Easy Buffalo Tofu [Fried, Baked, Air Fri]

BY : PUBLISHED : November 8th, 2022

Spicy, tangy, indulgent buffalo tofu is a must try, 6-ingredient, 20-minute, protein-rich appetizer, side, game day treat, or party snack even meat eaters will love!

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completed Easy Buffalo Tofu plated on a white plate

Simple, Crowd-Pleasing Crispy Buffalo Tofu (Wedges or Wings)

Whether you’re looking for the next big thing at your vegan game day celebrations, a crowd-pleasing party snack, or are buffalo sauce obsessed, this easy buffalo tofu is a must-try. It's made with minimal ingredients, is easy to prepare, and requires no pressing or marinating! Just slice, pan-fry, toss in the sauce, and enjoy delicious buffalo tofu in no time!

While buffalo cauliflower wings have taken center stage at our recent game day celebrations, for those who don’t want to miss out on all that protein, these buffalo tofu ‘wings’ are exactly what you need. With all the flavor, even tofu haters will struggle to dislike this dish!

Better yet, there are multiple ways to enjoy these buffalo tofu wings. As written, this recipe is made slightly lighter by omitting a heavy breaded coating. But keep reading for breaded buffalo tofu wings and options to oven bake or air fry the tofu tenders on top of the provided pan-fried method.

This vegan wing recipe is good for more than just snacking, too, and has become one of our go-to vegan protein options for salad bowls, sandwiches, wraps, and other simple meals.

Looking for more simple flavored tofu dishes? Check out our buttery lemon tofu, sweet and salty tofu bites, or spicy sesame tofu (stir-fry).

The Ingredients and Substitutes

This buffalo tofu recipe requires a grand total of 8 ingredients, and that’s including salt and pepper. Even better, these tofu hot wings are made entirely of inexpensive fridge/pantry staples.

ingredients for Easy Buffalo Tofu measured out against a white surface
  • Tofu: Use high-protein super firm tofu or extra-firm tofu for these vegan buffalo tofu bites. Here's a great guide to learn more about tofu!
  • Vegan butter: Like Earth Balance or Miyoko’s. Alternatively, refined coconut oil will have a similar mouthfeel and doesn’t have a strong flavor.
  • Hot sauce: Use your favorite vinegar-based hot sauce. Choose the hot sauce based on your desired flavor and heat levels. We particularly like cayenne pepper-based hot sauce, as these aren’t too spicy. We love Franks.
  • Seasonings: All you need to season the tofu buffalo wings is a simple, pantry-friendly combination of:
    • Cayenne pepper (can omit for a milder vegan buffalo sauce)
    • Smoked paprika
    • Garlic powder
    • Salt
    • Black pepper

The Add-ins and Variations:

  • Vegan Worcestershire sauce: Add a splash or two to add depth to the vegan buffalo sauce. Annie’s makes a good vegan Worcestershire sauce.
  • Cayenne pepper: To add more heat to the vegan buffalo ‘chicken.’
  • Cornstarch: For crispier pan-fried tofu, lightly dust the pieces in cornstarch before frying them. Leave them untouched while frying until ready to flip.
  • Scallions/chives: To garnish the vegan buffalo nuggets/ wings/ wedges.

How To Make Buffalo Tofu

Follow just a handful of simple steps to prepare this buffalo tofu appetizer/side.

Keep scrolling to the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients and recipe instructions.

  • 1) First, slice the tofu. We cut it into ⅓-inch triangle wedges (first slice them into rectangles, then cut each of those diagonally for triangles). However, you could make ‘sticks’ instead or even cubes of the same thickness.
slices of tofu plated on a white plate
  • 2) Heat the cooking oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins bubbling, reduce the heat to medium, add the tofu wedges and cook, flipping halfway, until golden brown and crispy on both sides. This should only take a few minutes, less than 5 minutes total.
  • 3) Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the vegan butter over low heat. Then stir in the hot sauce and all the seasonings until well mixed.

