Chili Pepper Madness

September 30, 2016

Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce - Recipe

Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce - Recipe Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce - Recipe

Make your own ghost pepper hot sauce at home with this recipe, which includes plenty of chopped ghost peppers, tomatoes, vinegar and salt. Big flavor, big spice! With a pleasant blast of heat. Drizzle it over everything!

Ghost pepper hot sauce coming at you, baby! You GOTTA have some ghost pepper sauce in the fridge for times when you need that extra bit of heat. Our ghost pepper plants weren't quite as productive as our 7-pot plants this year, but we still got plenty of pods for whipping up some hot sauce. Hot sauces are one of my favorite foods to make. I've become a bit fanatical about it, really. I've come to need a big variety on hand for all the different types of meals I make. You can tell by the growing collection of Hot Sauce Recipes on the web site. I've been moving into making flavors and combinations of all different sorts, but we're keeping it super simple with this sauce. Sometimes simple is best.

Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce - Recipe

With only 7 ingredients, you can make this sauce in about a half an hour, not including chopping time. Most of the time is spent watching the ingredients simmer to cook down a bit and let the flavors meld. In a nutshell, your cooking steps include: Chopping, Cooking, Simmering, Processing, Bottling. Done! Easy!

The unfortunate part of this recipe is that it is best to wait a few days or even longer to let the flavors mingle and mellow slightly in the bottle. Of course you can eat it right away, but I like the flavor that much more after waiting. So have a little patience, will ya? The flavor is spicy for sure, but somewhat fruity from the ghosts and savory with the tomatoes. This is one of my very favorites.

I have already anticipated your questions based on the many comments we get on other sauces. Here goes:

How long will this sauce keep? It should keep a few months easily in the fridge, or even longer. It's all about the acidity. To be technical, target level ph for shelf stable foods is below 4.6 ph, but should probably be lower for home cooks, around 4.0 or so, to account for errors. I have not measured the ph of this sauce, but I won't have it around very long anyway. If you're concerned, add more vinegar to lower the ph.

Where'd you get that sauce bottle? I find them locally sometimes, but I also order through Amazon. Here is a link to some bottles I like (affiliate link, my friends!): Swing Top Glass Bottles, 8.5 Ounce - Set of 4. If you like the smaller bottles that most hot sauce makers use, here's another link: Hot Sauce Bottles, 5 Oz - 24 Pack.

Can I process this hot sauce for longer storage? Absolutely. Just be sure to use proper canning/jarring safety procedures.

What should I do with hot sauce? Aside from drizzling it over anything you please, here's a post I did about How to Cook with Hot Sauce. As if you need even MORE reasons to eat hot sauce. LOL. I hope you find it helpful!

Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce - Recipe

Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce - Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 bhut jolokia peppers (ghost peppers), chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped (I used Black Krims from the garden)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add peppers and onions. Stir.
  2. Add tomatoes and stir. Cook about 10 minutes.
  3. Add vinegar, salt and water. Simmer 20 minutes to allow flavors to develop.
  4. Transfer contents to a food processor and process until smooth.
  5. Transfer to a container. Seal and refrigerate until ready to use.

NOTE: The flavors will grow more intense the longer you wait.

Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce - Recipe

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  • Comment Link C October 15, 2017 posted by C

    can i put 10 ghost peppers or is that overkill?

    REPLY: C, surely you can, though be prepared for the heat! =) -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Colleen Kelley October 15, 2017 posted by Colleen Kelley

    SIX bhut jolokia to 2/3 C salsa? And this is not tongue in a glass of ice cubes hot??? I’ve been warned @ burning myself. Found Trinidad Scorpions for first time @ Asian Mkt. & they told me use only “one 1/2 Scorpion to 2 gallons salsa,” which Was already made with 1:1 tomatoes: peppers (avg. 100k Scoville) and was simmering @ home on the stove totally mild. Defiantly, I added a whole Scorpion. Barely more heat. So how many Bhut Jolokias (or frozen Trinidad’s) should I add to the 6 remaining quarts of salsa, while I’m also trying your Ghost Pepper Salsa recipe today?

    REPLY: Hard question, Colleen! If you're worried it will be too hot, don't add much, maybe 1 for the whole thing and test. Definitely do testing to find your preferred heat levels. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Stephen October 11, 2017 posted by Stephen

    I'll try your recipe with Carolina Reapers. Can you use apple cider vinegar?

