Honest Fare

Pretty Provisions and Notes from the Kitchen

Homemade Hot Sauce! Mild kiwi, tomatillo, green chili, jalepeño. Spicy hot carrot, tomato, red chili, scotch bonnet, habanero.

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Homemade Hot Sauce!, Honest Fare by Gabrielle Arnold

Some of us are hot sauce people. I hear the other some of us say that it “takes over” and “burns” and all that nonsense. Clearly, I am hot sauce person. It’s actually rather disconcerting how much so sometimes. Sriracha on my salads disconcerting. But I know I’m not alone in this. Since starting a couple years ago, I’ve noticed more than ever how into hot sauce people are. Like freaks about it. We go through a case of 24 large bottles of Sriracha every month. It’s mind-boggling! I want stock in that company. Wait, just looked it up – the owner refuses to go public.

Anyway, hot sauce and hot summers go hand-in-hand, right? Spicy food that makes you sweat and cools your body down sounds like a marvelous plan to me! And sure, I realize that it’s not quite summer yet, but when you’re standing on a food truck (in Florida) at noon, opening and closing an oven set at 450°, with the sun bllllazing through the window, it sure as hell feels like it. Or feels like hell, rather. Either way, Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff to summer so I’m glad to be getting these homemade hot sauce recipes up just in time for all the grilling and taco eating festivities this weekend and to come.

These are super easy and quick to make so don’t worry about having time to do it if you want to make them for this weekend. My goal was to make a couple hot sauces (a mild and a hot) with good flavor. It’s easy to make a hot sauce that burns, but it takes a little figuring out to get some nice flavor to shine through in there as well. Accomplished it!
We’ve got two recipes here:
1. A mild hot sauce comprised of green chili, poblano, serrano and jalepeño peppers for heat and tomatillo and kiwi as nice cooling agents.
2. A spicy hot sauce made from red chili, scotch bonnet and habanero peppers, with carrot and tomato as the nice savory base.

homemade hot sauces_honestfare.com_main_2

Okay, the seeds of the pepper are the nucleus of the heat so I recommend you remove most or all of them unless you like it ridiculously hot. I like leave in a couple from each pepper, but that’s it. Another way to control the heat is to add in the peppers a little at a time during blending. You can blend and taste as you go, adding more as needed.

hot sauce_jalepeno pepper seeds_honestfare.com

* Disclaimer * The only thing I will warn you about up front, is the importance of safe pepper handling. Wash your hands! Scrub them! Wash your hands and do not touch yourself, your children, your pets or your privates before you do. These are all hot peppers, which means they can burn, not just your mouth, but also any orifice or mucus membrane that comes into contact with their juices. I also wouldn’t recommend washing these kinds of peppers in really hot water unless you like coughing fits.

I love both of these sauces, but I have to say that this spicy hot one is my favorite.

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It has such great flavor, is really well balanced and it’s one of those hot sauces that goes great on everything from avocados and tacos, to potatoes, eggs and basically any kind of protein.

Peppers for heat:
Red chili, habanero and scotch bonnet (if you like it really hot).

hot sauce_red peppers_honestfare.com

Savory base:
Boiled carrots, garlic cloves and onion. Tomato paste and vinegar.

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Then it’s just a matter of blending everything up in the food processer until it’s silky smooth. This will take 5-7 minutes. I know it sounds like a long time, but otherwise there will still be chunks and inconsistent bursts of heat. You can shut off the food processer for a couple minutes half way through to give the motor a break if you like.

Next up is the kiwi tomatillo hot sauce. This one is awesome too. It’s got definite kick, but also has a really fresh and light flavor because the heat is balanced out with the coolness of the tomatillo. And the kiwi flavor is such a nice surprise! I think it’s best on veggies and seafood. I poured some here over heirloom tomatoes with a pinch of salt and some olive oil.

kiwi tomatillo hot sauce_tomatoes_honestfare.com

Peppers for heat:
Serrano, long green chili, jalapeño, poblano.

hot sauce_green peppers_honestfare.com

Sweet and cool base:
Green tomatillo, kiwi, honey/agave, lime, vinegar and water.

hot sauce_tomatillo kiwi_honestfare.com

As with the spicy hot sauce, you’ll need to blend this one up real good. However, you’re not looking for as much of a silky consistency here. It’ll have a slightly chunkier texture because of the tomatillo and kiwi seeds.

The recipes I’ve got here are based on how I like it, but feel free to play with these recipes a little to get the exact heat to flavor ratio you like. Another thing to think about is that peppers can be pretty erratic with their heat levels so you never know what you’re going to get. For example, one jalapeño may be really spicy, while another may fall flat. I’d be sure to have an extra pepper on hand in case you get a flat one, and likewise, add the peppers a bit at a time in case you happen to get a flaming hot one!

