11 Substitutes for hot sauce

Sharing is caring!

If you are a fan of hot sauce, you already know how much flavor it adds to your food. Its spicy goodness is what makes it loved by many people. However, you might have run out of it at times, or it could also be possible that you are just looking for some new and exciting flavors to spice up your food. So are there any substitutes for hot sauce that you can use?

Yes! You can use numerous alternatives, and it doesn’t matter why you really want to use a hot sauce substitute because we’ve got you covered. We have compiled some DELICIOUS substitutes that will add flavor to your food. Let’s check them out.

What is hot sauce?

What is hot sauce

Hot sauce is a condiment made from chili peppers, vinegar, and salt. It is often used to add heat and flavor to food. Sauces come in different types, each with its own unique flavor. Usually, the color of hot sauces ranges from dark red to green.

However, there are exceptions. Some hot sauces have a yellowish color or even brown. Hot sauce is often used in stir-fries and other cooked dishes, salads, soups, and stews for added flavor and heat.

You May Like:

Why is hot sauce hot?

Hot sauce is one of the spiciest condiments you can add to your food. It is made from hot chili peppers containing capsaicin compounds that contribute to their hotness. Capsaicin triggers pain receptors on the tongue that send a burning sensation to the brain. If the pepper has more capsaicin, it will definitely be hotter.

The best substitutes for hot sauce

If you are looking for a substitute for hot sauce, many different options are available. Here are the best substitutes for hot sauce:

1. Sriracha

Sriracha is a famous hot sauce with a spicy and slightly sweet flavor. However, its flavor has lesser chili but is close to hot sauce. It is made from chili pepper, vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic with a thicker consistency close to ketchup.

2. Tabasco sauce

Tabasco sauce is made from tabasco peppers, salt, and vinegar. Do not confuse tabasco sauce for sriracha sauce. The difference between these two sauces is that tabasco is spicier than sriracha. Tabasco sauce has a spicy, vinegary flavor and the peppers used are hotter, making it a popular substitute for hot sauce.

3. Harissa

Harissa is a North African hot sauce made from chili peppers, garlic, herbs, and spices like cumin, coriander,ancho, and guajillo. It has a spicy, smoky flavor and is perfect for adding heat to food. It is delicious in eggs, dips, noodles, and marinade and braises.

The hotness of harissa can vary depending on the peppers used. Harissa might also include a garlicky flavor brightened by the citrus juice in it. Its consistency is close to that of sriracha and substitutes hot sauce well.

4. Chili powder

Chili powder is made from ground hot peppers and can add heat to any dish. It is a good substitute for hot sauce, especially in dishes with many other flavors going on. Chili powder can be ground from different types of chili peppers like:

  • Cayenne pepper– This spicy condiment is made from ground cayenne pepper. Even though it is not that spicy, it has a hot, peppery flavor and is great for adding heat to dishes.
  • Paprika– There are two types of paprika– sweet and hot. Hot paprika is a good substitute for hot sauce because it adds heat to your food without overpowering other flavors as sweet paprika would. It is also great for adding color to your dishes.
  • Chipotle pepper– Chipotle pepper powder is made from dried and smoked jalapeno peppers that have been ground, and you can easily make them at home.

5. Sambal oelek

Sambal oelek is an Indonesian hot sauce made from chili peppers, vinegar, and salt. The name samba oelek is derived from the Indonesian word for pepper,sambal. The word oelek, on the other hand, means pestle and mortar that’s used in grinding the peppers.

 It has a bright tart and spicy flavor perfect in rice dishes and can also be used as amarinade. Sambal oelek is a thicker version of hot sauce and a bit chunkier as it contains whole pepper seeds. It can be rather hard to find, but if you can get your hands on some, it is definitely worth trying in place of hot sauce.

6. Gochujang

Gochujang is a Korean condiment made from chili peppers, garlic, glutinous rice, soybean powder(fermented), and salt. It is a smooth, deep red, spicy paste that takes 3 to 6 months to age fully under the sun.

