Homemade Buffalo Sauce

Learn how to make buffalo sauce! Rich, spicy, and tangy, this easy homemade version rivals any store-bought wing sauce I've tried.

Homemade buffalo sauce

Let’s talk buffalo sauce! This famous wing sauce is rich, tangy, and spicy. I recently tested out a homemade version for this buffalo cauliflower recipe, and I love the bold flavor so much that I’ve been using it in other ways too. As a dip for sweet potato fries or air fryer French fries, slathered on a black bean burger… If you love punchy flavors and lots of heat, then I think you’ll go nuts for this buffalo sauce recipe.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

What is buffalo sauce, anyway?

I’ll start by saying that it has nothing to do with the animal. Buffalo sauce gets its name from its city of origin, Buffalo, New York, where Teressa Bellissimo is said to have invented buffalo chicken wings at the Anchor Bar in 1964.

In its simplest form, buffalo wing sauce is a just a combination of cayenne pepper hot sauce and butter. My recipe calls for a few additional ingredients to help balance the flavors, but it’s still very straightforward. If you keep a bottle of Frank’s RedHot in your fridge, you can whip it up anytime!

Buffalo sauce recipe ingredients

Buffalo Sauce Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • Cayenne pepper hot sauce – Which basically just means Frank’s RedHot. It’s super spicy and tangy!
  • Butter – For richness and buttery flavor. Vegan butter works too!
  • Honey – Its sweetness balances the sharp hot sauce, and it makes the buffalo sauce thick and glossy. Swap in 1 tablespoon agave if you’re vegan.
  • Garlic powder – For savory, umami flavor.
  • And paprika – It adds earthy, peppery complexity.

To make the sauce, melt the butter and place it in a medium bowl. Add the hot sauce, honey, garlic powder, and paprika, and stir to combine. That’s it!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Jar of wing sauce with spoon next to celery sticks

How to Use Homemade Buffalo Sauce

Of course, this homemade buffalo sauce is fantastic on buffalo wings, cauliflower or otherwise. Serve them with a side of vegan ranch dressing (or blue cheese dressing, if that’s more your thing) for an insanely delicious appetizer or snack.

Not in a wing mood? There are other ways to use this tasty sauce!

The sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, so you’ll have plenty of time to experiment with it. Let me know your favorite ways to use it in the comments!

Buffalo sauce recipe

More Favorite Sauce Recipes

If you love this homemade buffalo sauce recipe, try one of these tasty sauces next:

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Buffalo Sauce

rate this recipe:
4.67 from 24 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves 8
Skip the store-bought buffalo sauce, and learn how to make your own instead! This homemade buffalo sauce is spicy, tangy, and SO easy to make. Find our favorite ways to use it in the post above.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup cayenne pepper hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted*
  • tablespoons honey*
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, stir together the hot sauce, melted butter, honey, garlic powder, and paprika. Season to taste.

Notes

*To make vegan buffalo sauce, replace the butter with vegan butter. Substitute 1 tablespoon agave nectar for the honey.

9 comments

4.67 from 24 votes (20 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Melinda
    05.18.2024

    5 stars
    Really good wing sauce! It is the perfect amount of spicy for my taste, the sweetness balences it out well. It’s super easy to make too, I love it. This one will be stolen to put into my own cookbook, thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.22.2024

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  2. Kay
    04.17.2024

    1 star
    If I’m gonna buy franks red hot, I’ll buy their buffalo sauce no?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.20.2024

      Hi Kay, we just use their regular hot sauce in this recipe.

      • Kay
        04.20.2024

        Yes, but they’re right next to each other in the grocery store so I could just buy the buffalo version?

        • MissyG
          06.17.2024

          Sounds like you don’t typically have red pepper or cayenne hot sauce in your house. I’m a Cali native and we have too many of them on our refrigerator shelves 😁 so this isn’t anything I would have to go and buy. If you aren’t going to use hot sauce in your home in the future, then yeah, you might be better off buying some buffalo sauce instead of making it. For the rest of us, this is a great recipe to have on hand. What ever you decide, I hope you enjoy!

  3. Michelle
    04.07.2024

    2 stars
    This was a little too sweet for my liking. I think the honey cut the vinegar/tang from the Frank’s red hot sauce a little too much for me.

    • Jim
      07.04.2024

      4 stars
      I agree, next time I’ll mix everything but and add honey little by little.

  4. Ruth Esslinger
    01.26.2024

    I made this today before I even saw your recipe, I just wanted something different. I though why not add some paprika. And then it was, Hmmmm… Honey sounds really good! I must say that this was the best wing sauce I have ever made. Thank you for having the courage to step outside the norm and go for full on deliciousness!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.