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The Best Jalapeño Hot Sauce Recipe (Simple and Tasty)

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When harvest time comes around, making hot sauce is one of our favorite things to do with our jalapeño peppers. We’re known for adding a generous amount of hot sauce to any dish, morning or night.

This is a basic recipe for a simple jalapeño hot sauce. The flavors of the peppers, as well as the garlic and onion, are brought together by roasting them on a cast iron pan. This recipe is not fermented, so it can be made quickly and served right away.

You can also let it sit in the fridge for a few days and let all of the flavors meld together. If you liked our habanero hot sauce recipe, you’ll love this green sauce as well!

jalapeño hot sauce

Jalapeño Hot Sauce (Video):


Why you’ll love this jalapeño hot sauce recipe

  • It’s a great way to use up a large harvest of jalapeño peppers.
  • It’s very versatile. You can experiment with additional ingredients for a more personalized flavor.
  • It tastes great on a variety of dishes, from chicken tacos to pizza.
  • All the ingredients are easy to find at a standard grocery store.
  • You can make this sauce with any type of jalapeño you’d like. Yes, there are many different types of jalapeños!
  • It’s not too spicy. This makes a great sauce to prepare for friends and family members that may be sensitive to spicy foods. You can also make it spicier by adding serrano peppers.
  • This recipe makes just enough sauce. (About 2-3 cups). We typically use it up within a week and even share some with our friends and family.
jalapeño hot sauce

About the ingredients

  • Green jalapeños. While red jalapeños make for a great hot sauce, green ones are easier to find (unless you grow your own). By charring them in a cast iron pan, you’ll end up with an exceptional, smoky flavor.
  • Onion and garlic. These essentials add richness to the hot sauce. Pan-roasting them takes away the astringent bite and adds a subtle, caramelized sweetness.
  • Cumin. This spice is a staple in our kitchen for cooking delicious Indian food, sauces, and salsas. If you’re feeling fancy, try toasting and grinding your own cumin seeds for the most vibrant flavor!
  • Cilantro. While this herb isn’t everyone’s favorite, it is essential to this hot sauce recipe. Don’t shy away just yet, as it isn’t too overpowering.
  • Sugar. A touch of sugar adds just enough sweetness without overdoing it. If you’d prefer to let the natural sugars speak for themselves, feel free to skip this ingredient. But, we think a little goes a long way in this sauce.
  • White vinegar and water. The liquid components of the sauce help reach the right consistency while adding acidity for longer storage and a zingy flavor. If you’d like, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice for a more citrusy flavor.
  • Salt. Sea salt, kosher salt, or regular table salt are all good options. Salt helps accentuate the flavors and bring it all together.

You may think it’s hard to go wrong with an ingredient list like this, but the magic happens in the preparation method. Get your cast iron skillet ready!


How to make jalapeño hot sauce

What I love about this sauce is that virtually everything in it can be grown in the garden. If you haven’t started growing your own peppers yet, you should start this year with a simple salsa garden! Here’s how to make the jalapeño hot sauce.

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb. jalapeño peppers, about 6 large peppers
  • ½ medium onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and sliced in half
  • 10 sprigs fresh cilantro, rough chopped
  • ⅔ cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 cup water (as needed)
  • Vegetable or olive oil, about 1/2 tsp to coat the pan

*Makes about 2.5 cups of hot sauce, or around 3-4 5oz woozy bottles worth.

Steps:

  1. Bring a splash of oil to medium-hight heat in a cast iron pan. Roast the jalapeño, onion, and garlic for about 5 minutes, turning the ingredients with tongs for even searing.
  2. Remove the seared peppers from the pan and carefully slice them into rings on a cutting board. We prefer to leave the seeds in for simplicity, but you could remove them at this point if desired.
  3. Simmer the roasted jalapeños and onions in a medium pot with about 1 cup of water for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the garlic, salt, cumin, and sugar, stirring until combined. Simmer an additional 1 minute.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the simmered mixture into a blender along with the cilantro and vinegar.
  6. Blend until smooth and allow to cool at room temperature.
  7. Season to taste by adding more salt and/or cumin.
  8. Add into hot sauce bottles, mason jars, or another sealed container of your choice using a small funnel.
how to make jalapeño hot sauce

Recipe FAQs

How do I thicken or thin the hot sauce?

