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10 February 2017

A quick and easy spicy hot sauce recipe made with habanero peppers, garlic and honey. Ideal as a serving sauce, complimentary hot sauce, or a marinade.

There are a number of sauces you can easily whip together in a few minutes. Are hot sauces included? YES! Well, at least this one is included. You don’t need much time to get this sweet and spicy hot sauce recipe completed, about 20 minutes or so from start to finish, unless you are ME, in which case you should just add another 20% more time.

Hey, I’m a slow cook. Freely admitted.

It’s easy because you only need a few ingredients, 7 total. You’ll be using habanero peppers, garlic, vinegar, honey, water, salt and corn starch. The process is simple – PROCESS and SIIMMER. Quite easy.

Sweet Habanero Chili Sauce – Recipe

How to Make Habanero Hot Sauce

In a nutshell, you’ll need to process the habanero peppers, garlic, vinegar, honey, water and salt in a food processor until it is nice and smooth. You CAN leave it slightly chunky, to your preference, really, though I like it a bit more processed.

Heat it up a bit, then stir in cornstarch that has been diluted in water to thicken it up. You don’t want to add the cornstarch directly to the sauce mixture, as it could clump up. Simmer the whole thing and the cornstarch will slowly thicken your sauce.

If the sauce gets TOO thick, just add in a bit more water or vinegar, or even a bit of lime juice would be a nice addition. Also, I consider this a BASE sauce. Consider adding other flavors, such as herbs or seasonings, to change the overall character and flavor profile.

It is great on its own but will certainly welcome other flavors.

I’m filing this one under Hot Sauce Recipes because it IS a hot sauce, but you can use this as a simple sauce or even a marinade. As a hot sauce, drizzle it over tacos or pizza, or pretty much anything that calls for a sweet and spicy hot sauce.

How to Serve This Habanero Chili Sauce

As a sauce, I prefer serving it over white fish, grilled chicken or pork. I also like to use it as a marinade for fish. Again, the good thing about it, aside from the varsatility, is how easy it is to whip together.

Feel free to try this recipe with other peppers. Sweet Ghost Chili Sauce? YES! Bring it. I hopeyou enjoy it!

Here are answers to some of the most common questions I get on other sauces:

Frequently Asked Hot Sauce Questions

Here are answers to some of the most common questions I get on other sauces:

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. If you’re concerned, add more vinegar to lower the ph. Sauces made with fermented chili peppers will last even longer.

The best ph meters that I recommend are from Thermoworks. Get yourself a ph meter from Thermoworks today. I am a happy affiliate.

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!

Check out more Hot Sauce Recipes or learn more about How to Make Hot Sauce.

I hope you find it helpful!

Sweet Habanero Chili Sauce – Recipe

Check out These Other Popular Hot Sauce Recipes:

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Sweet Habanero Chili Sauce – Recipe
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4.91 from 10 votes

Sweet Habanero Chili Sauce – Recipe

A quick and easy spicy hot sauce recipe made with habanero peppers, garlic and honey. Ideal as a serving sauce, complimentary hot sauce, or a marinade.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: habanero, hot sauce
Servings: 20
Calories: 19kcal


  • 10 habanero peppers chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch


  • To a food processor, add habanero peppers and garlic and process until finely chopped.
  • Add vinegar, honey, water and salt. Process until very smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into a large pan and bring to a quick boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes.
  • Mix the corn starch in a separate bowl with a tablespoon of water and add to the simmering mixture. Stir.
  • Cook about 10 minutes to thicken to your preference. If it gets too thick, you can easily add a bit more water to your tastes.
  • Cool and store in glass bottles.


Perfect for a marinade or a quick sauce!
Heat Level: Hot.


Calories: 19kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Sodium: 117mg | Potassium: 20mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 7.3mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Sweet Habanero Chili Sauce - Recipe



  1. 5 stars
    Awesome flavor! Canned 10 half-pints. Can’t wait to use it. Thanks so much for your recipes, every one I’ve tried has been amazing. Going to pick up some pineapple today so I can make your Pineapple Habanero hot sauce using up the last of our habanero peppers from this years harvest. Already made the Mango Habanero hot sauce and it was amazing.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Wonderful! Super happy you are enjoying the recipes. I hope you enjoy the pineapple habanero hot sauce. I love that one. Thanks, Julie!

  2. David Gilmour

    5 stars
    I have just made this sauce, here at home in Wales, United Kingdom. I had to substitute the Habanero chilli, due to the fact I cannot buy them in the small town I live in, so I used a bunch of red birds eye chillis instead, alomg with organic honey and apple cider vinegar. The result is really good, sweet, very hot but not unpleasantly so. My second of your cookbooks has just arrived in the mail, so I have some reading to do whilst enjoying my snacking and my new dipping sauce. Thanks for your great recipes and inspiration.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, David! I appreciate it! Glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you enjoy my books.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Lorna, yes, you can, though it will have a thinner consistency.

  3. I add bourbon at the end. Adds an excellent flavor. This sauce goes in every stir fry and is our added heat when our salsa needs a little kick. This sauce has become an ingredient on many other homemade recipes.

