Smoky and spicy, this quick and easy five-ingredient chile de árbol hot sauce packs a mighty punch. The use of Mexican chiles makes it an ideal addition to dishes like tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. Naturally gluten-free and vegan.
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What you’ll love about this recipe
- The flavors! This homemade árbol chile hot sauce brings the flavor. It’s smoky, earthy, garlicky, and most definitely packs the heat. The flavor profile makes it an ideal condiment for Mexican dishes. It’s great on tacos, burritos, nachos, enchiladas, etc. OR if you’re like me, simply on chips. Yes, I eat hot sauce like it’s salsa. Yum!!!
- It’s a great gift! Because we all have at least one friend or family member that is utterly obsessed with hot sauce, having a delicious homemade hot sauce recipe on standby for gifting is not a bad idea. It is super simple to prepare AND is quite affordable. You can gift a full-sized bottle or the smaller ones that are ideal for stocking stuffers.
- It is inexpensive! There is no need to pay $5.00+ for a bottle when you can make it from home for a fraction of the price. For real, for about a dollar to make this sauce which yields enough to fill nearly two standard hot sauce bottles. To cut costs even further you can use recycled hot sauce bottles.
Ingredients (+ notes & substitutions)
- Chile de Árbol: Chile de árobl are a small Mexican chile pepper also known as bird’s beak chile. Your local grocery store may carry them if they have a decent selection of Mexican food products. If not, they can be found at Mexican markets and are available for purchase online. Check out my product recommendations below for a link to my favorite chile de árbol on Amazon. Additionally, the chiles will need to be destemmed and deseeded. The stems can easily be pulled off. The simplest way to deseed them is to cut them open with kitchen shears and then scoop/scrape out the seeds. ***I recommend that you wear gloves when handling the chiles to prevent the capsaicin from burning your skin and whatever you do DO NOT touch your eyes.
- Water: This recipe requires you to reconstitute the dried chiles, meaning you restore them. To do this, you will simply soak the chiles in hot water until they have softened.
- White vinegar: Apple cider vinegar would be a suitable alternative.
- Garlic: Although the recipe calls for three cloves, you may certainly add more.
- Kosher salt: To season the hot sauce.
How to make chile de árbol hot sauce ( + tips)
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the chile de árbol in a single layer in an oven-safe skillet, preferably cast-iron, and set it aside. ***Once again, I do recommend that you wear gloves when handling the chiles to prevent the capsaicin from burning your skin and whatever you do DO NOT touch your eyes. ***If you’ve prepared this recipe before, you may have noticed that the directions have been updated. Where before, the recipe instructed you to toast the chiles on the stovetop, it now instructions you to bake them. I have found that it is much easier to control the level of toastiness by baking them. This prevents burning and killer chile fumes (if you know, you know).
2. To enhance the flavor of the chiles, bake them for five minutes until they are slightly toasted/browned.
3. Remove the skillet from the oven and pour enough water into it to submerge the chiles. Rest for a minimum of 20-30 minutes.
4. Transfer the chiles to a blender along with the vinegar, 1/4 cup of water, garlic, and salt and pulse until smooth. If desired, add additional water by the tablespoon, to dilute. If you did not use a high-powered blender you may wish to strain the hot sauce with a fine sieve otherwise, you may serve it immediately or refrigerate it for later.
How to store
Refrigerate in a hot sauce bottle or glass jar for up to three weeks.
Although they look similar and are close on the Scoville scale, chile de árbol and cayenne are not the same. Arbol chile peppers originated in Mexico and cayenne from French Guiana.
On the Scoville Scale, these chiles sit between Serrano and Cayenne at 15,000 to 30,000 units which means that they are fairly spicy. If you’re not a fan of spicy food and/or find it intolerable, I would not recommend this hot sauce. Due to the high concentration of chiles it is quite spicy.
More recipes featuring chile de árbol:
- Chile de Árbol Salsa: This rich and spicy five-ingredient chile de árbol salsa is so easy to make and takes only 20 minutes. Great for dipping chips or to top your favorite tacos. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.
- Chile de Árbol Chicken Wings: A Mexican twist on a classic, these smoky and spicy chile de árbol chicken wings are perfectly crispy on the outside, yet tender and juicy on the inside.
- Beef Birria (Mexican Stew): Beef birria is a slow-cooked, savory Mexican stew made with beef, a blend of chile peppers, onion, garlic, and a variety of spices. This dish is warm and inviting with a depth of flavor that goes unmatched. Naturally gluten-free.
- Beef Birria Tacos with Consomé: These birria tacos are EVERYTHING!! They start with two corn tortillas dipped in consomé, then stuffed with cheese, and fried (Quesadilla!!). Next comes succulent, flavorful beef topped with onions, cilantro, and fresh lime juice. Served with a side of consomé for dipping.
If you make this chile de árbol hot sauce I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥
- 1/2 ounce dried chile de árbol, destemmed and deseeded, approximately 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the chile de árbol in a single layer in an oven-safe skillet, preferably cast-iron, and set it aside.
- Bake for five minutes until the chile de árbol are slightly toasted/browned.
- Remove the skillet from the oven and pour enough water into it to submerge the chiles. Rest for a minimum of 20-30 minutes.
- Transfer the chiles to a blender along with the vinegar, 1/4 cup water, garlic, and salt and pulse until smooth. If desired, add additional water by the tablespoon, to dilute. If you did not use a high-powered blender you may wish to strain the hot sauce with a fine sieve otherwise, you may serve it immediately or refrigerate it for later.
Storage: Refrigerate in a jar or hot sauce bottle for up to three weeks.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1 teaspoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc