Ready to get saucy? This buffalo-style grilled corn recipe is topped with a drizzle of homemade vegan blue cheese dressing. This spicy vegan & gluten-free side dish is a terrific addition to your barbecue or cookout.
When we were first dating, in the back of David’s silverware drawer I spied corn holders. It was a very good sign.
While we attended the same Iowa college, we didn’t actually meet until we had both been living in Los Angeles for many years. When I rolled open the kitchen drawer in his apartment and saw those corn-shaped holders nestled with leftover salt & pepper packets, I knew we were simpatico.
You’d be hard pressed to go into any Iowa home and not find holders for ears of corn. I think it’s in the rental agreement & purchasing contract…
“House includes hardwood floors, 2 baths, 3 bedrooms, a finished basement, and of course, a set of corn holders for family and friends – as is mandated.”
It’s a funny thing about humans. We’re always looking for our tribe. And while there are obvious things like growing up in the same place or going to the same school, it’s often in the little things that we find commonalities.
Whether you’re waving to a stranger who drives the same kind of car that you do, or saying, “nice shirt,” to the random person donning a t-shirt emblazoned with your favorite band or TV show, as humans we crave connection. We look for people who value the same things we do.
In my recent vegan cookout post, I wrote about serving this buffalo-style grilled corn recipe to my friends, Hannah & Carl.
They are both vegan and food lovers. Like my own Instagram feed, much of Hannah’s is filled with pictures of wot covered injera, homemade lasagna, and diner food that she ate on a road trip.
Because of its messy nature, I like to serve this corn with individual cups of vegan blue cheese dressing. That way people can pile on dressing with each bite or add another dollop as they flip the ear to the other side.
Hannah was noticeably giddy when I gave her a tiny individual cup filled with dressing and its own miniature spoon tucked inside. And I seriously love that.
To someone who doesn’t get into that kind of thing, you can’t explain why a miniature serving cup & teeny spoon makes a dish fun, why that makes a dish special, why that ups the ante on the experience… but it does. And that Hannah knew without explanation, that she just knew intrinsically? She’s very much my people.
In my silverware drawer, next to the corn holders, there are at least 10 tiny little spoons. I love tiny little spoons. I find them irresistible. If I see a tiny little spoon in a store, I’m at least going to check the price, even if I don’t buy it.
Buffalo corn – Hot off the grill!
This grilled corn recipe gets the buffalo treatment that is usually reserved for seitan, Soy Curls, buffalo chickpea sandwiches, or cauliflower wings. I’ve heard people use buffalo sauce on other stuff too… But don’t they know that chickens prefer to keep their wings?
When it comes to buffalo-style grilled corn, choose your dining companions wisely. This spicy dish is best served with a side of napkins.
Vegan blue cheese dressing
The heat of the buffalo sauce is tempered by the cooling vegan blue cheese dressing. It has clumps of crumbled tofu inside instead of dairy-based blue cheese. It also gives this side dish some staying power.
(If you don’t want to make your own dressing, I’ve heard good things about the Follow Your Heart vegan blue cheese. I’ve tried their ranch dressing, which would also be great here.)
I’d say this dressing is ranch-meets-blue cheese in terms of flavor with dried parsley, oregano, basil, and garlic powder. It has a savory salty kick that can bite back to the vinegary heat of the buffalo sauce.
Or if you like, you can finish the corn with vegan ranch dressing.
Vegan buffalo sauce
For the buffalo sauce, I’m of the mind that it has to be Frank’s Red Hot Sauce or it’s not really buffalo. But if you have a favorite vinegar-based hot sauce, who am I to stop you? Give it a go.
I do equal parts non-dairy butter with hot sauce.
How to grill whole ears of corn
Grilling gives the corn such beautiful, dark splotches of color. For best results, put dry ears of corn in lines of direct heat. (There are a few areas of my gas grill, where food browns the fastest. If your grill is similar, aim the ears for those spots.)
Don’t move the ears too much, because you want them to have time to gain nice black spotting. After you’ve gotten some shading in one area, give the ears a spin with your tongs until all of it has gotten some heat.
Close the hood on the grill between turns, so that it can cook inside as well. (You may hear some popping. That likely means your ears are about done.)
If the weather isn’t grilling-appropriate, I’m sure boiled or steamed corn would also work here. Just dry the ears before applying the sauce.
Make this buffalo-style grilled corn recipe for your summer barbecues or Fourth of July festivities. And who knows? Maybe you too will find love or friendship in the silverware drawer.
Buffalo-style grilled corn on the cob with vegan blue cheese dressing
For vegan blue cheese dressing
- 1/2 cup crumbled tofu about 2.5 ounces super firm tofu*
- 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise I use Vegenaise
- 1 Tablespoon non-dairy milk I use cashew milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch salt
For buffalo corn on the cob
- 3 Tablespoons vegan butter
- 3 Tablespoons Frank's Red Hot Sauce or your preferred hot sauce
- 4 ears corn on the cob husks and silk removed
- Garnish: A handful of chopped chives optional
To make vegan blue cheese dressing
- In a bowl, combine the crumbled tofu, vegan mayonnaise, non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic powder, and pinch of salt. Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary. Move dressing to refrigerator until ready to use.
To make buffalo corn on the cob
- Put vegan butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 15 to 30 seconds until it has melted. (If you'd rather not use the microwave, melt the butter in a small pot on the stove instead.) Stir in hot sauce until it has completely combined with the vegan butter. Set aside.
- Bring outdoor grill to a high heat - roughly 500 to 600 degrees. Grill the corn for about 10 minutes. Use tongs to move it occasionally, so that it can brown all over. However, don't move the corn too much, so that you can get good, dark grill marks.
- Once the corn is done, remove from grill. One at a time, drizzle buffalo sauce on each ear of corn over a plate. Roll each ear through the sauce, until each one is evenly coated. Put the buffalo sauce-covered corn on a platter and add a dollop of vegan blue cheese dressing to each ear. Garnish with chopped chives (optional). Serve with additional vegan blue cheese dressing, so that people can add their own dressing to the corn as they eat. Eat right away.