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Vegan Buffalo Chicken Wraps with Soy Curls


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If you’ve been searching for a high protein vegan wrap, then these vegan buffalo chicken wraps are for you! They’re made with soy curls, a form of soy bean that creates authentic, chewy, and wholesome vegan “chicken.” The wraps also feature avocado, carrots, crisp greens, and a perfectly creamy, homemade vegan ranch dressing.

A vegan buffalo "chicken" wrap, made with plant-based soy curls, has been cut open. The two halves are stacked on top of one another.

At some point a few months ago, my cookbook editor and I ended up in a somewhat lengthy, detailed, and funny conversation about the fact that we love sandwiches.

Yes, sandwiches. It seemed ridiculous to be gushing about them over a Zoom call that actually had nothing to do with lunch foods, but there we were, comparing our favorite combinations excitedly.

Then the topic turned to wraps.

“Hmm,” I said. “I never really think about wraps.”

In reality, this isn’t true—I do think about wraps, and I like wraps a lot. But whereas I’ve published a lot of sandwich recipes on this blog, I’ve written pretty scarcely about wraps.

And that’s a shame. Wraps are portable, compact, filling, and fun.

After that conversation, I decided that I’d come up with a new wrap recipe. These vegan buffalo chicken wraps were the result.

The wraps are essentially a handheld version of a Power Plate, packed with healthful fats, energizing carbs, and plant protein.

More importantly, they’re tasty and comforting and easy to meal prep if you’re willing to make one or two of the components ahead of time.

A versatile vegan “chicken”

Back in February, I shared my go-to recipe for vegan soy curl “chicken” strips.

These have saved me money when I’m tempted to purchase the latest and greatest—yet not necessarily the cheapest—new vegan “chicken” that I find in grocery stores.

They’ve also proved to be mightily versatile in my kitchen. I use my soy curl chicken strips in sandwiches, pasta dishes, chili, easy skillet meals, and more.

What are soy curls?

Simply, they’re soy beans that have been soaked, stirred, cooked, and then dehydrated at low temperatures.

After you rehydrate the curls, they turn into chewy, protein-rich strips. In my mind, they taste and look quite a bit like chicken.

In reality, they are a single-ingredient food: soy beans.

Soy curls create a perfect base for a vegan buffalo chicken wrap. The rest of the wrap’s goodness lies in its crispy veggie fillings—shredded carrots, avocado, crispy lettuce—and the creamy ranch dressing that gives it extra flavor.

An angled image of a glass mason jar, resting on a white surface. It contains a creamy vegan ranch dressing with herbs.

A better ranch dressing

Somehow it took me a decade and more to create a homemade, cashew-based vegan ranch dressing that I actually prefer to store-bought.

Now that I’ve created it, however, I’ve been using the ranch dressing on anything and everything.

It’s a great replacement for mayo in sandwiches, an excellent topping for my roasted chickpea quinoa bowls, a fun dressing for steamed broccolini or broccoli florets, and great for dipping crudités.

The advantage of a homemade vegan ranch is that it’s less aggressively salty than store-bought (I like well-seasoned everything, but most of the commercial versions go overboard).

I also like that the herbs taste fresh, because they are fresh! You have the option to use dried herbs in the recipe, but I think that fresh, chopped dill, chives, and parsley give the dressing life.

A veganized buffalo sauce

I’m a complete wimp when it comes to spicy food, so it took me ages to warm up to buffalo sauce.

Once I played around with it, adding it to roasted chickpeas and tofu marinades and such, I started to understand why people love its buttery, hot-sweet flavor.

I used to have the impression that making homemade buffalo sauce is more complex than it is.

In reality, it’s just a matter of mixing up hot sauce and melted butter, with some additional seasonings that can vary from recipe to recipe.

This version calls for vegan butter. I don’t think that the brand matters much here, so you can feel free to use whichever vegan butter suits your tastes, budget, and dietary priorities.

For seasoning, I use garlic powder, maple syrup, and smoked paprika for some depth of flavor.

How to make vegan buffalo chicken wraps

Once the components of these wraps are ready—in other words, once you prepare the vegan chicken strips and ranch dressing—the rest of assembly is easy.

An overhead image of a ceramic bowl, which has been filled with a vegan protein.

Step 1: Prepare the soy curl chicken strips

This can be done up to several days in advance. If you make the chicken strips right before you assemble the rest of the wrap, your oven will be preheated for you.

If you don’t make the soy curls ahead of time, preheat the oven to 425°F / 220°C.

A red colored sauce is being whisked together in a small mixing bowl.
Using a melted, plant-based butter makes it easy to create authentic vegan buffalo sauce as a marinade for the soy curls.

Step 2: Whisk together the buffalo sauce and dress the soy curls

Next, whisk together your buffalo sauce in a small bowl.

Transfer the soy curl chicken strips to a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet, then pour the sauce over them.

