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.
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I have Serranos but would like to tone it down a little could I substitute a few with sweet peppers? Any suggestions?
Hmmmm tough one Sharon as Serranos are quite hot by nature. If I were in your shoes I would probably omit 6-7 Serranos and add another 1/4 onion. Cheers.
Great recipe and easy to make. My husband grew Serrano peppers and there were many left to use before the season ended, most had turned red. This recipe worked out great and I did add one habanero pepper. The recipe doesn’t say but I did cook the peppers until soft before I blended. The sauce isn’t too hot or mild, it’s perfect with the right amount of kick. I plan on making it again next season. Thank!
Ahh good news, so glad you tried this one out! Cheers.
What can be substituted for the cilantro? Thanks!
Hi Sue! There's not a great substitute for cilantro, but its impact is minimal in this recipe so you can just omit it and still get a good result. Cheers.
Picked 3 lbs of serranos from my garden today and got 14 8oz jars of this sauce! Husband and neighbor loved it, flavor and heat, will be giving more away to friends and freezing some to save 🙂
Now that's a big batch! Lucky neighbors 🙂
I made this for my son who loves all things hot. He went through a jar in two weeks and asked how much more I could make him. I made two more batches today. I love colors when I use all red or all green. Thanks for sharing
Ha awesome Danielle, someone asking for more is always my favorite type of feedback 🙂 Cheers.
Can ripe, red Serrano peppers be used?
Yeah go for it! The red ones are usually a bit sweeter but you should still get a good result. Cheers.
Can you use fresh Mexican oregano?
Sure Ehulani! I haven't tried that in this recipe but I think it would work well. Cheers.
Easy quick and awesome. Did not have 20 Serrano so added a few jalapeños. Looked over other recipes and this was the simplest as well.
Muy Bueno Amigo
Awesome, so glad you tried out this recipe Lewis! Cheers.
Great recipe! Great way to use my peppers. I’ve made about 12 batches this year on my final 3 batches now. Ladies at work think I should market this sauce. I call it pepper relish. I use it on just about everything including some siracha. Kudos!
Ahh good to hear, thanks John, I luv the idea of people bringing this fireball sauce into their workplace 🙂 Cheers.
Is there a safe way to canning this recipe?
Hey there, sorry I can't give a better answer, but I haven't tried canning this recipe yet. Cheers.