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Jalapeño Hot Sauce

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This jalapeño hot sauce is great to have on hand. 

There are many delicious hot sauces out there and this jalapeño hot sauce is one of the easiest to make. You will find it spicy but it’s no where near as spicy as Serrano or Habanero hot sauce which you might want to try too.

A good jalapeño hot sauce is perfect served over tacos or used as a dip for corn chips. You might even like to drizzle a little over a good steak or grilled chicken or fish. This is really a good all-rounder that you need to try soon. 

Jalapeño hot sauce

About this jalapeño hot sauce.

Jalapeño chilies are a type of medium to hot chili pepper that is commonly used in Mexican cuisine and has gained popularity worldwide. They are named after the Mexican city of Xalapa (also spelled Jalapa), which is the capital of the state of Veracruz.

Key characteristics of the jalapeño chilies in this hot sauce are:

  1. Heat Level: Jalapeños are considered medium to hot on the Scoville Heat Scale, which measures the spiciness or heat of chili peppers. The heat can vary, with some jalapeños being milder and others hotter.
  2. Color: Jalapeños typically start as green when unripe and mature into a red color. However, they are often harvested and consumed when they are still green. It is the unripe, green jalapeños you use in this jalapeño hot sauce recipe.
  3. Shape and Size: They are usually about 2 to 3 inches long, with a somewhat cylindrical shape and a slight taper towards the end. The skin is smooth, and the flesh is thick.
  4. Flavor: Jalapeños have a distinct, bright, and somewhat grassy flavor, along with their characteristic heat. The heat is usually concentrated in the seeds and the white membrane inside, so removing these parts can reduce the spiciness.

Jalapeño peppers are versatile and can be used in various culinary applications. They are commonly found in salsas, hot sauces, guacamole, and as a topping for nachos or tacos. They can also be pickled, stuffed, or added to dishes for a spicy kick. The popularity of jalapeños has led to the development of milder and hotter varieties, catering to different taste preferences.

How do you make this hot sauce?

To make jalapeño hot sauce, the jalapeño chilies are typically blended with other ingredients such as vinegar, garlic, salt, and sometimes lime juice or other spices. The exact ingredients and flavors can vary between different recipes but my recipe in the recipe card below is quite traditional in flavor. 

Get the consistency right.

Do you want a jalapeño hot sauce that has a few spicy chunks in it or would you prefer it really smooth? You can decide how long to blend the hot sauce.

If needed, go ahead and add a drop of water or more lime juice if you want a thinner, smoother, pourable hot sauce.

Can this hot sauce be added to different cuisines?

You bet! Jalapeño hot sauce is a popular condiment in Mexican cuisine and is also used in various international dishes for those who enjoy a bit of heat in their food. You can use it to flavor and heat up many dishes from different cuisines.

What if you can’t find jalapeño chilies?

Whenever I visit my family in California, I prepare this japapeño hot sauce as the chilies are readily available at most supermarkets.  If you can’t get them where you live, which is often the case at my home in the UK, try substituting a green chili that is available. Remember, however that the chili pepper you use to prepare this “jalapeño” hot sauce might be much hotter or milder so you will need to experiment some.

How long will jalapeño hot sauce keep in the fridge?

As I mentioned above, I always make this at home in California. I usually stay for at least three weeks and make this the day I arrive. So I know that you can store this jalapeño hot sauce in the fridge for at least three weeks and most likely much longer. That is if you don’t eat it all as it does go down quickly.

Can you freeze jalapeño hot sauce?

Yes, you can freeze jalapeño hot sauce! Freezing is a common method to preserve homemade sauces, including hot sauces, for an extended period. However, keep in mind that the texture of the sauce might change slightly after freezing and thawing. Here are some tips for freezing jalapeño hot sauce:

  1. Cool the Sauce: Before freezing, be sure to allow the hot sauce to cool. This helps prevent condensation inside the container, which can lead to ice crystals and affect the texture.
  2. Choose Freezer-Safe Containers: Use containers or jars specifically designed for freezing. If you are using glass containers, be sure to leave some space at the top of the container as the sauce will expand as it freezes.
  3. Label and Date: Be sure to label the containers clearly with the date and contents so that you can keep track of how long the hot sauce has been in the freezer.
  4. Use Plastic Containers: As the liquid will expand when freezing, I don’t recommend using glass containers. If you do used them, do not overfill! Using plastic containers or freezer bags is a safer option.
  5. Remove Air: If using plastic bags, be sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing to minimize the risk of freezer burn.
  6. Thawing: When you’re ready to use the hot sauce, move it to the refrigerator to thaw slowly. This helps maintain the sauce’s consistency better than rapid thawing.

