Skip to main content

"Light Your Fire" Habanero Hot Sauce

Melissa is a certified food scientist with over 20 years in the food industry. New food development and matching are her specialities.

This hot sauce combines fruits, vegetables, and hot peppers for a complex flavor.

This hot sauce combines fruits, vegetables, and hot peppers for a complex flavor.

A Caribbean-Inspired Hot Sauce

Cooking peppers reduces their heat, as capsaicin is a volatile oil. To maintain the heat in our habaneros, we will use the ceviche technique with vinegar and lime juice. By this, I mean that the acids in the vinegar and lime juice will help reduce any microorganisms in your pepper puree without having to cook the peppers. This technique will also help your sauce last longer in the refrigerator.

Habaneros can be up to 140 times hotter than jalapeños, so use care when handling these babies. Fortunately, this recipe does not call for any chopping of the peppers, so I don't typically worry about gloves.

This hot sauce was inspired by the fruits of the Caribbean while keeping a traditional carrot base for added flavor, color, and Vitamin A. The fruit and maple syrup provide depth with a sweet heat.


  • 1 large jalapeño, stem removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, ends removed
  • 1 cup mango and/or papaya, fresh or frozen
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
  • 10 habanero peppers, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime


  1. In a food processor, add the jalapeño, garlic, fruit, and carrot. Pulse all ingredients until finely diced. Add just enough water so that it achieves a puree consistency.
  2. Transfer the puree to a 2-quart pot and bring it to a boil. Add the salt and optional maple syrup. Cook for 10 minutes.
  3. While the jalapeño mixture is cooking, rinse the food processor. Add habanero peppers and pulse until diced. Add vinegar and lime juice and puree until smooth.
  4. Add the jalapeño puree from the pot to the habanero puree in the food processor. Pulse until well combined and smooth.
  5. Immediately package in sterile jars or bottles. The sauce should keep in the refrigerator for 3 months.

© 2018 Melissa Holton