This Serrano Hot Sauce is for those of you who need HEAT on standby in the fridge!
Not only do Serranos have more heat than Jalapenos, but I also added a Habanero to this batch and that really amped it up.
You can consider this recipe a good middle ground between the recent Jalapeno Hot Sauce and the more explosive Habanero Hot Sauce.
How To Make Serrano Hot Sauce
This pic is the best way to show the differences between Serranos and Jalapenos:
Chiles tend to get hotter as they get smaller, so the Serranos will typically pack quite a punch compared to Jalapenos. Those are Scoville units shown underneath the chiles and that's a quick way to gauge their heat level.
In day-to-day cooking you can consider these chiles interchangeable because you're typically only using a small amount.
But we're using a half pound worth of Serranos in this recipe, and that difference in heat really adds up when you're using 20 of 'em!
So for anyone looking for a mild hot sauce, this ain't it 🙂
I will also add a Habanero to this recipe when I have one on hand. The tiny, fiery Habanero will increase the heat even more so please consider it optional.
Be sure to use caution when handling hot chiles.
I typically just give my hands a good washing afterwards, but gloves are a decent option when handling fireballs like Habaneros. And no touching your eyes or nose unless you want to know what it's like to be pepper sprayed! More tips on working with hot chiles.
Start by cooking 1/4 roughly chopped onion in a glug of oil along with a whole, peeled garlic clove
Once the onion has softened we'll add the following spices:
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano What is Mexican oregano?
1/4 teaspoon cumin
some freshly cracked black pepper
Let this cook briefly and then add the remaining ingredients:
the rinsed and de-stemmed Serrano peppers
a single Habanero (optional)
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Bring this mixture up to a simmer and then add it all to a blender along with:
8-10 cilantro sprigs
juice of 1 lime
Combine well and take a taste, but consider yourself warned!
It has real zip so just try out a small drop at first to see how your palate reacts.
You'll have enough for two 5 oz. hot sauce sized bottles.
If you don't have any of these bottles on hand be sure to check your fridge! Sometimes you'll find old, forgotten hot sauces in the back corner that are willing to be emptied out and cleaned.
This Serrano Hot Sauce works great as a final burst on tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. And you'll find that most green sauces get along well with eggs dishes so don't forget those!
It'll keep for weeks at a time in the fridge and only takes a few minutes to put together. Sound like a good deal?
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Serrano Hot Sauce
- 1/2 lb. Serrano peppers (approx. 18-20)
- 1 Habanero pepper (optional)
- 1/4 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- juice of 1 lime
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin (optional)
- 8-10 cilantro sprigs
- Give the Serranos a good rinse and de-stem them. Be sure to wash your hands after handling them. More tips on handling hot chiles.
- Saute a roughly chopped 1/4 onion and 1 whole, peeled garlic clove in a glug of oil over medium heat.
- Once the onion is browning you can add 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, some freshly cracked black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon cumin (optional). Briefly cook until fragrant and then add the de-stemmed Serranos, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. You can optionally add a rinsed and de-stemmed Habanero pepper. Bring to a simmer and then add everything to a blender.
- Add 8-10 sprigs cilantro and the juice of 1 lime to the blender. Combine well or to your desired consistency. I usually leave it a bit chunky but you can always blend it thinner.
- Add mixture to two 5 oz. bottles or a small Mason jar. Store in the fridge where it will keep for weeks at a time.
Want to see the latest recipe? It's this Mole Poblano sauce.
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Made this sauce recently after a huge turnout in our garden! Loved how simple the recipe was, and the product was perfectly spicy 🙂
I wondered if anyone had tips for making the sauce a bit saucier? What I made is a little chunky and doesn't pour from the bottle unless I give it a good whack. Any suggestions?
I had a huge haul of serranos this year, so I made this tonight and it turned out fantastic. I added in some additional jalapeños that also came out of my garden and a little bit of cayenne pepper. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.
Ahh good to know, thanks Brent!
We love this recipe!
Just made this and it's amazing! I grew my own serranos this year and had so many with no idea what to do with them. This is perfect! Good flavor and a nice kick of heat! 🙂
Awesome KP, so glad your homegrown serranos found this recipe 🙂
We LOVE this recipe!! Great heat, and love the flavorful serrano taste! Ever since my husband went through cancer treatments 6 years ago his taste buds are hard to please. He's added this to everything he's eaten in the last week since I made it. Everyday he says "what can we make to go with the hot sauce?" So thankful to find a recipe that he can not only taste but that he absolutely loves!! Thank you!!
Hey thanks much for your note T! So glad you guys found this recipe, I hope you get lots of use out of it. P.S. It works great on eggs too if you haven't tried that yet 🙂
Really good sauce. I substituted about 10 serrano's for more habaneros so it's roughly half and half of each. Delicious!
Consider using bacon grease or lard instead of olive or vegetable oil. Good site here, keep it up.
Hey thanks for this tip W. Cheers.
I've noticed that as I've gotten older, my preference has morphed from red salsas and picante sauces to green. My favorite is a serrano sauce but with the addition of roasted garlic and tomatillos.
Thanks for you blog.
Like Bkhuna, I like the recipe a lot but also with tomatillos and roasted garlic. Tomatillos are essential in my Ex's family in the DF, wouldn't be salsa verde without tomatillos. About 15 years ago when I lived in the DF, I made a special "salsa verde" for my father-in-law. He likes it "spicy" so they always make it with serranos and just for him, I threw in a habanero. He was stunned and was demanding: "Hey! How come the Canadian can just toss off a salsa verde, much better than anyone in this MEXICAN household can, huh?" My mother-in-law cooked for 9 kids growing up and a huge extended family during holidays and family events. She knows EVERYTHING about cooking, especially Mexican cooking, so she is REALLY important to me..... I had to stop making the sauce, for family harmony......... (My suegro is also important to me but I can find a guy to drink Cardinal Mendoza and smoke Cohiba panatellas with on any street corner in the country........)
I love your recipes. You give enough information to really understand and what you offer is very different from several other blogs that I have seen. If you write a cookbook, I would purchase it.
Hey thanks much Toby!
Hi Patrick! Do you have any suggestions for a milder sauce for weaklings that you've actually tasted? Lol all jalapenos may even be too hot. Lol
Hmmm tough one Nay as all of the hot sauces on my site have some zip. An alternative could be to make a mild Salsa to see how everyone reacts:
Tomato Jalapeno Salsa
I would recommend just adding the jalapeno incrementally so it doesn't overwhelm the palate. Cheers.