Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Quesadillas

Jump to Recipe
These Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Quesadillas are the absolute best vegan quesadillas you’ll ever try! Made with a spicy buffalo sauce, chickpeas, and a Mexican cheese sauce, this is the ultimate comfort food! 
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
5 from 100 votes

These Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Quesadillas are a fan favorite for a reason. Despite being mind blowingly tasty and flavorful, they’re made with mostly pantry ingredients and easy to make. And they’re extremely popular with vegan skeptics, omnivores, and picky kids.

Check out the video on Youtube for a look at how to make these (including the trick to getting crispy, not soggy quesadillas). And some, err, cooking mishaps and awkward outtakes lol. There’s also a short food-only video at the end of this post :)

Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Quesadillas: Recipe Video

These quesadillas were so freakin’ delicious that I’ll never be going back to my simple cheese quesadillas. Sure, they take a little more effort and time than plopping some vegan cheese on a tortilla. But they are SO worth it. And they really don’t take thaaat much effort and time. As long as you’ve got your cashews soaked in advance, you can make these spicy, cheesy quesadillas in a half hour.

Woman pouring vegan buffalo cheese sauce onto quesadill

Ingredient Rundown

Buffalo Sauce

Hot Sauce: For these quesadillas, I married the oh-so-popular Buffalo flavor that people associate with hot wings with my favorite plant protein (chickpeas). The result is a hearty and delicious mashed chickpea buffalo sauce filling. Then I combine this filling with an irresistible Mexican cheese sauce for a match made in heaven.

I wanted the “buffalo” flavor to be pronounced but not overwhelming, which is often the case in buffalo-flavored foods. I use Frank’s Xtra hot sauce for that traditional, spicy “buffalo” flavor because I like things xtra spicy. If you’re okay with spice but want a slightly more moderate heat, I recommend Frank’s original sauce.

If you can’t find Frank’s hot sauce, you can make your own hot sauce (this is a copycat recipe for Frank’s hot sauce). Or use Cholula, Tabasco, or any hot sauce of your preference. Since the hot sauce gets mixed with (vegan) butter, you’ll want a hot sauce that’s pretty vinegar-y to balance out the butter.

Vegan Butter: Buffalo sauce is typically made with a hot sauce and melted butter. But, obviously, we’re going to be using vegan butter! I’ve made this with both Country Crock Plant Butter and Earth Balance vegan butter with great results.

close up shot of vegan buffalo chickpea quesadillas on a plate

Chickpea Filling

Chickpeas + Aromatics: Once the hot sauce is mixed in with the melted vegan butter and some spices, it gets folded into the mashed chickpea mixture. I rely on canned chickpeas make this recipe a quick, weeknight-friendly meal. And to give them extra flavor, I first sauté an onion and minced garlic in a bit of oil before adding the chickpeas.

moody close up shot of buffalo chickpea quesadillas on a plate being picked up by woman's hands

Mexican cheese sauce

This is the EASIEST cheese sauce ever, and it really tastes like a Mexican-flavored cheese dip. It features raw cashews, vegan yogurt, salsa, a few spices, and nutritional yeast.

The hardest part of this recipe is remembering to soak your cashews in advance. If you find that you’ve forgotten to soak your cashews overnight, you can soak them in boiling water for 1 hour.

Simply add all the ingredients to a high-powered blender and whiz until creamy. Even if you don’t make these quesadillas, you should definitely add this cheese sauce to your recipe repertoire because it’s insanely good (and healthy!). It’s great with burritos, enchiladas, tacos, and nachos!

Tips for making these quesadillas 

For the chickpeas, the recipe calls for one (15-ounce) can of chickpeas because that’s the most convenient amount to use. But if you have extra chickpeas on hand, I like to add about 1 1/2 (15-ounce) cans (about 2 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas). It makes each quesadilla a bit more filling. If you do increase the amount of chickpeas to 1 1/2 cans (2 1/2 cups), you shouldn’t need to make more of the buffalo sauce because the mixture is already so flavorful.

