A homemade vegan buffalo sauce recipe made without butter but you'd never know it! Tastes just like the classic version; spicy and perfect.
This vegan version of buffalo sauce goes with everything. It's healthy and made with simple whole foods, one you'd never guess!
This post was originally published on March 17, 2020.
I put buffalo sauce on everything, the flavor is addicting! You must try this recipe on these vegan buffalo wings, buffalo cauliflower tacos and even use it in my vegan buffalo chicken dip.
I really can't think of anything that you can't smother with buffalo sauce. Pizza? Yep. Lasagna? SO good. Tacos, burritos, wraps, sandwiches....the list goes on!
Here are the ingredients that you need for this amazing vegan buffalo sauce:
- Hot sauce
- Maple syrup
- White vinegar
- Soy sauce/tamari
- Lemon juice
- Smoked paprika
- Garlic powder
How To Make Vegan Buffalo Sauce
- Put everything into a blender and blend until nice and smooth.
- Eat on everything!
Ways to Use Buffalo Sauce
Here are some of my favorite recipes that use this amazing dairy free buffalo sauce!
- Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
- Baked Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos
- Buffalo Chickpea Tacos
- Buffalo Chickpea Burgers
- Pistachio Buffalo Cream
- or try drizzling it over Vegan Poutine!
- Keep this vegan buffalo sauce in an airtight container. I like using bottles that are easy to pour from such as this OXO Squeeze Bottle or these Plastic Hot Sauce Bottles.
- Refrigerate homemade buffalo sauce for up to one month.
- You'll want to give it a good shake before using it in case anything has separated although it should be good.
Adjusting the Heat
Since the base of buffalo sauce recipe is hot sauce, this will be a spicy sauce. But some people can take less spice than others (ahem husband). If you find that you love buffalo sauce, but want a touch less heat, here are a few things you can do:
- Pour in more vinegar
- Add more of the cashew/water mixture if you're making buffalo sauce without butter
- You can also mix in more butter if using the butter option
- Stir in more lemon juice
- Add a touch more maple syrup
If you're a spice lover and want to make this vegan buffalo sauce more spicy here are a couple things you can try:
- Mix in some cayenne pepper powder
- Choose a spicer hot sauce
It all depends on the brand or recipe! Some buffalo sauces are vegan, but some contain dairy. This means it's important to read the ingredient list carefully to ensure the one you are grabbing has no dairy in the ingredients.
Don't let the "natural butter type flavor" in the description fool you, Frank's Red Hot Sauce IS vegan! So feel free to grab up a bottle if you need something quick. But this recipe is super easy and even more delicious!
Traditionally, buffalo flavor is a combination of butter and hot sauce! It's used on things from chicken wings to dips. My Baked Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip is the perfect way to use it!
Nope, even though they are both spicy, they are not the same! Hot sauce is simply some combination of hot pepper, salt, and vinegar. If you add butter to the hot sauce, that would get you buffalo sauce.
Traditionally, buffalo sauce is a combination of hot sauce and butter, along with some other spices and seasonings. It's pretty easy to create a vegan version by simply using vegan butter. But I needed to take it a step further for this vegan buffalo sauce recipe (always bucking the system!).
So as I was looking at the ingredients in one of my favorite vegan butters, it hit me. I was going to replace the creamy butter with just the right amount of cashews and water!
History of Buffalo Sauce
Buffalo sauce originated in Buffalo, New York at a family owned restaurant called Anchor Bar. The owners received chicken wings instead of the chicken they ordered. So because they didn't want them to go to waste, they mixed them up with some spicy sauce and served them.
More Vegan Sauce Recipes
Now that you see how easy it is to keep this buffalo sauce recipe vegan, try out some more homemade plant based sauces:
- Healthy Homemade Vegan Chocolate Sauce
- The Best Vegan Cheese Sauce
- Vegan Bechamel Sauce
- Easy Vegan Caramel Sauce
- Healthy Vegan BBQ Sauce
- Vegan Alfredo Sauce
Healthy Vegan Buffalo Sauce (Without Butter)
- 1 cup cayenne pepper hot sauce (like Franks brand)
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup raw cashews (see note)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika , optional for smoky flavor
- Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until nice and smooth.
