Easy Homemade Jalapeño Hot Sauce

This easy recipe for homemade Jalapeño Hot Sauce requires only 5 simple ingredients and tastes so much better than store-bought.

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A small bowl of green hot sauce with a hand holding a spoon and jalapeños in the background.

This jalapeño hot sauce is inspired by my favorite local taco shop, Pancho's. It has a thicker texture since it's made up of pureed jalapeño peppers and does not get strained. I always have a batch of this hot sauce on hand to spice up all of my favorite foods, like tacos, enchiladas, rice, chili, eggs, soup and more.

Why this recipe works

  • Easy, beginner friendly recipe - anyone can make it!
  • You can control how spicy it is by keeping or removing the seeds.
  • Only 5 ingredients.
  • Keeps for months in the refrigerator.
  • Gluten free and vegan.
A corked bottle of Jalapeño hot sauce with fresh jalapeños in the background.

Essential Ingredients

  • Chili Peppers - This recipe calls for jalapeño peppers, but technically you can make this hot sauce with just about any hot pepper you like. It works especially well with Serrano chilies and habanero or scotch bonnet peppers.
  • Vinegar - I use plain white vinegar for my recipe, but you can also use apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, unseasoned rice vinegar or even lime juice.

Helpful Equipment

A small bowl of Jalapeño hot sauce with a spoon and jalapeños in the background.

Step by step instructions

  1. Remove the stems from the jalapeños and slice each in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds for less heat if desired.
  2. Add the jalapeños to a blender along with the garlic, salt, 2 tablespoons vinegar and water.
  3. Blend on high until totally smooth. This may take several minutes depending on your blender. Taste and add more salt and/or vinegar if desired.
  4. Transfer hot sauce to a jar and refrigerate for up to 3 months.

Ferment the Hot Sauce

Recently I started doing a simple, quick ferment to my homemade hot sauce before storing it in the refrigerator. To do this, just leave it out at room temperature, loosely covered, for about a day. The fermentation process develops a deeper, more complex flavor and helps to tame the heat slightly. Because of the salt and vinegar, the hot sauce will not spoil.

Cook the Hot Sauce

For a milder, more mellow flavor, you can heat the hot sauce in a pan for a few minutes to cook out some of the harsher raw garlic flavor. Pour the blended peppers into a sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes or until the color changes to a slightly darker, duller green. Remove it from the heat, let it cool completely and then transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator.

Tips for success

  • Wear gloves when handling hot chilies or the capsaicin can stay on your hands for hours and be quite painful.
  • Chili peppers can vary widely in their heat. If your jalapeños are especially hot, remove the seeds and ribs with a spoon before blending.
  • Be sure to thoroughly blend the hot sauce so it is very smooth texture. If there are still some chunks or if you prefer a thinner hot sauce you can pass it through a fine mesh sieve or strainer.
  • Fermentation is optional but recommended to add depth of flavor and tame the heat. All you have to do is let it sit out on the counter for a few days before refrigerating to let it develop flavor.
  • Try making this hot sauce with a few different types of hot peppers like cayenne peppers, Fresno peppers or habaneros to change up the flavor and heat levels.
  • You can also add different spices like onion, cumin or coriander to add different flavors.
  • Add fruit like mango, pineapple or lime juice to your hot sauce for a tropical sweet heat.
  • Try straining the hot sauce if you prefer a thinner texture.
A mason jar of Jalapeño hot sauce with a white lid.

Faq About Homemade Hot Sauce

Does homemade hot sauce get hotter over time?

No, in fact it gets less spicy over time. I find the hot sauce tastes hottest immediately after being blended and mellows out about a week later. A fermented hot sauce will mellow out more than a non fermented hot sauce.

How long will homemade hot sauce last?

Homemade hot sauce will keep in your refrigerator for about 3 months, sometimes longer. Store in a glass jar, not plastic, for best results.

How can you tell if homemade hot sauce has gone bad?

The best way to tell if homemade hot sauce was past its prime is when the color significantly dulls and it starts to have an especially funky smell. Toss it and make a new batch!

Can this hot sauce be canned and preserved in jars for longer storage?

Yes, absolutely. I am not an expert in canning, but you can follow these tips and instructions to learn how.

A corked bottle of jalapeño hot sauce.

Did you LOVE this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️ rating and comment to let other readers know! I absolutely love hearing from you and do my best to answer all questions and comments. I love seeing your creations so please tag me on Instagram @ColeyCooks!

