Basic Jalapeño Hot Sauce

Here’s an excellent basic jalapeño hot sauce recipe that is a good beginning sauce for some culinary experimentation. It’s not overly hot (jalapeños are a mild-medium chili  by nature), so it’s a good one to make to spice up a summer family party or a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Keep some handy in the fridge to add a splash of heat to any meal! 

Basic Jalapeno Hot Sauce

When it comes to experimenting, try layering in some hotter chilies (like a habanero or two) or even throw in a little sugar to cut down on the vinegar tang.

Want something hotter out the gate? Try our basic habanero hot sauce.

Basic Jalapeno Hot Sauce

Basic Jalapeño Hot Sauce

A delicious, medium-heat hot sauce – great for experimentation
4.2 from 85 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 30 servings
Calories 6 kcal


  • 20 jalapeño peppers sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


  • Saute the oil, jalapeño peppers, onions, garlic, and salt in a sauce pan over high hight for 4 minutes.
  • Pour water into the mix and cook, stirring often, for 20 minutes.
  • Take pan off heat and let the mixture cool down to room temperature.
  • Puree the mix in a food processor until it’s completely smooth.
  • Keep the processor running and add in the distilled white vinegar until completely mixed.
  • Place into a jar or bottle.


Hot sauces will keep for many months (6 months +). It’s best to refrigerate the hot sauce to help preserve it and keep its flavors intact.


Calories: 6kcalSodium: 59mgPotassium: 28mgVitamin A: 100IUVitamin C: 11.4mgCalcium: 3mg


Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on June 6, 2021 to include new content. It was originally published on April 5, 2014.
  • Can I make this with a variety of peppers? Also what is the consistency? I am looking for something thick that would be in a jar and require a spoon.

    • You could. It may add a bit of a smokier flavor to it. But since it’s all processed, it’s not needed for the recipe.

    • That depends on the bottle. This makes a few cups of sauce (3 or so). You can freeze it, but it will not have exactly the same overall taste on unthawing.

    • You could but I’d recommend one change. This recipe contains oil for sautéing. Oil is linked to bacteria growth in canning, so instead I’d recommend sautéing in a teaspoon or two of water (adding more as needed to keep the pan a little wet).

      • Sorry for being stupid, but I’m new to all this..
        Canning is supposed to be longer lasting. So how come oil would be detrimential in canning, but not a problem in.. Not-canning? Wouldn’t the bacteria, if they do like oil, grow in this same sauce that hasn’t been canned?

        • Hi Davor, that recommendation is erring on the side of caution. A little oil won’t usually cause an issue in canning. But there are those that simply remove it altogether for safety precautions. Canning something high in oil is a big no-no as it can lead to bacteria growth and issues with sealing. In this recipe, it’s just used for sauteing, so it isn’t a lot. But it’s also true this recipe isn’t specifically for canning, so for us we’ll continue to recommend just sauteing in water to be sure:)

        • The problem with canning is that it removes oxygen from the storage container thereby making it anaerobic. Garlic and oil stored at room temperature are linked to botulism which grows in anaerobic conditions.

  • 4 stars
    There needs to be a heat warning on this recipe along with a do not make indoors…lol. while cooking the jalepenos I started laughing a little but it was bad enough to wake up my mom with Alzheimer’s caughing and get her out of bed actually walking. We had to go outside and air put the house for a couple hours before we could return.

    A local Mexican restaurant has a green sauce that they warn is hotter than the gates of hell. My brother says we found the recipe.

    I will say though that it is easy and delicious.

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