Alternatively, melt the vegan butter in the microwave, then mix everything in. Afterward, give it a taste and adjust any of the seasonings to your liking.

  • 4) Pour half of the buffalo sauce directly over the cooked tofu wedges in the pan (not on the pan surface). Then, flip the tofu over and pour the remaining sauce (or enough to coat them well) over them.
  • 5) Cook the buffalo tofu wings for a further few minutes until well-basted in the vegan buffalo sauce, then serve and enjoy!

If you have leftover buffalo sauce, pour it over the buffalo tofu wings when serving.

To Bake The Tofu

If you want to enjoy crispy tofu buffalo wings with less oil, baking (or air frying) is an excellent alternative to pan-frying the tofu.

Dust the tofu with cornstarch and lightly spritz with oil spray/ cooking spray, then bake in a preheated oven at 400F/200C for 28-30 minutes, flipping halfway.

Once baked, toss the tofu into the vegan buffalo sauce. Alternatively, for more of a glaze, dip them in the sauce, then pop them back in the oven for a few minutes. Serve the vegan buffalo nuggets/wedges with any remaining sauce.

If you plan to bread the tofu (method in FAQs), we highly recommend baking the tofu tenders for 10-12 minutes after tossing them with the sauce. This makes them extra crispy.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Adjust the heat level: Select a hot sauce that fits your preferred spice level. Make it hotter with added cayenne pepper or milder by adding more vegan butter.
  • To make the tofu more tender: Freeze and thaw it before carrying out the recipe. This process makes for a chewier, more tender tofu texture.
  • Super firm tofu is best: It has a wonderfully chewy texture, is packed with protein, and requires no pressing.
  • Adjust the shape: You can cut the tofu in various ways to create buffalo tofu bites, nuggets, strips, or wedges. You can also adjust the thickness of the tofu pieces, with thinner pieces (just under ¼-inch) becoming even crispier without falling apart.
  • Keep some sauce to the side: You can pour it over the buffalo tofu when serving (or keep it to one side for dipping).

FAQs

Is buffalo sauce vegan?

Traditional buffalo sauce contains butter, so it isn’t vegan. However, several brands sell vegan buffalo sauce. Just check the ingredients before purchasing.

What is the difference between buffalo sauce and hot sauce?

Hot sauce is an ingredient within buffalo sauce, made with dried peppers, vinegar, and seasonings. Buffalo sauce combines hot sauce and butter (sometimes with extras like garlic or Worcestershire sauce) to create a thick, silky sauce consistency and mouthfeel.

Do you need to press super firm or firm tofu before cooking it?

Super firm tofu is usually vacuum sealed and requires no pressing. While extra firm tofu also has a majority of water pressed out, it can still be watery and require pressing to help it soak up the flavors of your dish better.

To drain the tofu, press it using a heavy object over a kitchen towel or a tofu press and leave it for 30 minutes. Check out our guide to pressing tofu for more information.

Does firm tofu have more protein in it?

Yes, the firmer the tofu, the least amount of water in it, which means more protein and calories when compared by weight.

Can I make breaded tofu buffalo wings?

To bread the tofu slices, dip each in cornstarch, then plant-based milk, then breadcrumbs. Add more flavor to the breadcrumb mixture by adding Italian seasoning or paprika.

You can pan-fry the breaded tofu, bake it, or air fry it, then toss it with the vegan buffalo sauce.

completed Easy Buffalo Tofu plated on a white plate

What To Serve With Buffalo Tofu?

Much like regular buffalo wings and cauliflower buffalo wings, this buffalo tofu pairs wonderfully with:

We like to serve it as an appetizer alongside stuffed mushrooms, hummus, vegan sesame wedges, etc. You might also enjoy browsing our collection of 50 easy vegan appetizers!

How To Use Leftover Buffalo Tofu?

