Buffalo Tofu Wings

Buffalo tofu wings are a blast! These bold, plant-based bites will make your taste buds sing with spicy happiness. Perfect for appetizers or a satisfying snack.
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Buffalo tofu wings on a plate with vegan ranch.
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Hey there flavor seekers! It’s time to say hello to buffalo tofu, and trust me, it’s a taste bud party you’ll want an invite to! Imagine crispy tofu bites drenched in a spicy buffalo sauce that’ll make your mouth do a happy dance. It’s like a flavor explosion that not only satisfies your snack cravings but also brings the veggie goodness front and center.

But wait, there’s more! What makes this buffalo tofu recipe a kitchen superstar? Well, it’s not just about being plant-based and delicious—it’s about customizing your spice levels, embracing a boost of plant-based protein, and turning an ordinary meal into something that makes your mouth water.

Are you ready to discover why buffalo tofu is stealing the show in vegan kitchens everywhere? Keep reading to find out more!

Tofu buffalo wings on a plate with a sprinkle of fresh herbs on top.

Why This Buffalo Tofu Recipe is So Awesome

Get ready to fall in love with this buffalo tofu recipe—it’s awesome for so many tasty reasons! From its plant-powered goodness to customizable flavors that make your taste buds dance, this dish is a delicious journey you won’t want to miss! And, if you’re still not convinced, here are more reasons to love this recipe:

  • Easy to Make: Simply cut, dust, dunk, and air-fry! It couldn’t be simpler to create such a tasty plant-based snack.
  • Protein Boost: Tofu, the star ingredient, brings a huge pop of protein to your day. It’s also a nutritious and filling choice compared to deep-fried dining out options!
  • Customizable Flavors: The homemade buffalo sauce lets you tailor the types of spices and heat level to suit your tastes and dietary needs.
  • Animal-Free and Dairy-Free: Classic buffalo wings not only include animal products, but also dairy. This recipe allows for all the deliciousness and none of the yuck.
  • Satisfying Appetizer or Snack: You can’t go wrong with tofu (with a side of crunchy fresh veggies) to make you feel full and satiated. Protein, fiber, and sizzling hot sauce is an amazing combination for a meal!

Key Ingredients for Vegan Buffalo Wings

Understanding the how to make the most brilliant buffalo tofu wings involves using the best ingredients. Tofu, hot sauce, and a blend of “not-so-secret” spices combine to craft a plant-based party in your mouth! The aim is for top-notch flavor with these components:

A package of Hodo Extra-Firm Tofu.
  • Very Firm Pressed Tofu: A must for this tofu wings recipe is using the right type of tofu. We highly recommend Hodo’s Extra Firm Tofu because it’s already pressed and keeps its shape nicely. If you can’t find the Hodo brand near you, you can substitute it with a super firm tofu instead.
  • Buffalo Sauce: You need that lovely hot kick to make the best-tasting buffalo wings. Frank’s Red Hot is a favorite choice, but you can use any brand you like that is vegan-friendly.
  • Vegan Butter: Adding a little bit of plant-based fat gives this hot and spicy sauce its rich flavor and slightly creamy consistency.
  • Cornstarch: This powdery pantry staple is used to thicken up the sauce on the wings. Cornstarch seems to work much better than flour on tofu. Arrowroot powder can be swapped for cornstarch, if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Panko Bread Crumbs: The King of all Bread Crumbs! The larger-sized crumbs create an extra crunchy outside coating that is perfection. In a pinch, you can always make your own bread crumbs using vegan bread, vegan butter, and spices and baking them in the oven until dry and crispy.
  • Spices: Traditional spices added to buffalo recipes are garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and oregano. But, feel free to experiment with cayenne pepper, black pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, and maybe even a splash of white vinegar or vegan Worcestershire sauce.
Gathered ingredients for these buffalo tofu wings.

