Quick and easy to make Habanero Hot Sauce. It's hot, spicy, zingy, tangy and well balanced with hints of sweet red pepper & maple. You'll be wanting to drizzle it on everything!
I'd better start with the disclaimer that this Habanero Hot Sauce won’t be for everyone. But if you're someone who likes to turn up the heat and add some spice to your life, then you and I belong to the same hot sauce loving family.
Hello and welcome. Let's make amazing hot sauce together!
My Habanero Hot Sauce is spicy, fresh, homemade and delicious. You get that fiery heat first, then some tang from the vinegar, and then after that the roasted onion, sweet red pepper and maple come through, balancing out the heat perfectly.
This is a condiment that will make the perfect addition to your dinner table and gets bonus points for being so incredibly cheap to make. I don't know about where you are, but good quality hot sauce is expensive to buy here.
How chili pepper heat is measured
The heat of chili peppers or products derived from chili peppers, is measured with the Scoville Heat Scale.
The scale is named after William Scoville who developed the test in 1912 and works by measuring the level of the chemical compound capsaicin. This started off being measured by taste, but now high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is used. Peppers are dried and ground up, then water is filtered through. A machine is then use to measure the heat. This method is of course much more accurate than relying on human taste buds.
I love this humorous article written by Anna Maria Barry-Jester called "Rating Chili Peppers On A Scale Of 1 To Oh Dear God I'm On Fire". It goes into a lot more depth about the whole subject and is a really good read.
Scoville rating of habanero peppers
Habaneros, as used in my Habanero Hot Sauce, have a Scoville rating of between 100,000 - 350,000. They are up there with the wonderful Scotch Bonnets. Compare this to the very popular Jalapeño pepper which has a Scoville rating of only 3,500-8,000.
Here are the ingredients you need to make this naturally gluten-free Habanero Hot Sauce recipe:
And some notes on a couple of those ingredients:
- Habaneros - You can use habaneros at any stage of ripeness, green, orange or red but the colour of the sauce, heat level, sweetness, and flavour will change. Other varieties of chili pepper will also work well in this recipe.
- Red bell peppers - Chopped peppers add depth of flavour and natural sweetness. My preference is red because they make the colour of the sauce better. You could also use yellow or orange bell peppers. I wouldn't use green peppers as they aren't as sweet and your hot sauce won't be such a pretty colour.
- Vinegar - You can use either distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar in this recipe. White vinegar is sharper and tangier, apple cider vinegar is sweeter and fruity. Use whichever suits your tastes best.
If you want to switch things up some fresh mango, pineapple, cumin or lime juice added to the mix would be fantastic!
How to make Habanero Hot Sauce
Making my homemade Habanero Hot Sauce is quick and easy. Here's how:
- Sauté the chili peppers with the bell peppers and onions.
- Blend the sautéed peppers and onion with the remaining ingredients.
- Decant into bottles or jars.
Tip - Wear gloves or rub some olive/vegetable oil over your hands before handling and cutting the habaneros. Avoid touching your eyes (or anything else) until you have washed your hands thoroughly!
You can customize the heat of the habanero pepper sauce. If you prefer a milder hot sauce, reduce the amount of habanero peppers going in. You can also increase the quantity of bell pepper to mellow it further. If you like a very spicy hot sauce, go wild and add a few more habaneros.
How to store
Store Habanero Hot Sauce in bottles or jars in the refrigerator where it will last for up to 2 months.
Hot sauce can also be frozen for up to 12 months in a freezer-safe container. It might separate when it thaws but this is a purely cosmetic and won’t affect the flavor. Run it through a blender for 20 seconds before use and it will be good to go.
How to use hot sauce
Ok, let's discuss what you can put this Habanero Hot Sauce on. It can give any meal or snack a good spicy kick! Top of my list is avocado toast. I just love lashings of spicy sauce on it. Other drizzling options include:
- Rice dishes like my One Pot Spicy Rice or Easy Savoury Rice
- Vegan scrambled eggs
- Stir fry
- Burritos, tacos & pizza
- Bowl meals like my Cauliflower Rice Bowls or Tofu Bowls
- Breakfast potatoes or grilled baby potatoes
- Melted with vegan butter then used to coat popcorn or cauliflower wings
- Stir through vegan mayo for a creamy topping/spread for sandwiches and burgers
- In dips, dressings and marinades
- On steamed or stir-fried greens
- In a spicy cocktail!
I get asked all the time where I got the little swing top bottle in my photograph. It came from a store called Canadian Tire. You can find it here. If you aren't in Canada though, I found some similar looking ones on Amazon. Just search "swing top bottle".
White vinegar is stronger in flavour and will give you a tangier hot sauce. Apple cider vinegar will be slightly less tangy with a little more sweetness.
You can easily make it a little mellower. Roast an extra bell pepper or 2 then blend them into the sauce, adding a little water to thin as necessary. This will dilute the spiciness.
Hungry for more?
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Habanero Hot SauceAuthor:
- 2 teaspoons oil , any neutral tasting oil (use a few drops of water instead to keep the recipe oil-free)
- ½ medium onion , diced roughly
- 2 large red bell peppers , deseeded and cut into chunks
- 3 large cloves garlic , chopped roughly
- 6 habanero peppers , tops removed and diced roughly (mine were about walnut in shell size)
- ½ cup (120 ml) distilled white vinegar , or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ cup (180 ml) water , approximately. You might not need it all.
- Make sure you have a window or door open and an extractor fan on to ventilate your kitchen. When the habaneros start cooking you will get chili pepper fumes which might make you cough a bit or make your eyes smart.Sautéing on a grill outside is an option for a chili pepper fume-free house ;O)
- Over a medium heat warm a skillet with the oil ( or a tablespoon of water to keep the recipe oil-free), then sauté the onions and bell peppers for a few minutes until beginning to soften.
- Add the habaneros and sauté for a little while longer until soft and slightly caramelized then add the garlic. Turn off the heat and let the garlic cook in the residual heat of the pan.
- Turn off the heat and transfer to a blender. Add the vinegar, maple syrup and salt and blend until completely smooth.
- Open the blender and check the thickness. Add water to thin as necessary, giving it a quick blend in between each addition. Everyone likes their hot sauce different thicknesses so add enough to suit you.
- Blend until completely smooth then decant into bottles or jars and store in the refrigerator.
I have no experience of canning so don't know if that is possible with this recipe.
Nutritional information is provided for convenience & as a courtesy. The data is a computer generated estimate so should be used as a guide only.
This recipe was originally published on January 15th, 2016. I've since rewritten the post, adding more helpful information and now I am republishing it for you. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for following A Virtual Vegan!