To achieve that perfectly crisp, crunchy texture on the outside of the quesadilla, follow this step. Weigh down the quesadilla with another skillet while it cooks in the pan. After a few minutes, flip the quesadilla and do the same for another minute or two. You’ll be in quesadilla heaven, I promise!

Watch! How to Make Buffalo Chickpea Quesadillas (short video)

More Mexican(-ish) Vegan Recipes

In the mood for more Mexican recipes that are not 100% authentic but are 100% delicious? Give these a try:

I hope you try out these Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Quesadillas! They’re incredibly delicious and I guarantee you will fall in love with them! If you love them, please rate and review them below :)

Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Queasadillas

5 from 100 votes
These Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Quesadillas are the absolute best vegan quesadillas you’ll ever try! Made with a spicy buffalo sauce, chickpeas, and a Mexican cheese sauce, this is the ultimate comfort food! 
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Diet Vegan
Keyword: chickpea, gluten-free, quesadillas
Serving size: 4


Mexican Cheese Sauce

  • 1 cup (130-140g) raw cashews, soaked overnight (or soaked in boiling water for 1 hour)
  • ½ cup (115g) vegan unsweetened plain yogurt*
  • 2 tablespoons water or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup (115-130g) salsa of choice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Buffalo Chickpea Filling

  • ¼ cup (56g) vegan butter (1/2 stick)
  • 4 tablespoons Frank’s hot sauce, original cayenne or Xtra hot, or hot sauce of choice**
  • teaspoon garlic powder
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional; I don’t use it when I use the Xtra hot sauce)
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce /425g) can chickpeas***, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small bunch of scallions (about 6 scallions, white and light green parts only, sliced thinly)

For serving

  • 8 large flour tortillas****


  • Prepare the Mexican Cheese Sauce. Drain the soaked cashews and pat dry. Add the cashews, along with the remaining sauce ingredients, to a high-powered blender. Blend until thick, creamy, and smooth. The sauce should be quite thick and creamy, but if you’d like it to be even thicker, add the sauce to a saucepan over medium-low heat for a few minutes to thicken up slightly.
  • Next, prepare the Buffalo Chickpea Filling. First make the buffalo sauce. Melt the vegan butter in a heatproof bowl in the microwave (or in a saucepan on the stove). To the melted butter, add the hot sauce, garlic powder, cayenne pepper (if using), salt, and sugar. Whisk until the hot sauce and butter are completely incorporated.
  • Then make the Chickpea Filling. Pour the drained and rinsed chickpeas in a medium bowl and roughly mash them with a fork or a potato masher, leaving some beans intact.
  • Heat the 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat and once the oil is shimmering, add the diced onion. Cook for 4 minutes or until softened, then add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute.
  • To the onions, add the buffalo-butter sauce and the mashed chickpeas, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then turn off the heat. Mix in the sliced scallions and stir to combine. Wipe out the skillet so you can reuse it for making the quesadillas.
  • Assemble the quesadillas. Spread an even layer of the Mexican Cheese Sauce (1/4-1/3 cup) onto one of the eight tortillas. Arrange about 1/2 cup of the Buffalo Chickpea Filling on top. Place another tortilla on top to cover.
  • Lightly grease the large skillet with a bit of oil and place over medium heat. Once hot, add the prepared quesadilla to the skillet. Place a smaller skillet on top of the quesadilla so that it presses down on the quesadilla, resulting in a nice crispy exterior. I also like to weigh the smaller skillet down with a couple cans of beans/tomatoes.
    Cook the quesadillas for 3 minutes, then flip and cook another 1-2 minutes, or until both sides are crispy and nicely browned. Repeat with the remaining sauce, filling, and tortillas.