To thicken the sauce, simmer it over low-medium heat to reduce it. This process cooks off some of the moisture, though it may compromise flavor. Try to start with less liquid to start, as thinning out the sauce is much easier. For more options, we have an article about how to thicken hot sauce.

To thin out the sauce, add additional vinegar and/or water in small amounts. Blend to test the consistency, adding 1-2 tbsp at a time.

How long does this jalapeño hot sauce last?

Store the sauce in the fridge and consume within one week. For longer storage, test the pH level of your hot sauce, aiming for a value below 4.0.

You may need to adjust the amount of vinegar to achieve a pH suitable for longer term storage. In our experience, the pH of this hot sauce has always been below 4.0, but the water you use may vary in acidity.

Either way, we always use this sauce up well before it spoils. It’s just so easy to dump it on anything and everything.

Can I use other types of peppers?

Yes! We are all about experimenting. Try adding a couple serrano peppers for a spicier sauce. If you try any variations or substitutes, let us know in the comments how it turned out, as we may have to try it ourselves.

Can I omit the cilantro?

Cilantro is key to the flavor in this jalapeño hot sauce. While we have never made it without the cilantro, you can experiment with different herbs and see how it turns out.

If you are not a fan of cilantro, I still recommend giving this recipe a try. The flavors combine to create a unique essence that is not cilantro-focused.

What does this sauce go best on?

This jalapeño hot sauce goes particularly well on Mexican foods like tacos, enchiladas, and rice and beans. However, it is also a great everyday sauce, amazing on pizza, cheese and crackers, eggs, and even sandwiches!

jalapeño hot sauce

Expert Tips

  • Roast the jalapeño peppers and onions in the cast iron for a smoky flavor – Using a cast iron pan is a great way to achieve a smoky, roasted flavor without the hassle of using a grill or oven.
  • Hand protection for spiciness – Be sure to use gloves or clean your hands thoroughly after handling hot peppers. The capsaicin will transfer to your skin and can result in an unpleasant surprise if you rub your eyes after handling them.
  • Make it spicier with serrano peppers – To make it spicier, throw some serrano peppers in with the jalapeños.
  • Use a high-powered blender – For the smoothest texture, use a powerful blender. Our Vitamix pulverizes the pepper seeds into tiny bits without a problem.
  • If you enjoy this recipe, you’ll love our salsa verde recipe as well!
homemade jalapeño hot sauce in bottles
jalapeño hot sauce

Jalapeño Hot Sauce

This simple jalapeño hot sauce is the perfect way to add some spice and flavor to your meal.
4.96 from 41 votes
Print Pin Rate
Keyword: Hot Sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb jalapeño peppers about 6 large peppers
  • 1/2 onion peeled and quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed and halved
  • 2/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 10 sprigs cilantro roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup water
  • oil to coat the pan

Instructions

  • Bring cast iron pan to medium-high heat and add a splash of oil.
  • Add the whole jalapeño peppers, quartered onion, and garlic to the hot pan.
  • Roast ingredients for about 5 minutes until lightly browned, turning frequently for even searing.
  • Remove the peppers and carefully slice them into rings.
  • Simmer the jalapeños and onions in a pan with the water for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add in the garlic, salt, cumin, and sugar, stirring to combine. Simmer an additional 1 minute or so.
  • Add the simmered mixture into a blender along with the cilantro and vinegar.
  • Blend until smooth and let cool.
  • Season to taste by adding more salt and/or cumin, as desired.
  • Add into hot sauce bottles, mason jars, or container of choice and store in the refrigerator.

Notes

  • Use a cast iron pan for the best flavor and even heating.
  • Don’t cut the peppers before roasting, as cooking sliced hot peppers may release capsaicin into the air and cause coughing.
  • Do not cook the vinegar, add it just before blending. Cooking vinegar can lead to a metallic flavor.

