The Best Crispy Air Fryer Vegan Buffalo Tofu Wings Recipe: These veganized buffalo tofu tenders are spicy and oh-so-indulgent! Being vegetarian for so many years, I always felt like I was missing out on wing night. Although I didn’t want the chicken wings, I often found myself drooling over the sauce – especially spicy buffalo. This recipe is the perfect vegan snack for game night or a great addition to wraps and vegan salads. The air-fryer is used to make the tofu wings quickly and easily. Don’t worry if you don’t have an air fryer, they can also be baked in the oven for a crispy finish. Whether you’re a vegetarian or just looking for a tasty, guilt-free snack. These vegan tofu wings are sure to satisfy.
Ingredients & Substitutions For This Air Fryer Buffalo Tofu Wings Recipe
The main ingredient for this recipe is a brick of extra firm tofu that has been pressed to remove excess water. This will give the tofu a firmer texture and allow it to absorb more flavor from the batter and sauce.
For the batter, you’ll need cornstarch or arrowroot as a thickener, unsweetened plain almond milk as a liquid, and panko bread crumbs (which can be substituted for gluten-free bread crumbs if needed) for a crispy coating. To add some flavor, paprika, and freshly ground black pepper are also included.
The spicy buffalo sauce is made with Franks buffalo sauce for heat and tanginess, melted vegan butter for richness, and garlic powder for some extra flavor. When combined, the sauce gives the tofu wings a deliciously spicy and savory kick.
- Air Fryer: To make these Air Fryer Buffalo Tofu Wings, you will need an air fryer. This kitchen appliance uses hot air circulation to cook food, resulting in crispy and delicious dishes without the need for excessive oil.
- Tofu Press: Pressing the tofu before cooking is essential to remove excess moisture and create a firmer texture. A tofu press is a handy tool that helps squeeze out the liquid and ensures that the tofu is evenly pressed.
- Whisk: You’ll need a whisk to mix the wet ingredients for the batter.
How to Make These Crispy Air Fryer Buffalo Tofu “Wings”
Before starting, make sure to press the tofu ahead of time wrapped in a dish towel to remove all excess liquid. To add even more texture to the tofu, you can freeze and thaw it before cutting it into 16 sticks.
To make the batter, mix the cornstarch and almond milk in a bowl until you have a thick consistency. In a separate bowl, combine the panko bread crumbs, paprika, and pepper.
To bread the tofu sticks, first dip each one into the wet mixture, then roll it in the dry mixture until it’s well coated. Place the coated wings directly onto the air fryer rack and cook them in the air fryer at 390° for 8 minutes, flipping them halfway through at the 4-minute mark.
While the tofu wings are cooking in the air fryer, prepare the buffalo sauce by melting the vegan butter and then adding in the Franks buffalo hot sauce and garlic powder. Mix everything together well. If you prefer your wings to be extra saucy and spicy, add in 10 tbsp of Franks. For a little less heat, start with 7 tbsp.
Once the tofu wings are done cooking in the air fryer, remove them and coat each piece entirely with the buffalo sauce. Serve them with vegan ranch or vegan bleu cheese dressing.
If you don’t have an air fryer, you can still make these tofu wings in the oven. Simply place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them at 425° for 30-35 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Make sure the tofu wings are nice and crispy before removing them from the oven. Once they are crispy, coat them in the buffalo sauce and serve.
Tips & Tricks
Here are a few tips and tricks that can help you make the best Air Fryer Buffalo Tofu Wings possible:
- Freeze and Thaw the Tofu: As mentioned earlier, freezing and thawing the tofu can improve its texture, making it firmer and chewier. This process also helps the tofu absorb more flavor from the marinade or sauce.
- Use Extra Firm Tofu: When making tofu wings, it’s essential to use extra firm tofu to prevent it from falling apart during cooking. You can find extra firm tofu at most grocery stores or Asian markets.
- Choose Your Sauce Wisely: The sauce is what makes or breaks the dish. While Franks Buffalo Sauce is a classic choice, you can experiment with different hot sauce flavors or even make your own sauce by mixing the hot sauce with melted butter and spices.
- Don’t Overcrowd the Air Fryer: To ensure that the tofu wings cook evenly and get crispy, it’s important not to overcrowd the air fryer basket. If necessary, cook the wings in batches.
- Serve with Dipping Sauce: Tofu wings taste best when served with a flavorful dipping sauce. Vegan ranch or bleu cheese dressing are popular options, but you can also try dipping the wings in vegan mayo mixed with hot sauce or BBQ sauce.
FAQ: Vegan Buffalo Tofu Wings Recipe
To reheat leftover wings, use an air fryer or oven for a crispy texture. Avoid using the microwave to prevent them from becoming soggy.
These wings are delicious on their own or as a topping for buffalo Caesar salads or wraps. For a classic wing experience, serve them with vegan blue cheese dressing and carrot and celery sticks.
Yes, you can easily make these wings gluten-free by using gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed cornflakes instead of panko breadcrumbs. The end result will be just as flavorful and delicious, making it a great option for those with gluten sensitivities.
Air Fryer Buffalo Tofu Wings
- 1 brick Tofu Extra firm, pressed
- 6 tbsp Cornstarch or arrowroot
- ¼ cup Unsweetened plain almond milk
- ¾ cup Panko bread crumbs (can be substituted for GF)
- ½ tsp Paprika
- ½ tbsp Freshly ground black pepper
Spicy Buffalo Sauce:
- 7-10 tbsp Franks buffalo sauce
- 2 tbsp Melted vegan butter
- ½ tsp Garlic powder
- Press tofu ahead of time wrapped in a dish towel to remove all excess liquid. Tip* Tofu tastes best when it’s been frozen and thawed as it adds to the texture.
- Cut tofu into 16 sticks.
- In one bowl, add cornstarch and almond milk. Mix well with a whisk and make sure you have a nice thick consistency.
- In a separate bowl, add panko, paprika and pepper. Mix well.
- To bread the wings, dip each piece of tofu first in the wet mixture, then roll in the dry mixture until well coated.
- Placed coated wings directly onto the air fryer rack. Cook in the air fryer at 390° for 8 minutes, flipping half way through at the 4-minute mark.
- While the tenders are in the air fryer, you can prepare the buffalo sauce. Melt the vegan butter, then add in the franks buffalo hot sauce and garlic powder. Mix well. If you like your wings extra saucy and spicy, add 10tbsp of franks. If you like a little less, start with 7 tbsps.
- Remove cooked tofu from the air fryer and coat each piece entirely with the buffalo sauce.
- Serve with vegan ranch, or vegan bleu cheese dressing.
Directions for baking in the oven below:
- Place on a baking sheet on parchment paper and bake at 425° for 30-35 minutes, flipping the tenders half way. Make sure the tofu wings and nice and crispy before removing from the oven. Once they are crispy, coat in the buffalo sauce and serve.
Air fryer buffalo tofu wings are a great vegan alternative to traditional buffalo wings, as they are flavorful, crispy, and healthy. With the right ingredients and cooking techniques, you can enjoy this delicious snack without sacrificing taste or nutrition.
These tofu buffalo wings can be made in an air-fryer or oven, and are a great addition to wraps and salads or as a standalone snack. Leftovers can be easily re-heated and they can be made gluten-free with the use of gluten-free breadcrumbs or cornflakes. Whether you’re a vegetarian or just looking for a tasty new vegan recipe, these wings are sure to please. Thanks for reading and happy cooking! Try making air fryer buffalo tofu wings at home and discover how delicious and satisfying.