Cayenne Pepper Sauce Recipe: Hot and Spicy!

November 20, 2023
Written by Kristy J. Norton

The cayenne pepper sauce recipe is made using cayenne peppers, vinegar, garlic, and other spices mixed and boiled until it thickens.

Cayenne pepper, known for its bright red color and hot flavor, is one of the most common fresh peppers in America. Moreover, this spicy vegetable offers several health benefits. When blended and cooked into a sauce, cayenne pepper provides a delicious blend of spices loaded with nutrients.

In today’s article, I’ll show you how to prepare this spicy cayenne pepper sauce. I learned this recipe in culinary school, and I’ve been using it as a spread or dip for different meals like sandwiches, ribs, and other hot and spicy food. Read on as I show you the best cayenne pepper hot sauce recipe.

cayenne pepper sauce recipe

How to Make Cayenne Pepper Sauce?


  • 20 cayenne peppers: This recipe calls for 20 cayenne peppers, which should yield enough sauce to last you a while. It is best to use fresh cayenne peppers rather than cayenne pepper powder because the powder lacks the same rich flavor.
  • 2 cups of white vinegar: White vinegar works well in this recipe because of its acidity. When making cayenne pepper hot sauce, use more vinegar than water in the mix for a flavor boost.
  • 1 cup of distilled water: The water dilutes the acidity of the white vinegar so that it is not overpowering. Many people prefer hot sauce on the spicy side, so use half as much water as vinegar. However, if you want hot sauce with mild heat, use half as much water and half as much white vinegar.
  • 5 cloves of garlic: How much garlic you use will depend on your personal preference. Garlic has a strong flavor, so using too much could produce a hot sauce that is overpowering and a tad bitter. That’s why I recommend 5 cloves of fresh garlic for this recipe.
  • 2 teaspoons of onion salt: If you want to add some extra flavor, onion salt is a great option. It is best to start small and gradually increase the amount until the flavor is just right for you.
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil: Use oil to bind all the ingredients.
Spicy Hot Chili Sauce with Other Ingredients


Step 1

First, wash your jars and lids thoroughly. Next, boil tap water in a canning pot and place the jars and lids inside for 5 minutes to sterilize them. Remove the jars and lids after five minutes and place them on a baking sheet.

Step 2

Next, remove the pepper stems and core the fresh cayenne peppers. If you like your sauces spicy and hot, leave all of the seeds and membranes in the chili peppers. If you prefer a sauce that isn’t that hot, remove some of the seeds from the hot cayenne peppers. If you remove too many seeds and the sauce isn’t as hot as you’d like, don’t worry. You can simply adjust the heat level before canning.

Step 3

Add all the spices, 1 and a half cups of vinegar, and 1 cup of water to the sauté pan and cook for 30 minutes, or until the peppers become soft.

Step 4

Afterward, remove the pan from the stove and transfer the contents into a blender or food processor. Then add the remaining half cup of vinegar to let the pepper blend properly.

Step 5

Then, blend until the mixture is smooth. Use a fine mesh strainer to strain the blended pepper mixture and return it to the sauté pan to cook until the mixture’s thickness is consistent. This step should take 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure you stir your sauce properly in this step. Taste the sauce and make any flavor adjustments.

Step 6

When you’re satisfied with the flavor, start filling your jars with the hot pepper sauce, leaving half an inch of space on the lid.

Step 7

After closing the lid, place the jars in a canning pot filled with boiling water for 20 minutes. Don’t put the jars on the bottom of a pot of boiling water, or else they will crack. You’ll need to fit a wire rack into the pot, then place the jar on it. After 20 minutes, remove the jars from the boiling water and place them on a towel on your kitchen counter to cool.

Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce Variations

Of course, you can play around with the recipe. Here are other tasty and spicy variations of this pepper sauce:

  • When chopping the peppers and garlic, add some chopped onion for flavor and natural sweetness. It doesn’t matter what kind of onion you use. That said, yellow and white onions will not change the color of the finished sauce like red onions will. You could also add a carrot. Carrot is an earthy-flavored natural sweetener.
  • You could also make a mango-flavored hot sauce by blending dried mango into the finished sauce. The mango flavor goes really well with a spicy sauce.
  • Try some ground and toasted coriander or cumin seeds for a more delicate flavor. I usually prefer the pure peppery flavors of homemade hot sauces, but it’s always fun to experiment!
  • Try mixing peppers to create an even more unique flavor that will suit your spice tolerance. Use jalapeños, cherry bombs, banana, or serrano peppers to make a mildly hot sauce. You can use just one pepper or a combination of them. Thai chilies, tabasco peppers, or fish peppers can all be used to make a sauce of medium heat. Again, you can use only one type of pepper or a combination. Use scotch bonnet, ghost peppers, or habanero to make an insanely hot sauce. These peppers are so hot that I suggest mixing them with milder peppers.
Bowl of Spicy Sauce

