Chile Pequin Pepper Sauce

A quick and easy pepper sauce made with chile pequin

[Jump to recipe]

It’s the first of October and it’s getting chilly here, so this year’s green chile crop is just about over. I roasted my last batch yesterday. 🙁 Any chile peppers still on the plants are turning red and even they are almost gone.  However, the smaller chiles, like chile pequin (above), jalapeno, and chile de arbol, are still quite plentiful which is a good thing because I recently discovered that I’m totally out of pepper sauce.  Everybody’s gotta have a pepper sauce to finish off dishes like black-eyed peas, pinto beans, greens, stews, and succotash.  Just sprinkle a few or a lot of drops/dashes on top of each serving for some flavored spice, just like you would use Tabasco.

My mother taught me how to make pepper sauce when I was a kid and I’ve been using her method ever since.  It’s easy, it’s good, and you can use any type of hot, fresh pepper – chile pequin, chile de arbol, Thai chiles, jalapeno – any hot, small chile pepper.  When I went to the market to get some chiles, it had a bunch of chile pequin. So there you go – chile pequin pepper sauce it is.  To make this sauce all you need are peppers, vinegar, salt and a bottle.  Can’t get much easier than that.  Make it now and it will be ready in a couple of weeks to use on fall greens.  By the time you’re making those black-eyed peas on New Years Day, you’ll have a really nice, hot pepper sauce.  Put it in the refrigerator and it will keep indefinitely.

Chile Pequin Pepper Sauce

How to make pepper sauce with chile pequin

Make your own bottle of pepper sauce - it's so easy!
Print or Save Recipe
Chile Pequin Pepper Sauce Recipe
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
A very simple process to create a spicy pepper sauce for beans, peas, greens, and anything else you want to sprinkle it on.

"*" See Kitchen Notes for more information or links to special ingredients.

Course: Condiments, Hot sauce
Yields: 1 bottle
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ's Kitchen
  • 1 clean glass bottle with a plastic or ceramic lid (vinegar oxidizes metals)
  • Enough small peppers to fill the bottle
  • Salt
  • While distilled Vinegar, enough to fill the jar packed with peppers
  • Chopstick or long thin tool to help pack and position peppers in jar
  1. Cut the stems on the pepper to about 1/4" about the pod.
  2. Wash and dry the peppers.
  3. Stuff the peppers, one at a time into the jar. I use a chopstick to help position and stuff the peppers so that I can get as many as possible in the jar.
  4. Once the jar is full, pour ½ tsp. to 1 tsp. of salt into the jar. The amount depends on the size of the bottle.
  5. Heat the vinegar in a sauce pan or in the microwave. Bring to a boil.
  6. Fill the bottle about 3/4 full with the hot vinegar. Tilt and pat the bottle to eliminate trapped air bubbles.

  7. Continue to fill the bottle with the vinegar until all of the peppers are completely covered.
  8. Cap the bottle and roll, and gently shake to distribute and dissolve the salt.
  9. Set in the pantry. In about 2 weeks you can start enjoying it. The longer is sits, the hotter it gets.
  10. Once I start using it, I put it in the refrigerator where it stays until it's all gone.
  11. To use: Use it much like you would Tabasco. Just drizzle a little over each serving for some added spice.
Kitchen Notes

Chile Peppers – As I mentioned before, any type of really hot, small peppers can be used to make pepper sauce.  The main thing is that they are HOT and FRESH, not dried.  A good pepper sauce should be HOT because it’s one of those condiments where a little bit goes a long way. Other chiles that work include jalapenos, chile pequin, yellow hots, chile de arbol and serranos.  The flavor is a little different between the peppers, but they all work in any dish in which you choose to use it.


Scoville Units

  • Chile Pequin and Thai peppers – 50,000 to 100,000
  • Chile de Arbol – 15,000 to 30,000
  • Serrano – 5,000 to 15,000
  • Jalapeno – 2,500 to 5,000


The Bottle – This is a great recipe for repurposing bottles.  The bottle in the picture was originally a soy sauce bottle, and now it’s a bottle of pepper sauce.  You can use any glass bottle as long as it has a ceramic, plastic, or cork top.


Storing the Pepper Sauce – Store this in the pantry for about three months or 9 - 12 months in the refrigerator. 


Refill - Once it gets low on vinegar, you can always heat and add some more.  My mother used to refill the bottle 3 to 4 times before discarding the peppers.



Make your own bottle of pepper sauce - it's so easy!

As you can see, making a pepper sauce can’t get much easier than this. The result is a hot pepper infused vinegar that can be used on a variety of dishes.  Below are some other pepper sauces that you should check out.  The process and ingredients are different, but just as good.

Olive Brine Hot Pepper Sauce

Make your own Hot Sauce by

Pickled Chilli Peppers by With a Glass

Spiced Vinegar by Wok With Ray

Hot Pickled Pepper Sauce by REMCooks

Habanero Pepper Sauce by Texas West Kitchen


A dressing made with peppered cucumber infused vinegarRemember the Peppered Cucumber Vinegar from about six week ago?  It’s done!  Bottled it up last weekend and now we’re enjoying this wonderful Cucumber Salad Dressing.