Crystalyn

Crystalyn loves spicy food and getting creative in the kitchen. When she isn’t finding new ways to use hot sauce, shes very busy watching cat videos on the internet.

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76 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I just made a double batch using serrano peppers from my garden – nailed it. Thanks for the recipe- can’t wait to bust it out on the family for burrito night.

  2. 5 stars
    My 10 year old found your recipe on YouTube towards the end of 2023 growing season. We only swap out jalapeños for orange bell peppers, and keep the rest of the recipe as is.
    Holy moly is this version amazing with the huge change out in pepper type!!!!!

  3. 5 stars
    This is a great sauce, I used all the ingredients however I did use 2 serrano peppers because I had a lot left due to having to buy a bag because the store didn’t sell them separate. It really had a nice flavor and some heat.

  4. 5 stars
    Super easy recipe and nice heat! We used common chili peppers that were on sale and the sauce came out great! Will be making this again for sure.

  5. 5 stars
    I make this all the time now. I have created a monster! I keep making it for friends who want refills! This is a wonderful “every day” sauce like Texas Pete or Franks…I heated it up further by adding habaneros…we love it!! Perfect and easy. My new go-to sauce. Thank you!!

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious 😋! Made it second time now from peppersfrom my garden. First timei made with red jalapeños, OMG! The color so gorgeous red! Second time with green jalapeños.
    Didn’t have cilantro, next time I will.
    Love this recipe because low sodium. Thanks!

  7. 5 stars
    Made it without the cilantro because I didn’t want to make a separate trip to the store for it, and it is still delicious. We put it on all kinds of stuff: tacos, eggs, pizza, etc. and it just has great flavor! This will be my go-to hot sauce recipe from here on out!

  8. 5 stars
    Most excellent hot sauce. I made it without The cilantro. It came out amazing. I had an abundance of peppers ,so I tried to adjust the recipe as I went . Experimenting so they wouldn’t all be the same flavor. and

    I had forgotten what you said about cooking the vinegar . Until the taste test ! .. and wow!
    I can tell you that cooking the vinegar does have a Metallic like taste to it. For sure..

    But the first 2 jars we’re done just like you said ….they came out excellent!!

    Thank you so much !
    5 out of 5 stars !

    People ..you won’t be disappointed !!

    1. I’m glad to hear it is still tasty without the cilantro! That’s an easy solution for anyone with an aversion to it. Thanks for the positive review!

  9. 5 stars
    Love the recipe! Making it for the 3rd time today. My Gkids ALL love it, even the little ones. Thanks for a simple but delicious recipe.

  10. 5 stars
    Amazing!! Doubled the recipe, kept the seeds and added 3 serano peppers. Nice heat and flavour. Seeds out on the other half, slightly less heat. What beautiful flavour!

  11. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe and for all your growing tips! This was my first hot sauce from my first garden. Both came out way better than I expected. This sauce is addicting! If I were to make it with thai peppers, would you recommemd any substitions (thai basil for cilantro)? Thanks!

    1. Congrats on the successful garden and sauce! If you were to substitute Thai chilies for the jalapeños, I think it will be quite a bit hotter! Also, you could definitely try Thai basil for a really tasty alternative to the cilantro. You could also try using different vinegar like rice vinegar, etc. You’re giving me some good ideas…!

  12. Can you ferment this recipe, or would it be better to ferment the jalapeno peppers first and then create this sauce? I didn’t notice there was another that would be better suited with fermented jalapeno.

    The videos and the suggestions helped me grow a better crop of peppers this last season. I have learned a lot from this channel. I recommend it to my family and friends. They love it.
    Thanks a bunch.

    1. I would ferment just the fresh ingredients in a mash or brine ferment, then add the other ingredients after the ferment finishes. Mashes are a great starter for hot sauces!

  13. 5 stars
    I wish this exact recipe could be canned. This recipe is perfect in my opinion. I’ve also made this with Jalapeno and Anaheim together to reduce the heat just a little. It is wonderful as well and maybe more versatile that way (for my family).

