So you grew habaneros this year and have WAY more peppers than you expected. Never fear; it is time to make this simple habanero sauce recipe and put them to use.
With just six ingredients, this hot habanero sauce is super simple yet highly delicious (and spicy). This recipe will use a good amount of habaneros from the garden and beat many craft hot sauces for flavour and price. It is now genuinely one of our favourite habanero hot sauces, period.
Join our newsletter and get 10% off your next order over $50!
Ingredients For A Simple Habanero Sauce
Peppers, especially habanero varieties, are full of unique flavours. With habaneros, you get powerful floral notes paired with intense heat. It’s one of our favourites.
This recipe lets the habanero peppers take center stage, with a touch of sweetness and some oil and garlic. The texture is silky smooth, and the flavour is incredibly bright and tangy, perfect for chicken wings…or just about any food.
- Habaneros. These peppers are delicious, but most people can’t handle the high heat level. Using them for the hot sauce can dull the spice level with vinegar and sugar. This way, you can enjoy more out of your harvest.
- Vinegar. You can feel free to use apple cider vinegar for a fruitier flavour or white distilled vinegar. Vinegar is highly acidic and is used to preserve the ingredients for long-term use. Without vinegar, our sauce would only last a week or so.
- Sugar. Whether you use white or brown sugar is up to you, but we keep it simple with white cane sugar. This saves our sauce vibrant in colour and, of course, makes the sauce taste like a (slightly) sweet treat.
- Olive Oil. We use olive oil for cooking the peppers and garlic, but it also gives the hot habanero sauce a buttery-smooth texture. It helps the sauce pour more efficiently, despite it being on the thicker side.
- Garlic. Garlic makes everything taste better, right? With just a tiny amount, this sauce comes alive. If you are sensitive to garlic, try substituting the olive oil for garlic-infused olive oil.
- Salt. Use regular table salt or kosher salt. Salt helps to bring the flavours together and makes them pop.
You can’t get much simpler than that. Trust me; this hot sauce will change how you look at other, store-bought hot sauces! Homemade is superior, and you can always tweak the recipe.
Tip: Habaneros are HOT. To tone down the heat level a bit, consider using half habaneros and half jalapenos or other milder peppers. We used a blend of white habaneros and red serranos for the sauce in this article.
If this is your first time making hot habanero sauce, this can serve as a base point for your experimentation. Try adding other tasty flavours like fruits, veggies, herbs & spices.
Sweet fruits are an excellent substitute for some of the sugar used in this recipe.
We love to use pineapple, blueberries, mango, cumin, oregano, lemon, lime, and allspice in our other homemade hot sauces.
How To Make Habanero Hot Sauce
When putting the ingredients together, you must first get the proportions right. As I said, this hot sauce showcases the habanero pepper, so the peppers occupy just under 50% of the flavour.
Vinegar is the next ingredient, followed by sugar, olive oil, garlic and a touch of salt. With the ingredients ready to go, we must follow a careful process to preserve the fresh flavours of our habaneros.
- 15-20 medium habaneros
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 teaspoons white sugar
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Wash The Peppers.
Always choose ripe, healthy-looking peppers when making hot sauce. Wash them thoroughly under cold water.
- Remove Stems and Chop.
Remove the stems and discard—rough chop the peppers and the garlic, keeping them separate. For a milder sauce, you can remove the seeds with a spoon.
Reminder: Always wear gloves when handling spicy peppers!
- Cook The Peppers In The Oil.
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on low heat until it shimmers. Add the chopped peppers and cover. Cook until the peppers are very soft, about 8 minutes.
- Add The Garlic.
Add the garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add Vinegar, Sugar and Salt.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly. Allow the mixture to come to a soft simmer, cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes on low heat.
- Allow cooling.
Remove the mixture from heat and allow to sit, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Blend until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add vinegar by the teaspoon and mix until it is correct.
- Pour into bottles or jars.
Carefully distribute the hot sauce into jars or bottles. We use a small funnel, but a glass baster can help avoid spilling.