Spicy buffalo wings are one of my all-time favorite finger foods! They combine irresistible spice, fattiness, and sourness, with juicy, crisp chicken wings. The standard buffalo sauce recipe consists of just a few ingredients: hot sauce, butter, sometimes a sweetener like honey, and sometimes a thickener like cornstarch. But what happens if you don’t eat dairy for health or personal reasons?
Here are a few different options you can try to make buffalo sauce without any butter, including our very own recipe at the bottom of the page.
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Replace the butter in your recipe with vegan “butter”
If you have a tried-and-true buffalo sauce recipe that you know your family loves, you can make it without butter simply by swapping the butter for a vegan alternative. Most vegan butters are made with a blend of different oils, like coconut, olive, avocado, and palm kern oil. They are engineered to match the consistency and function of butter exactly, so it’s a safe swap to make in most cooking or baking recipes.
Replace the butter with a different fat
The purpose of butter in buffalo sauce recipes is for flavor, consistency, and richness. You can try swapping out the butter in your favorite recipe for a different fat. This will alter the flavor, so do so with caution and make sure you use a fat that you like the taste of!
You can try swapping out the butter with a 1:1 ratio with different types of fats:
If you want to use an oil that is very close to flavorless, try using soybean oil or corn oil.
If you want to add to the flavor using a type of fat that you enjoy, you can use olive oil, coconut oil (which would go AMAZING with buffalo wings with any hint of tropical flavors), or bacon grease.
How to make paleo-friendly buffalo sauce without butter
While some people who follow a paleo diet consume organic grass-fed butter, others prefer not to consume dairy at all. You can swap out the butter in any buffalo sauce recipe for your favorite paleo-friendly fat: bacon grease, duck fat, olive oil, lard, avocado oil, or any other fat of your choice!
Most buffalo sauce uses Franks RedHot Original as the spicy base, and luckily, while being a processed food, most people consider it Paleo and Whole30-friendly.
It consists of a short and recognizable list of ingredients: Aged Cayenne Red Peppers, Distilled Vinegar, Water, Salt and Garlic Powder.
How to keep your buffalo sauce from separating
Another important question, whether you are using melted butter or another fat like olive oil, is how you keep the sauce from separating since oil + hot sauce doesn’t blend easily.
The key is in the way you blend the ingredients. If you try to stir them with a spoon, you’ll quickly be left with a dish of hot sauce with a layer of oil floating on top. Then, if you toss your wings in it, it won’t properly coat them.
Instead, you need to emulsify the ingredients, which you can do by slowly adding the fat in while whisking vigorously with a wire whisk. You can also blend your buffalo sauce in a blender, which will ensure they are properly combined.
What ratio of fat to hot sauce in buffalo wings?
Whether you are using melted butter or another liquid fat, a ratio of 1:2 fat to hot sauce will do the trick and help you achieve the perfect coating consistency when you make buffalo sauce. That means that if you use 2 cups of hot sauce, you will only need 1 cup of fat. (That will make a LOT of sauce but is the easiest for illustrative purposes. Realistically you will probably only want to use 1 cup of hot sauce, with 1/2 cup of fat.)
Easy no-butter spicy buffalo sauce (vegan, paleo, and keto-friendly!)
- 1 cup Franks RedHot Original hot sauce
- 1/2 cup oil of choice we recommend olive, avocado, or coconut oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp cayenne powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Add your hot sauce, lemon juice, and seasonings to a sauce pan and bring to a boil while stirring
- Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking vigorously
- Allow the sauce to simmer for 3-5 minutes while whisking continually
- Remove from the heat and toss with wings or cauliflower!