Can you freeze buffalo chicken dip? Whether you're trying to plan ahead or you've found yourself with a bunch of leftovers, this article will cover everything you need to know about freezing buffalo chicken dip.
Not many appetizers are as loved as buffalo chicken dip.
Inspired by buffalo chicken wings, this spicy chicken dip is often made with cream cheese, sour cream, ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing, buffalo wing sauce, shredded chicken, and blue cheese crumbles or cheddar cheese. It's creamy, cheesy, and satisfying with just the right amount of heat.
Buffalo chicken dip is typically served warm with chips, bread, and vegetables for dipping.
So, if you're making buffalo chicken dip for an upcoming party and you're wondering if you can freeze it, you're in luck! You can easily freeze buffalo chicken dip both before and after baking. Keep reading to learn all about making, storing, freezing, and reheating buffalo chicken dip.
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My Favorite Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipes
How Long Does Buffalo Chicken Dip Last?
Buffalo chicken dip can be stored anywhere from a couple of hours at room temperature to several months in the freezer. Here is everything you need to know about storing buffalo chicken dip.
When serving buffalo chicken dip at a party or cookout, it often gets left out at room temperature for guests to enjoy.
Keep in mind, however, that perishable foods should not be stored at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. This food safety rule helps prevent harmful bacterial growth, which could make people sick.
If you're worried about the dip sitting out too long, try storing half of it in the refrigerator and reheating it as you need more. Or keep the whole dish warm in a crock pot set to low.
Buffalo chicken dip will stay good in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
To store, wrap the whole casserole dish tightly in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooling. Alternatively, transfer the dip to an airtight container for storage.
Freezing buffalo chicken dip is an excellent way to extend the shelf life of this popular party food. You can store buffalo chicken dip in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Allow the dip to cool completely before transferring it into a freezer-safe plastic bag or container. If you want to freeze the dip in a casserole dish, double-wrap the dish in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
Can You Freeze Buffalo Chicken Dip?
Yes, you can absolutely freeze buffalo chicken dip. Freezing buffalo chicken dip is a great way to get ahead on party prep or to save any leftovers you won't be able to eat within a few days.
Benefits of Freezing Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Perfect for Last-Minute Parties- If you're the type of person to throw last-minute get-togethers, having frozen buffalo chicken dip on hand can be perfect for entertaining. No worrying about running to the grocery store. Just pop your buffalo chicken dip in the oven and you're good to go!
- Making Ahead- Were you volunteered to make an appetizer for a friend's party, but you're working the night before? No problem! You can easily make buffalo chicken dip weeks in advance and throw it in the freezer until you need it.
- Save Time- If you have a mile-long list of things to do before guests arrive, save time by preparing the buffalo chicken dip ahead. That's one less thing to worry about.
- Longer Shelf Life- Leftover buffalo chicken dip only lasts a few days in the refrigerator. But, there's no need to stress over trying to eat it all. Store the leftovers in the freezer and have yourself a little party whenever the mood strikes.
How to Freeze Buffalo Chicken Dip
One of the best things about freezing buffalo chicken dip is that you can do it either before or after cooking the dip. Generally, you should freeze it before cooking if you're planning ahead for a party. Or after cooking when you have lots of leftovers.
The number one enemy of buffalo chicken dip in the freezer is air. Cold, dry air can lead to freezer burn, which is something we don't want to happen to our delicious dip.
Follow these steps to prevent freezer burn and to maintain the optimum quality of your buffalo chicken dip in the freezer.
Freeze Before Cooking
Step 1: Make the recipe. Prepare the buffalo chicken dip according to your favorite recipe. Stop before the step instructing you to heat the dip.
Step 2: Transfer. Transfer the buffalo chicken dip mixture to an airtight, freezer-safe container or plastic bag. You can also store it in the baking dish you intend to cook it in, as long as the dish is freezer-friendly.
Step 3: Wrap the buffalo chicken dip. If using a casserole or baking dish to store your buffalo chicken dip, you'll want to wrap it tightly to prevent freezer burn. I recommend wrapping the dish first with freezer-grade plastic wrap, then again with aluminum foil.
Step 4: Date and freeze. Date and label the buffalo chicken dip so that you remember what it is and when you need to use it by. Then, store the dip in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you're ready to cook the buffalo chicken dip, remove it from the freezer and allow it to thaw. Then, follow the heating instructions for the recipe that you used.
Freeze After Cooking
Step 1: Make the recipe. Prepare the buffalo chicken dip according to your favorite recipe. Complete all the steps, including heating up the dip.
Step 2: Cool the dip. Allow the dip to cool completely before storing. This prevents steam from turning into ice crystals, which can degrade the quality of the dip.
Step 3: Transfer. Once the dip has cooled, transfer it to an airtight, freezer-safe container or plastic bag. If storing directly in the casserole dish, double wrap the casserole dish with freezer-safe plastic wrap and aluminum foil to help prevent freezer burn.
Step 4: Date and freeze. Label and date the buffalo chicken dip. Previously heated buffalo chicken dip can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Tips for Freezing Leftover Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Cool Completely- If you're freezing leftover dip that has already been heated, it's important to allow it to cool completely before storing. Covering warm dip with a lid or plastic wrap will lead to steam and condensation forming on top of the food. That condensation will turn into ice crystals that ultimately degrade the quality of the dip.