    1. @Susan, You can “can”
      this hot sauce and many others, depending on acidity as to whether or not you need to pressure can or boiling water bath canning. Google it.

  14. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness!!! This is so, so good. I just made it with all the small peppers left in the garden that would not have survived a frost. GOD is so good because I had exactly ½ pound, enough for the recipe. Well, once made I taste it and couldn’t wait for it to cool down too much. I made chilli yesterday and plans were to have some for lunch. Which I did, with corn chips and with every bite I put ½ tsp of this absolutely delicious sauce on it. My chili never tasted better. All I can say is…”THE BEST!!!” Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  15. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe! I did a few things different. I used red jalapenos. I have an electric stove, so I didn’t use the cast iron pan. Instead, I grilled everything instead. Also, I tripled everything. As far as the cilantro, I used a 2.5 oz. package. I didn’t count the number of sprigs. I am about to go pick some green jalapenos and make more. I will try to can this in pint jars. I hope it works out.

    South Berkshire County, Massachusetts

  16. I made this today! I doubled the recipe. 2 cups of water made this very soupy. I would only use 1 cup of water next time. This came out great and very flavorful!!! Thank you for posting the video 😃

  17. 5 stars
    Hello from California ,I went to store today picked up what i needed and made a very good hot sauce.thanks.

  18. 5 stars
    made this and it was great my son & daughter in law loved it !!! have lots of peppers and wondering if I can freeze this after I make it?

  19. 5 stars
    This was outstanding. I make lots of spicy salsas, but wanted to try a proper hotsauce with a big batch of jalapeños we grew. I like things quite spicy, so I doubled the recipe but only added ~1.5cups of water (not 2), and added an avocado for creaminess. Also half a lime squeezed after blending (while it cools). Highly recommend this recipe, will be making it again soon for gifts!

  20. Anxious to try this recipe – my son sent it to me and has made several batches already! Question: Can I water-bath can this for longer storage? Thank you!

  21. 5 stars
    Thank you so much, the taste is amazing. The video was also very helpful, specially when roasting the ingredients. The cilantro is clearly key in this recipe.

  22. 4 stars
    I look forward to cooking up a batch of this. One suggestion I would make is that it is common to list ingredients in the order they are used in the recipe. Thanks

  23. 5 stars
    I made this 3 days ago and it came out to 8 half pint jars…. I’ve already finished two of the jars. This is so crazy good… I’ve used it for a dip for chips, pork, steak, and amazing on breakfast burritos.

  24. 5 stars
    Years ago, I had a great homemade hot sauce at a restaurant and since then I’ve been trying different commercial hot sauces looking for that particular flavor or something close to it.

    This year I decided to grow my own jalapenos and earlier this week harvested my first pound of peppers. Why not make some hot sauce?! I find your recipe with the intention of maybe tweaking it at some point. It won’t require any tweaking. This is the flavor I’ve been looking for! Thank you!

  25. 5 stars
    I made this recipe or at least a slight variation of it last night. I used 1lb of fresh green Jalapenos and 1lb of long Sweet Banana peppers freshly picked in the AM from my garden. I left out the sugar and don’t own a cast iron pan so I roasted the Peppers and Garlic in the oven. All other steps were followed but quadrupled(approx) on the ingredients. I also added 2 dried Reapers from last Falls harvest as it was not hot enough. Amazing sauce. Your recipe can easily be adapted to whatever Peppers you have on hand. Thanks!!

  26. 5 stars
    This is recipe is excellent. I followed it exactly, only omitting the sugar. It will be a staple in my house moving forward. All three of my kids loved it too.

  27. 5 stars
    I just made this per the recipe, it’s great! I have some carolina reapers almost ready, I may make a huge mistake very soon.

  28. 5 stars
    Great I made this as written but with a few red jalapeños. It gave it a nice color with the same taste. Perfect heat for so many different foods. This will be my go to recipe.

  29. 5 stars
    I’ve tried allot of recipes and this one is 2 thumbs up. Never looking back. Thank you!

