Substitutes for tabasco sauce

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Tabasco sauce is a classic condiment used in many dishes. Many people love the spicy, tangy flavor of tabasco sauce because it adds excitement to your meat, sandwiches, vegetables, and soups. With just a few drops of the sauce into the dish, you will enjoy it hot and flavorful.

Your recipe might call for tabasco sauce, and you’ve run out of it.  Worry less, for some replacements work as fine as tabasco sauce itself.  So in this blog post, we will discuss some substitutes that you can use in place of Tabasco sauce. We will also give you some considerations you should have in mind before substituting tabasco for another. Let’s get started!

What is Tabasco sauce?

What is Tabasco sauce

Tabasco sauce is a pepper-based hot sauce made from three main ingredients: vinegar, peppers, and salt. The peppers used for the Tabasco recipe are red tabasco chili peppers (hence the name), aged in white oak barrels for three years. This aging process gives the sauce its beautiful, deep red color and flavor.

Tabasco sauce is used in many different ways; you can use it as a condiment for burgers, drizzle it over eggs, or stir some into your soups and stews. Tabasco has a robust flavor so start with just one drop at a time to ensure that you don’t add too much heat to your dish.

Substitutes for tabasco sauce

Tabasco sauce has this unique flavor that can be hard to replicate. However, some alternatives can give exemplary results. Some great alternatives include:

Sriracha Sauce

If you love the flavor of Tabasco but wish it was a bit spicier, then Sriracha is for you. It’s not as hot as Tabasco and has no vinegary taste in it. The sauce might include garlic or red jalapenos flavors. Sriracha is made from red chili, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt.

It’s named after the coastal city of Si Racha in Thailand, where it was first made. Sriracha is mainly used as a condiment for burgers, added into stews and soups, and drizzled over eggs. It also has a thick consistency to mix in sour creams and mayonnaise.

Chili Garlic Sauce

This sauce is very similar to Sriracha but has a slightly different flavor profile due to sugar and garlic. Chili garlic sauce is made with red chili, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt. It’s used mainly in southeast Asian cuisine but has gained popularity in the united states over the past few years. Add it to your stir-fries and stews.

Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce- a sauce that many have difficulties pronouncing. So if you’re looking for an all-purpose sauce to replace Tabasco, Worcestershire is a great option. It has a slightly sweet and sour taste with a touch of bitterness.

Worcestershire sauce is made of malt vinegar, water, molasses, sugar, onions, salt, anchovies, garlic, and other additional ingredients. It was first created in England in the 19th century. It is used in fish and chips, eggs, broths, BBQ sauces, or burgers.

Cholula Hot Sauce

If you want something a little bit spicier than Tabasco but not quite Sriracha-level heat, then Cholula is right up your alley! It’s made with cayenne peppers, giving it its signature red color and flavor. The peppers used are a bit different, which brings a difference in the heat levels.

Cholula is made with red chili peppers, vinegar, and salt. It can be added to soups and stews. Cholula sauce is named after an old Mexican city in North America but is now used in many cuisines: Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, or even South American.

Cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper is a hot chili pepper related to the bell pepper and has the same scientific name,’ capsicum annum’ as cayenne. It is made from dried red cayenne chili peppers and used in many dishes to add heat and flavor.

Like tabasco sauce, cayenne pepper adds a hot taste to your meals. You can even add some vinegar to bring in the tabasco sauce flavor. It should be minimally added to the foods, so its taste does not overpower you.


Ketchup? Yes! I know you are surprised, but it works as fine as tabasco in instances when you need a substitute right away. Ketchup is a type of tomato sauce made with vinegar, onions, and spices and gives food a salty and tangy flavor. First created in 1876 by Henry John Heinz, it’s now a common condiment that you can prepare in your kitchen and substitute for Tabasco. Use it in burgers, stews and soups.

Chili powder

Chili powder is a spice made from ground chili peppers and used to add heat and flavor to dishes. It might contain other spices like cumin, oregano, garlic powder, and salt.

 Chili powder is used in many different types of cuisine, such as Mexican, Indian, or even American dishes. Chili powder has especially grown popular in the united states over the last few years due to its versatility and ability to be used as an ingredient or condiment. It can also be added to stews, soups, and rubs.

Hot sauce

Hot sauce is a type of sauce that is made with chili peppers. Although there are many different types of hot sauces on the market, they all have one common ingredient- chili peppers. Hot sauce is made of chili peppers, vinegar, and salt that add deliciousness to BBQ. It can also be used as a marinade.

Texas Pete

Texas Pete is a hot sauce made with fermented chili peppers. Its flavor is not as tangy as tabasco sauce, but you can always add a few drops of vinegar. It is used as a marinade and in BBQ meat. Texas Pete is the perfect replacement if you reside in the United States. Note that it is widespread worldwide, not just in the US.

What to consider when choosing a substitute for tabasco sauce:

Do you just go for any ingredient that can substitute tabasco? No! you have to put into consideration things like:

The type of food you are cooking

The food you are cooking will determine which substitute is best for your dish. For instance, if you’re making something like tacos, using Cholula might be better than Texas Pete because it has less heat but more flavor.  On the other hand, if you’re making an American dish like burgers or eggs, Texas Pete might be a better option.

The heat level of the substitute

Chili powder and cayenne pepper are both hotter than tabasco sauce. If you are looking for substitution with more heat, these two options might be good for you. If you are a less heat person, substitutes like ketchup is what you should go for.

The flavor of the substitute

Not all substitutes have the same flavor as tabasco sauce. If you are looking for substitution with a similar flavor as tabasco sauce, then chili powder or cayenne pepper might work well.

The consistency of the substitute

Not all substitutes have the same consistency as tabasco sauce. Some are thinner, while others are thicker.

Making homemade tabasco sauce substitute.

homemade tabasco sauce substitute

Looking for a substitute for tabasco sauce and don’t want to go out and buy one? Then there are many different options you can make at home. Here is a simple guide for a homemade substitute for tabasco sauce:

  • Hot sauce
What is Hot sauce

This is probably the most effortless substitution to make because most of us already have the ingredients in our fridge. All you need is chili peppers, vinegar, and salt. You will just mix them together, and you have your hot sauce.

  • Chili powder
What is chili powder

This can be made by combining cayenne pepper with other spices like oregano or garlic powder. It’s a great way to add heat without changing too much flavor from what’s already being prepared.

Video: How to make Tabasco sauce at home

Frequently asked questions(FAQs)

Can frank’s red hot sauce substitute tabasco sauce?

Franks red hot sauce is an excellent substitution for tabasco sauce. It has a similar flavor and consistency but doesn’t have the same spice level.

What type of chili is in tabasco sauce?

Tabasco sauce is made with tabasco peppers, a variety of chili pepper named after the Tabasco river in Mexico, where they were first discovered.

What’s the difference between red and green tabasco sauce?

Red and green tabasco sauces are made from different types of chili peppers. Green ones are made with jalapenos, which have less heat than red ones that use tabasco pepper.

How long does Tabasco sauce last?

Tabasco sauce can last for up to five years if it is unopened and stored in a cool, dry place like your pantry or cabinet. Once opened, it should be refrigerated and used within two months.


So, on the subject of substitutes for tabasco sauce, different alternatives are available, depending on what you are looking for. Chili powder and cayenne pepper work well with the ingredients already in your dish.  All the above alternatives work well. All you need to do is choose the one that best suits your needs.

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