Easy Buffalo Sauce Recipe

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Love Buffalo chicken wings? Whether you want them for the Super Bowl or just a Friday night with your buddies, making them from scratch is always the best way to go. This homemade Buffalo sauce is perfect for whipping up a batch of hot wings any time you want them.

This sauce is so versatile and can be used to make many other foods, including spicy salad dressing, wraps, shrimp, and so much more. If some tailgating is in your future, give this homemade buffalo sauce a try on your next game day, or serve them up as appetizers when you have friends over to watch the game.

A spoon drips some buffalo sauce into a jar full of it.

What Is Buffalo Sauce?

Buffalo sauce is a tangy, buttery, and slightly spicy sauce or marinade often used to make chicken wings. It is particularly popular this time of year for Super Bowl food.

What Is Buffalo Sauce Made Of?

The most traditional version is the one you’ll find below. It includes Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (the original version), butter, and a bit of vinegar.

Why Is It Called Buffalo Sauce?

Buffalo sauce has nothing to do with buffalos and everything to do with the city of Buffalo, New York. There are a few theories on who actually invented it, but all agree that it originated in the city by that name.

A long spoon sits in a jar of buffalo sauce.

What Makes Buffalo Sauce Vs. Hot Sauce?

The main difference between the two is butter. Buffalo sauce has butter, hot sauce does not. That said, the spices can be slightly different as well.

What Is Creamy Buffalo Sauce Made Of?

Creamy Buffalo sauce is regular Buffalo sauce with Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, or sour cream added to it. This makes it more palatable for other dishes, such as Buffalo chicken wraps or tacos, Buffalo chicken pizza, buffalo chicken salad, dip, quesadillas, burgers, pasta, stuffed peppers, stuffed jalapenos, or even Buffalo chicken flatbreads.

Can You Adjust The Spice Level Of Buffalo Sauce?

You can! Here are some ideas and suggestions:

Hot Sauce Varieties

While Frank’s Red Hot Sauce is a staple for Buffalo wings, you don’t have to use it. Some brands of hot sauce have different levels of spiciness, so buy a hot sauce that works for you.

Red Pepper Flakes or Cayenne Powder

Want it spicier? Try adding red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. But add with caution. You can always add more, but you can’t remove any once it’s added. A little at a time does the trick.

Butter Ratio

If you don’t mind the extra calories, adding more butter will make the sauce creamier while reducing the overall impact of the spice in the sauce. It’s a great way to mellow out the sauce if you accidentally got it too spicy.

Sweeteners

While adding sweetness won’t technically reduce the spice level, it does give your palette a way to counter some of that spiciness.

An overhead view of a spoon lifting some buffalo sauce out of a jar.

Creamy Additions

If you don’t mind using creamy Buffalo sauce, you can add any of the above-mentioned ingredients to cut down on spice. Adding creamy ingredients will mellow out the spice.

These questions cover a range of topics and can help address the various aspects of making and using buffalo-style wing sauce.

Should Buffalo Sauce Be Thick Or Thin?

Buffalo tends to be a bit on the runnier side, but that doesn’t mean it should be like water. The butter adds a certain level of thickness to the sauce. You want it to be of a “melted butter” consistency.

Buffalo Sauce Recipe Variations

If you want to add more flavors to this sauce, consider any of the following in any amount you prefer. Add to taste.

  1. Garlic – Try adding pressed garlic or mashed roasted garlic.
  2. Honey – Honey is a great addition to this. The flavor plays well with the hot sauce. But you can also use maple syrup or any other sweetener you prefer to use.
  3. Soy Sauce Or Coconut Aminos – If you want a deeper umami flavor, try adding one of these for more depth of flavor. I recommend mixing it in a spoon first to try it and see if you like it before mixing it into the entire batch.
  4. Lime or Lemon Juice – Fresh squeezed citrus juice will liven up this sauce a great deal. In fact, you can even try orange juice if you want a very mild sweetness.
  5. Smoked Paprika or Chipotle Powder – This adds a smoky flavor to your wings that many will enjoy. Here again, try a little separately before mixing it into the entire batch.
  6. Cayenne Pepper or Hot Mustard – If you like things spicier, consider adding cayenne pepper or hot mustard.
  7. Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing – For a creamy Buffalo sauce, you can mix in a bit of ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing.
  8. Fruit Preserves – This will add a wonderful sweet component that compliments both the sauce and the wings. Try 100% fruit spread in apricot, peach or pineapple.
A side view of an open canning jar half filled with buffalo sauce.

