Lemon Pepper Chicken Dip

Time 45 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 6
Lemon pepper flavors this spin on Buffalo chicken dip, a game day staple.
(Ben Mims/Los Angeles Times)
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A spin on hot buffalo chicken dip, this lemon-pepper variation adds fresh lemon zest, cracked black pepper and chile flakes to perk up the warm, cheesy dip. If you don’t have cooked chicken to use, buy a cooked rotisserie chicken from your grocery store and shred the breast meat to use here. Be careful not to overbake the dip or it will split; you just want the edges lightly golden and the dip hot in the center. Spread any leftovers on sourdough toast for an excellent grilled cheese sandwich.


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mash the cream cheese with a fork until broken up. Crumble in about two-thirds of the feta, then add the olive oil, 2 teaspoons of black pepper, the garlic powder, chile flakes and salt. Using a microplane set over the bowl, finely zest both lemons into the dip. Juice the lemons and pour 1/2 cup juice into the dip; discard or save any leftover juice for another use. Stir everything until evenly combined.


Add the chicken to the dip and stir until just combined (you don’t want to stir so much that the chicken turns to mush). Transfer the mixture into a shallow 1-quart baking dish or pie plate and sprinkle the top with the remaining ½ teaspoon pepper.


Bake the dip until it is heated through and lightly browned around the perimeter, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the scallions. Crumble the remaining 1 ounce of feta evenly over the scallions, then drizzle with more olive oil, if you like. Serve the dip while hot with crackers and veggies for dipping.