This 4-ingredient, 5-minute buffalo wing sauce is simple to make and the perfect thick and creamy hot sauce for wings, other chicken dishes, dips, pasta, pizza, and everything in between!
You might need a last-minute/best wing sauce recipe. Or game day is approaching. Or you just need a new go-to sauce. If that’s the case, this super quick and easy buffalo hot sauce recipe is for you!
This buffalo wing sauces are mouthwateringly good with a rich, creamy, and hot flavor that you can tweak to your liking. It tastes better than store-bought and can be enjoyed in endless ways!
What’s In This Post
What Is Buffalo Sauce?
Originally, buffalo wing sauce consisted of melted butter, hot sauce, and cayenne pepper (usually 2:1 hot sauce to butter). It was initially designed as a wing sauce recipe. And it was accompanied by sides of celery and blue cheese to balance the heat.
Now it’s grown in popularity thanks in part to the Buffalo Bills football team and American football fans. So there are all sorts of “buffalo” dishes. These all refer to dishes seasoned with a buttery hot sauce.
Why Is It Called Buffalo Sauce?
Well, to your potential relief, there’s no buffalo or bison involved in the recipe at all. Instead, the name comes from where this tasty sauce originated – Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York.
My version of this buffalo sauce for wings is pretty authentic to the original. I only swap out the cayenne for aromatic garlic powder to better suit my spice levels. However, I’ve also included several popular homemade buffalo sauce add-ins below to adapt the recipe to your liking. It’s shockingly easy to make, too.
How Hot Is Buffalo Sauce?
This depends on the hot sauce you use and if you add more spicy ingredients. In general, many hot sauces blend cayenne pepper with vinegar and salt, so they sit at a moderate level of heat. However, it can be mild, medium, or hot. Plus, when making this homemade buffalo sauce recipe, you can adapt it to your taste.
What Is In Buffalo Sauce?
This simple homemade buffalo wing sauce contains just a few ingredients and can be ready in just minutes!
- Hot sauce: Use your favorite hot sauce, such as Frank’s (my preferred option when using store-bought), Crystal, or Cholula. Alternatively, use homemade hot sauce.
- Melted butter: I prefer unsalted butter. Though you can use lightly salted butter and adjust the amount of added salt used in the recipe.
For vegan buffalo sauce, use your favorite vegan butter instead.
- Garlic powder: Fresh garlic also works but massively reduces the shelf life, so I prefer to stick to powdered.
- Salt: Season to taste.
Although a simple combination of ingredients, the results are remarkable. The butter helps to make a super-rich and creamy sauce to rival all sauces for wings.
How to Make Buffalo Wing Sauce
How to make wing sauce from scratch is so quick and easy. You’ll have it from the kitchen to the table in no time!
First, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
It should only be melted, not bubbling or turning brown, so monitor it well.
Then, add the remaining ingredients, stirring well. Bring to a simmer and cook until smooth and thickened – just a few minutes.
Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Then remove it from the heat and leave it to cool (it will thicken as it cools). Then it’s ready to either use immediately or store in the fridge.
How to make buffalo sauce is that easy.
Ways to Use Buffalo Wing Sauce
There are plenty of ways to use this chicken wing sauce recipe and not just with wings. Here are a few of my top recommendations.
- Use the hot wing sauce to make buffalo chicken wings (baked, grilled, or air fried) or buffalo cauliflower wings. Serve with a side of blue cheese dressing or Ranch dressing and celery.
- Season your favorite chicken thighs or chicken breast recipe.
- To baste grilled shrimp.
- Spread it over chicken burgers. Or make buffalo chicken wraps and pinwheels.
- Mix into Mac and cheese. Or mix it into pasta as a simple sauce. Or use buffalo chicken to stuff pasta shells.
- Use the sauce for meatballs (with blue cheese).
- Enjoy this homemade buffalo sauce as a flatbread or pizza base.
- Make buffalo chicken dipping sauce or Buffalo hummus.
- Enjoy buffalo chicken in tacos, burritos, and burrito bowls. Make cheesy Buffalo-inspired chicken nachos.
- Add buffalo sauce or buffalo chicken to grilled cheese.
- Make a buffalo chicken salad with blue cheese dressing. Add to deviled eggs or this deviled egg potato salad.
- Toss some with popcorn.
- Use with potato wedges, fries, or other cooked potatoes and vegetables. Use the buffalo chicken as a potato skins/baked potato filling.
- Add a little of this hot wing sauce to a bloody mary.
Let me know in the comments what your favorite ways to enjoy this buffalo wing sauce are!
