Hot Sauce

Homemade Spicy Garlic Buffalo Sauce

Homemade Spicy Garlic Buffalo Sauce

**Slight Recipe Edit 8/13/12, changes noted in italics and below the recipe**

Over the past several years Buffalo Sauce has become quite the fad ingredient. I’ve seen it used in pasta, on pizza, in casseroles, and in dip known to some as “Crack Dip”… For most people I think it’s a love it or hate it type of situation. For me, I love it.

I’ve always been a pretty big fan of dip like sauces, and when I discovered Buffalo Sauce – I fell in love. Buffalo Wild Wings (B-dubs) was the place to hangout in high school. 10 cent wing Mondays and 15 cent boneless wing Tuesdays. Of course, the price slowly increased and I think a few years later they dropped the deal nights entirely, but the flavor of Buffalo sauce still brings me right back to those days of cruising around all day with my friends and then heading to B-dubs for a cheap (and delicious!) dinner.

My favorite sauce was always the Spicy Garlic and last week I really had a craving for it. I knew if I wanted to satisfy my craving I would need to make my own sauce. I found a copycat recipe that looked pretty good, but it still used a lot of Franks Red Hot. I have a bottle of Red Hot but it was pretty pricy so I wasn’t that excited about having to use almost the whole thing to make my own sauce. Also, one thing I have always liked about B-dubs sauce is that it is thick and emulsified, so it doesn’t separate when used in recipes or on wings. So I kept that recipe in mind and continued searching and until I found another recipe that looked good. I took the best of both recipes and combined it to make, what I think, was an awesome sauce.

Homemade Spicy Garlic Buffalo Sauce

It’s not exactly like B-dubs sauce, but Jesse and I both really liked it! Spicy, garlicky, smooth, and thick.

Homemade Spicy Garlic Buffalo Sauce


1/2 cup apple cider vinegar*
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ***
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp course ground black pepper
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp canola oil
1 egg yolk***
2 Tbsp water, plus more if needed
2 tsp corn starch

*The recipe originally called for Rice Wine Vinegar, which I thought I had but turns out I did not. I used Apple Cider Vinegar instead and I think it really worked. 
**Feel free to add more or less of each spice, to suit your own taste. 

*** 8/13/12 – After some experimentation I have decided that egg yolk is not necessary, reducing the vinegar and adding the little bit of corn starch is plenty sufficient for thickening the sauce. I also decided that 1 tsp of smoked paprika could be a little overpowering, and 1/2 tsp is just right.


To a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add the vinegar, dry spices, salt, sugar, black pepper, and canola oil. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture starts to thicken.

While the vinegar and spices are simmering, whisk together the egg yolk, water, and cornstarch. Temper the yolk mixture by adding a few teaspoons of the hot vinegar mixture to the liquid and whisk. Repeat two times, then stream the now warm yolk mixture into the sauce pan, whisking constantly. Simmer for 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool before pouring into a container for storing. Add additional water, as needed, if the sauce becomes too thick.

Optionally, pour the sauce into a heat proof measuring cup and use an immersion blender to make it extra smooth.

Use on wings, as a dipping sauce for fries, in your favorite Buffalo sauce recipe, or on Buffalo Chicken Sliders (recipe coming this week!).

Adapted from Domestic Fits and

In case you’re wondering where I got the bottle –  It’s just a “reused” juice bottle 🙂

How can I use this sauce??
Buffalo Chicken Salad
Buffalo Chicken Bites
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells
Easy One-Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta

This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking

    >Oooh, what a delicious sauce and a great recipe to have on hand! I bet this would be amazing on chicken, pizza, or in a dip like you suggested!

  2. Faye

    >My family loves Hot Wing sauce, the addition of the garlic sounds great. Can't wait to try this recipe. Good idea reusing that bottle!

  3. Anonymous

    >This looks amazing! Do you think it would work if I omitted the salt and used splenda instead of sugar? My husband is diabetic/high blood pressure, so we need to watch salt and sugar. Thanks!

  4. Jessica

    >I think you could decrease the salt, but not omit it entirely. As for the sugar, I think splenda would probably work, but I wouldn't use an entire teaspoon.