  4. Mike, I made this last season and my SIL loooved it! He’s requested more, but I’m not growing habaneros this year. Can I use some whole habaneros that I canned last year?

    Thanks for sharing your expertise. (I love your site!)


    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Amy. Great! Glad it was enjoyed. You can use canned habaneros. The flavor might not be exact, but there is vinegar in the recipe, so it really shouldn’t affect much. Let me know how it turns out for you!

  5. tim warehime

    I just had to comment on this sauce. it is my favorite of all the hot sauces I have made this year. I have 14 kinds in my pantry. Had a bumper crop of peppers this year. Thanks!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Great, Tim! I’m glad you are enjoying it! It’s a good one for sure.

  6. Mark R CROUCH

    5 stars
    Very good and hot. I did 14 habaneros and a ghost pepper. super hot!! But I also added maple syrup for some sweetness along with the honey. very good.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Perfect, Mark! I love it. A touch of maple syrup will add some interesting flavor. Nice! Glad you are enjoying it.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Vanessa, absolutely! Ghosts or scorpions would be awesome here. Nice and spicy! Let me know how it turns out for you.

  7. 5 stars
    Knock my socks off good ! I had some fresh pineapple and I added about 1/2 a cup to my pepper mix. I will use this as a dipping sauce. Another winner !

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Excellent, Suzanne! Glad you loved it!

  8. 4 stars
    Nice easy recipe. Mine came out super hot! I added some sugar and I roasted the peppers in a pan before I put them in the food processor. So good.

  9. great recipe
    now hear me out i know its weird but i tried doing this recipe with strawberries and basil and it was so good

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Very cool, Idan. I think strawberries and basil would be very interesting additions! That’s what I love about hot sauce recipes. They’re fun to play with.

  10. 5 stars
    I did the sauce today and added a twist: i added 1/2 cups of fresh mango and added a bit more extra water. It turned out great.
    It’s a very simple recipe! I can’t wait to put it on everything i eat:)

    Thank you!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Awesome, Lorena! I’m glad you loved it! Nice! I love the addition of the mango.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Ann, I usually just leave them in, but you can remove them if you’d like. Or strain the sauce afterward. Let me know how it turns out for you.

  11. Byron Jones

    If you water bath them can you just keep it in the pantry, also have you ever doubled the recipe so to cut down on time?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Byron, yes, you can process these to properly seal and preserve them and store them in the pantry. Also, yes, I make larger batches all the time. Let me know how it turns out for you.

  12. 5 stars
    Thank you very much for the recipe. It worked out wonderfully for me.

  13. Bryan Walker

    Wondering if you could add 1/2 of mango nectar instead of the 1/2 cup of water

    REPLY: Bryan, definitely worth a try! I think that would add some interesting flavor and consistency. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  14. Love the sauce, I did throw some canned peaches in to the processor with everything else, gave it a fruity note to it

  15. Andrea Garroni

    Hi Mike. Awesome recipe – thanks! One problem I encountered was that I stored the sauce in the fridge and that it congealed into a singular bottle-shaped lump. Might I have done something wrong or is this normal?

    REPLY: Andrea, it will thicken in the fridge a bit for sure, though if it is too thick there, you can thin it out a bit with extra vinegar or a bit of water. Let me know how that turns out for you. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  16. How do you measure the ph level of a sauce?

    REPLY: Scott, you can purchase an inexpensive PH meter online. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  17. I can’t wait to try this recipe! Two questions: 1) I Wanted to know if you ever tried adding onion to it? 2) What impact would fermentation have (besides length of time) for this sauce?

    REPLY: Reed, yes, I use onion in a lot of sauce recipes. Great addition. Also, fermentation will mellow the peppers. I often prefer fermenting peppers first with many sauces. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  18. lachlan kerr

    what kind of volume does this recipe make?

    REPLY: Lachlan, this will yield you about 1-1/2 cups or so. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  19. Dan McClurg

    How long do you recommend the water bath canning method? 10 mins or so?

    REPLY: Dan, yes, 10 minutes is sufficient. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  20. We grow gold bullet, chocolate and red savina habaneros. We don’t grow the orange habanero because we prefer the flavor of these. We have fresh, dehydrated and frozen peppers. We’ve never made hot sauce. Can we substitute our habernos for your recipes? Which would be best to use? Fresh, frozen or dehydrated?

    REPLY: Lori, absolutely, you can sub in those peppers without issue. I usually prefer to work with fresh, but you’ll find great results with both frozen and dried peppers. I’ve made great hot sauces from both. Let me know how they turn out. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  21. Do you seed the peppers?

    REPLY: Aggie, I usually don’t, but you can if you’d like for a smoother sauce. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  22. I made the Sweet Habanero Chili Sauce today! Fantastic! Next time I may add a couple more tablespoons of honey because I just like a sweeter sauce. I can’t wait for supper, cooking pork ribs and can’t wait to try a little of the sauce on it! Thanks for the recipe!

  23. How long will this keep?

    REPLY: Joey, this should keep a few months easily in the fridge because of the vinegar.If you’d like longer storage, bottle and process with a water bath – Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

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