My Secret Ingredient for Adding Spice and Flavor to All of My Vegan Meals

Allrecipes Allstar Kristen Flowers follows a vegan diet, and always keeps this hot sauce in her purse.

Photo: Fred Hardy, Katherine Tucker, Ana Kelly

What makes a food product worthy of full-out love? We asked some of our Allrecipes Allstars to explain their passion for our 2023 Allrecipes Community Awards winners, from Chobani yogurt and Hellmann's mayonnaise to Cheerios and Frank's RedHot sauce. (See all the winners of this year's awards here.)

As a vegan, it's always an extra special bonus when I discover foods I loved in my pre-vegan life can remain in my repertoire. Frank's RedHot hot sauce is one of my tried-and-true favorites for which I did not have to find a vegan replacement. With just five simple ingredients (one of which is water), Frank's is not only vegan-friendly, it's got simple ingredients everyone can recognize.

Before Beyoncé made carrying hot sauce in your purse a pop culture thing to do (although she meant a baseball bat when she sang it), you could always catch me pulling hot sauce out at restaurants or family gatherings, whether I was adding flavor to meager vegan offerings or simply adding some much-preferred heat. Frank's has had a place in my purse, my pantry, my stomach, and my heart, for years.

When I cook, I cook with love and flavor, but because I love spicy foods and my husband does not, I add my heat later. I can cook to suit everyone's palate and still add in some spice for myself. I can make a mild sauce or chili, put some aside, and mix in the Frank's to bring the heat.

Where I Love to Use Frank's RedHot

I love to drizzle Frank's RedHot on my avocado toast and vegan scrambled eggs, not to mention atop tacos, burritos, beans and rice, and vegan wings. Any time I find myself thinking, "something is missing from this dish…" Frank's RedHot comes to the rescue and adds that missing flavor.

And that flavor, because Frank's ingredients are as simple and central as they are, can blend beautifully in all kinds of cuisine. I'm able to add a kick to Jamaican, Mexican, Chinese, or even a simple rice bowl.

Not only does Frank's add flavor, it also puts a pop of color on the plate. Whether it's adding that familiar bright red drizzle or lending color to a spicy vegan mayo or dressing, Frank's makes every dish worthy of a social media post.

And did I mention that the price is always right?

Why Frank's Is a Vegan's Best Friend

Being vegan makes it especially important that when I prepare food for non-vegan friends and family, my food lives up to my reputation and can rival its non-vegan counterparts. Vegan food gets extra scrutiny in the culinary world. People claim that it lacks flavor, is boring or unimaginative, or even that it's all "fake." Using familiar ingredients like Frank's has made it even easier for me to bust those common misconceptions. It's the secret ingredient in my vegan buffalo dip, which wows everyone who comes over to eat — no matter what their dietary preference. Because after all, everyone knows (and loves) Frank's RedHot.

Although I admit being a bit of a connoisseur of spice, I always come home to Frank's. It's like a spicy hug at the end of the day, and who doesn't love that? Just check my purse for the profit.

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