    Having said that, it is a relatively small amount of those ingredients in a pretty large amount of sauce. My husband and I used the sauce on 5 slider sandwiches, and I dipped my fries in it, and I would say that there is still more than half of the total sauce left. So we did not consume that much of the sugar or salt in one sitting.

  5. Jenn

    >This sounds fantastic!! I'm def. going to be making this soon!

  6. Emily @ She Makes and Bakes

    >Make you own?? I realize that you can make pretty much anything from scratch, but there's so many things I never think to try. Like this. I'll be making this soon. Amazing!

  7. Anonymous

    >How long does this last? So, I can make it and have it for multiple uses.

  8. Tory

    Could i use regular paprika in place of the sweet and smoked?

    1. Jessica

      I’m sure that would work!

  9. Rehana

    So, i was wondering how much this makes because after I made it, it only filled half of a soup bowl. I guess I was expecting to fill a jar because you had a jar on here but is that not true? how many times do you double or triple the recipe to make enough to fill a jar? Thank you.

    1. Jessica

      Hi Rehana! After reading your comment I realize the jar might be a little misleading! It wasn’t a huge jar, it was actually a recycled juice bottle (so I think about 12 oz? and it wasn’t totally full). I have doubled the recipe with good success before. Good luck!

  10. Chemere

    Can’t wait to try this. I have been looking to make my own healthier option. Thanks for the recipe. Sounds great and easy.

  11. Nathan

    Are there any reviews of this sauce? I would love to know what people thought after trying this?

    1. Jessica

      I’ve noticed a few people on pinterest have said they made this and liked it. Obviously I think it’s pretty good. 🙂

  12. Brandon Crane

    Not good. Just followed recipe exactly and tasted nothing like BWW spicy garlic. Seriously, really bad.

    1. Jessica

      Sorry it didn’t work out for you. 🙁 As I said in my write up, it’s not exactly like Bdubs sauce. But I’ve made it several times and we always really like it. Hope you find a recipe that works better for you!

  13. Kelli

    I just made this tonight. It was pretty good- we made buffalo chicken wraps with it. It had a slight BBQ tang instead of Buffalo for me, but it was still very tasty.

    1. Jessica

      Thanks for letting me know how yours turned out! I wonder if you reduce or omit the smoked paprika if that would get rid of that BBQ tang? You could also play with different types of vinegar!

  14. Meg, Happy Kids, Inc (@happykidsinc)

    So, I just made this and incorporated it into a Buffalo Chicken casserole. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    But let me ask….what exactly gives the sauce a “buffalo” flavor? I am a vegetarian, but I cook meat often for my family; I can’t say I know what that flavor would be. I was reading some of the other comments about it tasting different than what they expected. Just looking for some perspective.

    Also, I have freezed sauces that I have made from scratch; I imagine this would freeze well.

    Happy Kids, Inc

    1. Jessica

      I think Buffalo sauce (or Buffalo wings) gets its name from Buffalo New York, where (spicy) wings originated. It is not named after buffalo meat. The best way I can describe it is spicy, maybe a tiny bit acidic. Gosh, I’m not sure I’ve ever been asked to describe it’s flavor before, that’s a tough one!

      1. Meg, Happy Kids, Inc (@happykidsinc)

        Thank you! Yeah, I knew it referred to the sauce and not the meat; that’s why that bbq reference threw me in the comments. Just looking at the ingredients alone, there is nothing that screams bbq! This worked out great with the casserole I made, so thank you!

        1. Jessica

          Oh good, the word vegetarian threw me a little, haha! I’m glad it worked out for you! Thanks for coming back to let me konw!

  15. Liz

    Tried this. Turned out awesome! Thank you for the recipe.

  16. Ryan

    Tried this tonight, with a proper breading for the chicken, I eyeballed most of the measurements, all but the vinegar and the cornstarch for the most part, and forgot the water. They turned out great! a little more vinegary than I thought, but the main ingredient is Vinegar, love it, and may tweak a bit to hopefully get closer to that B-dubs taste!

    1. Jessica

      Thanks for letting me know how it turned out! If you make some tweaks I’d love to hear about them!

  17. Emad

    WARNING: for non US users. Chili powder in the US is not chili powder elsewhere in the world.. I used a full Tbs of red hot chili powder, and it turned out FIRE… As far as I read US chili powder has just 10% cayenne powder and the rest is cumin garlic salt and paprika.

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