Gochujang is an excellent dip for your meat or vegetables.It has a rich tomato flavor that’s sweet, spicy, and sour thatalso goes well with stir-fries and stews. Its savory intensity also serves as an excellent marinade for meats. Gochujang is more like a thick paste than hot sauce, but it can be thinned out with water if you like it thinner.

7. Chili flakes

Chili flakes are made from a single type of dried chili peppers and can be added to any dish for heat. The singleuse of a specific type of pepper brings out a distinct flavor note that substitutes for hot sauce. Chili flakes are great if you want just a little bit of heat in your food.

8. Curry paste

Curry paste is often used in Indian cooking to make curries, but it can also be used as a condiment. It usually consists of coriander, turmeric, chili powder, oil, garlic, lemongrass, cumin, and Thai ginger. It also includes chilies that give it its signature flavor and color.

If you want something spicier than most other hot sauces, use this one instead of them all! The spiciness of the curry paste might differ depending on the chilies used. If you used red chilies, the paste would be fiery. Green chilies make a mild and rich flavor, while yellow chilies make a spicy and slightly sweet flavor.

9. Chili garlic sauce

Chili garlic sauce combines chili peppers, garlic, salt, and vinegar. It has a spicy and garlicky flavor that goes well with Chinese food or a dipping sauce for chicken or shrimp.Its consistency is often loose and has a mild flavor great in sauces, stir-fries, dips, and sauces.

10 Chili oil

Chili oil can also be used as a hot sauce substitute because it has that nice spicy flavor and is quite thick, making it easy to spread on your food. It is red and made from soybean oil, olive oil, or sesame oil. The oil has additional spices like garlic, pepper, and Sichuan pepper.

11. Chili jam

Chili jam is made of peppers, vinegar, ginger, tomatoes, garlic, and a source of pectin to set the jam. as a spicy, sweet flavor that goes well with many foods like meat or cheese. It can be used as a substitute for hot sauce if you are looking for something with a little bit more flavor.

Ingredients for hot sauce

Ingredients for hot sauce

Hot sauce includes a few ingredients, and for you to achieve the perfect flavor, you need to understand how each ingredient works out. Common ingredients include Chili pepper, vinegar, citrus juice, seasonings, salt, and even fruits and vegetables.

  • Chili pepper

There are many types of peppers you can use for this purpose. They include:

  • Fresh pepper

Some good examples are habanero peppers, Thai peppers, jalapenos, and serranos.

  • Dried pepper

Dried pepper varieties like ancho’s and pasillas can be used. Dried chili flakes are another great option. Just choose a variety that is not too spicy because this can change the flavor of your hot sauce and make it hard to eat!

  • Vinegar

The most common types are white distilled vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or rice wine vinegar, but you can use whatever type you have on hand. If there’s no vinegar, use citrus juice, tamarind paste, or fermented fruit or vegetable.

  • Seasonings

These can include salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and other spices that you might like.

  • Citrus juice

A good example is lime juice but orange or grapefruit work well too. Adding citrus will give your sauce a tart flavor and some sweetness.

Making some homemade hot sauce

The ingredients used in making hot sauce are easy to find and probably just seated in your kitchen cabinets. Why not throw them together and make some nice hot sauce for your foods by following this easy recipe?

What you will need:

  • 5 tbsps. vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tbsps. cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbsps. water


  1. Mix all ingredients in a jar and shake well
  2. Store in the fridge and use as needed.

Why make some homemade hot sauce?

Making some homemade hot sauce is easy and saves you money since you can make many batches with just one bottle of vinegar. It’s great for those who love hot food but don’t want to spend a lot on store-bought stuff that may contain additives or preservatives, which could be harmful in large quantities over time.

The best thing about making your own hot sauce is that you can customize it to your own liking by adding more or less of any ingredient. Add more pepper for a spicier sauce orsugar for a sweeter one. The possibilities are endless!

video: How to Make HOT SAUCE

Final words

There are many different substitutes for hot sauce available, so you are sure to find one that fits your taste buds. Whether you want something sweet or spicy, there’s sure to be a good substitute available. Experiment with different ones to find the one that suits you well.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment