This easy recipe for homemade Jalapeño Hot Sauce requires only 5 simple ingredients and tastes so much better than store-bought.
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.
- 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.
- Blender or Food Processor - One of these is absolutely necessary to make homemade hot sauce. I prefer using a blender, but a high powered food processor can also work - just let it run until the pepper puree is nice and smooth. I have also made hot sauce using an immersion blender - just blend all the ingredients in a large mason jar.
Step by step instructions
- Remove the stems from the jalapeños and slice each in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds for less heat if desired.
- Add the jalapeños to a blender along with the garlic, salt, 2 tablespoons vinegar and water.
- 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.
- 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.
Faq About Homemade Hot Sauce
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.
Homemade hot sauce will keep in your refrigerator for about 3 months, sometimes longer. Store in a glass jar, not plastic, for best results.
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!
Yes, absolutely. I am not an expert in canning, but you can follow these tips and instructions to learn how.
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