You can use the leftovers in tons of delicious ways. These include making a buffalo tofu sandwich or wrap and adding them to tacos. You can also chop them up to enjoy in a salad or buddha bowl, have them alongside grains like rice or quinoa, add them to pasta dishes, or use them as a pizza topping, etc.

Storage Instructions

Allow any leftover buffalo tofu to cool and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

You can reheat it either in the microwave or gently on the stovetop.

More Easy Tofu Recipes

Also, you might enjoy browsing our list of 16 Savory Tofu Recipes You Need To Try!

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed Easy Buffalo Tofu plated on a white plate
completed Easy Buffalo Tofu plated on a white plate

Easy Buffalo Tofu [Fried, Baked, Air Fri]

Gina & Jeremy
Spicy, tangy, indulgent buffalo tofu is a must try, 6-ingredient, 20-minute, protein-rich appetizer, side, game day treat, or party snack even meat eaters will love!
5 from 46 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 289 kcal
METHOD Stove
DIET Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (16-ounce) package of super firm tofu (if you can't find super firm, at least get extra firm)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ cup of melted vegan butter
  • ½ cup of vinegar-based hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • teaspoon of salt

Instructions
 

  • Slice the super firm tofu in thin triangle wedges. Once again, super firm high protein tofu works the best, but if you have to, use extra firm.
  • In a frying pan, heat your cooking oil over medium-high until it starts to bubble. Add the wedges and cook until they turn golden brown on both sides. Turn down the heat to medium. This should take less than 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the vegan butter on low heat. Stir in the hot sauce, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic, pepper, and salt.
  • After the sauce is well-stirred, pour half of the sauce onto the tofu. Make sure that the sauce is poured directly on the wedges and not on the surface of the pan. Flip them over and pour the remaining sauce on the tofu. Cook for another few minutes.
  • Serve with carrots and celery. A helpful tip: letting the sauce cool a little will solidify it. Pour any excess sauce over the wedges before eating and let your taste buds tailgate.

Notes

  • Adjust the heat level: Select a hot sauce that fits your preferred spice level. Make it hotter with added cayenne pepper or milder by adding more vegan butter.
  • To make the tofu more tender: Freeze and thaw it before carrying out the recipe. This process makes for a chewier, more tender tofu texture.
  • Super firm tofu is best: It has a wonderfully chewy texture, is packed with protein, and requires no pressing.

Nutrition

Calories: 289kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 9gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 4gSodium: 1232mgPotassium: 238mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 277IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

About Gina & Jeremy

"Oh, what a feeling. When you're dancing on the ceiling. And plant-based."
-Lionel Richie

View all posts by Gina & Jeremy

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Janaye says

    5 stars
    I love buffalo sauce so this will definitely be on my favourites list!

  2. Erin says

    5 stars
    This easy buffalo tofu is so spicy and delicious!

  3. Gina H. says

    5 stars
    Super delicious and spicy! I love this buffalo tofu recipe 😀

    • Andrea White says

      Right?! Such a yummy one that's packed with flavor!

  4. Rachel says

    5 stars
    The flavor of these buffalo tofu wedges was perfection!

    • Andrea White says

      Right?! My new favorite!

  5. Beatriz says

    5 stars
    These are next level delicious!

    • Andrea White says

      Agreed! So so good!

  6. Tavo says

    5 stars
    Great recipe! It turned out so well! I had it with big salad and loved it!

  7. Andrea White says

    5 stars
    Love how easy these are to whip up! So good!

  8. Holly says

    5 stars
    I love this homemade buffalo sauce! I cut the tofu into cubes and tossed it in a salad for lunch - yummy!

    • Andrea White says

      Yummy! I'll have to try adding it to salads next! Love that idea!

  9. Lenore says

    I did not see margarine listed in the ingredients

    • Andrea White says

      Thanks for letting us know. It's been updated! Enjoy 🙂

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