- Freeze Quickly- If you know you won't be able to finish the leftovers before they go bad, it's best to freeze the buffalo chicken dip right away. The sooner you freeze the dip, the higher quality it will retain throughout the freezing process.
- Portion Out- I'm a big fan of freezing food in individual portions. Portioning out food helps reduce waste because you're only heating up what you can eat in one sitting.
- Double Wrap- When it comes to freezing food, air is the enemy. Double wrapping the buffalo chicken dip limits the amount of cold air it is exposed to, which helps prevent freezer burn.
- Don't Forget the Date- Always label and date anything you freeze. Labeling helps you remember what the food is and how long it is good for. I can't tell you how many times I forgot to label something and then have no idea what it is.
How to Thaw Frozen Buffalo Chicken Dip
Whether you froze your buffalo chicken dip before or after baking, the best way to thaw it is in the refrigerator overnight.
Since buffalo chicken dip is made with lots of dairy products, allowing it to slowly thaw in the refrigerator helps stop the ingredients from separating. Additionally, if you stored the dip in a glass baking dish, thawing it slowly will prevent extreme temperature fluctuations that could lead to the dish cracking or breaking.
Once the dip has thawed, stir it thoroughly before heating to incorporate any liquids that have separated out.
How to Reheat Buffalo Chicken Dip
If you froze your buffalo chicken dip before baking, thaw the dip and follow the instructions in the recipe you used. For cooked buffalo chicken dip, thaw the dip in the refrigerator overnight, stir thoroughly, and then follow one of these methods for reheating.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the leftover buffalo chicken dip in an oven-safe baking dish or cast-iron skillet. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until bubbling and warmed through.
If the dip seems dry prior to baking, add a tablespoon or two of water and stir vigorously to incorporate.
Add the buffalo dip to a small saucepan and warm over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until heated through. If the dip seems a little dry, add a splash of water to help loosen it up.
The microwave is a great way to reheat small portions of leftover buffalo chicken dip.
Place the buffalo chicken dip in a microwave-safe bowl, adding a splash of water to loosen if it seems thick. Microwave the dip on high in 30-second intervals, stirring after each until fully heated through. Depending on the portion size, this could take about 1-2 minutes in total.
Reheating food in a slow cooker or crockpot is not recommended.
Slow cookers take too long to heat up leftovers, leaving them in the temperature “danger zone” for longer than they should be.
To serve leftover buffalo chicken dip in the crockpot, reheat it using another method first. Then, add it to a slow cooker to keep it warm.
Can You Refreeze Buffalo Chicken Dip?
Refreezing buffalo chicken dip is not recommended.
Dairy is sensitive to freezing and can easily separate if not handled carefully. Continuously freezing, thawing, and refreezing buffalo chicken dip will lead to significantly reduced quality.
If you're worried you won't be able to eat it all in one sitting, freezing the dip in individual portions can be helpful.
How to Tell if Buffalo Chicken Dip Has Gone Bad?
Buffalo chicken dip is made with several ingredients that are highly perishable. Cooked chicken and dairy are notoriously susceptible to turning bad quite quickly.
Here are a few ways you can tell if your buffalo chicken dip has spoiled:
- Mold- Of course, if you see visible signs of mold, throw the dip out. Mold is a clear indication the dip is no longer good to eat.
- Sour Taste- If the dip looks okay, but tastes overly sour, this is another sign you shouldn't keep eating it. Dairy products tend to take on a pronounced sour flavor when they're past their prime.
- Odor- If the dip smells sour or just plain funky, get rid of it. A bad smell means a bad dip.
- Discoloration- Another sign that your buffalo chicken dip is bad is discoloration. If your dip has dulled in color or appears gray, toss it.
- Dry or Separation- While not necessarily a sign of spoilage, a dip that has dried out or completely separated probably isn't very enjoyable to eat.
What to Serve With Buffalo Chicken Dip?
- Tortilla Chips or Corn Chips
- Pita Chips or Bread
- Whole Grain Crackers
- Breadsticks or Garlic Bread
- Bell Pepper Strips
- Snap Peas
- Cucumber Slices
How to Use Up Leftover Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Topping for Baked Potatoes or Nachos
- Mixed into Macaroni and Cheese, Pasta, or Rice
- Loaded French Fries
- Buffalo Chicken Pizza
- Egg Roll Filling
- Buffalo Chicken Panini, Sandwich, or Quesadilla
- Stuffed Bell Peppers or Zucchini
Frequently Asked Questions
This depends on your tolerance for spicy foods. Often, buffalo chicken dip is made with a buffalo sauce like Frank's Red Hot Sauce. Louisiana-style hot sauces are generally pretty low on the heat scale. For example, Frank's Red Hot Sauce is only 450 SHUs. Compare that to a jalapeño pepper, which is 2,500 to 8,000 SHUs. Plus, the dairy ingredients in the dip also help to dampen the heat level.
Technically, you can eat buffalo chicken dip cold. But, it's not very enjoyable. Buffalo chicken dip is heavily dairy-based. Dairy ingredients are more solid when cold so, the dip is thick and crumbly. When heated, the dairy ingredients melt and soften, which is much more enjoyable to eat.
If you're planning on eating it within 5 days, keep the dip in the refrigerator. Otherwise, freezing buffalo chicken dip is an excellent long-term storage solution.
To wrap up, freezing buffalo chicken dip is a great way to save leftovers or to plan ahead for your next game day party. With a little preparation, you can easily store buffalo chicken dip in the freezer without sacrificing quality.