This White Bean Buffalo Dip is the perfect vegetarian appetizer for any potluck or party. Filled with hearty cannellini beans, melty cheese, and spicy buffalo sauce, this quick, easy, and delicious dip is ready in just 30 minutes. Impress vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike with this tasty twist on the game-day staple.
A staple at game-day parties, cookouts, and potlucks, buffalo dip is one of the most popular appetizers around. And for good reason. It’s spicy, creamy, cheesy, and oh-so delicious.
In this quick and easy white bean buffalo dip, cannellini beans take the place of the shredded chicken commonly found in the traditional version. My goal was to create a vegetarian buffalo chicken dip as close to the real deal as possible.
Therefore, I based this recipe on the Frank’s RedHot Sauce buffalo chicken dip recipe. And I promise it’s so good that even your meat-loving friends will happily scarf it down.
So, if you’re looking to try something a little different for game day or for your Super Bowl party this February, keep reading to learn how to make this amazing white bean buffalo dip recipe.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Vegetarian- Living a meat-free life shouldn’t mean a life without buffalo dip. White beans are the perfect substitute for chicken in this popular game-day appetizer. I promise, your meat-eating friends probably won’t even notice.
- Easy to Make- White bean buffalo dip comes together in just 30 minutes and could not be any easier to make. Just mix the ingredients together and bake until bubbly and delicious.
- Perfect for Parties- Buffalo chicken dip is practically a requirement at any cookout, potluck, or football party. And this white bean buffalo dip is the perfect alternative for your vegetarian friends and family. The best part? The recipe doubles quite easily – since you KNOW everyone will be scarfing it down.
Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Cannellini Beans- These white beans are mild in flavor and hold their shape well when cooked. For convenience, I like canned low-sodium cannellini beans that I drain and rinse before using. Mashing half of the cannellini beans before adding them to the dip creates a thicker, creamier finished dish.
- Cayenne Pepper Sauce- I based this recipe on the recipe on the back of a bottle of Frank’s RedHot Sauce. Frank’s is my go-to hot sauce when making buffalo wing sauce or anything else buffalo-flavored. Of course, you can use whatever sauce you typically use in buffalo-style recipes.
- Cream Cheese- Make sure to set the cream cheese out on the counter for about 30 minutes prior to using. This will soften the cream cheese and help it mix with the other ingredients more easily.
- Ranch Dressing- Ranch dressing adds flavor and creaminess to this buffalo bean dip.
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese- Most buffalo dip recipes use either cheddar cheese or blue cheese. Since we’re not big fans of the latter in my house, I typically use sharp cheddar cheese. But, if you love blue cheese, feel free to use that instead.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make this white bean buffalo dip.
Step 1: Mix all ingredients together. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Add half of the cannellini beans to a large mixing bowl and mash them using a fork, potato masher, or the back of a wooden spoon. Alternatively, you could puree them using a food processor, if preferred. Add the remaining beans, cream cheese, hot sauce, ranch dressing, and ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the mixing bowl. Stir until everything is well combined.
Step 2: Bake the dip. Pour the mixture into an ungreased cast-iron skillet or casserole dish. Top with the remaining ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbling. Allow the dip to cool for a few minutes before serving. Top with chopped green onions, chives, or parsley, if desired, and enjoy!
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few ways you can customize this white bean buffalo dip to fit your diet and taste preferences.
- Cannellini Beans- Great Northern beans, navy beans, chickpeas, or even kidney beans can be used in place of the cannellini beans.
- Cayenne Pepper Sauce- Frank’s RedHot is classic, but what other hot sauces can be used to make buffalo dip? Try Tapatío, Tabasco, Cholula, or Valentina hot sauce. Really, any hot sauce can be used. Just keep in mind that the flavor of the dip will change depending on the hot sauce.
- Cream Cheese- I also tested this recipe with neufchâtel cheese (basically reduced-fat cream cheese) and it came out delicious. While I haven’t tried it myself, plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, or cottage cheese could also be used in place of the cream cheese.
- Ranch Dressing- Replace the ranch dressing with one packet of ranch seasoning mixed with ½ cup of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese- You can use just about any cheese you love in this buffalo bean dip. Try using crumbled blue cheese, goat cheese, pepper jack cheese, mozzarella cheese, or monterey jack cheese next time you make buffalo dip.
- Gluten-Free- White bean buffalo dip can easily be made gluten-free. Cannellini beans, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese are naturally gluten-free. Frank’s RedHot Sauce is also gluten-free. Ranch dressing is typically gluten-free as well, but it is important to always check labels to be sure.
