Tempeh Buffalo Wings

This is the first recipe I made with Frank’s Red Hot, and I’ve gone through bottles of the stuff on this recipe alone. It tastes like junk food without being particularly unhealthy, and is a fun way to prepare tempeh.

Tempeh Wings

I got this recipe from Clean Green Simple, which says you can also make this with cauliflower. I find that tempeh works well, and I like to have a protein (or high-lysine food, if you want to get technical) with every meal, so I haven’t tried the cauliflower variety.

I use Rhizocali Tempeh, an Oakland-made tempeh that can be found at Rainbow. It’s distributed frozen, and keeps indefinitely in the freezer. I buy a bunch of it at a time, so that I always have protein on hand.

I’m using use Frank’s Red Hot original sauce, which contains just peppers, vinegar, salt and garlic powder. They also make a buffalo wing sauce which might also be vegan, but it has “natural butter type flavor” as an ingredient, so who knows what that means.

I make this recipe with less sauce and oil than the Clean Green Simple version. If you’re serving it in appetizer portions, this may not matter, but I usually eat this as an entree, split between two people. I make this pretty frequently, so reducing the oil makes it more tenable as a frequent entree.


Cut the tempeh into roughly french fry shaped pieces.

tempeh wings - 01

Coat the tempeh pieces in the batter, and put the battered pieces onto a non-stick baking sheet. I’ve been using a Silpat non-stick baking mat for these, although an oiled pan may also work. Let excess batter drip off so that it doesn’t form a puddle under the tempeh on the baking sheet.

tempeh wings - 02

I find I have to go back and touch up the parts of the tempeh that I was holding, since they are otherwise missing batter.

tempeh wings - 03

Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, then brush them with hot sauce and oil, and bake for another 5 minutes. When brushing, I try to move them and get some of the hot sauce under them, so that the bottom isn’t too dry.

tempeh wings - 05

Tempeh, baked and glazed. These are a bit overcooked. :)

Brush the tempeh with the remaining sauce, and serve immediately.

tempeh wings - 07

Tempeh wings with steamed broccoli and pastina.



  • One 8 oz package of tempeh.


  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp Frank’s red hot


  • 2 tbsp Frank’s red hot
  • 1.5 tbsp oil

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the tempeh into french fry sized pieces. Mix the batter together, dip the tempeh pieces to coat, and put them on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

Mix the hotsauce and oil together. Brush the tempeh lightly with sauce, and bake for another 5 minutes.

Coat the tempeh with the remaining sauce, and serve immediately.


By my count, the recipe totals 843 calories (and 48g protein). If split between two people, that’d be 421 calories (and 24g protein) per person. With broccoli and rice, it’s about 670 calories (and 31g protein). If you’re dieting, you may want to reduce the rice to 1/2 cup for a total of 562 calories.

My point with all of this is that junk food has its place, even in calorie-restricted diets. This is truly excellent junk food, and isn’t even particularly unhealthy. It just seems unhealthy, which is a quality to be respected and admired in reasonably healthy food.

Vegans don’t have enough junk food entrees. I do my part by making this almost every week.

Related work

Prior research into vegan food made with Frank’s Red Hot includes:

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