Vegan Buffalo Sauce recipe

Buffalo Sauce, that spicy orange-pink condiment, is used to add some flavorful heat to a lot more than just wings. But, did you know that the traditional sauce isn’t vegan? Here’s a recipe that is every bit as delicious, but has no animal products.

Buffalo Wings origin story

Buffalo wings were supposedly invented in the 1960s when Teressa Bellissimo, who owned Anchor Bar in Buffalo with her husband Frank. She fried some wings for her son and his friends and added some cayenne sauce.

However, John Young, a Buffalo restaurateur, also began serving breaded and deep-fried wings with tomato-based Mambo sauce around the time. So, he has a claim to the Buffalo Wings invention mantle as well.

Buffalo Sauce

Cauliflower with Vegan Buffalo Sauce (photo: Brent Petersen)

The typical Buffalo Sauce is pretty simple. Some cayenne based hot sauce, butter, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and salt.

The problem for vegans is not only does the butter contain dairy, but the Worcestershire sauce, which contains anchovies. If you’re vegan, never fear, it’s pretty easy to make Buffalo Sauce without any animal products.

Vegan Buffalo Sauce

Vegan Buffalo Sauce (photo: Brent Petersen)

There are lots of ways to substitute the butter in traditional Buffalo Sauce. The best is to get a vegan butter substitute. I like Miyoko’s Creamery vegan oat milk butter, but you can use any brand you like.

Margarine is another option, but beware. While some are dairy-free, other brands contain slight amounts of dairy products like whey or lactose.

Vegetable oil would probably work as well, but I have not tried it.

For the Worcestershire Sauce, there are also vegan options made without anchovies. One of my favorites is Wan Ja Shan Vegan Organic Worcestershire Sauce, available at Whole Foods.



⅔ cup hot pepper sauce (I like Frank’s RedHot)

½ cup cold unsalted vegan butter (I like Miyoko’s vegan butter) 

1 ½ tablespoons white vinegar

¼ teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce ( like Wan Ja Shan’s vegan Worcestershire)

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, add more if desired)

⅛ teaspoon garlic powder

⅛ teaspoon salt


Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan. Whisk together over medium heat until mixture begins to simmer. Then, your Vegan Buffalo Sauce is ready to use!


This Vegan Buffalo Sauce is versatile. It can be used as a dipping sauce or as a marinade.

○ Use Vegan Buffalo Sauce as a dip with a plate of cut veggies

○ Roast cauliflower in the oven. Once the cauliflower begins to turn golden, add sauce and continue cooking. Place under broiler for one minute for extra caramelization.

○ Add vegan chicken pieces (not breaded) to a saucepan with the sauce and let simmer for 20 minutes.

○ Vegan Buffalo Sauce is delicious as a pizza topping with vegan chicken pieces (not breaded), mozzarella, and sliced red onion.

About the Author

Brent Petersen is the Editor-in-Chief of Destination Eat Drink. He currently resides in Setubal, Portugal. Brent has written the novel “Truffle Hunt” (Eckhartz Press) and the short story collection “That Bird.” He’s also written dozens of foodie travel guides to cities around the world on Destination Eat Drink, including in-depth eating and drinking guides to Lisbon, PortoSintraMonsaraz, and Evora in Portugal. Brent’s podcast, also called Destination Eat Drink, is available on all major podcasting platforms and is distributed by the Radio Misfits Podcast Network.

Author: Brent