Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Quesadillas

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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 20 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Total 1 hour
5 from 285 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

BUFFALO CHICKPEA QUESADILLAS | must-try vegan quesadillas
BUFFALO CHICKPEA QUESADILLAS | must-try vegan quesadillas

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.

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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 Violife plant butter, Country Crock Plant Butter, and Earth Balance vegan butter, all with great results.

PS: Looking for more great buffalo-flavored recipes? Try my Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower bites!

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.

PS: If you’re looking for more great quesadilla fillings, these Chipotle copycat Sofritas and Mexican Black Beans are excellent in quesadillas!

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!

More Delish Chickpea 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 285 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 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Diet Vegan
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 (see Note 1)
  • 2 tablespoons water or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup (115-130g) salsa of choice (see Note 2)
  • 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 (see Note 3)
  • teaspoon garlic powder
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional; I don’t use it when I use 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 (see Note 4)
  • 1 small bunch of scallions (4-5 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, 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.
  • 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 to 5 minutes or until softened and they have a little color, 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. Add the scallions and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and 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 slightly 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 or just press down on the skillet with my hands (using a kitchen towel so I don't burn myself).
    Cook the quesadillas for 3 minutes, then flip and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, or until both sides are crispy and nicely browned. Repeat with the remaining sauce, filling, and tortillas.


Note 1: 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. 
Note 2: use mild or medium salsa unless you looove spicy food since the buffalo sauce is already spicy. 
Note 3: 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.
Note 4: 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.

Calories: 583kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 989mg | Potassium: 589mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 781IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 205mg | Iron: 6mg

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4.99 from 285 votes (106 ratings without comment)

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442 comments on Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Quesadillas

  1. Angela Smith

    5 stars
    Absolutely fantastic! My hubby isn’t a big chickpea fan and even he loved them! So, so, so good. I’m thinking about making the stuff the day before and then throwing the quesadillas together when we have company. So good!

  2. Kellyann

    5 stars
    can you do something to speed up the cashew soak? or use a different ingredient in a time pinch?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Kellyann, we’re afraid we might be too late in getting back to you on this one. We don’t suggest substituting the cashews in this case unless you’re allergic. You can boil for 30 mins to an hour before adding cashews to a vitamix if you forgot to soak ahead of time.

  3. Cassandra Chowdhury

    5 stars
    Yeah, they really are that good. 😀

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Cassandra, So glad to hear you loved this recipe!

  4. Liz Pearson

    5 stars
    LOVE THIS! It is so easy to throw together and would be perfect for a game day. Serve with some salsa and vegan sour cream and I challenge any meat eater to object.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Liz, thank you so much for your kind review!

  5. Erin Sample

    5 stars
    Wow oh wow!! Easy to make with a huge flavor payoff!!! I’m excited to try more of your recipes!!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Erin, Thank you for your thoughtful review! We’re so happy to hear that you enjoyed the quesadillas.

  6. Elena

    5 stars
    Love this recipe. Have made it about 5 times on different occasions and everybody loves it

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Elena, thank you so much for your kind review! It makes us so happy to hear that :)

  7. Michelle Zunnno

    5 stars
    This was a hit this afternoon and not only for me, but my hubs loved it as well. The flavor is outstanding with just enough spice. I used FRONTIER CO-OP nutritional yeast nacho flavor and added a little bit more pizazz. This recipe is a definite keeper! Thank you so much.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Your review made our day, Michelle! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and for trying out the recipe.

  8. Kimberly

    5 stars
    Threw some leftover kale that I wanted to use up in the chickpea mixture — turned out great!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Sounds yummy, Kimberly! We’re happy to hear it.

  9. Pepper

    5 stars
    These quesadillas are my favorite lunch. So satisfying! I add avocado slices to mine and that kicks them up a notch more. So yummy.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Your positive feedback is the best reward for our hard work. Thank you, Pepper!

  10. Yvonne Lowe

    5 stars
    Wow, just as I had imagined, so yummy. They were so hearty, satisfying and filling. I will definitely keep this recipe on repeat.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re happy to hear it, Yvonne!

  11. Kristin

    5 stars
    Wow. I can’t believe how delicious this is! I don’t normally do reviews but I just had to, that’s how good it is! It’s the perfect spicy cheesy slightly sweet flavour and even my husband who is very picky about legumes loved it! This will be going into my recipe stash and on a weekly rotation for sure. Fairly easy to make it too.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Kristin, it’s great to hear you had success with the recipe. Thanks for the review!

  12. Maneesha

    5 stars
    Oh yasssss this is a banging recipe, Nisha!! It came together quite quickly! Loved it!! My new fav Mexican recipe! Woot woot!!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Maneesha, so jazzed to hear you loved the recipe 🎷 This is a staple in my house too!

  13. A Cook

    5 stars
    We really enjoyed this! I could see it being very good with some additional veggies like cauliflower, peppers, potatoes, etc. If I made this exact mixture again I’d reduce the amount of butter as I found the chickpea mixture to be a bit oily.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We appreciate your feedback and support, A. Thank you for leaving a review!

  14. Sumeya

    5 stars
    Wow! I loved these! I couldn’t get enough. The cheese sauce is absolutely delicious!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hey Sumeya! Wow, I can feel your enthusiasm about this recipe through the screen! Love it!

  15. Ash

    5 stars
    Oh my lanta! This was SO good! Just made it for my WFH lunch as a newbie to a plant-based diet, and I am astounded at how yum this was! I had premade the queso sauce the other day to use on a Mac n Cheese dish and used sriracha instead (Frank’s is a bit hard to find in my area in Australia). But all that said – it was INCREDIBLE and will definitely be added to my rotation of tasty simple meals!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Ash, thank you so much for your kind review!

  16. Elsbeth van Elk

    5 stars
    These are awesome! Even picky Indian boyfriend approved. Another great recipe! Only regret not making them sooner.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Elsbeth, it’s great to hear you had success with the recipe. Thanks for the review!

  17. B

    5 stars
    Even my carnivorous sister thought these were great!
    Thank you for your hard work and creativity!
    Great flavors!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Woohoo, that’s a huge win in our book, B. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Kyla

    5 stars
    Okay, I have to leave a review because this recipe was INSANELY GOOD!! It exceeded my expectations. My very non-vegan husband said this was the best quesadilla recipe he’s ever had! Nisha, you’ve done it again!

  19. Claudia

    What could I substitute the vegan butter with?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Claudia, you can use extra virgin olive oil instead.

  20. Guido

    5 stars
    That was unbelievably good! So good in fact, that we made it two days in a row.

    This might be one of our favorite newly discovered recipe. Can’t wait to try the other chickpea recipes from your video!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Yay! Those words are music to our ears, Guido! Thanks for giving the recipe a shot, we’re happy it paid off!

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