How to Make Vegan Buffalo Tofu in the Air Fryer

Curious about the magic of making vegan buffalo tofu in the air fryer? Well, buckle up because we’re about to make your taste buds do a happy dance! We’ll take you step-by-step from transforming humble tofu into crispy, spicy perfection—all without the fuss of deep frying. Get ready for a hassle-free recipe using the magic of the air fryer.

Step 1: Cut the tofu into sticks or whatever shape you like. The buffalo sauce won’t mind—lol! Tearing them into rough shapes can be fun, too.

Tofu cut into thick slices on a cutting board.

Step 2: Dip each tofu stick into the water, press into the cornstarch (make sure to get all sides and ends coated well), dip quickly into the water again, and then finally into the breadcrumbs. When you’re dipping the sticks into water or cornstarch, it helps to tap any excess off on the side of the bowl.

Then, Step 3: Lay carefully in the air fryer, making sure there’s enough space between each tofu “wing” so that they cook evenly. After 10 minutes, flip them over so that you get lovely crispy, brown edges all around. This dry coating also helps the sauce to adhere better. And, as we all know, the more sauce the better! Mmmmm…

Step 4: While they’re cooking, whisk up the hot sauce mixture. When the sticks are done air frying on both sides, take them out one at a time and add them to the tangy, spicy sauce. Coat on all sides for maximum goodness.

A tofu slice in a buffalo of buffalo sauce.

Finally, Step 6: Add the sauce-coated tofu “wings” back into air fryer and cook for about 5 more minutes. Plate the spicy sticks on a clean serving plate along with carrot sticks, celery sticks, and vegan ranch—and LOTS of napkins! Tip: Save a small bowl of sauce on the side for double dipping.

Helpful Tips and Serving Suggestions

Ready to take your buffalo tofu game to the next level? We’ve got your back with some super-helpful tips and mouthwatering serving suggestions that will turn your tofu buffalo wings into a flavor paradise! Learn how to achieve that perfect crispy texture, dial in the spice just right, and present your buffalo tofu like a plant-based pro.

  • Prep Ahead of Time: Cut your time in half by prepping some of the ingredients the morning of or the night before. You can easily mix up the buffalo sauce ingredients and cut the tofu into strips to store in the fridge for when you’re ready. Another tip might be to get the dipping station ready by measuring out the water in one bowl, the cornstarch in another, and the bread crumbs with spices in the third.
  • King of the Crisp: The secret is to use panko bread crumbs with its large flake size after the cornstarch first layer. The cornstarch works like magic in the air fryer to make the texture of the tofu super dry and crispy. Think out of the box and try using crushed crackers, cornflakes, potato chips, or even pretzels if you don’t have panko on hand.
  • Savory Sauces: Although ranch dressing is probably the most traditional, how about mixing it up and trying a creamy dill dressing, vegan Caesar dressing, or a blend of vegan mayo and ranch spices?
  • Temptingly Tasty Sides: Sure, you can go with the classic side of carrots and celery, but how about switching it up with something new? Consider crispy potato skin chips, sweet potato slices, pickled veggies, corn ribs, or soft pretzel bites with vegan cheese sauce?
  • Be a Spice DJ: Let’s face it, we all have different tolerances for spicy foods. If the sauce is not quite hot enough, turn it up by adding some cayenne pepper or use a habanero hot sauce instead. If the buffalo sauce is scalding your tongue, turn the level down by using barbecue sauce instead of hot sauce.
A buffalo tofu wing being dipped into a bowl of vegan ranch.

Simple Storage

These vegan buffalo wings taste best when eaten fresh and warm out of the air fryer. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge. To reheat, place back in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 5 minutes, adding another layer of buffalo sauce before cooking.

Recipe FAQs

Is buffalo sauce vegetarian?

Yes, buffalo sauce is vegetarian. Though, finding a vegan buffalo sauce is a little bit harder. Most commercial buffalo sauces are made with dairy butter, not plant-based butter.

Do I have to use super firm tofu in this tofu wings recipe?

