If you’re a fan of buffalo wings but need to watch your sodium intake, you’re likely aware of the challenge at hand. Traditional buffalo sauce recipes often call for Frank’s RedHot, a delicious but sodium-laden hot sauce.
Finding a hot buffalo wing sauce that won’t tip the sodium scales has long been a culinary conundrum for those sensitive to salt or adhering to a low-sodium diet.
This recipe does just that, striking the perfect balance between ease and flavor. Be sure to keep scrolling for tips on what types of hot sauces to use for this recipe! You can also learn how to adapt this recipe so it’s dairy-free and vegan for your game-day spicy cauliflower bites.
Low-sodium spicy buffalo wing sauce
- 1 cup adapted homemade cayenne hot sauce OR any low-sodium hot sauce you like
- ½ cup butter unsalted or a low-sodium variety
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp cayenne powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp butter extract optional
- Place all ingredients into a saucepan and warm over medium heat, consistently stirring with a whisk.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat immediately when you notice simmering around the edges.
How much sodium does buffalo sauce have?
The sodium content in buffalo sauce can vary substantially depending on the recipe. However, if you’re using Frank’s RedHot as a base, you can expect around 500mg of sodium per serving (of hot sauce alone — some recipes call for Frank’s AND added salt!)
To put that into perspective, this accounts for approximately 22% of the advised daily sodium intake for a standard diet. Following a traditional recipe, eating just a few buffalo wings can quickly exhaust your daily sodium allowance.
How is buffalo sauce made?
Buffalo sauce is primarily made from three key ingredients: cayenne hot sauce (often Frank’s RedHot), vinegar, and butter. Some recipes enhance the basic buffalo sauce formula with additional seasonings like garlic, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and cayenne powder. Others go a step further by adding extra salt despite the sodium already present in Frank’s RedHot.
Is there a low-sodium version of Frank’s RedHot?
While Frank’s RedHot offers a range of varieties, such as Xtra Hot, RedHot Dill Pickle Sauce, and RedHot Teriyaki Wing Sauce, a low-sodium option is not available. Each of these versions contains a minimum of 100mg of sodium per serving, which exceeds the criteria for low-sodium foods.
Buffalo sauce vs. hot sauce
Frank’s RedHot has a distinct flavor that works particularly well when it comes to crafting authentic buffalo wing sauce. Its unique blend of distilled vinegar, aged cayenne pepper, and added “natural butter type flavor” and garlic powder sets it apart. While you can substitute other hot sauces, the end result won’t capture the classic buffalo sauce taste quite the same way.
This recipe emulates that iconic flavor but with a significantly reduced sodium content by using a low-sodium cayenne hot sauce with the addition of butter extract.
How to make low-sodium homemade hot sauce
Making a low-sodium version of my homemade cayenne hot sauce is easier than you might think, and you have a few options. You can completely leave out the salt, which means the only sodium in the sauce will come from natural sources like peppers, garlic, and vinegar.
Another route is to replace the salt with your preferred low- or no-sodium salt substitute for a more authentic taste; however, the total sodium will vary depending on what you use. Alternatively, you can follow the original recipe but reduce the salt to find your perfect balance between sodium content and flavor.
Other low and no-sodium hot sauces
Feel free to substitute the homemade hot sauce in this recipe with a low- or no-sodium hot sauce of your choice. If you’re in search of recommendations, there are excellent low-sodium hot sauces available. However, it’s important to note that traditional buffalo sauce is characterized by its unique blend of aged cayenne peppers, garlic, and butter flavor. Opting for a different hot sauce may alter the classic buffalo sauce taste.
More tips for low-sodium buffalo wings
With your low-sodium buffalo sauce ready, the next step is the wings. Your best bet for controlling sodium is to make the wings from scratch. Avoid using store-bought, frozen, pre-made wings, as they often contain added sodium.
Traditional buffalo wings are generally not breaded, just fried. This makes it simpler to keep the sodium content low. However, be vigilant when purchasing chicken wings; many frozen options include broth and salt, even if they look unflavored.
If you prefer breaded boneless buffalo wings, consider making them at home. Store-bought frozen strips are typically high in sodium, making homemade the safer choice.
This recipe offers a way to enjoy flavorful buffalo wings without blowing through your daily sodium intake in one bite. Feel free to tweak the ingredients to better align with your dietary restrictions and flavor preferences. It’s all about enjoying your favorite spicy treat!