Vegan Baked Buffalo Chicken Dip with Artichokes
Looking for a vegan party dip that even meat eaters will love? This rich, creamy vegan buffalo chicken dip will knock their socks off! It’s made with tofu (shh…no one will know!) and artichoke hearts, so it’s nut free, affordable and even has a few sneaky nutrition benefits. Just 8 ingredients + 10 minutes of hands-on time.
I am pretty low key about entertaining…I even bristle at that word, entertaining. It seems so formal!! Instead, I love to “have people over”. I serve a few drinks and a few snacks because I don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen while everyone else is having a good time.
I tend to follow a bit of a snack formula: a platter with store-bought vegan cheeses, crackers and bread, olives, fruit and vegetables…and a dip. The dip is always homemade. And it’s the thing that makes the snack spread feel more intentional.
Which is why I have a lot of delicious vegan dips both here on the blog and in my books, Eat More Plants and Good For Your Gut. Want something cold? You could whip up a creamy dill dip or flavourful white bean and roasted red pepper dip in 5 minutes flat. Prefer a baked vegan dip? Scoop up a hot corn dip or this creamy, dreamy vegan buffalo chicken dip.
Growing up A) in a small town in northern Canada and B) with a Portuguese family and C) going vegetarian as a teen, there are a lot of classic American recipes I didn’t eat until I tried veganized versions much later in life.
But I have it on good authority – most of my friends aren’t vegan – that this vegan buffalo chicken dip is every bit as delicious as the classic recipe. It’s SO important to me that folks realize that plant-based recipes aren’t about compromise: they can be creamy. Spicy. And super fun to eat.
And I’m not gonna lie: the dietitian in me also loves sneaking in a few good-for-you ingredients. Like how the tofu (yes, tofu!) in this recipe helps replace the protein that you’d get from the chicken. Or, how the artichoke hearts, which have an awesome shredded chicken texture, actually have a ton of gut-boosting benefits like prebiotics.
Because a healthy life isn’t about eating only “healthy” foods. It’s about asking yourself, what can I add? How can you strike that balance between food for joy and food for nourishment?
See what I mean? Zero compromises.
If you’re looking for an awesome, low effort, vegan game day menu, I would serve this vegan buffalo chicken dip with guacamole, tortilla chips and celery sticks, some store-bought veggie chick’n strips plus my epic black bean and sweet potato chili!
Grab your ingredients to make this yummy vegan buffalo chicken dip
All you need is 8 basic ingredients, like tofu and buffalo-style hot sauce to make this addictive party dip. Because the flavour and texture of vegan cream cheese varies WILDLY, I wanted to make this with more reliable plant-based ingredients which brought me to tofu. And yes, I promise that people WON’T know this vegan buffalo artichoke dip is made with tofu!! Using tofu adds plant-based protein and iron while keeping this dip nut free and more affordable because cashews are pricey.
- Medium Firm Tofu: I don’t cook with medium firm tofu as much because it has a higher water content…which is exactly what you want here so the dip bakes well. Only have firm tofu? Blend it extra well (you might want to add 1-2 tablespoons of water) so it blends up silky smooth.
- Vegan Mayo: Mayo is essential here, to create a more creamy and flavourful dip, because tofu doesn’t have a lot of fat. My favourite store-bought mayo is Hellman’s vegan…and you can also make your own vegan mayo in a few minutes. Want a mayo-free option? Substitute an equal amount of cashew cream.
- Buffalo-style hot sauce: Frank’s Red Hot is the classic of course. And be sure to taste your blended dip before baking! I think ½ cup gives it a spicy edge but it’s not so hot that some people won’t enjoy it. But if you like it super spicy, just add more hot sauce!
- Garlic and onion powder: essential for Buffalo-style flavour. I use granulated garlic and onion as opposed to the true powder, but both work just fine here. We’re gonna throw some salt in there too.
- Canned artichokes: watch those labels! You want artichokes in brine, not oil. And you want them plain, not with herbs otherwise those will take over the flavour of the dip. I chose artichokes because they are easier to find than jackfruit, and packed with prebiotics, but you could totally sub jackfruit in brine if you prefer.
