegenaise. If that aspect isn’t as important for you or your guests, traditional mayo would also work well.
Once you have drained your chickpeas, chopped your vegetables, found your spices, and pulled the mayo out of the fridge, measure out all of your ingredients and plop them into the bowl of your food processor.
Pulse your food processor on “high” speed for 3-5 short intervals. You are done once the ingredients are completely combined and the chickpeas have been mashed to your desired texture.
(Technically, a food processor is optional for this recipe. If you don’t have one handy, you could use a potato masher, a pastry cutter, or even a fork to mix your ingredients and mash together your chickpeas. It may be trickier to get a consistent final result using this method, but it shouldn’t change the flavor profile.)
Your buffalo chickpea “salad” is done! See, I told you that was easy. I like to serve this dish in a few different ways. It makes a great, portable lunch when layered on a bed of lettuce and wrapped in a tortilla. (Maybe a trail meal for your next hike?) This dish is also a huge hit when served alongside some sturdy chips. If you place a bowl of this dip and a pile of pita chips on a table at your next big sports gathering, your friends on specialty diets will be grateful, and everyone else might ask you for the recipe.
Whether you’re serving this as a wrap, eating it on its own, or spooning it up as a dip, I hope you enjoy this new recipe. Please tag any pictures with @WhiskAverseBaking, or leave a message in the comments below
Buffalo Chickpea “Salad”
- Food processor*
- 2 15-oz cans chickpeas
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 small carrot or 6-8 baby carrots, diced
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ – ⅓ cup Frank’s Red Hot or your preferred buffalo sauce
- ¼ cup vegan mayonnaise can substitute traditional mayonnaise
- Drain chickpeas.
- Place all ingredients into the bowl food processor. Pulse on high for 3-5 seconds, until chickpeas are broken down to your preferred texture and all ingredients are combined.
- Serve in a wrap or with your favorite chips.