Make these easy vegan buffalo soy curls right in your air fryer for a quick snack or as a great plant-based protein for salads, bowls, sandwiches, wraps and more. They’re spicy, saucy and super simple to make. Leftovers can even be frozen for later!
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It’s official; I’m having a love affair with buffalo sauce.
It all began with the crispy Vegan Buffalo Wings we made a little while back. Now that recipe is absolutely fantastic, but honestly takes a little too many steps to make it a worknight-friendly meal. Enter: Buffalo Soy Curls made in the air fryer!
Inspired by that tofu wings recipe, these tender buffalo pieces are utilize Butler’s soy curls and are so easy to make. They are great for topping salads with a creamy dressing or serving in bowls with rice or vegan mac and cheese. Use them in a spicy wrap recipe with fries and vegan bleu cheese dressing or on a sandwich with creamy vegan coleslaw and pickles. We also love to pop them into our mouths straight out of the air fryer!
You can either use a store-bought vegan-friendly buffalo sauce (we’ve included options below) or we’ve also included an incredibly easy homemade vegan buffalo sauce too! If you love buffalo sauce too, you need to add this recipe to your repertoire. Your taste buds will thank you!
Why You’ll Love This Vegan Buffalo Chicken:
- Easy to make. Just rehydrate the dehydrated soy curls in some hot water and our vegan chickenless bouillon powder, air fry, and toss in sauce!
- Great flavor AND texture. Soy curls are one of our favorite vegan meat options because they soak up any flavor you add to them impeccably and have a super tender meaty texture!
- Super versatile. Serve these over salads, rice bowls, and toss with pasta. Use them to veganize any recipe that calls for buffalo chicken, like a buffalo chicken dip, sandwich, or even a quesadilla!
Ingredients for Vegan Buffalo Soy Curls
You’ll need just a few ingredients to make this recipe, and most of them are spices!
For the soy curls, you’ll need:
- One bag of soy curls – Soy curls are dehydrated strips of plant-based protein made by Butler Foods. They’re made from whole non-GMO soy beans and are a staple mock meat ingredient used in many vegan kitchens! We love them so much, we have a whole post dedicated to Butler’s soy curls and some of our best soy curl recipes! We order soy curls in bulk on Amazon, but you can also find them at many small health food stores.
- Boiling water – This is to rehydrate the soy curls. You can replace up to 1/2 cup of this with lime juice for an extra zing!
- Vegan chicken bouillon powder – We used our homemade vegan bouillon powder which we highly recommend for the best flavor results!
- Spices: granulated garlic, smoked paprika, chili powder
For the vegan buffalo sauce, you’ll need:
- Cayenne pepper hot sauce – Frank’s original hot sauce is the classic choice!
- Vegan butter – A key ingredient that differentiates regular hot sauce from true buffalo sauce! We love the Plant Butter sticks from Country Crock.
- Vegan Worcestershire sauce – This is optional; it adds a dash of savory flavor.
- Spices: granulated garlic, salt
Vegan Buffalo Sauce Brands
If you’d prefer to use a store-bought vegan buffalo sauce, there are lots of options out there at your local grocery store (and some of them may surprise you!):
- Frank’s Red Hot Sauce – the classic. Used in every kitchen I ever worked in. Quite a few of Frank’s buffalo wing sauces are vegan! They use a “butter type flavor” that has been confirmed by the company to be vegan-friendly.
- Primal Kitchen also has a vegan buffalo sauce. You can buy Primal Kitchen at various Targets, WalMarts, and Whole Foods, among other chain grocery stores.
- Sweet Baby Ray’s also has a vegan version of Buffalo sauce available at many grocery stores. We also love their barbecue sauce!
While many brands are getting away from using dairy, traditional buffalo sauce is often made with butter, so you’ll want to look for that (and avoid it) when looking at ingredients labels. Some brands, like Good and Gather Buffalo Dipping Sauce, even use egg yolk in their sauce.
A key to look for is if there is even minimal traces of cholesterol listed, it’s got animal products. Always read ingredients until you find a favorite sauce you love and trust.
If you don’t have or can’t tolerate one of the above ingredients, here are our best substitution tips. Remember though, substituting any of the ingredients may lead to a varied degree of difference in the final product. Let us know in the comments if you try any subs and how they work out for you!
For the soy curls: Outside the US, you can find a product similar to Butler soy curls labeled “TVP chunks” or “TVP strips”. They’re slightly different in texture, but either will work for this recipe!