* If you use a very thick, creamy coconut yogurt, you'll need to add more water or broth to slightly thin out the cheese sauce. 
** If you are sensitive to spicy food, use less hot sauce. Also, keep in mind that each hot sauce has a different level of spiciness. If your hot sauce is very spicy, use a smaller amount.
*** The recipe calls for 1 (15-ounce) can of chickpeas because that’s the most convenient amount to use, but if you have extra chickpeas on hand, I like to add about 1 1/2 (15-ounce) cans (about 2 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas) because it makes each quesadilla more filling.
**** This recipe is gluten-free if you use gluten free tortillas.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @rainbowplantlife and hashtag it #rainbowplantlife

Leave a Comment & Rating

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider giving it a star rating along with your comment! It helps others discover my blog and recipes, and your comments always make my day :) Thank you for your support!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe

185 comments on Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Quesadillas

  1. Dhanashree Pillay

    Made this quesadillas and they were amazing. My 11yr old’s favorite.

  2. Lucy

    Absolutely delicious

  3. Isabel

    My husband and I loved the recipe. We used 2 cans of chickpeas and were able to make 3 full quesadillas. It is great to save for leftovers and assemble quickly for a lunch or dinner. Next time I will make a bigger batch so it last longer 😁. We used the Jack’s original hot sauce and the amount of spice was perfect (4 tbs) without adding extra cayenne pepper.

  4. Hannah

    I cannot eat cashews what can I replace it with and how much of it?

    1. Amanda

      I’d experiment with macadamia nuts or oats. Soaking cashews and blending them is just making a milk or cream based on how much water you use. So I don’t see why you couldn’t sub either one of those. Just do a little research on how long to soak them and if you’d need to strain the end product. If you have to strain I don’t think they’re good candidates. Good luck.

  5. Grace

    WOW!! These are so flavorful and rich!! I’ve made this probably 5 times :) but I think there’s a little too much onion for me (or maybe I’m using too big of an onion) so I usually do half of an onion. Im not really sure what’s too big and what’s not so it would be really helpful if there was a conversion to grams. I also thinks it’s a little bit too sweet for my liking, so I reduced the coconut sugar from 2 tsp to 1/2 tsp and it really allowed the other flavors to shine! And lastly, I felt like it was missing something. So I added some like juice to the chickpea mixture and it was perfect!!! THANK YOU for sharing this recipe with me Nisha!! These are wonderful <333

  6. Ron

    I made these for our family gathering on game night. They were a hit! I served them with vegan sour cream, Salsa and guacimoli.

  7. Jeff Cooper

    I made this last night and it was delicious! I didn’t have the Frank’s brand of hot sauce and did wonder if it might have added a bit more of a kick than the brand I used. My totally carnivorous son asked when I was making this again. Thanks! See you in the kitchen!

  8. Nicki

    Made this recipe 3 times this week — SO good! I am also definitely spoon eating the nacho cheese sauce, just unreal. (Reminds me of the taco bell quesadilla sauce flavor too.) Thank you for making such a delicious and EASY recipe! Love your content!

  9. Quianah

    A NEW STAPLE. Me and my girlfriend love these so much. As a dip we mix vegan cream cheese with salsa and a little extra hot sauce, it is a great addition. I’m a saucy gal so I have to find a dip to go with everything. We use 2 cans of chickpeas and about 1 1/2 the amount of buffalo because we cannot get enough. Its the perfect amount for dinner and lunch the next day. We usually have left over mexican cheese sauce so we put it on our tacos if we make some the same week.

  10. Linda Damore

    I love this recipe! So easy to make and so delicious!

  11. Michelle

    Seriously!! This was really delicious. I just made this tonight and I had to leave a review. This is going to go into regular rotation!

  12. Rani

    Ok this recipe is IT. So yum. I didn’t stuff my tortilla too full bc I like my tortilla ratio to be high- I’m all about the carbs, so I had left over filling – I’ve made two batches of loaded nachos w the cheesy sauce- it’s sooo good. The Buffalo chickpeas are awesome too . But I strongly suggest my vegan cheese loving friends keep the Mexican style sauce in your kitchen repertoire. So easy to make and w pantry staples too ! Thank you , Nisha for another perfect recipe !

  13. Susie

    SO YUMMY! We made this tonight and it’s definitely going to be on a regular rotation. We used almond flour tortillas and slightly less butter and they turned out great. Thanks for the recipe!