- When done, store in an air tight container in the fridge.
- Serve on everything!
- Soak your cashews overnight if you don’t have a highspeed blender. If you forget to soak your cashews, you could boil them for about 30 minutes. You can also grind the dry cashews into a fine powder with a coffee or spice grinder.
- For the butter version, simple substitute the cashews and water with ½ cup vegan butter. You can blend on high to help melt the butter, or make this in a sauce pan instead and cook on the stove.
- This makes 1 ½ cups sauce. Serving size is 2 tablespoons.
- Soak cashews.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.
Nutrition and metric information should be considered an estimate.
This sauce is amazing. I'm newly vegan and live for all things Buffalo. I was pleasantly shocked when I took a spoonful out of the blender. Tastes just like any non vegan Buffalo sauce. Amazing!
Thank you so much Josh! I am so happy you liked it!!
My hubbys favorite buffalo sauce!
Is there a brand you prefer for the cayenne pepper hot sauce?
Hi Sarah! I like Franks!
This sauce is AMAZING! Tastes just like actual buffalo sauce, but it's so much healthier! Thank you so much for sharing.
Yay! So happy you liked it!
I have to be honest and say that I rarely take the time to post comments and I was super hesitant to even make this recipe let alone thinking of posting a comment. I saw another recipe that I was set on trying but I kept coming back to your recipe and something told me to try it. Again, being honest, I looked at the ingredient list and wanted to make it so I could leave a comment telling everyone that this tasted nothing like true buffalo sauce.... Can we just say I need to sit in the corner and think about how I should not jump to conclusions? This sauce (I don’t know how) tastes AMAZING! Just like old fashioned butter rich buffalo sauce without all of the calories. This will be my go to buffalo sauce from now on. Thank you!
Oh my gosh Kitty, I am totally giggling. LOL! Your message made my day! I am so so happy you liked it! Totally get it though, it's hard to wrap our brains around new types of things and I've been there. I'm proud of you for opening up and trying something new!!!
I was super hesitant about this but my vegan friend was here so I made it. I need to sit on the corner too and have a bug talk with myself about being judgmental and jumping to conclusions.
This is so damn good I’ll never make it without this recipe. Long live the Grateful Dead!
I’m so happy you liked it!! You made me giggle with your comment 😆 I’m happy you gave it a chance!! Thank you for the great review!
Is there another alternative for the cashews? I can’t have cashews, almonds ir pistachios.
Hi Crystal! Those are probably the best nuts to use, but you can try another one. Maybe walnuts or pine nuts? I haven't tried any others but let me know if you try one!
Macadamia. You're only using cashews to create a thicker emulsification. You could use corn starch, too. Just don't go insane with it.
Hi there! Yes, macadamia could also work however they are really expensive so I do not always recommend them. Also, cashews are more than just a thickener. They give a creamy buttery flavor to the end result. While corn starch (or any other starch really) can thicken it, the flavor would not be the same. So in the end, I recommend using the cashews for the best end result or something similar if you can't or don't have them.
I’m new to vegan food. Appreciate this website with its delicious recipes !
Thank you !
Thanks so much for being here!
This sauce is great. Tastes just like regular buffalo sauce. Love this version made from all Whole Foods!
Thank you Heather! So happy you like it!
Is there a substitute for the vineagar? We try to avoid fermented foods?
Hi Bethany, you can leave it out but it won't have the same end result. The hot sauce in this is basically a vinegar like heat so if you don't do vinegar not sure if you do hot sauce?
I just had the idea to substitute cashews for butter in buffalo sauce and glad to see there is a recipe for it! I will probably go the classic route and just try straight hot sauce, but great to see someone had success with it. I used to live in SD and miss it...living in Oakland now.
It works great! I prefer it to the butter method. We love San Diego!!
This sauce is bursting with flavor. I had no clue that it is usually made with butter, I don't use butter (even vegan) so it was all good 🙂 Honestly, I wasn't sure when I saw the tamari listed, but everything works so well together. We used this on tacos, bowls, the hubs dipped roasted potato fries in it, seriously such a versatile sauce. Thank you!!
Yay!! Thrilled you like it Tami!! I am obsessed with it too!!