** Oh yes, before I forget, here are a few of my favorite recipes from the archives (some of which will go nicely with hot sauce!) for Memorial Day weekend and/or the hot the summer months to come…

Creamy Avocado Smoothie
Green Tomato & Corn Tacodillas
Watermelon Avocado Gazpacho
Watermelon Ceviche
Perfectly Grilled Basil Leeks
Kale & Honeydew Summer Salad
Pickled Okra
Chamomile Sorbet
Fresh Mint & Pea Pasta Alla Carbonara

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Makes about 12-16 ounces of each hot sauce. Remove most seeds from peppers. Be sure to wash your hands after handling peppers. Scotch bonnet peppers are hotter than habanero so you can use an additional habanero instead or skip the habanero completely if you want a less spicy sauce.

You need:

For Spicy Red Hot Sauce:

  • 1 red chili pepper
  • 1/2 scotch bonnet pepper (optional if you like it really hot)
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 1 1/2 carrot
  • 1/4 white onino
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 1/2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 Tbs sugar (or more to taste)
  • water from boiling carrot (add to desired consistency)

For Mild Green Hot Sauce:

  • 1/3 poblano pepper
  • 1 jalepeno pepper
  • 1/2 serrano pepper
  • 1/3 long green chili
  • 1 tomatillo
  • 1/2 kiwi
  • 1 Tbs honey or agave
  • 1/3 tap salt
  • juice from 2 limes
  • 2 Tbs white vinegar
  • splash water


For Spicy Red Hot Sauce:

  1. Peel carrot and put to boil in heavily salted water with garlic cloves and onion until carrot is very sort and can be broken apart with fork and garlic cloves are soft like butter. Let cool completely in water and don’t drain water.
  2. Rinse peppers and remove most seeds, leaving some in if you like it pretty hot. Add all ingredients to food processor and blend for a minute to combine. Taste and add more pepper or seeds to increase spice or more sugar to tone it down. Blend for about 5-7 minutes, adding a little more carrot water and drizzle of vinegar to thin if needed, until you get a very silky, even consistency.
  3. Store in glass jar for up to a month.

For Mild Green Hot Sauce:

  1. Rinse and remove seeds from peppers.
  2. Add all ingredients to food processor and blend for a minute to combine. Taste and add more pepper or seeds to increase spice or more agave or kiwi to tone it down. Blend for about 3 minutes, adding a little more water to thin if needed. Consistency should be even but not totally silky.
  3. Store in glass jar for up to two weeks.



  1. Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

    It’s almost embarrassing how much hot sauce I eat and how genuinely sad I get when there’s none around. Sriracha and Cholula are my poison, but I definitely want to try these. Have you fiddled around with datil peppers at all? I keep meaning to grow some since they’re a Florida thing, and hot sauce made with datil peppers is deeeelicious.

  2. gabi
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    Same boat, Katie! Funny, I actually considered using datil peppers because they’re basically unavoidable in St. Augustine and I’ve never experimented with them for some reason. Love the flavor of them too so I definitely need to. They’re usually mixed with a really sweet base in hot sauces (what I’ve had anyway).

  3. Posted May 24, 2013 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

    I’ve been traveling for the last 10 months and aside from Southeast Asia there hasn’t really been hot sauce ANYWHERE. I am in complete withdrawal! I should be traveling with a bottle of my favorite (Marie Sharp’s habanero, from Belize). Can’t wait to get home and make a big batch all for myself and EAT IT ALL.

  4. kerri
    Posted May 27, 2013 at 1:09 AM | Permalink

    These sound great! I’m a hot sauce fanatic too. Found your site searching for how to make hot sauce and I’m so glad I did. Can’t wait to try some of your other recipes too! Thank you.

  5. Posted May 27, 2013 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    Absolutely beautiful… I’m loving the profiles of green/red. So many people assume hot sauce is all the same—spicy without much differing flavours—but this post definitely proves otherwise! Thanks so much for sharing. I’ve always loved your blog.

  6. Allison
    Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    Made the red one this weekend and it was AWESOME!!! Left out the scotch bonnet cause I couldn’t find any at the supermarket. Used an extra bit of habanero in place and it was perfect. Love that subtle carrot flavor too!

  7. gabi
    Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:16 PM | Permalink

    So glad to hear! I love that one too…can’t get enough!

  8. julie
    Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

    I WILL make these for sure! But I want to put them in those cute bottles too!! Where did you find them?

  9. gabi
    Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:21 PM | Permalink

    Got them at the Container Store, Julie :)

  10. tara
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:14 PM | Permalink

    These look great! Can’t wait to try! I live in the south too so we love our hot sauce :)

  11. carlee pecen
    Posted June 1, 2013 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    oh my- I JUST had “how to make hot sauce” open on another browser window. That NYT recipe ain’t got nothin on this. Thanks gabs.

