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27 July 2018

A hot sauce recipe with plenty of zing and smoky flavor, this ancho-jalapeno hot sauce is made with jalapeno peppers, carrots, garlic, ancho powder and more. Drizzle it over anything for extra flavor.

More hot sauce coming at you, my friends. If you’re growing jalapeno peppers this year, soon your garden will be EXPLODING with them, so you better get cooking.

Not only will you need start thinking about all those jalapeno pepper recipes, as well as ways to preserve your chili peppers, but you’ll also need to start thinking about paying me a visit to give me some of them!

JK! I’m growing them, too, so no worries. My jalapeno plants are going crazy, so that’s why recipes like this exist. The big question, you know, when growing jalapeno peppers is always…

What Can I Do With a LOT of Jalapeno Peppers?

If you’re stuck for ideas, you can always check this page – 10 Ways to Use a Huge Jalapeno Harvest.

But here’s a more direct idea for you. Make HOT SAUCE.


Ancho-Jalapeno Hot Sauce - Ready to Eat

This is a fermented hot sauce recipe and it requires an entire pound of jalapeno peppers, which may not seems like a lot of weight, but it takes quite a few jalapeno peppers to weigh 1 pound.

To Ferment or Use Fresh Peppers?

If you’re not comfortable with fermenting (you SHOULD be, though), you CAN make this jalapeno hot sauce with fresh jalapeno peppers. Just skip steps 1-4 in the recipe. Start by processing the peppers in a food processor, then jump to step 5 and make your jalapeno hot sauce.

It will still be a good hot sauce, for sure, but you’ll have a fresher, greener flavor that is not quite as developed as you would achieve by fermenting.

Check out my page on How to Make Fermented Pepper Mash to learn more about why you should be fermenting chili peppers.

Ancho-Jalapeno Hot Sauce in a Bowl

Fermented hot sauces are mellower and have a deeper flavor, so I’ve been fermenting a LOT of chili peppers the past several years for making my own hot sauces.

Just like this one!

I’ve added several other ingredients for flavoring, particularly a portion of ancho chili powder, which gives it a nice level of smokiness and depth. I only used a teaspoon, but you can easily double to triple that to your own personal tastes.

Recipe Notes

Quick note – After you strain out the solids to thin out the hot sauce, you can throw the solids away, OR — dehydrate them and use them for seasoning.

See How to Make Seasonings from Strained Hot Sauce Pulp.

Those solids still have plenty of life left in them, and hey, what a great way to make some homemade seasonings for yourself? Sprinkle it over foods or use it as a rub. It would be GREAT on anything grilled. Spice things up a bit!

I hope you enjoy the jalapeno hot sauce! Let me know how it turns out for you.

Check out my other Hot Sauce Recipes, too.

— Mike H.

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 3.5 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. I hope you find it helpful!

Patty’s Perspective

I’ve been seeking out fermented foods a lot more since I have IBS. I am looking for any way to incorporate them into my regular eating. Well, guess what? Mike loves making fermented hot sauces. YAY! And problem solved, it’s always in the fridge ready to add to any meal. I love this one more than a lot of other hot sauces. I typically gravitate to the green jalapeno hot sauces regardless, but there is something about this one. It seems to pair with more foods than any other one we have in the fridge. And as you can imagine, we have a LOT of Hot Sauce in our Fridge.

Try Some of My Other Popular Jalapeno Sauce Recipes

Check out Some of My Other Popular Hot Sauce Recipes:

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

Ancho-Jalapeno Hot Sauce - Drizzle it over everything

If you try this recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #ChiliPepperMadness on Instagram so we can take a look. I always love to see all of your spicy inspirations. Thanks! — Mike H.


Ancho-Jalapeno Hot Sauce - Recipe
Print Recipe
4.5 from 2 votes

Ancho-Jalapeno Hot Sauce – Recipe

A hot sauce recipe with plenty of zing and smoky flavor, this ancho-jalapeno hot sauce is made with jalapeno peppers, carrots, garlic, ancho powder and more. Drizzle it over anything for extra flavor.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Fermenting Time7 d
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ancho, hot sauce, jalapeno
Servings: 40
Calories: 5kcal


  • 1 pound jalapeno peppers chopped
  • 4 ounces carrots peeled and chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic chopped
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin


  • First, roughly chop the peppers, carrots and garlic. Pack them into a large jar, leaving at least 1 inch of head space. The mixture may rise a bit when fermenting.
  • Next, mix 1 quart unchlorinated water with 3 tablespoons sea salt. Pour just enough brine over the mixture to cover it, pressing them down a bit as you go. It is important to keep the mixture covered with brine to avoid spoilage. Check this daily.
  • Screw on the lid and set the jar away from direct sunlight to ferment for at least 1 week. I fermented for 8 weeks. Ideal temperatures are between 55-75 degrees F. The most active fermentation period is between 1-2 weeks, so be sure to monitor it during this time. “Burp” the jars often by unscrewing the lid a bit to let out some of the accumulating gases. Or, use an airlock or membrane for easier fermenting. See our page, “How to Make Fermented Pepper Mash”, for further instruction.
  • After 1-2 weeks, the fermenting activity will diminish and the brine will turn cloudy and taste acidic.
  • When satisfied with your fermenting time, pour the contents, including brine, into a pot along with the remaining ingredients. Bring to a quick boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Cool, then process with a food processor until nice and smooth.
  • Pour into sterilized jars and seal. Refrigerate and enjoy. Tastes even better if you leave it mingle a week or longer.


Makes about 2.5 cups.
For a NON-FERMENTED Version of This Recipe: Skip the fermenting portion and use fresh jalapeno peppers. Simply add all of the chopped ingredients along with the vinegar to a pot with 1/2-1 cup of water (depending on your preferred consistency), bring to a boil, then simmer 15 minutes. Adjust for salt. Cool, process and store in sterilized jars or bottles. You can strain the sauce if you'd like a thinner sauce before bottling.
NOTE: Acidity measured 3.5 after 8 weeks of fermenting and would be low enough for home use and storage. Vinegar brought it down to about 3.0.


Calories: 5kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 42mg | Vitamin A: 615IU | Vitamin C: 13.7mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.1mg


  1. Made this awhile ago and it was a hit. Decided to make another batch and read through the recipe real quick and threw it together. Then realized I miss the part about adding the rest of the ingredients AFTER fermenting. So with the vinegar and salt in there, will it ferment?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Todd, it probably will not ferment with the vinegar, though it can still be blended into a sauce, even if you let it mellow together for a while. When ready to make it, just process it until smooth, then heat through, and cool. Strain if desired. Let me know how it turns out for you.

  2. How will fermenting time effect the flavour? Will a longer ferment be more flavourful? More acidic? Saltier?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Dana, fermenting really mellows the peppers and often gives a bit of a tangy flavor. You will develop more flavor with a longer ferment. Let me know how it turns out for you.

  3. I am in the process of fermenting peppers for this recipe. Deos the 15 minute simmer stop the fermentation process?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Brian, yes, cooking will stop the fermenting process. Let me know how the sauce turns out for you.

      1. ok, I will let you know. I was given a random bag of peppers…half pound of jalepenos, 1/4 pound of habenieros and 1/4 pound of cayennes with a couple fresnos thrown in.

    2. Lola Jeanne

      4 stars
      Since the heat kills off the probiotics I feel the fermentation serves no real purpose for hot sauce.
      However, that being said, this sounds wonderful for escabeche-style chiles.
      Awesome combo. Thank you.

      1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

        Thanks, Lola. For some, fermentation impacts flavor, though it’s not for everyone.

  4. For the non fermented version. do you still add the vinegar to pot when you boil it? I know it says to add water but I’m guessing the water takes place of the brine from the fermented version. Also, do you strain this sauce? I thought there may be a lot of jalapeno seeds. Thank you.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Brandon, yes, add the vinegar with the water and peppers and bring to a boil. You can strain the sauce if you’d like a thinner consistency, or just leave it as is for a thicker sauce. Let me know how it turns out for you.

      1. 5 stars
        I have made 6-7 hot sauces of this website and I think this is my favorite. I used a mix of jalapeños and red Fresno peppers and it came out with a fair amount of heat . The garlic, carrots, and spices gave it an unique and deep flavor. My go to sauce right now.

  5. Can’t rate the recipe as I’m just kicking off the fermentation on the mash, but it looks fantastic and I can’t wait. I am considering using a #14 sieve on it so I can retain some texture but make it more “fluid”.

    I have made a lot of beer and some wine in my time and am curious about if (and if so what) steps you take with respect to cleanliness and/or sanitation. Scrub the chilis/carrots before pureeing them? Sanitizing the jar? Or are we concerned that the lacto and other bugs won’t get a foothold if we do too much of that?


    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Steve, soap and water and good enough with this type of fermentation. I do clean all of my peppers and other fruits/veggies, as well as the equipment I’m working with, but there isn’t the need to sanitize like there is with brewing beer. That reminds me, I need to get on my next batch of beer!

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