    REPLY: Stephen, yes, you can use apple cider vinegar. You will have a fruitier flavor that way. Let me know how it turns out. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Seema October 05, 2017 posted by Seema

    Can I use white vinegar instead of red? Also will wine tomatoes test same as farmer markets ones in the sauce. I never tried ghost peppers sauce friend of mine just gave me and I saw your sauce recipe. Looks delicious can’t wait to try.

    REPLY: Seema, yes, you can use white vinegar, as well as substitute other tomatoes. You will have some flavor variation, but it won't be a massive change. Let me know how it turns out for you. Send a pic! -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Joseph Reitano September 30, 2017 posted by Joseph Reitano

    I (16YO) made this recipe (22 fl oz) for my family to complement my signature burritos. My mother generally doesn't do excessively spicy foods, but she can't stay away from it. My brother will love this when he comes to visit. Thanks for the amazing recipe!! 10/10

  • Comment Link Mike September 25, 2017 posted by Mike

    The tomatos you used in the recipe are a lot larger than the normal tomatos people grow around here. I was wondering about the size and weight of yours.

    REPLY: Mike, go with anywhere from 1-1.5 pounds of tomatoes, which would yield you a good amount of hot sauce. You can test and adjust to your tastes from there. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Erin August 27, 2017 posted by Erin

    I am planning on making this today...super pumped! Question though: do you leave the pepper seeds in?

    REPLY: Erin, I do leave them in, though you can remove them if you wish. The seeds tend to float in the sauce, so many people like to remove them. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Bill August 26, 2017 posted by Bill

    I always put the saucepan on the grill outside to avoid the ventilation issues. I've tried other recipes in the house and always end up coughing my brains out

  • Comment Link Bro August 26, 2017 posted by Bro

    My wife is allergic to onions. What's a good substitute?


    REPLY: Bro, you can omit the onions if needed. Try adding more peppers, more tomato, or add in a carrot to round out the substance. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Megan August 23, 2017 posted by Megan

    Will the cooking process be harsh? What I mean is, do I need protective goggles or something?

    REPLY: Megan, I would be sure to have good ventilation in the room. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Gerry August 17, 2017 posted by Gerry

    Do you use a whole small yellow onion for this recipe? Using a whole, small onion seems like a lot to me.

    REPLY: Gerry, yes, I did, but you can cut back to your personal tastes. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Jeff July 16, 2017 posted by Jeff

    Any idea on the weight o "6 bhut jolokia peppers"? The peppers which come off my plants are usually either way bigger or way smaller, so "6 peppers" doesn't help much, weight would be way easier to work with.

    REPLY: Jeff, an average ghost pepper weighs between 7-9 grams, so figure accordingly. From my experience, this recipe is easily adaptable and you can vary the amount of peppers by a great deal, depending on your preferred heat level. Same goes with the tomatoes. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Adam June 08, 2017 posted by Adam

    How much does one batch make?

    REPLY: Adam, it should make you a couple of cups, depending on the size of your tomatoes. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Jeremy Duerden November 29, 2016 posted by Jeremy Duerden

    I have a good crop of cayenne peppers but they have not gone red because of our short growing season at 53 degrees north in England. Will they work as well as red chillies whilst green or do you recommend another recipe? I have used 'Basket of Fire' chillies to great effect with this recipe

    REPLY: Jeremy, you CAN use this recipe, though the flavor will be more "green", unripened flavor. I think it could still work, though. You might balance some of that out with other ingredients, like garlic and onion. Let me know how it turns out. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Tony October 24, 2016 posted by Tony

    When finished, my sauce was really a paste. Whats the best way to thin it out, water, vinegar, a combo of both, or something else?
    Thanks, Tony

    REPLY: Tony, yes, just add in a bit of water and thin it to your desired consistency. Or, you might try a bit more vinegar. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Florentina October 02, 2016 posted by Florentina

    When I was little my mother prepared the tomato sauce, never hot, but it is a great idea, especially for me that I love spicy food.

  • Comment Link Bill September 30, 2016 posted by Bill

    Where can I buy these fresh - online?

    REPLY: Bill, click "Resources" at the top menu and select either Plants or Seeds and see if any of those sellers can provide you with fresh pods. If you have trouble, email me and I can put in you in touch with some potential resources. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

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Mike Hultquist of Chili Pepper Madness

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Hi, Everyone! It is nice to meet you. Welcome to Chili Pepper Madness, the food blog run by Mike and Patty Hultquist, a couple of spicy food lovers. Chili Pepper Madness is a special tribute to all things chili peppers, including chili pepper recipes... LEARN MORE ABOUT US


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