Salsas & Sauces/

Habanero Hot Sauce

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Votes: 182
Rating: 2.67
Recipe from Season 5 of Mexico—One Plate at a Time
Servings: 2cups


  • 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2cup peeled, roughly chopped carrot (you'll need 1 medium carrot)
  • 1/2cup roughly chopped white onion (you'll need about half of a small onion)
  • 12medium (about 5 ounces)orange habanero chiles, stemmed
  • 1cup apple cider vinegar
  • About 2teaspoons Salt
  • 1/4teaspoon Sugar


Roast the garlic in a skillet over medium heat, turning regularly until soft and blackened in spots, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool and peel.

In a small saucepan, combine the carrot, onion and habanero chiles with the vinegar and 1 cup water. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the carrots are thoroughly tender, about 10 minutes. Pour into a blender jar, add the roasted garlic, salt and sugar. Blend until smooth. Thin with a little additional water if you think your hot sauce is too thick. Taste and season with additional salt if you think necessary.

Pour into jars or bottles and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to add some dazzle to a dish.



  1. Hi Mr Bayless!
    I was wondering if you think instead of sugar, could I use pineapple or mango ?
    Thank you for your input

    1. I’m not Mr. Bayless, but I can give you advice based on my experience. First, don’t be shy about doing experimentation with food. Cooking is an adventure. The worst thing that will happen is that it totally fails and you have to put it in the garbage, but that’s rare. Usually what will happen is that you’ll find something you like, but need to tweak a bit for next time, then you just do another experiment. Be bold!! Try it out and report back.

      Now, when you try it, you’ll need to reduce the amount of habs or you’ll never use enough sauce to actually taste the pineapple/mango. I’d cut the habs down to about 3 or 4, then use some orange bell peppers to make up the difference in pulp without adding heat. Ohh… and roast the pineapple or mango. Never pass up the chance to add more flavor.

  2. I love this recipe. Thank you Rick Bayless!!! I grow my own habaneros each year and always make this sauce. I can the sauce so it will last me the entired year.

  3. Grew habaneros for the first time this year, so it was great to see this recipe to use them in. It is very hot! I just made it and stuck to the recipe and did not seed the habaneros. I am hoping it will mellow some, but if not I will mix it in other sauces. I love the fruitiness of habaneros, and I don’t think I am a softie when it comes to heat, but this is hot. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. I’ve made riffs off this recipe countless times. I usually up the amount of habaneros to 1/2 lb. I’ve also made it with aji limon, jalapeños, and trinidad scorpions (because i had to do something with them)… this recipe is on point. I also add spices, i grind cumin, coriander, oregano and teliicherries (1/2 tsp each) and a few allspice berries. wicked good.

  5. I used the recipe straight forward, keeping it as a thicker sauce that’ll coat the meat, I added some cilantro since my sweetheart loves it. However, it’s way too hot for her, but absolutley delishious for myself.

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