Grilled Hot-Pepper Sauce

If your summer garden is producing more spicy peppers than you can even pick, let alone eat, this is the recipe you need. Homemade hot sauce is a cinch to make, lasts for weeks in the refrigerator, makes a fun gift, and most importantly, tastes amazing. This recipe for Grilled Hot-Pepper Sauce comes together in less than 30 minutes and is flexible enough that you can use whatever types of chiles you have on hand. (Obviously, the hotter the pepper, the hotter your sauce will be.) Before they are blended into a liquid, the peppers are grilled, which makes the texture of the sauce smoother and adds rich smoky notes. Our favorite blend contains jalapeños and serranos, and a bell pepper, which offsets the heat and adds sweetness. When combined with red wine vinegar, light brown sugar, salt, and a little garlic, you'll be amazed by how much flavor can come from a few simple ingredients. Grilled Hot-Pepper Sauce is delicious on Mexican and Cajun dishes of course, but it's a fantastic addition to eggs, pizza, chili, and even fried chicken.

Grilled Hot-Pepper Sauce
Photo: Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch; Food Styling: Anna Hampton
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
1 cup


  • 2 medium jalapeño chiles

  • 2 medium serrano chiles

  • 1 medium-size red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded

  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 small garlic clove


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Place jalapeño chiles, serrano chiles, and bell pepper on oiled grates. Grill, uncovered, turning occasionally, 7 minutes.Transfer chiles and bell pepper to a heavy-duty ziplock plastic bag; seal and let stand 10 minutes.

  2. Remove and discard skins from chiles and bell pepper. Place chiles and bell pepper, red wine vinegar, light brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. water, kosher salt, and garlic clove in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Use immediately, or store pepper sauce in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Chef's Notes

Substitute these pepper combos in the recipe to make a new blend.

For a Green Sauce: 2 jalapeño chiles, 2 serrano chiles, and 1 poblano chile

For a Red Sauce: 2 red Fresno chiles, 1 habanero chile, and 1 red bell pepper

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