Like hot sauce, but not the heat?

How often have you said, “I like hot sauce, but not the heat?” Make your own with these mild and medium recipes. YOU control the heat. Learn which chile peppers to use and how to get the entire delicious flavor – without all the heat.

Remember, you can always make these hot sauce recipes milder by using fewer chile peppers and/or removing seeds and veins. You can also make them hotter … just use more chile peppers and/or add the seeds and veins.

Mild Picante Sauce Recipe
Spicy Ketchup
Farofa de Malagueta (Brazilian Hot Sauce)
Dave's Fresh Red Chile Sauce
Green Chile Sauce

Mild Picante Sauce

Although most commercial salsas and hot sauces are made from similar ingredients, their flavors differ because of spices, cooking techniques, and the proportion of ingredients. Perhaps this home-cooked version outdoes the original--you tell us.

It is important to use only Mexican oregano, as Mediterranean oregano will make this hot sauce taste more like pasta than picante sauce.


6 to 8 ripe red tomatoes (about 4 pounds),
 peeled, seeded, and chopped fine
3 jalapeño chiles, seeds and stems removed, chopped
  (use 6 jalapenos for medium, 10 jalapenos for hot)
2 medium onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Salt to taste


In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine the tomatoes, onions, garlic, vinegar, oregano, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes on medium heat to thicken the hot sauce. Add the jalapeños and continue cooking for 15 more minutes. Remove from the heat, cool to room temperature, and serve with chips.

Yield: About 4 cups
Heat Scale: Medium

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Spicy Ketchup

Even the big ketchup makers have joined the hot sauce bandwagon. There are several dozen brands of hot and spicy ketchup on the market these days. With sales of hot sauce and salsa surpassing ketchup as the number one condiment, it’s no wonder. Use this tasty spicy ketchup to add a little zing to your hamburger, hot dog, or steak.


6 pounds ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 small purple onion, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons dried Italian parsley
1- ½ cups malt vinegar
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
Dash of white pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or hot paprika   (use habanero powder for more heat)
1 cinnamon stick, halved
½ whole nutmeg, tapped carefully with a hammer to split
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds


Place the tomatoes, onion, and parsley in a 4 to 5 quart heavy pot. Bring the ingredients to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the tomatoes are softened, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Press the tomato mixture through a fine sieve, pressing hard on the solids with the back of a broad wooden spoon to release the puree. Return the puree to the pot and discard the solids.

Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, white pepper, and the powdered chile pepper to the puree. Tie the remaining ingredients in several layers of cheesecloth, and add them to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and cook 2 to 2 ½ hours, uncovered.

As it cooks, periodically remove the froth that rises and stir down the sides. When the mixture is very thick, remove the tied spices.

Ladle the ketchup into a jar. Allow it to cool, and refrigerate. It keeps indefinitely.

Yield: 2 ½ cups
Heat Scale: Medium

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Farofa de Malagueta (Brazilian Hot Sauce)

Farofa is a Brazilian hot sauce made with manioc flour, which is available in Latin markets. If you can’t find this locally, Authentic Mexican Chile Peppers at MexGrocer.comyou can find it online.

They are commonly sprinkled over the top of Brazilian meals such as Bifes. Farofieros, those cooks who specialize in the preparation of farofas, have been known to make eighty or more variations of this traditional hot sauce.


¼ cup palm oil, or substitute vegetable oil with 2 teaspoons paprika added
1 cup chopped onion
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh or pickled malagueta chile, or substutute piquin
 (dry chile peppers can be used if soaked in water first)
2 cups manioc flour or dried bread crumbs


Heat the palm oil in a frying pan and fry the onions until golden brown. Add the hard-boiled eggs and saute the mixture for 1 minute.

Next add the chiles and and manioc flour stirring constantly until the mixture turns golden.

Yield: 3 cups
Heat Scale: Medium
By Mats and Patricia Pettersson

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Dave's Fresh Red Chile Sauce

This method of making hot sauce differs from others using fresh New Mexican chile peppers because these chiles aren't roasted and peeled first. Because of the high sugar content of fresh red chile peppers, this hot sauce is sweeter than most. It makes a tasty enchilada sauce, too.

¼ cup vegetable oil
8 fresh red New Mexican chiles, seeds and stems removed, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
4 cups water
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro (coriander)
½ teaspoon Mexican oregano leaves
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and saute the chiles, onion, and garlic until the onion is soft, about 7 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour, uncovered.

In a blender, puree the sauce in batches and return it to the saucepan. Cook until the hot sauce thickens to the desired consistency. Add salt to taste.

Yield: About 3 cups
Heat Scale: Mild to Medium

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Green Chile Sauce

This recipe yields about 12 cups of green hot sauce. You may reduce quantities proportionally if you want to make a smaller batch.


6 cups chopped hot green chile, seeded
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
½ tablespoon red chile powder
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon salt
10 cups water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1-½ cups water (for cornstarch)

In a large pan, combine the green chile pepper, garlic, onion, coriander, red chile powder, white pepper, cumin, salt, and the 10 cups water. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, for 1 hour.

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water and mix thoroughly. Add to the chile mixture and cook until the mixture clears, about 20 minutes.

Yield: About 12 cups
Heat Scale: Medium
Dave DeWitt

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Here's More Delicious Hot Sauce Recipes

Fiery Hot Sauce Recipes
Salsa Recipes

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