What you need to know if freezing…

It’s worth noting that freezing can affect the texture of some ingredients in the hot sauce.

Additionally, keep in mind the shelf-life of the sauce. If you freeze it after storing in the fridge for a few weeks, be sure to note that and use it right after thawing.

Let’s compare the heat of popular chilies.

Jalapeño peppers typically have a Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) rating ranging from 2500 to 8000. The Scoville Heat Unit is a measure of the spiciness or heat of chili peppers and other spicy foods, as recorded in Scoville Heat Units.

Compared to other common peppers, jalapeño chilies are milder than serranos which have a Scoville rating of around 10,000 to 23,000 SHU and habaneros are much hotter with  a SHU 100,000 to 350,000.

The actual heat level can vary somewhat between individual peppers based on factors such as growing conditions and ripeness.

You should wear plastic gloves when making this.

Be sure to pick up some plastic kitchen gloves to make this Jalapeño hot sauce. If you do not have any gloves, be sure to wash your hands with hot, soapy water before touching your eyes or other sensitive body parts!

Step by step photographs.

Ingredients for jalapeño hot sauce.

Get all your ingredients together. If you prefer a milder sauce, be sure to remove the seeds and white membranes from the chilies.

Prepared ingredients for the sauce.

Chop all the ingredients before starting. It’s easier than doing it as you cook.

Frying the chilies, onion and garlic in the olive oil. Then adding ground cumin and salt.

Heat the olive oil over a medium heat and fry the onion, garlic and chilies for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Then add the ground cumin and a pinch of salt.

Adding vinegar and water to the chilies, onion and garlic in the pan.

Add the vinegar and water and bring to a simmer.

Simmering the chili sauce mixture in a covered pan over a medium heat.

Cover the pan and simmer gently over a medium heat for 10 minutes.

Cooling the chili sauce mixture and adding lime juice and ground black pepper.

Allow the contents of the pan to cool some and then add the lime juice oregano and ground black pepper.

Blending the hot sauce.

Blend to your liking. You can blend this jalapeño hot sauce slightly chunky or really smooth.

Pouring the finished hot sauce through a funnel into glass jars.

Taste the sauce and adjust the flavours, adding more salt, lime juice etc. Then pour through a funnel into jars.

Jalapeño hot sauce in a serving bowl with corn chips.

Serve with corn chips or over tacos. This sauce is great whenever you need a bit of a kick.

Jalapeño hot sauce served in a bowl with two jars of the sauce nearby.


Who doesn’t love a good salsa? You might like to try some of these too!

Pico de Gallo
Tomato and Tomatillo Salsa
Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa
Habanero Hot Sauce
Serrano Hot Sauce
Pineapple Salsa
Refried Beans – Not a salsa but so good with corn chips!

You might also like to try Mexican Pickled Carrots which are delicious with any Mexican meal. 

Have you tried this Jalapeño hot sauce recipe?

I yes, please leave a star rating in the recipe card below and leave a comment. I love receiving feedback and I’m sure other readers of my blog do too. Thank you.

Yield: 10

Jalapeño Hot Sauce

Jalapeño hot sauce

This is a mildly spiced japapeño hot sauce that is deicious served over tacos or with corn chips. You can spice it up by adding spicier chilies but it's amazing just as it is!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb (about 12) jalapeño chilies
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup (250ml) white distilled vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (70ml) water
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin (optional)
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro (coriander), finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil over a medium heat in a frying pan. Add the chopped chilies, onion and garlic cloves and fry for about 3 minutes to soften some and cook out the rawness. Add a pinch of salt and the cumin, if using.
  2. Pour in the distilled vinegar and water and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and simmer over a medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid and allow to cool some. Then pour all the contents of the pan into a blender and add the cilantro (coriander), oregano and lime juice. Blend to a course or smooth sauce. This is up to you and your personal preference. More water or lime juice can be added to assist blending if needed.
  4. Try it and add salt and pepper to taste. Pour through a funnel into plastic or glass jars and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
  5. This jalapeño hot sauce will keep in the fridge for at least 5 days and probably much longer depending on the freshness of your ingredients.


  • Be sure to taste the jalapeño hot sauce and adjust the flavors before bottling.
  • You can decide how smooth you want your sauce to be. Blend it longer for a really smooth sauce and add more water or lime juice if needed to assist blending.
  • If you can't find Mexican oregano, you can use another dried oregano.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 11Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 31mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

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