Red Hot Chile Sauce

Every summer, our Serrano and jalapeno plants are decked out with hundreds of shiny green and red ornaments waiting to be harvested. The harvest is ridiculously abundant with these two varieties, so besides making fresh salsa every few days, we have to find another quick and easy way to use our chiles so they don’t end up rotting off the plants. Since I don’t want to spend every waking hour cooking and eating chile dishes, I make fresh chile sauce. It’s super easy, stores well, and makes the perfect condiment for classic Mexican food, grilled cheese sandwiches, soups, Asian dishes, and just about anything else that could be enhanced with a little spicy flavor.


  • Vegetable or olive oil
  • Around 25-30 red jalapeno and Serrano peppers (combined), de-stemmed, de-seeded, chopped*
  • 1-2 sweet red peppers, de-stemmed, de-seeded, chopped
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes (or a few small ones), chopped
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • palm-sized amount of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3-4 cups of vegetable broth
  • a few dashes of cumin
  • pinch of dried oregano
  • salt or Pappy’s Hot Red Spice Seasoning to taste

*Remember to wear cooking or painters gloves when de-stemming and de-seeding hot peppers. You may want to wear something over your nose and mouth as well such as a cloth or a surgical mask!


In a large pan or skillet, heat up a couple tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil. Add the serranos, jalapenos, sweet peppers, tomatoes, onion, and garlic. Cook on medium heat, stirring a few times, until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes.

Add the cilantro and enough vegetable broth just so the tips of the peppers are still poking out.

Add cumin, oregano, and salt and/or Pappy’s.

Bring all the ingredients to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer. Let the ingredients simmer for an hour, uncovered.

After an hour, carefully ladle all of the contents from the pan into a blender. Puree until all ingredients are well incorporated, making a smooth sauce. Pour back into the pan to check for consistency. Simmer longer in the pan for a thicker consistency, or add more broth and simmer for a little bit to thin it out.

Fresh chile sauce will last in the refrigerator for a little over a week. If you freeze right away, it will last up to 6 months. I usually freeze squeeze bottlefuls in quart sized freezer bags.

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