It depends. The texture of your finished wings is entirely up to you. Using super firm (or Hodo’s Extra Firm) results in the most “wing-like” consistency, while less firm tofu might leave your wings a bit more on the squishy side.

Can I cut my tofu buffalo wings into cubes (instead of strips) before baking?

Sure! Use whatever shape is more appealing to you when making the wings. You can even cut the tofu into thicker slabs to add into sandwiches or thinner slices so they’re more like tofu fries. The varieties are endless!

I don’t like tofu. Can I use this sauce recipe on vegetables instead?

Yup! Buffalo cauliflower is a great alternative if you aren’t a fan of tofu. Or, if you’d rather cut up some crunchy crudité, try making up a batch of vegan buffalo queso cheese dip on the side. Yum!

Can I make this buffalo tofu wing recipe gluten-free?

Definitely! Simply use a gluten-free version of Panko bread crumbs. Both Ian’s Original and Landau have vegan-friendly options.

Vegan buffalo wings on a plate with vegan ranch and veggie sticks.

Buffalo Tofu Wings

Author: Michelle Cehn | World of Vegan
5 from 9 votes
Transform simple tofu into a spicy sensation with these delicious buffalo wings! Easy to make, tangy, and incredibly tempting. Excellent as appetizers or an anytime snack.
Buffalo tofu wings on a plate with vegan ranch.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 wings

Ingredients

  • 1 10oz-14oz block of super firm tofu, or Hodo Extra Firm Tofu
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • cup cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • cup vegan buffalo sauce, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce original
  • ½ tablespoon vegan butter

For Serving

  • Celery sticks
  • Carrot Sticks
  • Vegan Ranch Dressing
  • Chives, for garnish

Instructions

  • Cut the tofu into tofu sticks approximately 2.5 inches long, ½ inch thick, and 1 inch wide. (The shape and size can vary, and you can cut (or tear) them into any size or shape you’d like.)
  • Pour the water into one bowl (for dipping), panko in another bowl, and in a third bowl add the cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and pepper.
  • Dip each tofu into the water, then cornstarch mixture, then the water again, and then into the panko crumbs. Press panko crumbs into the tofu to coat fully and then place each strip in the air fryer basket in a flat layer, leaving some space between each.
  • Air fry at 350° for 10 mins, flip, and continue air frying for an additional 3 minutes until crispy.
  • In a small bowl, add the buffalo sauce and butter and microwave in 20 second increments, stirring in between each, until the butter has melted.
  • Dip each crispy tofu wing into the buffalo sauce mixture to coat, and place each back in the air fryer and air fry for 3-5 more minutes at 350°. This will make the outside nice and crispy. If desired, you can then dip again in buffalo sauce to create a glossy coating.
  • Serve with celery sticks, carrot sticks, and ranch dip, and garnish with sprinkle the dip or wings with fresh chives.

Notes

If baking in the oven instead of air frying, bake at 375° for 15 mins, flip, and continue baking for another 15 mins. Then dip in buffalo sauce mixture and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes.
Hodo’s tofu is 10 oz. and makes 10 strips.
They taste better air fried than baked, and they’re faster that way too!

Nutrition

Calories: 53kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 295mg | Potassium: 62mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Appetizer or Snack, Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword buffalo tofu, tofu wings

Buffalo Tofu Wing photos by Amanda McGillicuddy for World of Vegan, all rights reserved.

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Recipe Rating




11 comments
  1. 5 stars
    What a cracker of a recipe! Thank you for this, our next movie night is sorted

  2. 5 stars
    Oh, so scrumptious and satisfying. This is such a flavoursome tofu recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve never thought of using tofu to make buffalo wings before — genius!! I love that these can be made in the air fryer too.

  4. 5 stars
    These are delicious and perfect for Super Bowl!

  5. 5 stars
    I love anything with buffalo sauce, but these are on another level!

  6. 5 stars
    These are so good — now it’s going to be hard to choose between cauliflower wings and these tofu wings for superbowl parties!

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