How to Store Homemade Buffalo Sauce
Allow it to cool. Then store it in an airtight container, like a bottle or jar, in the refrigerator for up to a month!
When you want to use the hot wing sauce, shake it well and remove it from the fridge for several minutes. This will allow the butter to soften again for the best consistency. You could also reheat it slightly in the microwave (just 10 seconds is usually enough).
Alternatively, transfer it to an airtight freezer-safe container or bag. Store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. Allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight before using it again.
The original recipe contains butter, so no. However, several commercial versions are naturally vegan. And you can use vegan butter when making it homemade for a simple homemade vegan buffalo sauce.
Yes. Most commercial and homemade buffalo sauce recipes (this one included) are keto/low carb. They contain 0-1 g carbohydrates, depending on any add-ins.
Many buffalo sauce recipes are gluten-free. However, if they contain Worcestershire sauce, they may contain gluten. So it’s best to double-check.
The buffalo wing sauce will thicken as it cools. However, if you still find it a little thin, return it to a saucepan over medium heat. Add a small amount of cornstarch slurry.
Start with 1 tablespoon of starch with 1 tablespoon of water mixed into a slurry and then poured into the pan. Whisk or stir the mixture constantly until the sauce thickens. Repeat the process with more cornstarch if it’s still not thick enough. Use arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch if you’re on a Paleo or Whole30 diet.
Hot sauce is typically a combination of dried peppers, vinegar, and seasonings and is an ingredient used within buffalo sauce. The latter combines hot sauce with butter for a thicker, smoother, silkier sauce.
More Easy Sauce Recipes
- Easy homemade ketchup
- Simple homemade mustard
- 5-Ingredient mayonnaise
- Quick and No-Fail Hollandaise Sauce
- How to Make Bechamel Sauce (White Sauce)
- Raising Cane’s Sauce Recipe (Copycat)
If you try this easy buffalo sauce recipe (the best hot wing sauce), I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
Buffalo Wing Sauce Recipe
- 9.3 oz hot sauce 1.25 cup;best areFrank's or a homemade chili sauce. Crystal, Choula, and other hot sauces will also work
- 4.6 oz butter unsalted, 1 cup melted; use vegan if preferred
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt adjust amount to taste
This will yield about 11.7 oz/350 ml/1.5 cups of sauce
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.It should only be melted, not bubbling or turning brown, so monitor it well.
- Add the remaining ingredients, stirring well. Bring to a simmer and cook until smooth and thickened – just a few minutes.
- Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking, then remove it from the heat and leave it to cool (it will thicken as it cools). Then it's ready to either use immediately or store in the fridge.
- This will yield about 1.5 cups of sauce. About 1/4 cup of buffalo sauce is enough to season 1.5-1.6 lb of chicken wings. You can adjust the amount to taste.
- Store: Allow the homemade buffalo sauce to cool and then store it in an airtight container, like a bottle or jar, in the refrigerator for up to a month!When you want to use the hot wing sauce, shake it well and remove it from the fridge for several minutes to allow the butter to soften again for the best consistency. You could also reheat it slightly in the microwave (just 10 seconds is usually enough).Freeze: Transfer it to an airtight freezer-safe container or bag and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. Allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight before using it again.
- Adjust the heat: Choose a hot sauce that matches your desired spice level and/or boost the heat further with added cayenne pepper (to taste).
- To make it even less spicy: Reduce the ratio of hot sauce added to the butter.
- For a lighter sauce: You can reduce some of the butter, replacing it with cornstarch slurry to act as a thickener.
- Vinegar: Many buffalo chicken sauce recipes contain a tangy element. You can experiment with white vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, etc. Adjust the amount to taste, starting with 1 Tbsp.
- Worcestershire sauce: Add a splash or two for added umami and depth. Use vegan Worcestershire sauce if necessary.
- Smoked paprika: To add smokiness. Liquid smoke could also work (just a few drops).
- Cayenne pepper: To add more spice to the hot wing sauce recipe. Use as much as you’d like.
- Chili flakes: Another way to add more spice is with the chili flakes of your choice. Stick to something moderately hot or go as far as ghost pepper flakes for heat that packs a wallop.
- Onion powder: For extra aromatic flavor depth.
- Soy sauce: will add umami depth, too, if used as a replacement for salt.
- Honey: The combination of sweet, tangy, savory, and spicy is absolutely delicious. Start with just a teaspoon of honey and increase to taste for the best buffalo wing sauce. You could use dandelion honey (made from plants) for a vegan version.
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