Friggin’ Awesome Buffalo Tempeh Wraps

[Buffalo Tempeh Wrap outside photo]Finally!  I’ve been looking forward to this day ever since that mistress tempeh won me over with her meatlike texture. Her soy sister tofu made a crispy deep-fried appeal to win back the love of my taste buds at a Thai restaurant today, but this day belongs to tempeh.  Buffalo tempeh.

I am an admitted lover of all things buffalo.  The sauce, not the animal.  So I guess some things buffalo.  Back in my meat-eating days, even when I was a generally healthy eater, a fried buffalo chicken sandwich pretty much trumped everything else on any menu for me.  Delicious and impossible to screw up.  So when I first tried tempeh, in Szechuan Tempeh with Spicy Peanut Sauce, the tangy, somehow blue-cheesy flavor left me with no doubts that tempeh would be a natural with buffalo sauce.

[Tempeh and Frank's]And by no means did it disappoint.  I went on Twitter and asked for some tempeh-cooking suggestions, the response came back “grill it,” and I did just that.  Grilling in the middle of the day on a weekday (thank you, grad student-hood) is one of those Zen experiences that just makes you happy to be alive.  And I achieved gustatory nirvana when I ate two of these buffalo tempeh wraps within the span of ten minutes.  The satori didn’t last too long though, because when you eat so fast and so much that you end up skipping dinner six hours later, you feel sort of terrible for a little while after the binge.  But all in all, it was worth it.

There’s not too much to say about them, because wraps are a pretty simple food.  I did make a Bobby Flay-esque blue cheese yogurt sauce to spread on the them,  so that was kind of fun, but the rest is straightforward.  Whole-wheat wraps, lettuce (spinach would have been nice but I didn’t have any), tempeh, buffalo sauce, the yogurt sauce, and some blue cheese crumbles.  Simple, delicious, impossible to screw up, and each wrap has over 30 grams of protein!

[Open wrap photo]I could go on for a long time about buffalo wraps in terms of stupid Zen metaphors (today was my once-weekly coffee day so I’m a little amped up), but there’s just no need.  The pictures provide all the evidence necessary.  And if that’s not enough, the surely my first 5 cows out of 5 rating should do the trick.  In the name of fairness and transparency I must tell you that this was a one-man totalitarian decision, since Erin didn’t have any (I didn’t find out she doesn’t really like buffalo sauce until after we were married).  So the small sample size makes it likely that the rating is an outlier, but if you’re a buffalo fan like me, make this; you can’t possibly not like this one.

Buffalo Tempeh Wrap Recipe

Ingredients (for 2 big wraps):

  • 2 large whole-wheat wraps
  • 1  8-oz package tempeh
  • 1/2-3/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce (make sure it’s Buffalo Wing, not regular Frank’s)
  • lettuce or spinach
  • a few handfuls of crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (I used soy, but Greek or regular would taste best)
  • 1 celery rib
  • 2 Tbsp minced red onion
  • small handful chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • salt and pepper

[Blue Cheese Yogurt Sauce]Heat your grill to high (the oven would work if you don’t have a grill)  Rub the tempeh block with oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, and about 2 Tbsp of the buffalo sauce.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes while the grill gets hot.  In the meantime chop the onion, celery and cilantro and mix in bowl with the yogurt and some of the blue cheese to taste.  Add salt if desired.  Grill the tempeh block for 2 minutes or so on each side, until heated and just marked by the grill.

Slice the tempeh into 1/2 inch slices and toss in a bowl with remaining buffalo sauce.  Spread the yogurt sauce on the wraps, top with lettuce or spinach.  Add half the tempeh to each and sprinkle with remaining blue cheese, if desired (mine was a little too blue cheesy , so go easy on the cheesy).  Fold in the sides, wrap up, and enter buffalo nirvana.



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  1. Hey nice recipe. Maybe I can tempt you to over to the dark side of Raw Vegan Athlete… I’m giving it my best shot after years of being a carnivore 🙂
    Good on you for doing something differently and being open to change.
    I am looking forward to reading the rest of your blog.
    Happy running!

    • Hmm, I don’t know if the raw thing is in the cards for me. I think it’s interesting, but I like cooking so much that it would be difficult. But congratulations on trying it yourself. I could see myself going vegan at some point, at least for a little while to see how it is.
      By the way, what is the rationale for the raw movement? I know people say that it’s much healthier than cooked food…what’s the reason? And is there some sort of ethical side to it (e.g., are we disrespecting plants by cooking them)?

  2. Glad you finally tried it. I know you love your buffalo chicken so hopefully this was just as good. I want to try this one out, maybe we will next week.

    • Hey Joel, let me know how it goes. I have no doubt that you’ll like it, since you tried tempeh before and didn’t barf. It won’t be buffalo chicken, but it’s not too far off.

  3. Found your blog recently and it’s nice to see other vegetarian (or close to it) runners! Though I’m much more of a vegetarian and you’re much more of a runner! We’re both making strides and that what counts. And I love, love, love me some tempeh!

    • Thanks for commenting Rhoni. You have a nice blog yourself! I’d really like to go “a little more” vegetarian, by eliminating all or most fish from diet, at least for a while to see how it goes. Tempeh is great, isn’t it? My favorite soy product yet (though I haven’t tried tofurkey)!

      • Don’t bother with tofurkey, seriously, don’t!!!! Just consider yourself warned. And I truly think fish is a very healthy meat…to be honest, occasionally, maybe a few times a year, I have indulged myself. So to a purist, I might technically be a pescetarian. The important thing, in my opinion, is to avoid shellfish because they are bottom feeders. You’re doing great!