  14. Jenna

    Hi! I’m not vegan but my 70+ year old father apparently is now for health reasons. I made this for him on Friday to rave reviews! I can’t handle the level of spice in this dish, but it’s right up his alley. Dug out my mom’s electric quesadilla maker, used a pizza cutter to finish. First -good- and filling vegan meal he’s had yet. I intend to peruse your blog for more! Thank you so much for a great family meal!

    He says you could bottle the cheese sauce and sell it on its own, btw. 😉

  15. Jovana Urosevic

    We made this recipe at home at least 6 times now! It’s one of our favourites along with your Creamy White Bean Soup with Kale and Gremolata! So delicious!

    1. Quianah

      Headed to find that soup now, thanks for adding it in your review!(:

  16. Ellen Gourley

    So filling and delicious. A little involved to make the separate ingredients but it’s so worth it.

  17. Suzanne

    I made this for the first time yesterday and OMG it’s absolutely divine! I can’t believe how good the nacho cheese is and the buffalo sauce was perfect. Thank you so much!

  18. Gabriella

    So friggin good! I was going to replace the yogurt for vegan sour cream but I had to throw out the sour cream when I looked at it. Ended up making the cheese sauce with plain almond milk and chickpea flour instead of yogurt. It was still super good! Would make again.

  19. Marty

    I made this other and day and it was awesome! I used some buffalo wing sauce and it turned out great. The funny thing is when I was a meat eater, you would have never caught me eating Buffalo wings. No interest in the mess. I have just started my vegan journey and your website and video are the best. Great production values on top of the great food. Not much of an insta-pot fan though, looks like a lot of trouble.

  20. Macy

    This was delicious! I had to improv a little bit because I didn’t have large tortillas, only small corn tortillas, so I did a taco situation. I also divided the nooch in half because I’m not a huge fan. But it was still delicious and that Buffalo sauce is TO DIE FOR!

  21. Asia

    Soo good! Highly recommended!

  22. Harriet

    Can you please provide the nutritional info in terms of total calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates.


  23. Sarah Lazzaro

    Made this tonight and it was so so good! Will definitely be making this again.

  24. Tanisha

    Nisha this recipe is absolutely delicious!!!! I can’t stop eating it haha. I also love your page, every thing you post is amazing! Never stop being you ❤️ P.s. my nickname is also Nisha :)

  25. Cheryl Howard

    Very yummy! I wound up using the leftovers the next day on top of a salad with ranch. Really good–I’ll definitely make this again. I had no idea buffalo sauce was so easy to make.

  26. Lauren S

    HANDS DOWN THE BEST VEGAN QUESADILLA OUT THERE. This recipe was perfection! Very easy to follow and easy to make! The cheese sauce is out of this world! 10/10!

  27. Beth Dudley

    Absolutely delicious and so filling! Definitely a keeper!

  28. Marcy Calhoun

    I like spicy also. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe. It looks so very delicious. Ordered Franks Hot Sauce. Will let you know how it all worked. Thanks for all your good food.

  29. Mike

    This was amazing!

    The cheese sauce was absurdly good on its own, then the combination with the buffalo sauce was even better.

    I’m gonna have to make this again (and again and again), like, tomorrow.

  30. Gabrielle

    This recipe is so simple and delicious and a great escape from my normal dinner routine. We made it with white beans (since we have a chickpea hater in the house) and subbed a big of Miyoko’s mozzarella and extra water for the vegan yogurt. It all turned out so great and shockingly cheesy! The omni in the house even thought it was like a better version of a cheese quesadilla. I definitely recommend serving with some guac or greens because it’s VERY indulgent, but in the best of ways.

  31. Molly Adams Hudy

    NISHA! THESE WERE AMAZING. I made them for the first time tonight & WHOA! This is the best food I’ve ever indulged in. In my whole life. New favorite food!!!!!!! EVERYONE MAKE THIS! Dishes like this enforce to me that the culinary & flavor experience associated with dairy & meat is not only not lost when translated to vegan- but enhanced.

    1. Nisha

      Yay, thank you for your lovely feedback on these quesadillas, Molly! I love what you said about the flavors and experience being enhanced. So awesome!