- Celery: I find that I like this dip with a bit of crunch, so I dice up one rib of celery so it’s extra small. Totally optional, especially if you’re going to serve this with celery sticks!
- Other optional toppings: want it cheesy? You could throw some melty vegan cheese shreds on top, and I like some thinly sliced green onion too for colour and zip.
How to make this easy vegan buffalo dip
No soaking. No sauteeing. This vegan buffalo chicken dip is as easy as can be: 10 minutes of hands on time and then you’re ready to bake! Because I want to put something homemade on the table…not cook for hours before people arrive!
Step One: Prep the veggies. Dice up the celery and slice the green onions if using. Drain and chop the artichoke hearts. If there are any super tough leaves that resist chopping, compost them as they’ll be tough to chew.
Step Two: Blend the dip. Pop the drained tofu, mayo, buffalo sauce, onion and garlic powders and salt into the blender and blend, starting low and slowly working your way up to medium, until silky smooth, about 2 minutes. Having trouble blending? Keep it low until things start to liquefy, or add 1-2 tablespoons of water until things blend easier.
Step Three: Combine and Bake. Scrape the dip into a baking dish and stir in the artichokes and celery, if using. Top with vegan shreds, if using, and bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted, dip is bubbly and a bit set at the edges.
Step Four: Serve! Sprinkle with green onions, if using, and serve with your favourite dippers. Celery and carrot sticks, cauliflower florets, tortilla chips, crackers, sliced bread are all great choices.
Desiree’s Tips, Tricks + Substitutions
- Yep, this works as a make-ahead: you can assemble this the day before, cover and chill, then just bake it when you’re ready. And, on the off chance you have leftovers, they keep beautifully for 3-4 days in the fridge.
- Want even more of that “chicken” flavour? A couple of options: you can substitute ½ teaspoon of salt for 1 teaspoon of Better than Bouillon Vegetarian chicken concentrate and/or you can substitute pre-cooked vegan chick’n for the artichokes.
- Want a cheesier flavour? Try adding ¼ cup nutritional yeast to the blender!
- Yes, you could make a low FODMAP version of this! Omit the garlic and onion powder. Use nutritional yeast to add back umami. And swap jackfruit for artichokes. need more flavour? If you have garlic-flavoured olive oil, you could swap in a couple of tablespoons in for some of the mayo.
More vegan party dips
- Fast Vegan Spinach Dip (nut free!)
- Easy Vegan Hot Corn Dip with Cashew Cream
- 5 Minute Vegan Fruit Dip
- Vegan Dill Dip with Cashew Cream
Vegan Baked Buffalo Chicken Dip with Artichokes
- 12 ounce package medium firm tofu, drained…do not press!
- ⅔ cup vegan mayo, or sub cashew cream
- ½ cup Buffalo-style hot sauce
- 2 teaspoons onion powder, see tips + tricks for low FODMAP variation!
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 14 ounce can artichoke hearts in brine, drained well and chopped
- 1 rib celery, finely diced, optional
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup melty vegan cheese shreds, like Daiya or Earth Island
Choose your favourites for serving!
- crackers, tortilla chips or sliced bread
- celery or carrot sticks
- cauliflower or broccoli florets
- High Speed Blender
- Preheat oven to 350℉ (175℃). Choose a baking dish that holds 6-8 cups (1.5-2L). I've used a 9-inch loaf pan and a 9×9 square baking dish because I don't have any cute, smaller baking dishes.
- Pop the drained tofu, mayo, buffalo sauce, onion and garlic powders and salt into the blender and blend, starting on low and slowly working your way up to medium. Blend until silky smooth, about 2 minutes. Having trouble blending? Keep it low until things start to liquefy, or add 1-2 tablespoons of water until things blend easier. The dip should be smooth, not grainy.
- Scrape the dip into a baking dish and stir in the artichokes and celery, if using. Top with vegan shreds, if using, and bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted, dip is bubbly and a bit set at the edges.
- Sprinkle with green onions, if using, and serve with your favourite dippers.