Use your hands or kitchen tongs to mix up the sauce and the curls on the sheet.

Step 3: Bake

Re-bake, I should say, since the soy curls have already been baked once. Baking them again with the sauce will help to lock in flavor and seasoning.

A baking sheet has been used to bake a plant-based protein.
The baked soy curls will be dark and browning at their edges.

The curls will need about fifteen minutes in the oven, or until the sauce is drying and darkening.

Step 4: Assemble your wraps

”Assemble your wraps” is a succinct instruction, but let’s not pretend that rolling up a sturdy (read: not too stuffed, not too paltry, not about to fall apart) wrap is easy!

It’s key to use a wrap that’s big enough—I recommend something that’s 10-12 inches / 25-30cm in diameter. 8 inches / 20cm is probably the smallest size that will allow you to add enough fillings to the wrap, while successfully and tightly rolling it up.

To do this, arrange a wrap on a work surface.

Layer a quarter of the soy curls along the center of the wrap vertically. Top them with 3/4 cup of the lettuce, 1/3 cup of the carrot, some sliced avocado, and 2 tablespoons of the ranch dressing.

Tuck the top sides and bottom sides of the wrap over the filling. Then, fold one of the wrap’s two sides over the filling and tucked edges, trying to keep everything compact.

Roll the wrap up from the tucked side to the free side.

Repeat this process until you’ve got four wraps, either to eat right away or to store (for up to 3 days) in the fridge as part of your vegan meal prep.

Storage

I don’t recommend storing a prepared wrap for more than 2-3 days in the fridge. After that point, it’s likely to get soggy, and your poor avocado will be browning.

Instead, you can make the soy curls, season them, bake them, and store them for up to four days prior to rolling up your wrap. You can also freeze them for up to six weeks.

The cashew ranch dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to four days.

More handheld lunch ideas

If this post is making you realize that you’re more of a sandwich and wrap enthusiast than you even realized, I have a few more suggestions!

Sandwiches

  • Pickled vegetable and smoky tofu sandwich (posted this one in October, and it’s a hit!)
  • Miso tahini vegetable sandwich
  • Vegan BLT with homemade mayo
  • Avocado and kabocha sandwich
  • Green goddess club
  • Pantry grilled cheese (and tomato soup)

Wraps

  • Vegan chickpea Caesar wraps
  • Lentil tahini wraps
  • Rice & bean collard wraps

And if you’d like in general to be a little more proactive with your homemade lunch planning, then you might want to check out these vegan meal prep lunch ideas.

The Vegan Week

Embrace the joy of eating homemade food every day with the hearty and wholesome recipes in The Vegan Week.

Whether you have three, two, or even just one hour of time to spare, The Vegan Week will show you how to batch cook varied, colorful, and comforting dishes over the weekend.

Buy The Vegan Week

Ingredients

  • 1 batch 5-Ingredient Vegan Soy Curl Chicken Strips
  • 6 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot
  • 2 tablespoons melted vegan butter
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 4 large wheat wraps (10-inch / 25 cm)
  • 3 cups lightly packed, shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce
  • 1 1/3 cups shredded carrot
  • 1 small avocado, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup homemade vegan ranch dressing (120ml)

Instructions

  • Prepare the soy curl chicken strips as directed. If you do this directly before making the wraps, leave the oven on at 425°F / 220°C. If you make the chick’n style soy curls a day or two in advance of preparing the wraps, preheat the oven to 425°F / 220°C.
  • Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil. Arrange the chick’n style soy curls on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Whisk the hot sauce, butter, syrup, garlic powder, and paprika together in a small mixing bowl. Pour this sauce over the soy curls on the baking sheet and use your hands or tongs to mix them well, coating each piece thoroughly with the sauce.
  • Transfer the soy curls to the oven. Bake them for 15 minutes, or until the sauce is drying and darkening. No need to stir while baking. Allow the soy curls to cool for 15 minutes on the sheet.
  • Arrange a wrap on a work surface. Layer a quarter of the soy curls along the center of the wrap vertically. Top them with 3/4 cup of the lettuce, 1/3 cup of the carrot, some sliced avocado, and 2 tablespoons of the ranch dressing. Tuck the top sides and bottom sides of the wrap over the filling. Then, fold one of the wrap’s two sides over the filling and tucked edges, trying to keep everything tight and compact. Roll the wrap up from the tucked side to the free side. Cut the wrap in half.
  • Serve. Leftover wraps can be wrapped tightly in foil or saran wrap and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.

I don’t usually post recipes on Saturdays, but I’ve been behind for a couple weeks and woke up determined to press publish today.

It’s not bad timing, actually, because weekends are a good time to strategize about making some not-sad-desk-lunches for the work week ahead.

Hope you’ll enjoy this one, and I’ll be checking in tomorrow with the usual Sunday things.

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