So it’s football season and you want to hunker down in front of the TV with friends. And snacks. You can’t forget the snacks. Well, then this dip might just be your best friend. It is creamy, spicy, and less than 90 mg per (very filling) serving.
When Joe first started the low sodium diet, I thought that dips and other snacky foods would be a big challenge. It turns out that they are easier than I thought, and I love throwing them together. Luckily, some of Joe’s favorite lower sodium food items make a great base for many dips – sour cream, goat cheese, mascarpone, ricotta, and even cream cheese (in moderation). This comes in handy, especially when so many gatherings are centered on food.
For this particular dip, I started by wondering what I would toss in a full-sodium dip of this sort. Of course that would have lots of cheese and bacon, so that’s a no-go. But I figured if I used sour cream to get the creamy texture and added a bit of cream cheese to make the flavor a little more robust, that would be a good start. What next? Bacon. Well I can’t replicate bacon, but I can use a sprinkle of smoked paprika to give it a hint of bacon’s signature smokey taste. From there it was a matter of trial and error and tinkering with the balance of ingredients until it was hearty enough to be very filling, but low sodium enough that Joe could tack on other snacks without blowing his numbers out of proportion. We ended up with the Creamy Jalapeno Popper Chicken Dip.
You start with fresh veggies and some shredded chicken. You could actually start with any cooked chicken you have. Seared or grilled chicken would have great flavor in this dip, but I chose to cook and shred two chicken breasts. To get shredded chicken, you can cook it on the stovetop, in a pressure cooker, or in a slow cooker. I chose the stovetop, so the recipe’s instructions are for stovetop shredded chicken. Simply cover the chicken with water and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until it will shred easily with two forks.
This dish is pretty darn spicy, so if you like your dip a little more mellow, replace one or more of the jalapenos with a milder pepper. (Anaheim green chiles would taste great, but be aware that they are much larger than jalapenos — you’ll only need one green chile per 2-3 jalapenos.)
I cheated and used a chopper for the peppers because I hate cutting with rubber gloves on my hands, and without the gloves I always manage to get the pepper on my face. No, I don’t know how I manage it, but I do and it is very unpleasant.
Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, and spices into the jalapenos and onion. Then add chicken. Add the tomatoes last so you don’t smoosh them.
Then you just pop it into an oven-safe dish and bake.
By the way, Joe eats this dip with his favorite unsalted corn chips – Garden of Eatin’ No Salt Added Blue Chips, which we find in the natural foods section of our grocery store. These have 10 mg sodium per serving.
You could also toast your own corn chips by using corn tortillas (check the label for sodium – not all are created equal). Do this by cutting them into wedges, arranging them on a single layer on a baking sheet, and baking them in a 350°F oven for about 10-15 minutes. Keep a close eye on them because they can burn.
Creamy Jalapeno Popper Chicken Dip
A low sodium creamy, spicy dip that goes great with your favorite unsalted corn chips.
SODIUM COUNT: 535 mg in the whole recipe; 89.1 mg per serving
For the Dip
- 1 pound chicken breast, raw (or 2.5 cups cooked, shredded (or chopped) chicken breast)
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
- 4 jalapenos minced
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 large tomato chopped
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- chopped cilantro optional
- unsalted corn chips or unsalted potato chips*
Trim the chicken, place in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken can be shredded easily. When the chicken is done, remove from the saucepan and shred with two forks. To get smaller strands of meat, snip with a scissors.
While the chicken is cooking, preheat oven to 400°.
Place the chopped onions, minced jalapenos, sour cream, cream cheese, smoked paprika, and ground black pepper in a bowl. Stir to combine.
Add the shredded chicken and chopped tomatoes to the jalapeno mixture. Stir to combine.
Place the mixture in an oven-safe dish and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until mixture is hot and bubbly.
Serve with chopped cilantro and your favorite no salt-added corn or potato chips.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION Yield: 6 servings
Amount per serving: Sodium: 89.1 mg, Calories: 159.2, Total Fat: 7.7 g, Saturated Fat: 4.4 g, Cholesterol: 60.9 mg, Carbohydrates: 2.9 g, Fiber: 0.5 g, Sugar: 1.4 g, Protein: 19.0 g.
*Nutritional information does not include chips
We get super wimpy peppers in Montana, so this dip is not overly spicy when I make it. If you live in a region with better peppers than we do, you may want to replace some (or all) of the jalapenos with a milder pepper (like Anaheim green chiles).