This is the best homemade vegan buffalo sauce recipe and it is ridiculously easy to make! Even without using butter, you can prepare a creamy and rich sauce that taste so good. Completely dairy-free and so much healthier than store-bought.
We have made this vegan buffalo sauce more often than I can count! And if you love spicy food like we do, I bet you will also LOVE this recipe.
And it has nothing to do with a store-bought buffalo sauce, it is so much better! This recipe makes for an ultra creamy and rich spicy sauce that's loaded with flavor. No preservatives or ingredients you cannot pronounce. And you will want to pour it on just about everything.
I love that this homemade buffalo sauce includes whole foods and actually is good for you. You won't even need any vegan butter to make it, which means it is completely dairy-free and made without processed oil.
So, what's the secret to all that beautiful creaminess? Hemp seeds! I promise you won't even taste these tiny seeds at all, the cayenne red pepper hot sauce mostly takes over on flavor. But, the hemps seeds blend to such a rich creamy texture, you won't miss the butter at all.
I also love that hemp seeds are pretty easy to blend to super smooth, so this recipe will work well even if you don't have a high speed blender. Plus, hemp seeds are rich in healthy omega-3 fats, plant-based protein and fiber too. It's a win-win!
I hope you give it a try! 💛
Why you'll love this recipe
- Quick and easy (done in 5 min, no soaking required!)
- Made from scratch
- Healthier than store-bought
- Easy to adjust flavor and spicy level
- Great for meal-prep
- No cooking required
- Dairy-free, nut-free, oil-free and butter-free
Buffalo sauce vs regular hot sauce
Buffalo sauce is a kind of hot sauce that has a thicker and creamier consistency. Usually made using a cayenne red pepper hot sauce, but also includes melted butter and extra spices. It also usually has some vinegar part of the recipe, which gives it a flavor that's more tangy than some other hot sauces.
Buffalo sauce is part of the American culture and found in many pub-style restaurants. Often served warm over cauliflower or chicken wings with veggie sticks or in burgers as well.
Ingredients you'll need
- Your favorite cayenne red pepper hot sauce: I used the classic recipe from Frank's red hot cayenne pepper sauce that's naturally vegan.
- Hemp seeds
- Sweetener: I used maple syrup, but any sweetener will work such as granulated sugar, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, etc
- Vegan Worcestershire sauce: be aware that a classic Worcestershire sauce contains small fishes, thus making it not vegan. I used the vegan Worcestershire sauce from the brand 365 that I found at Whole foods, but the Worcestershire sauce from the brand Annie is vegan too.
- White vinegar: apple cider vinegar would work too.
- Spices: salt + paprika (sweet or smoked) + garlic powder.
How to make this vegan buffalo sauce
Simply combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until super smooth.
Depending on your blender, you might want to take a break or two to scrape the walls and blend again. You want to keep blending until all the hemp seeds are crushed and there are no little pieces anymore.
Also, feel free to start with less cayenne pepper sauce, so you can add more later depending on your heat tolerance.
Taste and serve
Taste and adjust ingredients to your preference. Serve right away or you may want to warm it up on the stove before serving if you were looking for a warm buffalo sauce.
Watch how to make it
How to adjust the spiciness of this sauce
It is very easy to adjust how spicy you want your buffalo sauce to be. The recipe is actually less spicy than many other buffalo sauces I have eaten, so it might be perfect if you like gentler - but still spicy - meals like me.
You can play around with the amount of ingredients to get to your perfect ratios, but starting with these modifications if you need to adjust the heat:
To make it spicer: Add more hot sauce! Or add some extra cayenne pepper powder to the basic recipe.
To make it milder: You can simply start with less of the hot sauce and add a little more water as needed for consistency to compensate.
If you made the recipe and you find it too spicy, then you could add more hemp seeds + extra splash of water. You can also add a little extra maple syrup to help temper the heat. If adding more hemps/water dilute the tangy flavor too much, then add also an extra splash of vinegar.
There are so many ways to serve this a vegan buffalo sauce! I'll often just prepare a batch, keep it in the fridge and find all sort a tasty way to add it to my meals. Here are a few ideas:
- Vegan buffalo burger
- Over cauliflower wings (as seen in the pictures, see below for the recipe)
- Drizzle over tacos or nachos
- Healthy grain bowls (would work great over this tofu buddha bowl or this falafel rice bowl!)
- Drizzle over vegan pizza
- We love it over this baked vegan mac and cheese or this squash mac and cheese
This sauce stores very well in the fridge for about a week. If you like to pour it over your food, then transfer the sauce into a pourable air-tight jar or container. Also, give it a good shake before serving to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.
We love it cold, but a buffalo it typically served warmed up. To heat it up, I recommend to warm on the stove in a small sauce pan until warm to your liking.
How to make the cauliflower wings as seen in the pictures?
Craving vegan cauliflower wings? Here is how I make mine:
- Follow my teriyaki cauliflower recipe to make the baked cauliflower bites (simply do not make the teriyaki sauce).
- While the cauliflower bites are baking, make the buffalo sauce.
- Toss the baked cauliflower in as much as you want of the buffalo sauce and serve with celery and carrot sticks.
You can also slightly warm up the sauce before combining with the breaded cauliflower, but I usually don't as the cauliflower is warm enough when just out of the oven.
Most classic buffalo sauce includes butter, which makes them not vegan. You can now more easily find store-bought vegan buffalo sauces in grocery store that are made with either oil or vegan butter. Making your own buffalo sauce from scratch allows you to avoid processed oil and adjust flavor to your taste.
Yes! To be sure, ensure that your vegan Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper sauce is naturally vegan, which is often the case.
More vegan creamy sauces you might like
- Vegan chipotle mayo
- Avocado green goddess sauce
- Vegan queso dip
- Vegan onion gravy
- Vegan tzatziki sauce
- Thai peanut butter sauce
- Vegan creamy pesto sauce
I hope you enjoy this buffalo sauce as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Vegan Buffalo Sauce without butter
- ½ cup cayenne pepper hot sauce - I used the classic Frank's red hot sauce
- ½ cup hemp seeds
- ½ cup water
- ½ tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp maple syrup - or any other sweetener
- 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce - see notes
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt - or to taste
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika - optional, for smoky flavor
- In a blender, combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth. You might have to stop the blender a few times to scrape the walls and blend again.
- Taste and adjust flavor to your preference. See below for tips on how to adjust the spiciness level.
- Enjoy as a dipping sauce or generously pour over breaded cauliflower, sandwiches, pasta dishes, potatoes and so much more. You can slightly warm up the sauce in a small sauce pan on low-medium heat before serving.
- Store the sauce in an air-tight container for up to a week. Stir before serving.
- To make it spicer: Add more hot sauce! You could also add some red cayenne pepper powder. To make it milder: Start with less hot sauce (you might need to add an extra splash of water to compensate for the texture). If you already made it and find it too spicy, then you can try to add more hemp seeds (+ water). You can also add a little extra maple syrup to help temper the heat. If adding more hemps/water dilute the delicious tangy flavor too much, then add also an extra splash of vinegar.
- I used Original Frank's Hot Red to make this sauce, but feel free to use your favorite hot sauce.
- I used the vegan Worcestershire sauce from the brand 365 at Whole Foods.