This easy vegan Buffalo Chicken sandwich is crispy on the outside but so tender and juicy on the inside! Double-breaded tofu slices are air-fried to perfection, then topped with flavorful buffalo sauce. Everyone will love these spicy, flavorful, protein-packed sandwiches!
These Vegan Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches make a perfect family meal because they are incredibly easy to make and so delicious!
Simply cut a block of tofu into four slices, dip them in batter and breading, then throw them in the air fryer!
Then, brush the patties with vegan buffalo sauce before assembling them into delicious sandwiches.
I like to freeze my tofu the day before, then thaw it in the microwave before preparing it. This creates a porous but dense texture, perfect for replacing chicken.
Be sure to check out my Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip for more of that irresistible spicy flavor!
Reasons to love this recipe
- Very hearty
- Easy to do
- Rich in protein
- Dairy-free and vegan
- Great for game day or parties
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Tofu – An extra firm block of tofu has the best texture for this recipe and holds up well to the breading process.
- Vegetable milk – Any kind of breading creates a thick, creamy breading.
- Hot sauce – Use a vegan hot sauce like Frank’s Red Hot for a buffalo flavor in the marinade.
- Apple cider vinegar – Adds a tangy flavor and combines with vegetable milk to aerate wet dough.
- Broth – Adds extra flavor to the marinade. Non-chicken flavor is best, but veggies work too. I really like the one from Better Than Bouillon and a small pot lasts a long time.
- Flour – All-purpose flour or a gluten-free substitute gives a crispy breading.
- Cornstarch – Use cornstarch for an even crispier bite.
- seasoning– A combination of garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and Poultry seasoning adds tons of flavor.
- Buffalo Sauce – I use a store-bought vegan buffalo sauce to coat the tofu patties. You can also make your own with equal parts vegan butter and hot sauce.
- Buns – Look for vegan-friendly buns, buns or burger buns.
- Optional toppings – Use any of your favorites like pickles, lettuce, green onions, vegan ranch dressing, vegan mayo, or even vegan blue cheese.
How to Make a Vegan Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
Here are some quick visual steps. Find the complete recipe with exact measurements on the recipe card below.
Freeze tofu, if you have time, for a meaty texture that will absorb the marinade well. Simply store it in its original packaging and freeze it for about 4 hours or overnight.
Thaw microwave the tofu for 2-3 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
Drain the liquid from the tofu then press it for 15 minutes. I do this by wrapping it in a tea towel and then placing something heavy on top, like a cast iron skillet.
Slice tofu into 4 slices and place them in a single layer in a large shallow dish like a casserole dish.
Mix marinade ingredients together and pour over the tofu. Turn them over and let the tofu soak in for 15 minutes. Turn them halfway through cooking.
Mix dry dough ingredients in a wide, shallow bowl.
To get rid of excess marinade from the tofu and place it in the dry breading. Pat the dry breading into the tofu, then repeat this process to make two layers of breading.
Cook them in the air fryer or fry them in the pan. I prefer the air fryer because I find it easier, less messy and the dough holds together better.
Air Fryer Instructions
- Set the air fryer to 375°F and spray the basket with cooking oil. Add the tofu patties, then spray the top with more oil.
- Cook the tofu for 20 minutes. Turn them halfway through cooking and spray them lightly again. The tofu patties are ready when they are lightly browned.
Frying Pan Instructions
- Heat ½ inch of cooking oil in a large cast iron or nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. We want the oil to reach around 350°F or until you get a sizzling sound when you drop a little batter in it.
- Fry the tofu for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. It’s okay if some of the breading falls to the bottom of the pan.
Grill inside of buns in skillet over medium heat. This helps prevent the bread from becoming soggy.
Heat Buffalo sauce in a skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Carefully dip the buffalo “chicken” into the sauce on both sides.
To assemble your vegan Buffalo chicken sandwich and enjoy!
Ideas for recipe variations
- Make them spicier with red pepper flakes, jalapeno slices, more hot sauce, or extra cayenne pepper.
- Break the corners of the tofu slices before marinating for a more natural buffalo “chicken” look.
Storage and reheating
The assembled Vegan Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches are best eaten fresh, as the buns can get a little soggy over time. However, you can store tofu patties in the refrigerator for 4 days or in the freezer for 2 months. Heat them in a pan or microwave and assemble the sandwiches just before you’re ready to eat them. You can also add a little more buffalo sauce to the patties or save them before adding the buffalo sauce if you plan to eat them later.
Frequently asked questions
Leave the block of tofu in its original packaging and place it in the freezer. Let it freeze overnight or for at least 4 hours. Once frozen, transfer the tofu to the refrigerator to thaw or remove it from its packaging and thaw in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Drain and press the tofu before using it in your recipe.
Freezing your tofu creates a dense, chewy, almost meaty texture. This process modifies the tofu because the liquid turns into ice crystals when frozen and condenses the tofu. Once thawed, the ice crystals leave pockets allowing the tofu to absorb the marinade more easily while the rest of the tofu is now soft and dense.
Related Vegan Recipes
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Vegan Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
These easy vegan Buffalo Chicken sandwiches are crispy on the outside but so tender and juicy on the inside! Double-breaded tofu slices are air-fried to perfection, then topped with flavorful buffalo sauce. Everyone will love these spicy, flavorful, protein-packed sandwiches!
- 4 vegan rolls, rolls, buns, etc.
- Optional toppings: lettuce, green onions, pickles, tomatoes, vegan ranch, vegan mayonnaise, vegan blue cheese, etc.
Freeze the tofu if time permits
Buffalo Chicken’n Sandwiches
Drain the liquid from the tofu then press it for 15 minutes. I do this by wrapping it in a tea towel and then placing something heavy on top.
Cut the tofu into 4 slices and place them in a single layer in a large shallow dish. Mix the marinade ingredients and pour it over the tofu. Turn them over and let the tofu soak in for 15 minutes. Turn them halfway through cooking.
Combine seasoned breading ingredients in a wide, shallow bowl.
Shake off the excess marinade from the tofu and place it in the dry breading. Pat the dry breading into the tofu, then repeat this process to make two layers of breading.
Cook them in the fryer or in the pan. I prefer the air fryer because I find it easier, less messy and the dough holds together better.
- Freezing then thawing tofu will help create a moist, dense texture as well as absorb more of the marinade.
- Toasting the inside of the buns helps prevent the bread from becoming soggy.
- For homemade Buffalo sauce, simply mix equal parts melted butter with hot sauce.
Portion: 1 sandwich | Calories: 473kilocalories | Carbohydrates: 58.5g | Protein: 20.9g | Fat: 17.8g | Saturated fat: 2.8g | Sodium: 877mg | Potassium: 306mg | Fiber: 4.8g | Sugar: 4.1g | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 3mg
Nutrition information is estimated and may vary depending on brands and measurements used.