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Chile de Árbol Hot Sauce

Vegetarian

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.

Hot sauce bottle filled with chile de árbol hot sauce on table with spoon dripping with hot sauce and a pile of chile peppers.

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My chile de árbol obsession is in full swing, so I’m back with another recipe featuring this amazingly delicious and spicy little pepper.

Let me introduce you to my new favorite hot sauce. As far as flavor goes it’s:

  • Smokey
  • Earthy
  • Spicy
  • Vinegary
  • Garlicky

And if that doesn’t pique your interest, let me tell you a little more. It only has five ingredients, is super easy to make (most of which is hands-off), and takes less than 30 minutes. That’s right! In less than 30 minutes you can have an amazingly flavorful homemade hot sauce.

No more paying $5.00 for a bottle of hot sauce, when you can make one from home that is just as good and a fraction of the price. For real, this sauce only costs about a dollar to make.

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!!!

Bottle of hot sauce with a pile of chile peppers and a spoon dripping with hot sauce.

So what do you need to make this hot sauce? ( + substitutions)

  • Chile de Árbol: Chile de árobl are a small Mexican chile pepper that falls between a Serrano pepper and a cayenne pepper on the Scoville scale. Your local grocery store mary carry them if they have a decent Mexican section. 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.
  • 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
  • Salt
Ingredients for hot sauce on grey surface.

How do you make chile de árbol hot sauce? ( + tips)

Begin by heating a medium skillet to medium heat. Gently toast the chiles for 30 seconds to a minute on each side. ** Warning the fumes from the peppers might send you into a coughing fit, especially if you over toast them. I highly recommend you open up some windows prior to toasting the chiles.

Toasted chile de árbol in cast iron skillet shot from above.

Next, you will need to reconstitute (restore) the chiles. Add two cups of water to the skillet, turn off the heat, and allow them to sit for 20-30 minutes.

Chile de árbol soaking in water in a cast iron skillet.

Transfer the chiles to a blender. Add 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid, the vinegar, garlic, and salt, and pulse until smooth. At this point, if you wish, you can strain the hot sauce using a fine sieve, otherwise, serve it as is or refrigerate for later.

Top down shot of hot sauce in blender.

How to store

Refrigerate in a hot sauce bottle or glass jar for up to three weeks.

Bottle of chile de árbol hot sauce with spoon dripping with hot sauce and pile of chile peppers.
Dripping bottle of hot sauce dripping next to pile of chile peppers.

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.
  • 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 w/ 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 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 Instragram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light and happy cooking ya’ll ♥

Hot sauce bottle filled with chile de árbol hot sauce on table with spoon dripping with hot sauce and a pile of chile peppers.

Chile De Árbol Hot Sauce

Yield: ~ 1 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes

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.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounce dried chile de árbol, destemmed and deseeded, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 

Instructions

  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, gently toast the chile de árbols for 30 seconds to a minute on each side.
  2. Add two cups of water to the skillet, turn off heat, and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Transfer the chile de árbols to a blender along with 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid, vinegar, garlic, and salt. Pulse until smooth. Strain with a fine sieve if desired, otherwise, serve or refrigerate 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: 45mgCarbohydrates: 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

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Veronica

Saturday 13th of March 2021

Tried your hot sauce. First with apple cider vinegar. I’m going to say not a fan. Then tried with white vinegar! And loved it!! Will definitely use it from now on.

Jessica Halverstadt

Sunday 14th of March 2021

I'm happy to hear you found a solution :) Thanks for trying the recipe and for the feedback!

Ari

Friday 22nd of January 2021

This taco stand up the road from my home is reluctant to sell large quantities of their red sauce so I had to come up with an alternative for my Mexican dishes I make. This recipe was the closest I could find. Thank you 🖤

Jessica Halverstadt

Friday 22nd of January 2021

You are very welcome! Glad you came across the recipe and it met your needs. Thanks so much for giving it a shot :)

Ed

Sunday 17th of January 2021

Only lasts three weeks? I’m the only one in my family that likes hot sauce, and I’m not sure I’ll use it all up before then.

BEEz

Friday 15th of January 2021

Looks awesome! Perhaps I missed it, but I never saw an amount of chilies. I counted about 28 in one picture. Looking forward to tasting this!

Jessica Halverstadt

Sunday 17th of January 2021

Half an ounce or approximately 1/2 cup.

brad

Saturday 19th of December 2020

Great sauce, though I'm still suffering from toasting the arbol peppers. I added a few morita peppers as well to add a bit of sweet and smoke, but can't really taste them with the heat of the arbols. Thanks for the recipe.

Jessica Halverstadt

Monday 21st of December 2020

Oh man, toasting the chiles will definitely get ya. Michele, who commented before you, mentioned she added dates. I wonder if that would sweeten it up. I have yet to try it, but plan to. Thanks for trying the recipe! Hope it's not too spicy for you.

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