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Easy Homemade Hot Sauce Recipe

With this homemade hot sauce recipe, making your own is way easier than you think. And the result is totally worth it.

Homemade hot sauce in bottles

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I recently moved to a new house. Though the new place is just a mile and a half from the old, I feel like the move has somehow turned me into a different person. Because it’s quite a bit smaller than the old place, it has forced to become better organized, more mindful of our stuff, tidier.

I find myself diligently removing my shoes upon entering the house and immediately stashing them in a basket placed conveniently in the hall for this very purpose.

I’m sweeping the house every day, stashing compostable food scraps in a neat little bin on my kitchen counter to be emptied into a compost bin in the backyard every other day.

I can’t explain it, but this new house—tiny and situated in a serene and sunny spot, with an ample backyard where my 4-year-old can play within view of the kitchen and a bountiful vegetable garden tended by my green-thumb husband—seems to have completed my transformation from single girl in the city to middle-aged suburban mom. The weirdest part? I like it.

Proof in point, I’ve not only become tidier and more of a homebody, but I’ve become the sort of person who makes my own condiments.

It started, innocently enough, with a green tomato and jalapeno chutney, progressed to several different types of mustard, then sauerkraut, and now I’ve moved on to homemade hot sauce.

This new hobby is partially just an extension of my lifelong love of figuring out how to make stuff myself. But it’s also partially motivated by my increasing discomfort with ingesting questionable substances in my food—pesticides, preservatives, and even plain old refined sugar.

And, okay, I’ll admit it, I also just like the way those colorful little jars look lined up on the shelf of my new pantry (did I mention that this house has a pantry?! Ah, the things that excite a the suburban mom.)

About now, you might be thinking to yourself, “Hey, wait a minute! Making homemade hot sauce and other condiments doesn’t sound all that lazy to me.”

But don’t worry; I’m still lazy as all get out. And surprisingly, making condiments like mustard, hot sauce, even homemade wine vinegar is the epitome of lazy cooking. Each involves merely mixing a few ingredients together and then… doing nothing.

That’s right. All you do is let the mixture sit and it turns itself into a magical elixir. And believe me, anyone you serve this stuff to will be awed and amazed.

They’ll think you slaved for days, even weeks, to create such flavorful sauces and spreads to punch up their salads, tacos, and sandwiches.

Here is an incredibly simple homemade hot sauce recipe. I started with a basic recipe and then made a few tweaks to both the ingredients and the method.

The green, which I made with Serrano chilies, came out shockingly spicy but with a complex tang.

The red, made with Fresno chilies, delivers a hardy kick wrapped comfortingly in a pleasing sweetness. And don’t those colorful bottles look purty?

Here are some of my favorite recipes to use this homemade hot sauce on

If you love to make your own spicy condiments, try our Spicy Zhoug Sauce.

homemade hot sauce in bottles

Easy Homemade Hot Sauce Recipe

Robin Donovan
This hot sauce recipe is adapted from one by Mary-Frances Heck that appeared in Bon Appetit. Letting the pureed chilies sit before adding the vinegar allows the natural sugars in them to begin to ferment slightly, creating intriguing depth of flavor. I like to add a grated carrot for an extra touch of earthy sweetness. Use any chilies you like for this lively sauce. A single variety will produce a nice bright color, but mixing and matching is a great way to create more complex flavors.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 2 days
Total Time 2 days 10 minutes
Course Sauce Recipes
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 11 kcal


  • 1 pound fresh chilies such as jalapeño, Serrano, Fresno, or habanero, stems removed
  • 1 medium carrot peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar


  • Process the chilies, grated carrot, and salt in a food processor until you have a coarse puree. Place the puree in a large glass jar, such as a mason jar, and cover loosely. Set the jar on the countertop and let sit for about 24 hours, which is enough time for the mixture to begin to ferment slightly.
  • Stir in the vinegar, and let sit for at least 24 hours and as long as 7 days (I let mine sit for 5 days). This allows the sauce to continue to ferment and the flavors to meld and deepen.
  • Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Transfer to a jar or bottle and store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 months (note that sauce will separate. Shake before using).


Serving: 1Calories: 11kcalCarbohydrates: 2gSodium: 532mgSugar: 1g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Last Updated: October 18, 2019
By on July 21st, 2012
Photo of Robin Donovan

About Robin Donovan

Robin Donovan is the creative force behind All Ways Delicious. She's a writer, recipe developer, photographer, and cookbook author with more than 40 books to her name, including the bestselling Ramen for Beginners, Ramen Obsession, and Campfire Cuisine. Her work has been featured in major publications, both print and digital, including MSN, Cooking Light, Fitness, Buzzfeed, and Eating Well. More about Robin

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12 thoughts on “Easy Homemade Hot Sauce Recipe”

  1. Your photos are stunning and your recipes sound delectable. We would love for you to share them at thefeastingeye.com. The Feasting Eye is still a bit new, but I think you will like what you see :-).

  2. I am happy I found this. I am on a salt free diet at the moment, and there are no store bought hot sauces that I can easily find with out salt.

    I am going to try this without salt, I wonder how it will come out, hum…

  3. I have a bunch of hot peppers that I just threw in the freezer last month. Do you think that the recipe will work if I use the frozen peppers? They have just been washed and I chopped the stems off, they’re still whole.


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