  32. Jill

    Wow! These quesadillas are amazing! My husband actually did a happy dance he loved them so much! I did change up the preparation a bit. I used the tortilla “fold over” method instead of stacking with two tortillas because I put them in the air fryer. They came out beautifully crispy and golden brown.
    I already had a jar of homemade nacho cheese sauce on hand so I didn’t try the Mexican cheese in this recipe, but will make that next time. This recipe will definitely be made again…and again!

  33. Hannah

    So glad I found your YouTube channel and blog! I made these for dinner tonight except I used a different hot sauce because I don’t like Buffalo lol.. they were really good!! I don’t have a high power blender so I used cashew butter Instead…. still turned out good.

  34. Wendy W

    This recipe is amazing!!! Tried it the first time about a month ago with my husband, we both LOVED it! So full of flavor. Making it again today! Thanks for sharing.

  35. Peggy

    Just made this last night and wow! I had to triple the recipe because I have boys, thinking there would be some left for them to make, They devoured these! So delicious and full of flavor. This is a keeper. Thank you!

  36. Peggy Finger

    Just made this last night and wow! I had to triple the recipe because I have boys, thinking there would be some left for them to make, They devoured these! So delicious and full of flavor. This is a keeper. Thank you!

  37. Mom of Vegetarian

    My family loved this dish. My 18-year-old daughter is trying vegetarianism, and I have been using your videos and website to help me ensure she has enough protein. Your dishes are yummy. With that said, I have “baby mouth,” so this recipe was a bit too hot for me, but the rest of my family does not. Even the carnivores and my octogenarian mother devoured this dish!

  38. Taj


    Great recipe, but can I use something else other than cashew nuts or can I leave it out?

  39. Iralyn

    Really good recipe that satisfies the buffalo/cheesey craving in a healthier way! We made it for lunch and it was a decent amount of time for a lunch recipe, so next time I’ll probably do a double batch to have easy leftovers for the week! We also made guacamole to go with it! Yummy!

  40. Hélène

    Dear Nisha,
    This is day 5 of your 7 day Vegan Challenge. My boyfriend and me couldn’t thank you enough, we’re just in love with all your recipes, and today’s quesadillas were just so good we cannot get over it. Now I just feel like trying every single recipe on this blog!

  41. Dipti DeGuzman

    Me and my family absolutely LOVE the Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Quesadilla!!! It has become a weekly staple for dinner!

  42. Bob Carter

    These are amazing. My wife and I went vegan about a month ago and have had several of your recipes and each one is better than the last. We love you!!!!

  43. Diana

    These are the absolute best, my husband felt we were dinning out because so over the top. Thanks for the recipes

    1. Diana

      I actually forgot to mention, cutting them with a round pizza cutter, works better and easier than a knife.

  44. Dev

    Love it! I put fresh spinach in my quesadillas and had to resist eating it all at once! Will be making again :)

  45. Scott

    This recipe is awesome. Non Vegan wife loved it too. I didn’t have non dairy yogurt so I substituted cashew milk (a little less than yogurt in recipe) with a splash of apple cider vinegar. Cheese could stand on it’s own for a dip.

  46. Shannon Epperson

    These were amazing! I could drink that cheese sauce. So, so good.

  47. Juani

    This is absolutely delicious. Just made this, using GF tortilla. The sauce is great (I added a pinch of turmeric and pepper but not necessary). Honestly, I don’t think you even need to heat up the sauce before putting it with the beans. I ended up using 2 cans of garbanzo beans. Between the sauce and the other ingredients it was enough to use 2 cans worth of beans. Lots of left overs and I’m looking forward to eating more of it. I also added some cilantro, because why not! This is definitely a repeat recipe.

  48. Logan

    I’m not a fan of chickpeas (unless they are mushed up into hummus!) so I made this with navy beans – YUM TO THE MAX!!

    Easy, pretty quick (I had some cashew mozza already made so I just spiced that and didn’t have to soak anything), filling, heaven on a plate.

    I’ve learned so much about cooking and spices since following your channel a couple months ago. Thank you!

Development Alchemy + Aim