Appetizers, sides, and main dishes burst with lively flavor thanks to this spicy condiment. Try tongue-tingling recipes such as Spicy Shrimp and Grits,Sweet-and-Spicy Chipotle Chicken Wings, or Spicy Chicken Salad With Veggies.

Cool Down With Hot Sauce
Credit: Van Chaplin and Charles Walton IV / Styling by: Alan Henderson and Cari South / Food Styling by: Rebecca Kracke Gordon


Here's refreshing news about hot sauce. This chile-containing condiment temporarily speeds up your metabolism and cools you off. Capsaicin (the heat-causing chemical in chile peppers) causes you to perspire, especially on the head and face. As moisture evaporates, heat pulls away from the body, producing a cooling sensation. That's why so many dishes in hot climates are spicy.

But let's face it: The real reason we use hot sauce is because we love its taste and the rush we feel while eating fiery foods. One bite of these tongue-tingling recipes, and you'll experience new heights in zestful flavor.

High on Heat
I sampled many of these hot sauces straight out of the bottle. As I write with a glistening forehead and ruddy cheeks, here's my take on some. (Did I mention antacids make terrific palate cleansers?) After taking an informal coffeepot survey, I learned that Crystal, Tabasco (all flavors), and Louisiana Hot Sauce are tops with our staff.

  • Bruce's Original Louisiana Hot Sauce: super fiery--gotta love high heat.
  • Buffalo Chipotle Mexican Hot Sauce: smoky and not too hot; great in mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, or on grilled corn on the cob.
  • Cajun Sunshine: tangy flavor, not too hot.
  • Cholula Hot Sauce: smooth, tangy, and very flavorful; great on wings, quesadillas, omelets, French fries, and in cheese dip.
  • Crystal Hot Sauce: perfect blend of heat, tang, salt, and chile flavor. My absolute favorite; I can't eat pizza without it.
  • Hot Wachula's Cranberry: subtle cranberry flavor and very tasty; great for marinating meats or as a vinaigrette base.
  • Jump Up and Kiss Me Spicy Passion Fruit Sauce: sweet, hot, and contains no salt; great for sodium-restricted diets. Try it in vinaigrette-type dressings.
  • Mango Tango Sauce: subtle mango taste and very spicy; great over black beans and rice or in creamy coleslaw.
  • Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce: milder than the original with a tangy, lemon-like flavor; great over scrambled eggs, chicken chili, and quesadillas.
  • Texas Pete: not too hot and lots of flavor. Good and salty, and tastes great on wings, tater tots and fried fish. The company has a wing sauce too.
  • Tiger Sauce: sweet, spicy, and loaded with flavor; try with grilled lamb chops or pork soft tacos.

Add a Dash
Here's what else is good with a bit of heat tossed in.

  • pimiento cheese
  • popcorn
  • fresh pineapple, cucumber, and jícama
  • creamy and broth-based soups
  • steamed veggies
  • tuna, potato, pasta, or egg salad
  • deviled eggs
  • gumbo
  • smoked brisket