Homemade Bottled Mexican Hot Sauce

Bottled hot sauce recipe

​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 30 mins
Yield: 2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
216 Calories
14g Fat
17g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 216
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 648mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 171mg 854%
Calcium 55mg 4%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 467mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Green or red hot sauce in Mexico is often used on botanas or snacks such as chicharrones (fried pork rinds) and potato chips. It is also sprinkled on fresh fruit, either plain (cut into chunks or slices) or prepared as a fruit salad, and adds extra zing to fried or scrambled eggs, fish tacos, and even soups.

Bottled hot sauce brings a lot to the table in American cuisine, too. It can breathe new life into your favorite meatloaf or pot roast or prove that a grilled cheese sandwich really is a close cousin to the quesadilla. Be careful, though—once you’ve sprinkled homemade hot sauce on your breakfast burrito or pizza, you’ll never want to eat those foods plain again.

Why make a homemade bottled sauce when there are dozens of brands at the supermarket? You’ll know exactly what’s in the sauce, moderate its piquancy–spiciness–to your liking, and can put those beautiful peppers from your garden (or the local farmers market) to great use.

We based this recipe on green, jalapeño-based hot sauces like the one made by El Yucateco. (You may also want to try our red taco sauce recipe.) Take our advice and make a big batch of this sauce, because you’ll want to have extra bottles to give away as gifts.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 10 large fresh green or red jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced

  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup diced onion

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

Steps to Make It

Important: Make this recipe in a well-ventilated area. If the chiles you are using are especially hot or if you have sensitive skin, wear rubber gloves when handling them. While chiles are sautéing and boiling, keep your face well away from the pan and never touch your face or eyes while cooking or working with hot peppers.

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for bottled hot sauce
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a nonstick saucepan. Add sliced jalapeños, garlic, and onion; sauté, stirring frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the onion is transparent, but not yet turning brown.

    Heat vegetable oil with jalapeños
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Add the water. When mixture comes to a boil, turn temperature down a bit and put the lid on the pan. Boil gently for about 15 minutes.

    Cover pan and boil
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Remove the pan from heat, take the lid off, and allow everything to sit until cooled to room temperature.

    Jalapeños in pan
     The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Place the cooled jalapeño mixture in a blender and add the salt. Blend at medium speed for 1 minute. While the blender is still working, slowly pour in the vinegar.

    Place cooled jalapeño mixture in blender
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Strain your hot sauce, then use a funnel to pour the sauce into a sterilized bottle with a tight lid. Refrigerate.

    Bottled hot sauce
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  • This sauce can be used immediately, but flavors will continue to develop over the next several days.
  • Shake before using, as the sauce may separate slightly.
  • This hot sauce keeps well, covered and refrigerated, for at least a couple of months—but you will almost surely use it all up way before then.

Recipe Variations

  • You can use any variety of fresh chile peppers for this sauce. Make it with serrano peppers or habaneros if you like more heat than jalapeños typically have. Try poblano peppers to add a little more flavor complexity. Asian or Peruvian peppers are also a great choice. Mix and match them as you desire, but keep in mind that this will affect not only the flavor but also the color of the final product.
  • Like a more rustic-looking sauce? Don’t strain it before pouring it into the bottle. Want it looser? Add a little more vinegar and water.
  • White vinegar is called for in the recipe above but don’t hesitate to use what you have on hand—apple cider vinegar, wine vinegar, etc. If you get really ambitious, try replacing part of the vinegar with some other acidic ingredient, such as lime juice or tequila.
  • Experiment with your dried favorite herbs for additional flavor. Add a quarter teaspoon of dried cumin, oregano, or epazote, for example, to the mixture together with the salt.