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Cooking in College: The power of a good dip

When it comes to viewing parties, an arguably strong contender for the most expected food could very well be many bags of chips and a nice, tasty dip. Chips and dip is a fairly universal idea, and it is versatile enough to fit into many diets.

For example, cheese is typically used in many dips, either as the central ingredient like in queso dips or as a small addition like in taco-based dips. However, for people who are lactose intolerant or who simply don’t like cheese, there are many dips that don’t require it — like guacamole or hummus.

The variety of dips are endless, and nearly anything can be an ingredient in a dip if done well. Fruits — like tomatoes, oranges and mangos for instance — make a great base for some salsas because of their inherent juiciness. Even meats can be used in dips, although they are typically shredded or pulled in some fashion and require some other ingredient, like cream cheese, to be the glue.

Flavor profiles of entire meals, like pizza or cheeseburgers, can be captured and emulated through a dip as well. Take this week’s featured recipe as an example; buffalo wings have that distinctly bold kick from the sauce and that inviting texture of the chicken. The well-known dish is fairly well emulated in this dip through the shredded chicken’s texture and the cheesy yet bold spice from the sauce.

The full recipe involves getting a whole chicken and preparing it from scratch, which is fairly easy to fit into a daily schedule because most of the cooking is done through a slow cooker. It’s a fairly low maintenance way to make pulled chicken.

However, it’s understandable if you don’t want to deal with removing the bones from the mixture, so I’ve added a note that substitutes the whole chicken with some cans of shredded chicken or a rotisserie chicken that you can pull yourself, which essentially leads to the same outcome with less of a time commitment.

With Saturday’s Ohio State football game at Rutgers, why not bring some buffalo chicken dip to a viewing party for everyone to enjoy?



Prep time: 1 hour + 5 hours inactive

Cook time: 1 hour

Servings: 8-10

1/2 cup water

1 whole chicken (or about 20 ounces canned shredded chicken, drained)


Black pepper

Cayenne pepper

16 ounces cream cheese, softened (two 8-ounce packages)

1 cup ranch

3/4 cup hot sauce

1 1/2 cup shredded cheese


In a slow cooker, pour the water in and turn it to high.

Dry the chicken using paper towels, and then evenly spread a mixture of salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper on the surface of the chicken. Place the chicken in the slow cooker and wait for at least 5 hours for it to cook.

Once the chicken is cooked and tender, start to pull it apart using two forks, and remove as many bones as possible. Drain the chicken, and return it to the slow cooker.

(If you’re using cans of shredded chicken instead of starting with a whole chicken, heat up the chicken on the stovetop using a skillet, and then transfer it to a slow cooker.)

Take the cream cheese and rip it into smaller pieces.

In the slow cooker, stir in the cream cheese, ranch, hot sauce and one cup of the shredded cheese. Turn the slow cooker to low, and sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese on top of the mixture.

Let the mixture cook for one hour. Serve with some chips.

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