For the bouillon powder: You can use 1 vegan-friendly chicken bouillon cube. Or cut the amount in half and use your favorite store-bought bouillon paste.
For the hot sauce: You can totally play around with the type of spicy sauce you use here. It won’t necessarily be buffalo sauce, but I bet you could make some fun variations with your favorite hot sauces!
For the vegan butter: Butter is what adds that velvety softness to buffalo wing sauce, so I wouldn’t omit or change it.
How to Make Soy Curl Chicken Wings
This recipe is so very easy to make – perfect for meal prep. It also has minimal hands-on prep, making it great for a work-from-home lunch!
Step 2: Make the vegan buffalo sauce (optional).
Skip this step if you’re using a store bought vegan buffalo sauce.
Combine hot sauce, vegan butter, vinegar, vegan Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and salt in a pot over medium heat. Stir until the vegan butter is fully melted. Then, bring to a simmer while stirring with a rubber spatula.
As soon as the liquid begins to bubble on the sides of the pot, remove from heat, stir with the spatula, and set aside for use.
How to Serve This Buffalo Vegan Chicken
If you want these vegan buffalo soy curls even saucier, you can toss them with more buffalo sauce before serving. Yum!
Serve these vegan buffalo chicken pieces hot or cold:
- As a veganized buffalo chicken crunchwrap
- Cut up and baked into a vegan buffalo chicken dip
- Minced and mixed with vegan cream cheese, vegan blue cheese dressing + buffalo sauce to create a vegan buffalo chicken salad
- On a buffalo soy curl sandwich or wrap with vegan ranch dressing!
- In a bowl with creamy coleslaw and roasted potatoes or rice
- On top of a simple stovetop vegan mac and cheese
How to Store Leftover Meaty Soy Curls
You can store buffalo soy curls in an air-tight, sealed container in the fridge for up to 10 days or the freezer for 2 months.
To reheat from the fridge: Place soy curls in the microwave and reheat at medium-high heat for 2 minutes, stir, then heat on high for 1 more minute.
Souper Cubes: We love to freeze soy curls in 1/2 cup Souper Cubes to prep easy-to-defrost portions. Just pack the cubes tightly with soy curls and freeze. Once frozen, pop them out and store in a freezer-safe bag. When you want to eat, remove as many as you need from the freezer and let it defrost in the fridge or defrost from frozen in the microwave at 50% for 5-6 minutes. Stir to loosen the soy curls and heat again on high for 2-3 minutes. Time will vary depending on how much you’re reheating.
I hope you find this recipe easy and enjoyable! I honestly cannot get enough of it and all the different things I can make with it!
When you make it, don’t forget to leave a star rating and review on the recipe below. That helps more people find our recipes, and we love crowd-sourcing more ideas to use these delicious spicy soy curls!
Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Until next time!
For the soy curls:
- 1 (8-oz) bag soy curls
- 2 cups boiling water* (see notes)
- 2.5 Tbsp vegan chicken bouillon powder
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
For the vegan buffalo sauce:
- 2/3 cup cayenne pepper hot sauce
- 5 Tbsp vegan butter
- 1 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Rehydrate your soy curls: Add the soy curls to a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over them and add the rest of the marinade ingredients. Stir, cover, and set aside for 5-10 minutes until completely rehydrated.
- Make vegan buffalo sauce: Combine all the sauce ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Stir until the vegan butter is fully melted. Then, bring to a simmer while stirring with a rubber spatula. As soon as the liquid begins to bubble on the sides of the pot, remove from heat, stir with the spatula, and set aside for use.
- Air fry the soy curls: When the soy curls are rehydrated, add half your buffalo sauce to them and stir. Transfer the sauced-up soy curls to your air fryer and fry at 350F for 10-15 minutes, stopping once to shake the basket every 5 minutes. You may want to do this in batches depending on how big your air fryer is. We split ours in half.
- Finish it off: Toss your soy curls with the remainder of the sauce and add them back to the air fryer. Fry at 350F for another 2-5 minutes, until your desired texture is reached. If you want them even saucier, you can toss them with more buffalo sauce before serving.
- To store/serve: You can store buffalo soy curls in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 10 days or the freezer for 2 months. They’re great served on a sandwich or salad with vegan ranch!
*You can replace up to 1/2 cup of water with lime juice for an extra zippy zing
Serving Size:1/6 the recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 717mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.