- Vegan- With the wide variety of vegan products available today, it’s easy to find substitutes for just about any ingredient you want. Look for dairy-free cream cheese, vegan ranch dressing, and vegan cheddar cheese at the grocery store and swap those for their non-vegan counterparts.
- Reduced-Fat- Use neufchâtel cheese in place of the cream cheese and swap the ranch dressing for plain non-fat Greek yogurt mixed with ranch seasoning. You can also give reduced-fat (not fat-free) cheddar cheese a try, but it doesn’t always melt as well.
- Extra Spicy- Can’t get enough spice? Frank’s RedHot makes a spicier version of their original cayenne hot sauce called Xtra Hot Sauce. Otherwise, you can use whichever extra spicy hot sauce you prefer. Better yet, slice up some fresh jalapeño peppers to bake on top of the dip.
- Mild- If buffalo dip is typically too spicy for you, use only ¼ to ⅓ of a cup of hot sauce and add an extra ¼ cup of ranch dressing.
What to Serve with White Bean Buffalo Dip
Of course, buffalo dip is typically served with a side of crackers, celery, and carrots. But, what else can you dip in this white bean buffalo dip? Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
- Tortilla Chips
- Pita Chips or Bread
- Crusty Baguette
- Breadsticks or Garlic Bread
- Celery and Carrots
- Bell Pepper Strips
How to Use Up Leftovers
It’s rare that there’s leftover buffalo dip. However, if you find yourself with an abundance of this tasty appetizer, here are a few ways you can use it.
- Topping for Baked Potatoes or Nachos
- Mixed into Macaroni and Cheese, Pasta, or Rice
- Loaded French Fries
- Buffalo Dip Pizza
- White Bean Buffalo Panini, Sandwich, or Quesadilla
Storage and Reheating
If servings this dip at a game day party or cookout, remember that food should only be left at room temperature for a maximum of 2 hours. This food safety rule prevents harmful bacterial growth. If you’re worried about keeping food out too long, try storing half the dip in the refrigerator and reheat it as you need more.
How to Store
- Refrigerator- White bean buffalo dip can safely be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. To store, either cover your casserole dish tightly with plastic wrap or transfer leftover dip to an airtight container.
- Freezer- White bean buffalo dip can easily be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can even freeze the dip before baking. Then, when ready to serve, pull it out of the freezer and bake.
How to Reheat
While I’m not above eating leftover white bean buffalo dip straight out of the refrigerator, reheating is often the best way to enjoy the leftovers. Here are the three best methods for reheating this popular appetizer.
- Oven- Place the leftover vegetarian buffalo dip in an oven-safe casserole dish or cast-iron skillet. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until bubbling and warmed through.
- Stovetop- Add the buffalo dip to a small saucepan and warm over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
- Microwave- For convenience, buffalo white bean dip can easily be reheated in the microwave. Simply place the leftover dip in a microwave-safe container and microwave on high for about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds to ensure even heating.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! This white bean buffalo dip can easily be made in a slow cooker, which is perfect when cooking for a crowd or a party. I recommend doubling the recipe, especially for a larger slow cooker. Simply add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker, mix them together, and heat on low for 3-4 hours or on high for 1-2 hours.
Mashing half of the beans is key for a thick, scoopable white bean buffalo dip. Also, make sure the cream cheese is soft enough to be thoroughly mixed with the rest of the ingredients before baking.
It depends on your tolerance for spicy food. Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and other Louisiana-style hot sauces are typically pretty low on the Scoville scale. The original blend of Frank’s cayenne pepper sauce is only 450 SHUs. For comparison, a jalapeño pepper is 2,500 to 8,000 SHUs and crushed red pepper is anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 SHUs.
More Recipes You May Enjoy
White Bean Buffalo Dip
- Cast iron skillet or casserole dish
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ½ cup Frank's RedHot Sauce
- ½ cup ranch dressing
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese divided
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Add half of the cannellini beans to a large mixing bowl and mash them using a fork, potato masher, or the back of a wooden spoon. Alternatively, you could puree them using a food processor, if preferred. Add the remaining beans, cream cheese, hot sauce, ranch dressing, and ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the mixing bowl. Stir until everything is well combined.1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, 8 ounces cream cheese, ½ cup Frank's RedHot Sauce, ½ cup ranch dressing
- Pour the mixture into an ungreased cast-iron skillet or casserole dish. Top with the remaining ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbling. Allow the dip to cool for a few minutes before serving. Top with chopped green onions, chives, or parsley, if desired, and enjoy!