Homemade Hot Sauce

We have several bags of hot peppers in the freezer, which makes it easy to keep our favorite hot sauce on-hand.

This sauce has more than great kick– the flavor is well rounded and delicious. We use it on all sorts of foods in our home, from potatoes to tacos to scrambled eggs. Even our toddler loves it. It’s a piece of cake to make and would keep for many months but always gets used up long before it could ever go bad.

Wear gloves or use great caution with hand-washing when slicing the peppers, and use a fan or open a window while they’re cooking!

Hot Sauce Recipe

1 t neutral oil, such as vegetable or avocado

16 ripe (red) serano peppers, thinly sliced

2-3 habanero peppers, thinly sliced

1/2 large onion or 1 small onion, thinly sliced

5 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups water

1 t salt

1 t sugar

1 cup white vinegar

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Add the peppers, onions, and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the water, salt, and sugar. Adjust the heat to simmer for about twenty minutes, until the peppers and onions are soft and the liquid has greatly reduced. Cover and let cool for several hours or over night.

In a food processor, puree the pepper mixture. Slowly add the vinegar while running the processor. Taste and adjust the salt as necessary.

Put the sauce in a jar or bottle and allow it to age in the refrigerator for a week or more before using.

This post is featured at Natural Family Friday.

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  1. kamayflemens kamayflemens
    January 10, 2015    

    My teenager is a hot sauce addict! We will be trying this!

    • January 11, 2015    

      Great! I make big batches so the fridge is always stocked. I guess you could say we’re hot sauce addicts, too. 🙂

  2. January 11, 2015    

    WE love hot sauce and while we don’t have a blender we do have one of those magic bullets. I’ll share this article on our FB tomorrow!

    • January 11, 2015    

      Fantastic, thank you! The flavor is great even when it’s not pureed totally smooth 🙂

  3. January 12, 2015    

    Great hot sauce recipe. Thanks!

  4. Melissa Melissa
    January 13, 2015    

    Pinned…my husband is a hot sauce addict also. Got to make it this weekend!

    • January 13, 2015    

      Great! I hope you love it! Just be sure you’ve got some nice fresh air while it cooks…the kitchen can get a bit spicy!

  5. Tammy Tammy
    January 14, 2015    

    Not sure if you mean teaspoon or tablespoon with just a (t)

    • January 14, 2015    

      Small “t” means teaspoon, large “T” means tablespoon. Sorry for any confusion, Tammy!

  6. Lola Lola
    January 14, 2015    

    Do I slice the peppers with the seeds???

    • January 14, 2015    

      Yes! I much prefer the kick of the seeds included, although if you wanted a smooth result without straining and you prefer less spice, feel free to deseed. 🙂

  7. Bob Bob
    January 14, 2015    

    How does it taste on wings

    • January 14, 2015    

      Wow, Bob, that is one AWESOME idea! We love really hot chicken wings and this flavor is more dynamic than straight-up Tabasco (which I love on eggs and stews, don’t get me wrong!) That might be the best-ever use of this stuff. Love the idea! We’ll try it soon.

  8. Jennifer Jennifer
    January 14, 2015    

    Just double-checking; I assume that you refridgerate the mixture if letting sit overnight?

    • January 14, 2015    

      I actually do not, but that’s me. I think it would be totally fine to steep it in the fridge.

      • Jennifer Jennifer
        January 14, 2015    

        Good to know! Thought I would check. Thanks for responding!

      • January 14, 2015    

        Absolutely! 🙂 Thanks for asking.

  9. Katherine Jewell Katherine Jewell
    January 15, 2015    

    In place of the fresh peppers can I use fresh drier? I had plenty so I drier them —- If so, what would be the ratio? Thank You Katherine Jewell

    • January 15, 2015    

      Hmm…I think it will turn out different than this one but might be a really nice sauce! I might even give it a shot and get back to you– we have lots of dried Thai chilies.
      I think I’d boil them a bit longer than this recipe and add a little extra water if it all evaporates. Then be sure to puree extra well in the food processor.
      As for quantities, I think I’d do a couple big handfuls to the proportion of onions, etc. You’ll have to experiment! Let me know how it turns out! 🙂

  10. January 27, 2015    

    I can’t wait to try this! It sounds amazing!!

    • January 27, 2015    

      Thanks! We love it! 🙂

  11. jance jance
    February 1, 2015    

    I made this yesterday and it is delicious! I cannot wait for it to age a week or two and see how it tastes. My sauce is more watery than expected. I cooked it for about 45 minutes, but the liquid didn’t seem to reduce much. It’s separated a little in the jar this morning. Do you think I can suck the liquid from the top and have it retain its integrity?

    • February 3, 2015    

      Hi Jance, I’m glad you like it! Mine does sometimes separate a bit in the jar. I just give it a good shake and it starts to remain more homogenous. Personally, I think I’d leave it “watery.” The liquid is probably mostly vinegar. If you pour it off, it will probably turn out extra spicy but otherwise fine. Hope it works out how you like it!

  12. Brett Brett
    February 14, 2015    

    Tastes great. Had to use green Serrano and jalapeno. Great flavor. Thanks!

    • February 14, 2015    

      I’m so glad! I’ve used those peppers as well. Thanks for letting me know!

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I'm Kelly. Writer, crafter, forager, country winemaker, cook. Mama of an awesome toddler and married to my best friend. We recently returned to the Pacific Northwest, where we're setting out to grow, make, and learn as much as we can as the future unfolds.

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