Life with a four year old, work and balancing it all, dinner can get hectic. I always want to prioritize healthy and quick dinners like salads or nourish/grain bowls throughout the week. But some nights call for easy comfort foods like frozen pizza, loaded nachos, or my new Buffalo Tofu wings recipe.
These tangy, spicy, and indulgent vegan Buffalo wings are exceptional. It’s the perfect game day appetizer, weeknight dinner, or kid friendly meal.
You’ll Love this Buffalo Tofu because it’s
- Easy to Make
- Perfect for game day, parties, and fun dinners
- Baked not fried
- Make it in the Oven or Airfryer
How to Serve Them
- As a spicy appetizer with vegan ranch (recipe below)
- Over a vegan Caesar Salad
- In Buffalo Tofu tacos topped with guacamole and shredded raw veggies
The Key Ingredients
Tofu: While you can customize it to the tofu of your liking, I love this recipe with extra firm tofu or super firm tofu. If you’re using extra firm, press it beforehand for at least 30 min and it creates the perfect texture. Super firm tofu does not need to be pressed.
Panko: Panko bread crumbs are a must because they give these Buffalo Tofu wings lots of crunch and the perfect texture. I also use a bit of normal breadcrumbs for perfect coverage and crunch.
Hot Sauce: When choosing your hot sauce, definitely aim for your favorite before anything. I use Frank’s Buffalo Red Hot Sauce. It has a great balance of tangy and spicy. If you don’t want it super spicy, choose a mild sauce––Frank’s makes one.
Sugar: Though it’s only a little bit, this is the key to rounding out the flavors in your hot sauce and bringing balance to this dish. All the best buffalo recipes have a little bit of sugar in them!
Should You Press or Boil Tofu?
How to Press Tofu: The key to making the most delicious tofu recipes is to press the excess water out. Pressing tofu improves it’s texture––making it meatier––and allows it it to soak up more of the seasoning. TO PRESS: Place tofu slices between two sheets of paper towel or a kitchen towel on a plate, and place something heavy on top of it. I usually use a cast iron skillet. Let the tofu press for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
How to Boil Tofu: But pressing isn’t the only way to improve your tofu before cooking. Parboiling also removes excess water from tofu through reverse osmosis. To accomplish this add tofu slices or block to a pot of salted boiling water. Boil for about 60 seconds, before removing from the water and letting it drain. Salting the water will help season the tofu before you even cook it.
Which is better: Boiling may be better because the tofu’s flavor is improved by cooking it in salted water. However, I usually resort to pressing my tofu because it is easier, and I don’t have to dirty an extra pot. Do whichever you prefer.
How to make Buffalo Tofu
- Drain, cut, and press your tofu. This is the secret to getting better texture for your tofu. I wrap the tofu on a clean kitchen towel with a plate underneath (a few layered paper towels will also do the trick). Then use a heavy pot or a few cookbooks to weigh it down. If you have a tofu press, now is your time to shine.
- Dredge your Tofu. Make a station with three mixing bowls: the seasoned cornstarch bowl, seasoned panko bowl, and soy milk. To make this process as easy as possible, keep separate hands for dipping into dry and wet mixtures. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or your Air fryer basket without crowding them.
- Bake or Air Fry. You’ll want this Buffalo Tofu to get as crispy as possible before you toss it in your sauce. For baking, lightly spray the tops with cooking oil and then bake for 40 min at 350°. Air fryer cook time is 350° for 20 minutes. For both methods, make sure to flip them over half way so both sides can get equally crispy.
- Make your sauce. For the buffalo sauce, throw all of your ingredients into a small pot on medium and allow your butter to melt and the sauce to start simmering. For the vegan ranch, put all your ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy. So easy!
- Toss your tofu wings in your sauce and serve immediately with your vegan ranch.
Buffalo Tofu Tips
- If you don’t like super spicy wings, this recipe can be tweaked for any flavor wings you’d like. All you need is vegan wing sauce of your liking.
- This recipe is a little spicy with Frank’s Red Buffalo Hot Sauce. So if you need something a little milder, definitely switch out for a more mild sauce.
- When dredging your tofu, keep one hand for your two dry bowls and use the other for your wet bowl. That way nothing sticks to you instead of the tofu.
- I cut my wings into 1/4″ thick tofu strips but you can cut it into cubes if you prefer. Just watch your cooking time as it may cook a little quicker.
Is this healthy?
Healthy is relative and different for each person. So let’s break down these already vegan Tofu Buffalo wings with a little more information. Tofu is healthy, packed with protein and nutrients like fiber and calcium. This dish on it’s own has very little carbohydrates as there’s only a little bit of panko and minimal sugar. The hot sauce I used has about 80 calories in one cup so it’s low in calories but can be high in sodium (check out the substitutions). The same thing goes for the vegan butter, all in moderation. In my opinion, everything else about these buffalo tofu wings is guilt free!
Soy milk: Any dairy-free or nut milk can be used here instead. But make sure it’s unsweetened unflavored milk or it will change the taste of your recipe.
Extra Firm Tofu: The extra firm tofu allows for a very tender yet meaty inside even after it’s pressed. If you’re looking for something more firm, super firm tofu or tempeh will work. If you’re using tempeh, boil it for 20 minutes before using.
Hot sauce: The hot sauce I used has a traditional buffalo flavor but any hot sauce of your liking can be used instead.
How to reheat Buffalo Tofu
Place your spaced out tofu wings in the air fryer at 300° for about 3-5 minutes to get them crispy again.
Try these other Game Day vegan recipes
Buffalo Tofu Wings
- 1 air fryer optional
- 1 pack extra firm or super firm tofu cut into 1/4" strips, and pressed or boiled (instructions above)
- 1 cup of unsweetened unflavored soy milk or other plant milk
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- ½ cup corn starch or arrowroot powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 1 cup Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Sauce or favorite vegan buffalo sauce
- 1 tsp cane sugar
- 3 tbsp vegan butter
Vegan ranch dressing
- 16 oz silken tofu one standard package
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fresh dill
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pour the soy milk into one mixing bowl and set aside. In another mixing bowl combine the panko, breadcrumbs, and Italian seasoning.In a third mixing bowl combine the cornstarch, garlic and onion powders, paprika, and black pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper if you are baking the buffalo tofu.
- One tofu slice at a time, dip the tofu into the soy milk, then use your dry hand to coat it in the cornstarch mixture. Dip it back into the soy milk before coating it in the panko mixture. Transfer the coated tofu to the baking sheet, or place it in the air fryer basket if you are air frying them. Repeat with the remaining tofu.
- Use a spray oil to lightly coat the tops of the tofu on the baking sheet or in the air fryer. Bake for 40 minutes, flipping 30 minutes in. OR Air fry at 350° for 15 minutes, flipping 10 minutes in.
Vegan Ranch Dressing
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend smooth.