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Vegan Buffalo Sauce

Vegan buffalo sauce is so easy to make, all you need is 3 minutes and some pantry ingredients! Use this buffalo sauce without butter to add spice to any meal! If you love spice as much as I do, you have to try this Spicy Tahini Sauce or Vegan Sriracha Mayo recipe as well!

Spoon in a white bowl of vegan buffalo sauce.

Why you will love this recipe

  • Quick and easy – no need to buy store bought buffalo sauce ever again! This healthy vegan buffalo sauce is made in a bowl in just a few minutes. You don’t even have to turn on the stove!
  • Simple ingredients – you likely have everything you need to make this Whole30 buffalo sauce in your pantry right now! There are lots of substitutions included below as well! This recipe for vegan buffalo sauce is great because you can control the ingredients as well! It’s vegan, gluten free, dairy free, Whole30, low carb and keto friendly!
  • Versatile – use this sauce to add heat to any meal. Breakfast, lunch or dinner! Add it to tacos, sandwiches, wraps, pasta, pizza, etc.
  • Budget friendly – making your own vegan buffalo sauce is so much more budget friendly than buying it from the grocery store, because you likely already have the ingredients on hand.
Ingredients to make vegan buffalo sauce in white bowls.
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Ingredients

  • Hot sauce – the spiciness of your buffalo sauce will depend on the hot sauce you use. There are many different brands of hot sauce out there, some use different peppers (cayenne peppers, arbol peppers, pequin peppers or even chipotle peppers). The spice level and flavor from the peppers will change the flavors in the buffalo sauce. I like Franks Hot Sauce (the ingredients are cayenne pepper, vinegar, water, salt and garlic powder).
  • Avocado oil – avocado oil is a neutral oil that allows the hot sauce to really shine. Traditional buffalo sauce uses melted butter, so if you prefer that buttery flavor you could use a vegan butter or melted ghee (Whole30 friendly) or butter if you are not vegan or dairy free.
  • Spices: Smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, crushed red pepper flakes – these spices help bring balance and really give the buffalo sauce great flavor. The smoked paprika gives it a smoky undertone. The garlic powder adds an umami element to the mix. Salt helps amplify all the flavors of the sauce. The crushed red pepper flakes add a hint more spice to the sauce.

How to make vegan buffalo sauce

Measure all the ingredients into a bowl.

Whisk the ingredients until well combined.

Before and after stirring the vegan buffalo sauce.

Store in a airtight container for up to 1 week in the fridge.

Top tips

  • Every brand of hot sauce is going to have a different level of spice. If you choose a spicy or extra spicy hot sauce, it will make this recipe spicier.
  • You can make this into a creamy buffalo sauce (which would be great as a dip, as pasta sauce, as a base for casseroles or on pizza). Check out the tips below on how to make this into creamy buffalo sauce
  • Great recipe for meal prep, this lasts about a week in the fridge and has so many uses.
  • Unlike store bought sauces, you can control the spice or even add a sweet layer to the buffalo sauce. See my tips below.

Ways to use buffalo sauce without butter

  • Use on wraps or sandwiches to add some spice
  • Vegan buffalo cauliflower wings- Make crispy cauliflower florets (like for these sweet and sour cauliflower wings), then toss them with 1/4 cup or more of hot sauce.
  • Tacos – drizzle on any taco recipe to add a layer of spice
  • Buffalo Chickpeas – Cook 1 can drained chickpeas in a skillet with 1/4 cup of buffalo sauce until well coated and starting to brown.
  • Buffalo Chickpea Sandwich – drain a can of chickpeas. Mash the chickpeas with a fork, add 2-3 tablespoons buffalo sauce and 1-2 tablespoons tahini (to make it creamy). Stir and add salt, dried chives, parsley, garlic powder and dill.
  • As a dip for fries or tater tots- like air fryer sweet potato wedges, carrot fries, sweet potato tots or broccoli tots
  • Add to burgers like these 5 Ingredient Black Bean Burgers or Lentil Sweet Potato Burgers
Crispy cauliflower wings being dipped into vegan buffalo sauce.

Ways to change up this Whole30 Buffalo Sauce

  • Make it spicy – add 1/2-1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
  • Make it creamy – replace the avocado oil with 1/2 cup cashews soaked in hot water. Drain cashews and add the ingredients to a high speed blender
  • Make it sweet – add 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup or up to 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • Make it mild – increase the avocado oil to 1/2 cup, omit the crushed red pepper flakes
  • Make it smoky – use 1/2 regular hot sauce and 1/2 chipotle hot sauce or add 1 chipotle in adobo to the buffalo sauce ingredients and blend on high until smooth.

Common questions

Is buffalo sauce vegan?

Typical buffalo sauce recipes you will find will include things like butter (dairy) and some include  Worcestershire sauce (anchovies), which are not vegan friendly.

