These Vegan Buffalo Tempeh Tenders are so easy to make with just 4 ingredients required. The perfect appetizer or salad topping when you want something delicious and protein-packed!
In anticipation of Superbowl Sunday, I decided it was time to deliver a recipe for a truly easy appetizer to make for the big day. A few weeks ago I made Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos and it inspired me to make these Buffalo Tempeh Wings!
While these tempeh tenders may not taste like chicken wings, they will still give you that satisfying crunch and delicious crave-able buffalo flavor for game day!
Ingredients & Substitution Ideas
Here are the four ingredients you need to make this recipe and some easy substitution ideas!
- LightLife Foods Tempeh is my favorite for this recipe.
- If you can't find tempeh, you can also use extra-firm tofu. Just make sure to press out excess water being coating with sauce for the best results.
- Buffalo sauce
- I used Primal Kitchen Buffalo Sauce for this recipe.
- You can also make your own similar sauce by mixing about 1 cup hot sauce with 2 Tbsp cashew butter, ½ tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 2 Tbsp oil/melted vegan butter similar to my Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos.
- Panko Breadcrumbs
- I kept this recipe entirely gluten-free by using Ian's Food Breadcrumbs. However, use whatever brand works best for you.
- A lot of panko breadcrumbs have eggs in them, so make sure to double check the ingredients
- I prefer cornstarch over flour because it is gluten-free and I find it leads to crispier results when baked.
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch can be subbed for ½ cup flour or 2 Tbsp arrowroot starch for similar results.
How to serve buffalo tempeh
I love serving this buffalo tempeh as an appetizer alongside celery sticks, carrot sticks, and my vegan yogurt ranch dressing topped with chives. However, you can also use this baked tempeh as a protein-packed salad topping or crumble it up to use in tacos. It honestly would be so good as an addition to vegan mac and cheese too!
Yes! Tempeh on its own has a nutty flavor that is pretty distinct. I really like it, but I find that tempeh is much better after marinating in a sauce. Just 30 minutes will add more flavor to this dish, however, you can also marinate overnight to prep in advance.
Sometimes, tempeh naturally has a bitter taste to it. It is a fermented food after all! You can reduce the bitter flavor by boiling the tempeh in water for 10 minutes before marinating. I skip this step since I like the flavor of tempeh, but it's good to know about in case you prefer a more mild flavor.
I used Primal Kitchen Buffalo sauce for this recipe. However, Franks Red Hot Buffalo sauce is also vegan and dairy-free. Here is a recipe for homemade buffalo sauce if you can't find either option!
Leftovers can be stored in a closed container in the fridge for 3-5 days. They will lose their crispiness as they are left to sit with the buffalo sauce on top. However, they can still taste great crumbled up and added to salads or tacos!
I can't wait for you all to try this crispy Baked Buffalo Tempeh as a snack, appetizer, or protein-packed addition to dinner. Enjoy!
More easy vegan appetizers & sides you will love:
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Baked Buffalo Tempeh
- 8 oz tempeh I used Lightlife Foods
- ¾-1 cup Buffalo Sauce**
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs Italian seasoned is best
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- Vegan ranch dressing optional, for dipping
- Slice the tempeh into ¼-1/2 inch thick slices.
- Add the slice tempeh to a bowl and pour in ½ cup of the buffalo sauce. Gently stir together to coat the tempeh. Then, cover the bowl and add to the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Remove the marinated tempeh from the fridge and preheat the oven to 400F. Mix the breadcrumbs and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Then, take each slice of tempeh and dip it into the breadcrumb/cornstarch mixture until evenly coated.
- Place the breaded tempeh onto a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 15 minutes until crisp and browned. For even crispier tempeh, you can lightly spray with oil before baking. I also recommend flipping halfway through for the best results.
- Remove the tempeh from the oven and drizzle/coat with an additional ¼-½ cup buffalo sauce. I used ¼ cup and drizzled it on, but if you want to use more, go for it!
- Serve alongside a vegan ranch dip, use as a salad topping, or eat as is. Enjoy!
- **I used Primal Kitchen Buffalo sauce for this recipe. However, Franks Red Hot Buffalo sauce is also vegan and dairy-free.
- If you cannot find buffalo sauce, you can make your own by mixing 1 cup cayenne pepper hot sauce with 2 Tbsp cashew butter, ½ tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 2 Tbsp oil/melted vegan butter. You can also skip the cashew butter for a less creamy sauce.
- If your tempeh is too bitter, boiling the strips in water for 10 minutes before marinating helps.
- Leftovers can be stored in a closed container in the fridge for 3-5 days, however they will lose their crispiness. Leftovers are actually great crumbled up and added to salads or pasta!
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