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The Best Homemade Tex/Mex Hot Sauce Recipe And A Pretty Damn Good Fresh Salsa

Updated on September 11, 2009

When I moved to Texas I became an instant fan of a lot of the different types of salsas, hot sauces and picco de gallo (fresh salsa) that are available. Throughout the harvest seasons experimentation with different recipes has gradually led to two recipes that most people that stop by seem to really enjoy. While they are a bit time consuming with all the chopping, once you get started making your own hot sauce and fresh salsa you won't go back to store bought again, I guarantee.

The first recipe is for a cooked hot sauce that is similar in nature to a salsa picante. This is different than American types of salsa and is more in keeping with the very traditional Mexican hot sauce. It is rich, spicy, slightly smoky in taste and delicious and goes very well with almost everything from chips through to scrambled eggs. This hot sauce is not traditionally thick or chunky but if you want to leave it a bit chunkier feel free.

Perfect for Gift Giving - Imagine a bow on top!
Perfect for Gift Giving - Imagine a bow on top!

A Canadian's Take On Tex Mex Hot Sauce

This takes a bit of time but well worth the effort.

12 pounds of chopped ripe tomatoes (about 12-14 cups)

1 ½ cups finely chopped, seeded jalapeno peppers (or ¾ cup jalapeno peppers and ¾ cup hot red peppers – more if you like it to bring tears to your eyes!)

1-2 serrano peppers seeded and finely chopped (very optional – very hot)

1-2 roast chipotle peppers finely chopped or dried smoked chipotles soaked in ½ cup boiling water then chopped – add liquid as well

2-3 very finely chopped red, white or yellow onions

2-5 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped or pressed

4 cups red wine vinegar

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons mixed pickling spices

1 tablespoon salt

2-4 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons cumin

Combine the tomatoes, onions, garlic and the peppers (as many types as you want) and add 2 cups of the vinegar. Cook until the tomatoes are soft but not mushy. Add sugar, spices and salt and also the pickling spices. The pickling spices have to be placed in a cheesecloth bag so they can be removed after cooking. Continue to cook about 30 minutes on medium low heat until the tomatoes are very soft and the sauce is thick. Stir frequently to prevent burning and sticking. Add the last 2 cups of vinegar and adjust spices, continue cooking until the desired thickness is achieved. Remove the bag of pickling spices. Pour the mixture into sterilized canning jars leaving about 1/4 -1/2 inch headspace at the top. Adjust the caps and place in a boiling water bath for about 20 minutes. This will make about 6-8 pints.

Fresh Salsa

For those who enjoy a delicious fresh salsa with chips, fish, chicken or even rice and beans it is easy to combine the hot sauce above with some fresh ingredients. This is a real hit at football parties and goes great with an icy cold beer.

1 medium purple (red) onion, chopped

3-5 green onions, chopped

2 large cloves of garlic, chopped

2-3 large jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

¼- ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves – if you really want to leave this out you can but it isn't the same without!

1 ½ pounds of ripe tomatoes, chopped (about 3-4 large good quality tomatoes)

1-3 small cans of green chilies

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

½-1 teaspoon salt – depending on quantity of tomatoes and taste

½-1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 cup of hot sauce from above recipe (or ¼- ½ cup store bought chili sauce or tomato sauce)

The garlic, cilantro, onions and jalapeno peppers can be pulsed in a food processor or left in a very fine dice. Mix in the tomatoes, canned chilies and all the rest of the spices and ingredients. Place in a non-metal bowl and cover, refrigerate for at least 4 hours but no more than 8 hours before serving. This makes about 4 cups. Top with a bit of fresh cilantro and voila!

The great thing about the two recipes above is you can add, delete or change anything that you want. I have become particularly fond of using just about a ½ of a small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the first recipe in addition to the fresh peppers, but this is definitely not a choice for the faint of heart (or tastebuds).

Beautiful Peppers To Choose From


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    • Mardi profile imageAUTHOR

      Mardi Winder-Adams 

      6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

      Thanks jojokaya, I am with you on hotter is better.

    • jojokaya profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Hotter is better. I love spicy salsa . Great hub and rated up

    • Mardi profile imageAUTHOR

      Mardi Winder-Adams 

      8 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

      Thanks Dianne,

      There are probably as many recipes/methods to make this as there are cooks!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Funny, I use a method my Mother taught me & it is way easier. Boil the tomatoes/peppers in a large pan (remove the stems when you wash the peppers) When skin is falling off of the tomatoes, drain & put all in blender, add your minced/chopped garlic, onion & seasonings (we all like different types) You may need to add a little water or tomato sauce depending if you prefer thick or thin sauce--enjoy! I get so many requests for my salsa's & food (LOL) maybe because they don't have to cook (LOL)

    • Mardi profile imageAUTHOR

      Mardi Winder-Adams 

      8 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

      Thanks for the recipe jhnsn28e. Will give this a try with enchiladas. I love Rotel, use it in almost everything!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      The Guacamole Salsa that my mom always makes for special occasions and such has always been a hit.

      Recipe as follows :

      8-10 Avocados

      1-1 1/2 cans Rotel tomatos w/ cilantro and lime

      Mash together leaving it a little chunky and whala!

      You can add salt or pepper, but we like it just as it's super simple and always a hit...maybe next time I'll give away our banana puddin' recipe that's sure to make you slap yo! :)

    • Mardi profile imageAUTHOR

      Mardi Winder-Adams 

      9 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

      Thanks prasetio30 and BKCreative. I love hot food and this can be adjusted to whatever your tastes prefer. Appreciate your comments!

    • BkCreative profile image


      9 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Excellent - the hotter the better!

      And nothing better than having a great recipe.

      Many thanks!

    • prasetio30 profile image


      9 years ago from malang-indonesia

      it looks delicious food. thanks for share.

    • Mardi profile imageAUTHOR

      Mardi Winder-Adams 

      9 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

      Wow thanks for the fast comment Peggy. I have always been a fan of hot and spicy foods, but had never had the fresh salsas so popular here in Texas. Pickled jalapenos go well with almost anything, I am with you on that one!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      These sound delicious!

      I remember when we first moved from Wisconsin to McAllen, Texas (many years ago) and had our first taste of a nacho. We removed the jalapeno from the cheese, and where it had been was STILL so spicy and hot to our tastebuds.

      Have come a long way since those early days. Now I can eat loads of pickled jalapenos with my eggs or bar-be-que and love them.


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