 

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A corked bottle of jalapeño hot sauce.
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Easy Homemade Jalapeño Hot Sauce

This easy recipe for homemade Jalapeño Hot Sauce requires only 5 simple ingredients and tastes so much better than store-bought.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1.5 pints
Calories: 137kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound jalapeño peppers or other hot peppers
  • 2 large cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2-4 tablespoons white vinegar to taste
  • ¼ cup water

Instructions

  1. Remove the stems from the jalapeños and slice each in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds for less heat if desired.
  2. Add the jalapeños to a blender along with the garlic, salt, 2 tablespoons vinegar and water.
  3. Blend on high until totally smooth. This may take several minutes depending on your blender. Taste and add more salt and/or vinegar if desired.
  4. Transfer hot sauce to a jar and refrigerate for up to 3 months.
  5. If desired, you can ferment the hot sauce by leaving the jar out at room temperature, covered, for about a day. This will give it a deeper, more interesting flavor. Refrigerate after fermenting.
  6. You can also cook the hot sauce for a milder, more mellow flavor. Pour the mixture into a sauce pan and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the color changes to a deeper, duller green; about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool before transferring to a jar.
  7. All three methods produce excellent results. Experiment with them until you find what flavor works best for you!

Notes

  • Wear gloves when handling hot chilies or the capsaicin can stay on your hands for hours and be quite painful.
  • Chili peppers can vary widely in their heat. If your jalapeños are especially hot, remove the seeds and ribs with a spoon before blending.
  • Be sure to thoroughly blend the hot sauce so it is very smooth texture. If there are still some chunks or if you prefer a thinner hot sauce you can pass it through a fine mesh sieve or strainer.

Nutrition

Calories: 137kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 14561mg | Potassium: 902mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 7712IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 9mg

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42 Comments

    1. This is a typo, thanks for pointing it out so we can fix it. It's supposed to be 2 tbsp - 1/4 cup depending on preference. Hope this helps.

  1. 5 stars
    I make Tabasco peppers, but fermentation takes 2wks to 2months,the longer in richer,smoother taste, I soak the peppers in salt water, for 1wk or so!! But I have alot of jalapeños this yr, so I will try your recipe!! Thx for sharing!!

  2. 5 stars
    Odd question but would it be storage stable if I were to add something like pineapple juice to this? I like the flavor combination on stuff like pizza so I’m kind of curious how it would go with hot sauce.

    1. Great question! I'm not sure how the added fruit juice / sugar would affect the hot sauce for canning and storing at room temperature, but it would be totally fine stored in the refrigerator. Please let me know how it turns out- I'm very curious!

    1. I'm not sure to be honest. I would think so with the salt and vinegar, but I don't have enough experience with canning to say for certain.

    1. Absolutely! I highly recommend it with habaneros, actually, its one of my favorite versions. Do be sure to wear gloves when handling the peppers!

  3. 5 stars
    My husband says he likes things hot so I didn't remove the seeds. OMG...it's way too hot. I tried cooking it, not enough. I tried adding a sweet bell pepper to tone it down, not enough. Handing it over to a family member that lives for hotter than hot because we won't be eating it. I'm just glad the peppers are being eaten. 🙂

    1. Sorry this turned out too hot for you! I will say that the heat does mellow out as it sits for a bit, so if you decide to make it again in the future keep that in mind. It tastes hottest right out of the blender. Thanks for writing!

  4. 5 stars
    Made this today love it as we like hot food,I used pickling salt and more salt and vinegar. I boiled it and added to sterile jars,So easy to make…. thank you.

  5. 5 stars
    Made a half batch (1/2 lb. peppers). I like it hot so everything went into the blender. The heat was perfect for me. Looking forward to my next sandwich!

  6. 5 stars
    This is great! I had a bag of jalapeños- I only needed one- and found this recipe to use the rest. I love it and it’s so simple. I put it on just about everything!

      1. Hmm.. most hot sauces are vinegar based, that's where it gets its tang. You can try lemon juice or just replace the vinegar with water. Hope this helps!

      2. 5 stars
        Try using lime juice instead of vinegar. I just used 3 limes but it depends on your taste and how juicy the lime is😊

      3. 5 stars
        I made this, and during the fermentation all the liquid separated to the bottom and left a fry thick bubbly paste on top. Do I just mix it all back up, or did I mess this up somehow? Flavour is phenomenal however!

  7. 5 stars
    BOOM! Love this hot sauce for many reasons. Leftover Serrano peppers are great to use. This recipe is truly simple and quick to make. I wasn’t a big hot sauce person until I made this recipe. Making a second batch today!!!

  8. 5 stars
    This is an awesome recipe. Very easy to make and it tastes great. We have been going through a ton of this stuff and been using it on everything. I make some Guajillo or Hatch chile sauce also and use together often.