  30. Couple questions before I make this recipe.
    1 Where do I get these bottles.
    2. Can I Can this in Jars and how long to water Bath.
    3. How long will it lastvin fridge if I don’t can it

    1. @Teri, I can’t answer question 2 and 3 but I found similar bottles at my local dollar store.

  31. 5 stars
    One word, LOVE! I am not a hot sauce person, warm ok, but this base, is off the chain! All I had for extra heat was hot cow peppers. Worked great! Some people I know will surely love this jar!

  32. 5 stars
    I did it! Delicious, but my personal touch was to add one orange habanero (but green) directly from my garden and the sauce explodes of flavor and smells very good! adding also a bit of heat. Then, when the ingredients are blending I add 15ml of olive oil which turns the sauce more creamy when is cold, and extra flavor.

  33. 5 stars
    This is an easy, excellent jalapeno sauce! It is great on tacos, refried beans, etc. Fantastic video on YouTube makes it a breeze to follow along with.

  34. 5 stars
    This is an outstanding sauce! The cilantro absolutely makes or breaks it. If you don’t use it, it’s just okay & not as good. I’m not a huge cumin fan, so I omitted that and the sugar and I love it! I added less water in the blender and bit more vinegar and a bit of ground black pepper. I can’t stop eating it! Eating it with chips as I type this out.❤🌶🫑

  35. 5 stars
    If you’re looking for not only a great jalepeno sauce recipe, but other pepper sauces and growing tips, look no further! I made this sauce over the weekend, and if I could, I’d insert a clip of Janice from Friends: “OHHH MYYY GAWWDD!!!!” So good. I followed the recipe exactly except for too minor changes. I added a little bit of lime juice and a raw garlic clove just before blending because, well, I love garlic! The sauce is DELICIOUS. I will probably be putting it on everything I eat. This recipe is perfect though. Thank you! Can’t wait to try some of the others.

  36. 4 stars
    I couldn’t give it a five star rating as I would probably change it a bit the next time I make it, but this is a great base for experimenting.
    I seared the onion and peppers on my gas grill. I cooked the garlic in a sauce pan with a bit of oil and then added the onion and sliced peppers to the pan. I did the rest the same as in the video.
    Our ninja blender made quick work of blending. I would suggest a bit more vinegar to get it to blend the cilantro a bit more.
    Over all, I look forward to making it again. I might smoke the peppers next time I fire the smoker up to give the sauce a bit more flavor. I’ll probably add some other peppers that I have in the garden to add more kick. I thought the heat level was very mild, but it had great flavor.
    Good job on the recipe. I really appreciate it since the Jalapenos are going crazy this year. I can only eat so many poppers (probably not true.)

    1. Haha! Appreciate the feedback. Smoked peppers sound like an excellent idea to add some depth. As for the poppers…whatever you can’t finish I’ll take off your hands!

  37. 5 stars
    I just made this sauce this morning. It is so easy to prepare and I won’t ever be buying salsa verde again from the store. I love the fresh flavors and the heat level is just perfect for me. Cold vinegar is a great tip and as I had no cumin seeds, I used 1/2tsp of chili powder in its place. All else was done as per the recipe. Thanks to both of you for this!

  38. 5 stars
    I had to comment because unlike most recipes, you add the vinegar after. Some recipes cook the vegetable in vinegar and water. if you cook in vinegar it can give that metal taste. Great recommendation! This is a great recipe and you can modify it by adding more or less of any ingredient and its always delicious. Thank you!

  39. 5 stars
    Wow!, Wow!, Wow!
    Just made a batch following the directions 100%. Pretty amazing recipe…I just tried it on scrambled eggs. I really appreciate you sharing it and I plan to try some of your other sauces as well.

  40. 5 stars
    Hi. Thank you so much! This recipe is a keeper! I first made it (almost) as printed and then modified it a little. Why not? I so appreciate the template to use as is or depart from. (Added ginger root, a pear, lime juice, and cooked it down a bit to thicken. It’s amazing.) This is the perfect time of year to experiment as I await the arrival of outdoor growing season. I found you on YouTube.

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