Homemade Authentic El Yucateco-Style Habanero Mexican Hot Sauce Recipe

Published on
November 1st 2022
Last updated on March 20th 2024
Jennifer Dodd

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This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes.
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Side shot of a bottle of Mexican hot sauce on a tabletop
Side view of a bottle of hot sauce on a wooden table

Mexican Hot Sauce will leave you with tears in your eyes, yet have you come back for more? This recipe is a green El Yucateco-style sauce that uses Habanero peppers rated up to 350 000 on the Scoville scale, making this a highly spicy hot sauce.

Also added are onions, garlic, vinegar, salt, sugar, and lime juice blended with fresh cilantro. Add this spicy sauce to tacos and quesadillas, or use it to heat soupschili, and stews for some extra kick.  

What is the hot Mexican sauce called?

It's said that El Yucateco is the hottest sauce in Mexico. 

What makes Mexican hot sauce different?

What separates each hot sauce is the types of peppers used in them. Mexico produces over 60 varieties of peppers; these peppers are smoked, dried, and turned into powders or infused with other peppers, such as the chipotle pepper in Adobo sauce. 

Mexican hot sauce often combines various chili peppers, such as habanero or jalapeño, with ingredients like vinegar, spices, and sometimes fruits or vegetables. It's known for its vibrant, spicy, and tangy flavor profile that complements many dishes.

What does green Mexican sauce taste like?

You will find several types of green hot sauce from salsa Verde, which is not very spicy and made from tomatillos, chili Verde, which is a sauce made from green chilies and El Yucateco, which is the style of this recipe made from Habanero.  

Which is hotter red or green chile sauce?

The color of the sauce does not necessarily determine how spicy it will be, it's the types of peppers used in the sauce that counts. 

How do I balance heat and flavor in homemade Mexican hot sauce?

To balance heat and flavor, adjust the amount of chili peppers used and experiment with adding sweet or acidic elements like fruits or vinegar. Taste as you go and consider adding more ingredients gradually.

Is Mexican hot sauce versatile in recipes other than Mexican cuisine?

Absolutely! Mexican hot sauce can add depth and heat to various cuisines, including Asian stir-fries, marinades for meats, soups, and even salad dressings.

Can I store homemade Mexican hot sauce for an extended period?

Properly sealed and refrigerated, homemade Mexican hot sauce can last for several weeks to a few months. However, the fresher it is, the better the flavor tends to be.

Are there alternatives to habanero peppers for a milder version of Mexican hot sauce?

Yes, you can use milder peppers like serrano or even bell peppers for a less intense heat level while still maintaining the essence of Mexican hot sauce.

Is Mexican hot sauce gluten-free or vegan?

Most homemade Mexican hot sauces are naturally gluten-free and vegan since they typically contain no gluten-based ingredients and are made from plant-based components. However, it's always best to check labels for store-bought options.

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Author: Jennifer Dodd
Average: 5 (5 votes)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
250 ml


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Place the olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and Habanero peppers to the pan, sweating the ingredients for 5 minutes.

Overview of onions, Habanero peppers and garlic cooking in a pan

Add salt, sugar, and vinegar, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Sugar, salt and vinegar being added to a pan

Add the ingredients to a blender letting it cool down for 5 minutes.

Overview of hot sauce ingredients cooling in a blender

Add the lime juice and cilantro to the blender, and blend on high speed until the sauce is completely smooth.

Lime juice and cilantro being added to hot sauce ingredients in a blender

Place into sanitized jars or bottles ready to hit the table, seeing who can handle the heat.

Side shot of a jar of hot sauce on a table
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2 years 2 months
Sarah Leadon

Hi Jason Maddox. Yes, you use the water bath method to can the Mexican hot sauce for long-term storage. Be sure to use sterilized jars and process the hot sauce for at least 15 minutes in the water bath before you remove it and let it cool.

Permalink 04 Apr 2024

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