Many of the bottled buffalo sauces on the market are also not vegan friendly (be sure to check the ingredients). I have a list below of some vegan bottled buffalo sauce options.

Is hot sauce the same as buffalo sauce?

No buffalo sauce is made with hot sauce, but has added ingredients that help make it thicker and help to mellow out some of the intense heat and vinegar bite from hot sauce.

Hot sauce is usually just a combination of peppers, vinegar and salt.

Buffalo sauce is made with hot sauce, avocado oil (or melted butter or ghee), salt and spices. You can also add some vinegar to make it tangy.

Spoon pouring vegan buffalo sauce into a glass jar.

What is the best hot sauce to use?

The hot sauce you use is going to be what indicates the spiciness of the hot sauce and the overall flavor.

There are many brands of hot sauce out there that you can use. They may use different types of peppers or add other ingredients (like truffles for example) to change the flavor.

I like using Franks Hot Sauce. It’s got simple ingredients (just cayenne pepper, vinegar, water, salt, garlic powder) and is the perfect level of heat for me. You can also find a great hot sauce at Aldi called Burman’s. It has the same flavors as Frank’s Hot Sauce but does include Xantham Gum which helps to stabilize the sauce and thickens it slightly.

Budget tip: I have found that the Burman’s Hot Sauce is significantly less expensive than Frank’s. So if you are a tight budget, this might be the best option for you.

How to make vegan creamy buffalo sauce

If you want a buffalo sauce that would be great as buffalo dip (with chickpeas), you should try this vegan creamy buffalo sauce recipe.

  • ½ cup hot sauce
  • ½ cup cashews (soaked in hot water 5 minutes, then drained)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes

Soak the cashews in boiling hot water for at least 5 minutes. Drain the cashews and discard the water.

In a high speed blender combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth.

How to make buffalo sauce less spicy?

To make this buffalo sauce less spicy, you can add more avocado oil or sweeten it a bit with pineapple juice or maple syrup.

How to make this no butter buffalo sauce tangy?

To make this buffalo sauce less spicy, you can add more avocado oil or sweeten it a bit with pineapple juice or maple syrup.

Note: Most hot sauce is made with hot peppers and vinegar, so this recipe is tangy even without the added vinegar.

Storing leftovers

  • Fridge: Store leftover buffalo sauce in the fridge for up to a week. B sure to keep it in an airtight container.
  • Freezer: Store vegan buffalo sauce in the freezer for up to 6 months. You can freeze it in 1 tablespoon servings to make it easy to defrost.
Buffalo sauce no butter being poured over cauliflower wings.

Substitutions

  • Avocado oil – avocado works well in this recipe because it’s very neutral. If you don’t have avocado oil, you can use melted refined coconut oil (unrefined may have a bit of a coconut flavor). You can also use vegan butter or melted ghee (Whole30 friendly) or melted butter (if not dairy free).
  • Spices – simply omit the spices if you do not have them on hand.

If you love to make your own homemade sauces, you should try

Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Lemon Tahini Sauce

Creamy Basil Sauce

Lime Tahini Dressing

Vegan Sweet and Sour Sauce

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

Cilantro Chimichurri Sauce

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Spoonful of Whole30 buffalo sauce over a glass measuring cup.

Vegan Buffalo Sauce

Vegan buffalo sauce is so easy to make and ready in just 3 minutes. Made with no butter, this healthy buffalo sauce is perfect for making vegan wings or to use on tacos, pizza, sandwiches, wraps or burgers. This Whole30 buffalo sauce is made without butter.
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Course: Condiment, sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buffalo sauce no butter, buffalo sauce without butter, vegan buffalo sauce, whole30 buffalo sauce
Prep Time: 3 mins
Total Time: 3 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Measure out the ingredients into a small bowl.
  • Mix the ingredients well until fully combined.
  • Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to a week.

Notes

Ways to change up this Whole30 Buffalo Sauce
  • Make it spicy – add 1/2-1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
  • Make it creamy – replace the avocado oil with 1/2 cup cashews soaked in hot water. Drain cashews and add the ingredients to a high speed blender
  • Make it sweet – add 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup or up to 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • Make it mild – increase the avocado oil to 1/2 cup, omit the crushed red pepper flakes
  • Make it smoky – use 1/2 regular hot sauce and 1/2 chipotle hot sauce or add 1 chipotle in adobo to the buffalo sauce ingredients and blend on high until smooth.
Storing leftovers
  • Fridge: Store leftover buffalo sauce in the fridge for up to a week. B sure to keep it in an airtight container.
  • Freezer: Store vegan buffalo sauce in the freezer for up to 6 months. You can freeze it in 1 tablespoon servings to make it easy to defrost.
See how I calculate food cost.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
166
Fat
 
18
g
Carbohydrates
 
1
g
Fiber
 
0.3
g
Sugar
 
0.4
g
Protein
 
0.3
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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