  12. Posted June 4, 2013 at 1:13 PM | Permalink

    One of my blog readers sent me this link saying “these hot sauces scream you Biz!” And yes they do. My husband is convinced I’ve already burned my taste buds off because of all the hot shit I eat, but I loves the spice. I am sitting at my desk eating my lunch and have approximately 7 hot sauces in my drawer!

    Cant’ wait to try this!!

  13. gabi
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    Hilarious. You’re not alone – for instance, I have a friend who used to keep a mini key chain water gun loaded with sriracha. Please do try the recipe and let me know what you think!

  14. Posted June 12, 2013 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

    I love hot sauce! I always seem to add a lot to my food. The scary part is sometimes it doesn’t even feel like it’s that spicy after a while. Definitely going to try making these and see how they turn out!

  15. Posted June 13, 2013 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

    Love the photos! I have to say, I’m a huge fan of hot sauce and have been most of my life! Been using the stuff since I was 5 or 6. I’d love to make the red hot sauce and share it with one of my friends who LOVES hot sauce even more than I do.

  16. Posted July 22, 2013 at 9:43 PM | Permalink

    Your pictures are really great. I have a 3.5 ft habanero pepper plant in my backyard full of peppers. I will have to give your recipe a try.

  17. Posted August 7, 2013 at 6:56 AM | Permalink

    I am a hot sauce person! And I love making my own hot sauces. I cannot wait to try the Kiwi and Tomatillo green sauce. Thanks very much for the inspiration.

  18. Derek Miller
    Posted August 11, 2013 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    I too am a spicy food junkie starting with awesome buffalo wings, etc. I personally do not like the taste of habaneros. They have a distinct taste that I don’t care for.

    Pisses me off when you ask for hot sauce at a restaurant and they bring tobasco, that shit is so old.

  19. Doug Toner
    Posted August 11, 2013 at 7:47 PM | Permalink

    Fantastic recipe. Made mine a litte hotter than called for. The Spicy Red is my favorite.

  20. crystal
    Posted August 24, 2013 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

    We have a huge garden and will be trying these sauce recipes. Do you know if these can be canned and stored for a year rather than a month?

  21. gabi
    Posted August 27, 2013 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    Hi Crystal,
    I haven’t actually tried that so I cant be sure. But I would think the red hot sauce probably would over the green kiwi one.

  22. Posted August 30, 2013 at 8:41 AM | Permalink

    These sound great. Love the flavor of them too so I definitely need to. They’re usually mixed with a really sweet base in hot sauces. This homemade hot sauce makes good use of the bountiful tomatoes, onions and peppers in your garden or farmers’ market.

  23. Joseph Taco
    Posted September 30, 2013 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    For an interesting twist to the Red Hot Sauce throw a ripe peach into the blender!

  24. Joey
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for the recipe. I tried the green one, and it’s good so far(replaced the green tomato with a regular salad tomato and hand chopped everything to salsa-consistency)

  25. Billy
    Posted October 18, 2013 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    I add a pear to a mix of Hungarian and Jalapeño., tomatoes, garlic, which are all from my live oak protected ocean side garden on the Outer Banks. The sea salt, white vinegar and olive oil are store bought . Thanks for your posts, lotsa new ideas for next year.

  26. Patrick
    Posted November 6, 2013 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

    When you say “store in glass jar for a month/week”, do you mean store the hot sauce prior to consumption? Or do you mean that the hot sauce will expire after a month/week?

  27. gabi
    Posted November 10, 2013 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    No need to wait for this to ferment before consumption. It’s great right away and gets better as the days pass!

  28. Chad
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 10:37 PM | Permalink

    is There AnythingThat Can Be Done To Preserve The Sauce For Longer Periods Of Time?

  29. gabi
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    Hi Chad,
    I’ve kept the tomato based hot sauce in the fridge for up to a month and it was still great. I’m not sure how much longer it would last beyond that only because I’ve always used it all up! But, you can certainly add a little more vinegar to help preserve it longer. This will of course give a little stronger vinegar flavor, but it’s fine.

  30. Jennifer
    Posted December 1, 2013 at 8:43 PM | Permalink

    How long will this sauce keep in the fridge? I would like to make some for Christmas gifts but don’t want it to spoil soon after. Thanks!

  31. gabi
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 8:09 PM | Permalink

    You’re good for a month, Jennifer. It would make a great gift!

  32. Julie
    Posted December 16, 2013 at 1:16 AM | Permalink

    Recently, we had on our table, at a fine dining restaurant serving chinese cuisine, a yummy black colored, partially crystalised and partially liquid, sweetish but with loads of flavour sauce. On asking, the staff said it was made with burnt red chilli, garlic, onion, sesame oil, soya sauce etc…fried well, cooled and ground…Can anyone help with the recipe?

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