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Chunky Hot Sauce

4 from 1 vote

If you're fed up with every hot sauce having the same silky smooth consistency then you must try this version... It's chunky!

Written By Brad Archer


I love chilli heat! Whether it’s a madras from my local takeaway, jalapenos out of the jar (I know, weird) or sliced green chillies on a pizza. I also love texture. And that’s something that is often missing from hot and spicy sauces… Until now!

Close up of homemade chunky hot sauce

My chunky hot sauce does exactly what it says on the label. It’s a hot sauce, with a bit of texture. No more velvety smooth hot sauce for you!

What’s In Chunky Hot Sauce?

There’s a prominent ingredient you’ll need to make any hot sauce. But hot sauce isn’t just one-dimensional. It isn’t just chillies. Here’s everything you’ll need to make my chunky hot sauce.

  • 200g fresh chillies: You could use jalapenos or serranos for a milder sauce or habaneros for a spicier kick. They provide the heat and the base flavour so pick wisely.
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped: Onion adds a natural sweetness and depth. Honestly, any onion will do here.
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced: 4 garlic cloves might sound like a lot but if you lose less then it will be masked by the chillies.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil: You need some sort of oil to help cook the onion and garlic down. Olive oil is my go-to.
  • 250ml water: This helps in blending and achieving the desired consistency. You will want to tweak this for your own needs.
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar: Adds acidity to balance the flavours.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar: This is optional but will help to balance out some of the heat and intense flavour.

How to Make Chunky Hot Sauce

Step 1: Carefully chop the chilli peppers. For a milder sauce, remove the seeds and membranes, but remember you’re making a hot sauce so you want some spice in there otherwise, what is the point?

As you’re chopping 200 grams of chillies, it can be a good idea to wear a pair of gloves.

Chopping red, green and yellow chillies on a wooden chopping board

Step 2: In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic, sauteing until soft and translucent. This should only take a few minutes. You can also add a pinch of salt to help with this step as the salt will draw some moisture out of the onions.

Sweating onions and garlic with salt in a skillet

Step 3: Mix in the chillies and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. You may want to use a splatter guard to prevent any of the chillies from spitting out at you. This is particularly important if you have kept the seeds in.

Cooking chillies with softened onions and garlic in a skillet

Step 4: Add water, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until everything is very soft. You shouldn’t need to stir it too often but every so often is a good idea.

Adding a jug of water to a skillet of softened chillies, onions and garlic

Step 5: Use a blender or food processor to pulse the mixture to your desired chunkiness. Be careful not to over-blend as you want to maintain some texture.

Isolated blender of hot sauce

You could, of course, not blend it at all but this will leave you with particularly large chunks of chilli. Instead, I recommend pulsing it in a blender until you get to the same consistency as a chunky salsa.

Step 6: Let the sauce cool to room temperature. It can then be stored in a clean, airtight container in the fridge.

Spoonful of chunky hot sauce in focus with blurred background

Substitutes and Tweaks

Add more sweetness by drizzling in some honey, maple syrup or agave before blending it.

Bring freshness to your hot sauce by stirring through a handful of chopped coriander or parsley at the end.

Tweak the flavour by using lacto-fermented chillies. The type of heat you achieve will be completely different.

Balance the heat by adding a fruit element. This could be a few cubes of mango or pineapple.

How to Store Chunky Hot Sauce

As you will probably know, you only need a little hot sauce to add chilli heat to your plate. This is why you’ll probably want to store it. Here’s all the info you’ll need to store it.

How Do You Store Chunky Hot Sauce in the Fridge?

To store chunky hot sauce in the fridge, place it in an airtight container or jar to maintain its freshness and prevent contamination. It’s best kept in the main body of the fridge, away from the door, as the temperature there is more consistent.

How Long Does Chunky Hot Sauce Last in the Fridge?

Chunky hot sauce typically lasts for about 6 months in the fridge once opened. However, it’s important to check for any signs of spoilage like off smells, mould, or changes in texture before using, as these indicate that the sauce should be discarded.

How Do You Freeze Chunky Hot Sauce?

To freeze your chunky hot sauce, pour it into a freezer-safe container or ice cube tray, leaving some space at the top for expansion. Seal it tightly to prevent freezer burn. Frozen hot sauce can last up to 4-6 months.

How Do You Defrost Chunky Hot Sauce?

To defrost chunky hot sauce, transfer it from the freezer to the fridge and let it thaw overnight. If you’re in a hurry, you can place the container in a bowl of cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes to ensure even thawing. Avoid using the microwave, as it can unevenly heat and alter the sauce’s consistency.

Chunky Hot Sauce

Chunky Hot Sauce

4 from 1 vote
Course: SidesCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



If you’re fed up with every hot sauce having the same silky smooth consistency, then you must try this version… It’s chunky!


  • 200 g 200 Fresh Chillies, Any Varieties

  • 1 1 Onion, Finely Chopped

  • 4 4 Garlic Cloves, Minced

  • 1 tbsp 1 Olive Oil

  • 250 ml 250 Water

  • 2 tbsp 2 White Vinegar

  • 1 tsp 1 Salt

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 Sugar


  • Chop 200 grams of chilli peppers, wearing gloves for protection. For less heat, remove seeds and membranes.
  • In a saucepan, heat olive oil on medium. Sauté onions and garlic with a pinch of salt until soft and translucent.
  • Add chopped chillies to the saucepan. Cook for about 5 minutes with a splatter guard, stirring frequently.
  • Combine water, vinegar, salt, and sugar in the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Pulse the mixture in a blender or food processor to achieve a chunky salsa consistency.
  • Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container in the fridge.

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