Buffalo tofu wings are a hot and spicy vegan appetizer for parties, game day, and a delicious comfort food! They are crispy, satisfying, and loaded with bold flavor. Tender strips of tofu are coated in batter, breadcrumbs, and baked in the oven. After, they’re tossed in buffalo sauce for a mouth-watering flavor that’s packed with heat. It’s a meat-free alternative to boneless buffalo wings that any spice-lover will enjoy!
Whether it’s game day, party time, or you’re craving a plant-based comfort food, I’ve got you covered with these vegan buffalo tofu wings! They’re hot, spicy, crispy, and loaded with flavor. It’s the best dish to satisfy your buffalo wing cravings on a meat-free diet.
As a lover of all things hot and spicy, I adore buffalo-flavored anything. Buffalo chicken salad, sandwiches, pizza… you name it, I’ll love it. However, nothing truly beats good old fashioned boneless buffalo wings. While most kids enjoy pizza and mac and cheese, I was the 8-year-old enthusiastically ordering buffalo wings at every restaurant. I know, weird. I guess I’ve just always loved spice!
Thankfully, switching to a plant-based diet never meant I had to give up buffalo wings. I’ve been making these buffalo tofu wings for years now. They are always a crowd-pleaser. Although tofu often gets a bad rap for its bland flavor and spongey appearance, this recipe is a guaranteed way to make tofu taste GOOD. I think it could turn a tofu-hater into a tofu-lover instantly.
These buffalo tofu wings are:
- Vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and can be gluten-free
- Hot, spicy, and crispy on the outside with a chewy, tender interior
- Reminiscent of boneless buffalo wings // a meat-free alternative
- Baked in the oven rather than fried
- Made with 7 simple ingredients
- Packed with plant-based protein
- Great on top of salads and layered in sandwiches
- The perfect game day snack and party appetizer!
What is Buffalo sauce made of?
Buffalo sauce is a vinegar-based hot sauce. It’s typically combined with butter and spices, like peppers and garlic. One of the most popular types of buffalo sauce is Frank’s RedHot. The ingredient list includes distilled vinegar, aged cayenne red peppers, salt, water, oil, spices, and butter type flavor. Surprisingly, it’s dairy-free.
What do tofu Buffalo wings taste like?
If you couldn’t already tell from the vibrant red-orange hue, buffalo wings are hot and spicy! The vinegar base provides a tangy flavor while the cayenne pepper packs heat. I must warn you – it’s best to have a beverage on standby while you enjoy them.
Since this is a meat-free recipe, we’re using tofu instead of chicken. Tofu mimics the soft, slightly-rubbery texture of real chicken. Altogether, these breaded buffalo tofu wings will impress any vegan or vegetarian. And, hey, perhaps your meat-loving friend will enjoy them too!
- Tofu: Tofu is the main ingredient. In particular, you’ll need to use extra-firm tofu. You can find several varieties, such as extra-firm, firm, medium, soft, and silken. Only use extra-firm; the others will not work.
- Flour: All-purpose flour, otherwise known as plain flour, is used to batter the tofu. If you’re following a gluten-free diet, use a gluten-free baking flour.
- Plant-based milk: Any plant-based milk can be included, but I recommend almond milk.
- Breadcrumbs: The battered wings are coated in panko breadcrumbs for a crispy exterior. I don’t recommend traditional breadcrumbs; panko is the best choice here.
- Buffalo sauce: Buffalo sauce (or your favorite hot wing sauce) completes the wings. Make sure you’re using a kind that you LOVE. Most of the flavor comes from the sauce itself, so choose wisely!
- Vegan butter: Just one tablespoon of vegan butter is needed. It’s melted with the hot sauce to create an authentic-tasting, buttery buffalo wing sauce.
- Seasoning: Garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and a dash of salt are included in the wet batter, making the tofu wings more flavorful.
How to make vegan buffalo wings
For the full ingredients list and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to view the recipe card below.
These buffalo tofu wings may look daunting, but they are easier to make than you’d think! Let’s break the recipe down into 7 steps:
- Press the tofu
- Slice tofu into strips
- Prepare the batter
- Coat tofu in batter and breadcrumbs
- Bake tofu wings
- Coat wings in buffalo sauce
- Serve immediately or bake once more
How to press tofu
To create these vegan buffalo wings, the first step is preparing the tofu. Like nearly all tofu recipes, you need to press it before beginning the recipe. New to cooking with tofu? No worries! This technique is very simple and quick to set up.
Why should you press tofu?
Tofu is sold in a square block and packed with water. After opening a package of tofu, the water should be drained. The next step is to press it. Pressing is a technique used to remove moisture from tofu. This technique makes it easier to cook with, helps the tofu hold its shape, and allows it to soak up batters or marinades. The result? Improved texture and flavor.
What is the best way to press tofu?
A tofu press is a gadget created for this very task. Pretty neat, huh? I’ll admit it makes the process easier, but it’s not entirely necessary. If you don’t own a tofu press, you can create your own contraption at home.
- Wrap the block of tofu in a clean kitchen towel or folded paper towels.
- Add weight on top of the tofu. Grab a cutting board and your chemistry textbook, a few cans of food, a cast iron skillet, etc. and place the items on top of the tofu. Anything heavy will do the trick!
- Let the tofu sit for about 30 minutes. If you’re short on time, let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Partially-pressed tofu is better than never-pressed tofu.
- After, remove the heavy items and unwrap the tofu block. You’ll find that most of the moisture has soaked into the towel. It’s now ready to be sliced and included in any recipe.
How long does it take to press tofu?