Extra Recipe Tips

  • This cayenne pepper hot sauce recipe should fill up one 500-ml jar.
  • When working with hot peppers, use food-safe rubber gloves and avoid touching your face or sensitive parts.
  • If your pepper sauce doesn’t taste as good as you expected, season it with a little more salt.
  • If the sauce is too bitter, it may be because the peppers were overripe. To adjust the taste, continue adding 1/2 tablespoon of pure honey to the sauce until the taste changes. The sweetness from the honey will help reduce any bitterness. You could also use white sugar, brown sugar, or maple syrup to reduce the bitter flavor. If you’re using sugar, continue to simmer the sauce for a few minutes to ensure the sugar melts and the sauce does not become gritty.
  • If your sauce is too thin, thicken it by adding a tablespoon of cornstarch. You may also reduce the moisture in a saucepan for a few minutes to make it thicker.

How to Store Cayenne Pepper Sauce?

When the sauce has reached the desired consistency, pour it into a glass jar with a lid and store it in the refrigerator for up to six months. You can also keep the cayenne pepper hot sauce in a cool, dark place away from sunlight. Your sauce should last for two months under these conditions.

What to Serve with Cayenne Pepper Sauce?

This hot sauce goes great with almost everything! Here are a few of my favorite delicious recipes:

  • Enjoy cayenne pepper hot sauce with chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, and hamburgers. The sauce acts as a spicy spread that complements the proteins inside the buns.
  • Serve the cayenne pepper hot sauce with fried eggs, omelets, or scrambled eggs.
  • You can also add a spoonful of homemade cayenne pepper sauce to any stir-fry recipe for an extra kick.
  • Cayenne pepper hot sauce also pairs well with smoked meats because it adds just the right amount of heat without being overpowering. Remember that this sauce works best when it is evenly spread on the meal you want to eat.

What is Cayenne Pepper?

The cayenne pepper is a member of the nightshade family, which also includes bell peppers and jalapenos.

Cayenne peppers are high in capsaicin, a compound that gives the pepper its heat and health benefits. For this reason, the cayenne pepper’s spice levels vary depending on the amount of capsaicin in the pepper.

This naturally spicy vegetable is high in vitamins and minerals, making it a wonderful addition to any dish. One serving of cayenne also contains 15% of the recommended daily value of vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. For even more nutritional data, the USDA published that one 5-gram serving of cayenne powder contains the following nutrients:

  • 3 g of carbohydrates
  • 17 calories
  • 8 mg of magnesium
  • 8 mg of calcium
  • 16 mg of phosphorus
  • 107 mg of potassium
Raw Cayenne Pepper

How Hot is the Cayenne Pepper?

In my opinion, the cayenne pepper hot sauce has a medium heat level. However, you may find it hotter or milder, depending on your heat tolerance.

What’s great about making your own hot sauce, like this homemade cayenne pepper sauce, is that you can adjust the heat to your liking. The heat of peppers is measured in Scoville units or SHU. The cayenne pepper has an SHU rating of 30,000 to 50,000, whereas habanero peppers, which is one of the hottest peppers, has an SHU rating of 325,000.

Health Benefits of Cayenne Peppers

Hot peppers are natural energy and metabolism stimulants. Some research has linked peppers to lower blood fat levels as well as lower blood pressure. Spicy cayenne peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that helps increase blood flow in the digestive system, skin, and brain.

Cayenne is rich in vitamins and minerals that benefit the body in various ways, including maintaining healthy blood flow, promoting weight loss, fighting infection, preventing blood clots, boosting the immune system, and regulating heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.

So, if you like things spicy and care about your health, include hot peppers in your daily diet or make this amazing cayenne sauce.


Making homemade cayenne pepper sauce is that easy! All you have to do is buy fresh cayenne peppers from the farmer’s market and the other ingredients you’ll need.

The best part about making your own cayenne sauce recipe is the freedom it gives you. You get to choose your preferred flavor and heat level. So, what are you waiting for? Follow this recipe and make your own homemade hot sauce.

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. Pitmaster Central is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon (.com,, .ca etc) and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Keep Reading
Copyright 2024 Pitmaster Central, all rights reserved.