Consider yourself warned: You will want to put this Homemade Buffalo Sauce on everything! Yes, every thing! Not only is this a Whole30 Buffalo Sauce recipe, but it comes together so easily with just six everyday ingredients. Here we dish up our secret ingredients, as well as all the amazing ways you can enjoy this flavorful, cleaned up Homemade Buffalo Sauce recipe.
This recipe was originally posted March 31, 2017; Updated July 22, 2021.
What is Buffalo Sauce?
Buffalo sauce is a spice-forward savory sauce that gives foods an appealing flavor kick from the mix of pepper sauce, vinegar, and spices. There is definitely not any buffalo in this sauce, so you may be wondering how this popular sauce got its name. Like many famous recipes, the origins are a little fuzzy and several people lay claim to being the originator. Buffalo sauce seems to have first been served at a bar in Buffalo, New York sometime in the 1970s, and the appealing taste helped make chicken wings a mainstay on menus ever since. Prior to the discovery that wings are delicious when doused in this peppery sauce, the wing part of a chicken had little use, and was used mainly just to make chicken stock. We all have buffalo sauce to thank for that!
Is Buffalo Sauce Healthy?
Research has shown the capsaicin, the active ingredient in spicy peppers, has health benefits. And especially so when capsaicin (a fat-soluble molecule) is paired with some fat, as it is in this Homemade Buffalo Sauce recipe. In one study, a link was found between frequent consumption of spicy foods and significantly increased life expectancy. Other research has uncovered a connection between regular intake of capsaicin and improved digestion, fewer headaches, lowered blood pressured, and boosted metabolism.
The Secret Ingredients in our Homemade Buffalo Sauce Recipe
We employ two secret ingredients to make the best-tasting homemade buffalo sauce that is also Whole30 compliant. The first is ghee, and the other is coconut aminos.
Ghee: This clarified butter is made from cow’s milk and it is traditionally used in Indian cooking. We love ghee for its rich, nutty flavor and high-smoke point, which makes it perfect for sautéing, searing, frying, and roasting. In the process of making ghee, the milk solids and impurities are removed, which makes it a Whole30 and Paleo compliant ingredient. Learn more about the difference between ghee and butter in this post.
Coconut Aminos: If you have yet to try coconut aminos as a substitute for soy sauce, we recommend that you do. It’s a staple in our kitchens and an ingredient we use often. Using coconut aminos in place of soy sauce, shoyu, or tamari is an easy way to reduce sodium, plus it’s Whole30-friendly, flavorful (it doesn’t taste anything like coconut) and made from just two ingredients (coconut sap and sea salt). Two of our favorite brands are Coconut Secret and Thrive Market.
Ingredients to Make Homemade Buffalo Sauce
All you need is five ingredients (and an optional sixth) to make this easy homemade buffalo sauce.
- Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce: We swear by using Frank’s original sauce as the base for this recipe because it is made simply from dried cayenne red peppers, distilled vinegar, water, salt, and garlic powder
- Ghee: This wonder ingredient is simply clarified butter, where all of the impurities and milk solids in butter have been strained out. Using ghee makes for a nice clear buffalo sauce that is cleaned up and less greasy. We like the Organic Valley Ghee, or you can check out our recipe for how to make homemade ghee
- Coconut Aminos: You can use low-sodium soy sauce, shoyu, or tamari; however, for gluten-free, sodium sensitivity, or Whole30, we do recommend using coconut aminos since it is lower in sodium and made from just two ingredients
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Or you can use distilled white vinegar or white wine vinegar
- Garlic Powder: This helps create that familiar garlic flavor undertone in buffalo sauce
- Cayenne Pepper: This ingredient is optional, but if you want to get the most spicy kick in your buffalo sauce, be sure to include it
How to Make Whole30 Buffalo Sauce
This one-pan recipe for homemade buffalo sauce is as easy as heat and stir. To make it, simply add the ingredients to a saucepan over medium heat, then heat and whisk until the ingredients are combined. That’s it!
What makes our buffalo sauce Whole30 friendly? Most buffalo sauce recipes call for Worcestershire sauce, which is a many-ingredient condiment that includes added sugar, salt, and often added soy sauce or gluten. Since sugar and gluten are no-no ingredients on Whole30, our cleaned-up buffalo sauce recipe is made without any Worcestershire sauce or any other sources of added sugar or salt.
Also, many purchased buffalo sauces contain undesirable additives, such as gums, fillers, preservatives, and added sugars.
If you are doing a Whole30, then you already know the importance of having a flavorful meal. This Homemade Buffalo Sauce recipe will ignite your excitement for all kinds of delicious dishes. Read on for the many Whole30-friendly ways we love to serve it.
Healthy Recipes with Buffalo Sauce
This easy Homemade Buffalo Sauce recipe makes a generous 1 cup of sauce. Give it a try in some of our most popular recipes, including:
- Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings
- Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
- Healthy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
- Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip (Dairy Free)
- Buffalo Chicken Egg Muffins
- Cauliflower Buffalo Bites
- Creamy Buffalo Chicken Casserole
- Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken
Delicious Ways to Enjoy Homemade Whole30 Buffalo Sauce
In addition to using our easy Whole30 Homemade Buffalo Sauce in recipes like those shown above, we also love to enjoy this pungent, spice-forward sauce over
- roasted vegetables and sautéed greens
- grilled meats and shredded chicken
- scrambled eggs and egg salad
- baked sweet potatoes and oven fries
- stirred into our Ranch Dressing for an awesome dairy-free dip
How to Store Homemade Buffalo Sauce
After you’ve melted and whisked together the ingredients, remove the saucepan from the heat and transfer the buffalo sauce to a glass storage container (we like these 0.25 liter Weck jars). Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. If you’d like to make a lot of buffalo sauce, you can easily double or triple the recipe. Buffalo sauce can be frozen in a freezer-safe bag for up to 6 months.
- 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce
- 5 tablespoons ghee*
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos**
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- Place a small saucepan over medium heat. Add all ingredients to saucepan. Once the ghee is melted, whisk to combine.
- Transfer sauce to a glass jar with lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
*A note on ghee: Ghee is clarified butter made from cow’s milk and it is traditionally used in Indian cooking. We love ghee for its rich, nutty flavor and high-smoke point, which makes it perfect for sautéing, searing, frying, and roasting. In the process of making ghee, the milk solids and impurities are removed, which makes it a Whole30 and Paleo compliant ingredient. Learn more about the difference between ghee and butter in this post.
**A note on coconut aminos: If you have yet to try coconut aminos as a substitute for soy sauce, we recommend that you do. It’s a staple in our kitchens and an ingredient we use often. Using coconut aminos in place of soy sauce, shoyu, or tamari is an easy way to reduce sodium, plus it’s Whole30-friendly, flavorful (it doesn’t taste anything like coconut) and made from just two ingredients (coconut sap and sea salt). Two of our favorite brands are Coconut Secret and Thrive Market.
- Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
- Calories: 39
- Sugar: 0 g
- Sodium: 540 mg
- Fat: 4 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 0 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 10 mg
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We’d love to hear how you use this Homemade Buffalo Sauce in your meals. Leave a comment below!
About Jessica Beacom
Jessica is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Boulder, CO with her husband and two daughters. She’s been described as a ‘real food evangelist’ and loves sharing her knowledge with others to help them break free of the diet mentality and find their own food freedom. In her spare time, she enjoys CrossFit, telemark skiing, mountain biking, and camping out under the stars.