  4. I can’t wait to try this! It’s on our dinner menu for Monday:)

  5. I am so making these next week! And nice blog! 🙂


    ie..MoreMuscles on twitter

    • Great, let me know how they are. And thanks for commenting. Readers: @MoreMuscles is a great follow on Twitter! She’s been helping to convince me to go 100% vegetarian. She’s a vegan fitness enthusiast!

  6. christine says:

    I had to try these once I saw your first semi 5 cow rating and even went out and bought bottle of Frank’s…i was not disappointed! DELICIOUS!

    I actually got the regular Frank’s hot sauce, not the wing, so mine had a decent amount of heat! Instead of the blue cheese, I mixed some chopped cucumber and dill into the cilantro-onion-yogurt.

    SO FREAKIN GOOD! Didn’t feel like anythin was sacrificed taste or fullness-wise. This is a keeper! Thanks!

    • You didn’t get wing sauce??? I specifically said to! I’m actually surprised that it was still good that way. I like hot food but that seems so hot! Try the wing sauce if you can next time. Cucumber and dill sound good in the sauce.

      • christine says:

        I know! As soon as I started making it I reread it more carefully and said some bad words. For some reason though it was totally do-able. It tasted just like wing sauce to me, not like tabasco dumped all over it. Greg the carnivore loved it too.

  7. I love wraps. It’s the easiest and one of the tastiest things to make. Not a vegeterains myself, but maybe I should give tempeh a try…

  8. Tar, haven’t been to the site in a while and I am blown away! This is blog is awesome – really enjoyed reading the entries – very inspiring stuff. I have last month’s burrito and this BTS on my list of meals to muster up – keep up the good work and get those legs moving under 3:11.

    • Thanks E! I usually put up 3-5 recipes each week, so you have to figure at least one will be decent. Try one or two a week to eat less meat. Pete has been doing it and seems to enjoy it.

  9. These were very good. I have some leftovers waiting for me for lunch too. I also am a buffalo sauce lover as the NMA is and had the Franks wing sauce on hand so I was really looking forward to this one. The best part of the meal is how quick and easy it was to cook with minimal cleanup too. I took Christine’s advice and went with some cucumbers which made the sauce even better.

  10. Not much of a fan of tofu, but now really intrigued by Tempeh! Would I be able to find it at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods?

    • For me, it’s so much better than tempeh. Because it’s firm, not spongy! I’m sure you could find it at Whole Foods. No Trader Joe’s near me, so I’m not sure about that one.

  11. I’ve had tempeh in restaurants before, but have never prepared it at home. I plan on doing so soon! Your buffalo tempeh wrap looks delicious. I’m really loving your all of your recipes – keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Megan! I really like your blog too (which is why it’s in my blogroll). And the fact that you ran Boston, of which I am so envious. But I’m going to get there next year. Readers, click Megan’s link (Runner’s Kitchen); it’s a great blog about running and healthy cooking.

      Tempeh is great. In fact I’m making another meal soon with it, a Rachael Ray recipe, substituting tempeh for chicken. Thanks for reading and keep coming back!

  12. So we finally tried these wraps…definitely tasty but I have to say that it’s not a 5/5 cows for me:( I enjoy buffalo sauce but I don’t think I love it as much as you do! I would, however, make them again. So far, my favorite use for the tempeh is in an asian recipe.

    For those who dislike bleu cheese…we added the cilatro/onion/celery to a little bit of fat free ranch and added a little bit of sharp cheddar cheese.

  13. I’ve been eyeing up this recipe for several days now, and I finally made it for lunch today! It tastes so close to the real thing!! Instead of using the blue cheese yogurt sauce, I substituted a mixture of Vegenaise and fresh chopped cilantro and it came out quite nice. I took a pic- mind if I post about it on my blog with a link to your site? 🙂

  14. I’m new to the whole vegetarian thing and I’ve never tried tempeh. Is it hard to find? Those wraps sounds delish! I love Frank’s Buffalo Sauce and blue cheese. Definitely going to try this recipe out! Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Jennifer Z´s last blog ..Weekend-ish recap =-.

    • I get tempeh at the health food store; I know that Whole Foods has it too. My guess is that even some well-stocked regular grocery stores have it. A few people have told me they like this meal, but that it’s not worthy of a 5. But since you love buffalo sauce like me, you’ll like it a lot.

  15. Cody Colaw says:

    This looks really good…I think I’m going to give it a try sometime. I work a wing place and eat the buffalo chicken wraps and sandwiches all the time but would love to replace the deep-fried chicken with something a little bit healthier..I will let you know how it turns out.

  16. My husband is riding in the Das Hugel in Austin Texas this weekend – so we’re carbo loading at home all week – this recipe was Delicious, we ate every last bite!!

  17. Bethany says:

    Wow! I’ve been a vegetarian for 10 years and LOVE new recipes. I just made this for lunch and it made me very very happy. I love your site and thanks for the great recipes!

  18. Hi Matt,

    Thanks so much for this awesome recipe! My boyfriend and I recently discovered the possibility of buffalo-flavored vegetarian food when we had a buffalo soy curl sub up in Portland this summer. This is definitely the next best thing! Nice use of yogurt, too! Just as creamy without the guilt. We will definitely be repeating this meal many times 🙂


  19. It was AWESOME! I made these with my son, it was fun to grill and great to eat. The sauce with yogurt ws great. We used greek yogurt

  20. As I live in the far west of the U.K., I am going to have to make my own Buffalo wing sauce. I’ve got a recipe but it seems to involve large quantities of butter, as do many of the recipes online. In fact one was just hotsauce and butter and nothing else! Any thoughts? Very much looking forwards to trying this recipe.

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