What To Serve With Homemade Buffalo Wings

If you want to make Buffalo wings for game day but don’t know what to serve with them, here are some suggestions.

  • Classic: Cut up a carrot and celery stick and serve with a side of blue cheese dressing.
  • Buttermilk Ranch Dressing: Serve ranch instead of blue cheese for a milder overall flavor.
  • Garlic Parmesan Fries: These go great with wings, and you can use regular or sweet potatoes.
  • Loaded Nachos: Nachos make a great party food that goes well with hot wings. Load up those nachos, or try making nacho fries instead.
  • Coleslaw: This is always a great option for a side dish. You can make traditional coleslaw with mayo, or you can make Mexican coleslaw without mayo.
  • Onion Rings: Crispy onion rings go well with many foods, but they go especially well with Buffalo wings.
  • Mac and Cheese: This creamy side dish is a great way to balance out the spiciness of your wings.
  • Grilled or Roasted Vegetables: You can grill carrots or roast zucchini for a healthful and really delicious side option.
  • Guacamole and Salsa: These make great sides when paired with corn chips. Both go really well with hot wings.

Buffalo Sauce Ingredients

Butter – You can use either regular or plant-based butter.

Frank’s Red Hot Sauce – Get the original version. Not the wing sauce they sell.

White vinegar – This is just regular vinegar. In a pinch, you can also use apple cider vinegar. Avoid balsamic vinegar.

How To Make Buffalo Sauce

Buffalo sauce ingredients in bowls on a white counter.

Collect and measure all your ingredients.

Butter pieces in a pot.
All the wing sauce ingredients in a pot.
Wing sauce in a pot, cooling.

In a small saucepan, combine butter, hot sauce and vinegar. Stir together, and let the butter melt. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.

An overhead view of a spoon lifting some buffalo sauce out of a jar.

Use it as a sauce or marinade, or turn it into a creamy dressing.

Storing Buffalo Wing Sauce

The best way to store Buffalo wing sauce is in a canning jar with a tight-fitting lid. But any air-tight container will do.

Leftover sauce that has touched RAW meat should be discarded.

Leftover sauce that has touched COOKED meat can be stored in the fridge for no longer than three days for food safety.

Freezing Buffalo Sauce

Leftover sauce that has NOT touched meat at all can be frozen for up to six months. Pack it in a freezer-safe container with a tight-fitting lid.

More Healthy Sauce Recipes

Need A Wing Recipe To Use This Buffalo Sauce on?
Try this one!

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A spoon drips some buffalo sauce into a jar full of it.

Easy Buffalo Sauce Recipe

Delicious wing sauce that is simple to make with minimal ingredients.
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Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 batch
Calories: 202kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. butter (regular or plant-based)
  • 1 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce (Original)
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar

Instructions

  • Collect and measure all your ingredients.
    Buffalo sauce ingredients in bowls on a white counter.
  • In a small saucepan, combine butter, hot sauce and vinegar. Stir together, and let the butter melt. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.
    All the wing sauce ingredients in a pot.
  • Use it as a sauce or marinade, or turn it into a creamy dressing.
    An overhead view of a spoon lifting some buffalo sauce out of a jar.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1entire recipe | Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.02g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 7539mg | Potassium: 7mg | Sugar: 0.02g | Vitamin A: 700IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.01mg

Author: Tiffany McCauley

Title: Journalist

Expertise: Food, cooking, travel

Bio:

Tiffany McCauley is a nationally syndicated journalist and an award-winning cookbook author. She is also a food blogger. She has been featured on MSN, Huffington Post, Country Living Magazine, HealthLine, Redbook, and many more. She has helped thousands of people learn to cook simple, clean, and healthy foods in their own home kitchens. She lives in Maine and loves Elvis, sunflowers, and a good seafood chowder, as well as travel writing.

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