Extra-firm tofu requires about 30 minutes of pressing. Although that seems like a long time, it requires minimal effort from you. After setting up the tofu press, you’re free to walk away and come back when it’s done. If you’re in a pinch, try to at least press it for 10 minutes.
What happens if you don’t press tofu?
If you don’t press tofu, there will be too much moisture in the recipe. This leads to flimsy tofu strips that don’t keep their shape. If you’re pan frying or baking tofu, it’s important to press it before creating the recipe.
Slice tofu into strips
After pressing the tofu, slice the block into rectangular strips. You can create them as large or as small as you’d like. I recommend cutting the block into 9-12 strips.
Prepare the batter
Add flour, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, and salt to a bowl. Whisk ingredients together. Add plant-based milk and whisk together until evenly combined.
Coat tofu in batter and breadcrumbs
Using a fork, dip each strip of tofu in the batter. Flip to evenly coat both sides. Tap off any excess batter. Then, immediately dip the battered tofu in breadcrumbs. Flip a few times to cover the entire strip.
Bake tofu wings in the oven
Transfer the tofu to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all of the tofu is battered and breaded. Bake at 425 degrees F for 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
Coat the crispy baked tofu in buffalo sauce
Combine buffalo sauce and butter in a bowl. Microwave for 1 minute and mix together. After the breaded tofu has baked, dip each wing in the buffalo sauce. Flip to evenly coat each side. Tap off any excess sauce. Repeat with each wing.
Next, either serve the wings immediately or bake once more at 425F for 15 minutes. I highly suggest baking the wings again. This creates a delicious, crispy exterior!
How to serve these tofu hot wings
- Dip ’em: Enjoy these buffalo tofu wings with your favorite dip. Dairy-free ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, or Cashew Cream Sauce (my favorite!) are a few delicious options to choose from.
- Chop ’em: Chop the wings into cubes and toss them over a salad, homemade pizza, or nourish bowl.
- Stuff ’em: Stuff the wings between two slices of bread (or a bun) to make a tasty buffalo “chicken” sandwich.
- Mix ’em: Mix crumbled buffalo tofu wings with your favorite vegan mac and cheese to create a spicy buffalo mac. Pair it with this Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe!
How to make the buffalo wings gluten-free: Instead of traditional all-purpose flour, use a gluten-free 1:1 baking flour. Also, swap the panko breadcrumbs with a gluten-free variety.
Extra-firm tofu is a must. This recipe requires extra-firm tofu. Do not use medium, soft, or silken tofu. Other types will not work. Also, don’t forget to press the tofu. This is an important step to remove moisture.
Use Frank’s RedHot. Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Sauce is the best option for this recipe. It’s loaded with flavor and vegan-friendly.
Bake wings again after coating them with hot sauce. To achieve crispy wings, I highly suggest baking the wings again after tossing them in the sauce. Although this step is optional and requires extra time, it’s totally worth it!
Serve immediately. This recipe is best enjoyed fresh out of the oven. If possible, I recommend serving them right away so they remain hot with a crisp breaded crust.
More vegan appetizer recipes
- Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
- Vegan Nacho Cheese
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Taquitos
- Vegan Chili Cheese Fries
- Crispy Baked French Fries
Buffalo tofu wings are a hot and spicy vegan appetizer for parties, game day snack, and delicious comfort food! They’re crispy, satisfying, and so flavorful. Tender strips of tofu are coated in batter, breadcrumbs, and oven baked. After, they’re tossed in hot buffalo sauce for a mouth-watering flavor that’s packed with heat. Serve with celery sticks and ranch dip, or enjoy the wings on salads and sandwiches.
- Press tofu: Remove tofu from its wrapping and drain the water. Use a tofu press or create your own at home. To create your own, wrap the tofu in a clean kitchen towel or folded paper towels. Place tofu on a plate and top with heavy objects. This could include a cutting board and some books, cans of food, jars of nut butter, etc. Anything heavy will do the trick. Let tofu sit for 15-30 minutes. After, remove the objects and unwrap the tofu. Most of the moisture will have soaked into the towel.
- Slice tofu: Slice the block of tofu into rectangular strips. I recommend creating 9-12 strips.
- Prepare baking tools: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Prepare wet batter: Combine flour, plant-based milk, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together. Add plant-based milk and whisk together once more.
- Prepare breadcrumbs: Add panko breadcrumbs to a bowl.
- Coat tofu in batter and breadcrumbs: Using a fork, dip one strip of tofu in the wet batter. Flip to coat the other side. Tap off any excess batter. Immediately dip the battered tofu in the breadcrumbs. Toss a few times to evenly coat the tofu. Transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat until all strips are coated.
- Bake tofu: Bake tofu wings for 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
- Prepare buffalo sauce: Combine buffalo sauce and butter in a bowl. Microwave for 1 minute to melt the butter, then mix together.
- Coat tofu in buffalo sauce: Remove tofu wings from the oven. Dip one wing in the buffalo sauce. Flip to coat both sides. Tap off any excess sauce. Repeat with all wings.
- Serve or bake: Serve the buffalo tofu wings immediately OR bake the wings for another 15 minutes. For crispy wings, I recommend baking them again. Serve with celery sticks and vegan ranch dip. Enjoy!
- You will likely not use all of the batter. If you have leftover batter, you can make more wings or grab some cauliflower from the refrigerator and follow the same recipe using cauliflower!
- Serving Size: 1 wing
- Calories: 83
- Sugar: 0.5g
- Fat: 3.5g
- Carbohydrates: 7g
- Fiber: 0.5g
- Protein: 5g
Keywords: buffalo tofu wings, vegan buffalo wings
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