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81 Responses to “Chile Pequin Pepper Sauce”

  1. Thorsten November 8, 2017 at 6:19 pm #

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  2. Elaine Luo November 13, 2013 at 2:37 am #

    I love chile pepper sauces and the photos are great. Pepper red—So Nice.

  3. original hot sauce November 7, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

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  4. adam @unorthodoxepicure November 1, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    That is a beautiful bottle of pepper-vinegar! I like to refill mine after I consume it. (My bottle of pequin vinegar is 3-4 years old as we speak!) — Question: Where did you get that plant? Those are the largest chile pequins I’ve ever seen. I want to grow them!

    • mj November 1, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

      Thanks so much Adam! My sister does the same thing, refilling the bottles. I just like seeing a fresh bottle on the countertop each year. 🙂 I wish I could say that I did grow those peppers, but I got them from a farm in Los Lunas just south of here. They’re beautiful aren’t they?

  5. Reese October 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    Hi MJ! Finally get a breather and of course the first thing I did is to come over here for some spicy inspiration from you. This is one hot gorgeous looking pepper sauce! With all your roasting and jarring projects, you should showcase your colorful kitchen to us some days. I want to see and smell everything!:) We grew mainly serrano, thai and banana peppers this year. There are still some left sitting in the fridge. We just chop them up and chuck them into dishes. I should air mail them over to you so you can put them in good use. Oh yes, I am very curious with the peppered cucumber vinegar. Aside from cucumber salad, have you tried it on other dishes?

    • mj October 24, 2013 at 8:19 am #

      You are so sweet Reese! There was a time when I use to can multiple jars of everything, but now I’m just down to single jars or maybe an extra for a gift or two. WOW – what a hot and spicy combination of peppers! At least there are some milder banana peppers thrown in there. 🙂 I’d love to have room for lots of peppers plant. They are so beautiful, especially when the peppers start to turn. I haven’t used the peppered cucumber vinegar in anything but salad dressing yet this year, but I have added it to vegetarian soups before for a little acid. It works great! Hope you’re having a great week and as always – thanks for your wonderful comments!

  6. Terra October 20, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    I love when you share this type of recipe! It may be easy, but it is a recipe I don’t always think about doing. I am in the process this week of prepping my herbs to be dried. I still have so many to be used up, even my jalapeño plant has 25 still growing, crazy:-) Thank you for sharing, Hugs, Terra

  7. Zsuzsa October 20, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    We can’t handle hot anymore, but I have friends who would love to have a bottle of your pepper sauce Peach Lady. It is too late for this year, but I will get my husband to put a couple of hot pepper plants into the garden for next year. In less then 3 months the seeds go into the jiffy pots. I am already pining for next summer and the leaves have not even started falling from the walnut tree. Sigh.

  8. Roz October 17, 2013 at 6:27 am #

    The only plant that did well this rainy summer, was the tiny red pepper plant. Not knowing what to do with all of them, you have now sparked ideas. I love how pretty they look in the jars and your photography always makes me jealous of your top notch skill!

    Thank you for sharing!

    • mj October 17, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

      Thanks so much Roz for your kind comments! If you have an excess of peppers, this is the perfect recipe.

  9. Charles October 14, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    What a lovely idea – I bet that would “invigorate” a boring old leaf salad! Love the photo of the bottle as well MJ – so vibrant and colourful!

  10. Gomo | cHow Divine October 13, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    Oh my! I need to make this MJ! I love love your spicy sauces. You’re a woman after my own heart. I think my sauce pinboard will mostly be composed of your sauce! 😀

  11. fati's recipes October 13, 2013 at 3:59 am #

    That bottle with the chillies is the most beautiful thing ever. I really love “displays” of bottles w/ oil being infused by all sorts of beautiful things!

    I hope one day I’ll start doing it myself because I’d never buy it from the store, but I’d love to decorate my kitchen with some beauties like this 🙂

  12. Treat and Trick October 11, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    So simple to make yet super yummy! We love pepper too…

  13. Helene D'Souza October 11, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    We get chile all year round here but I would always prefer to make this sauce when it’s less humid, just so to make sure that nothing gets spoiled in this tropical environment. Glad you shared this MJ. You know they make this too in India but I had never done it myself. My husband loves it with crispy momos. He kind of dips the dumpling into the sauce and sometimes he will add a few drops of Soya sauce on top. =)

  14. Asmita October 11, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    This looks bright, colorful and beautiful!

  15. Hotly Spiced October 9, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    The chillies look so pretty in the jar. I have never made anything like this. I don’t think we ever ate anything with chile when I was growing up. I’d love to make these; I think they’d make beautiful gifts xx

    • mj October 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

      Thanks Charlie! Growing up in the south and living my adult life in the southwest, I have never lived anywhere where we didn’t have plenty of peppers available. Yes – these do make nice gifts. 🙂

  16. Liz October 9, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    Your pepper sauce in the works is so gorgeous! I’d love one of those beauties sitting on my counter all year round. What a treat to have homemade hot pepper sauce 🙂

    • mj October 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

      thanks Liz! It does make a great decoration in the kitchen. 🙂

  17. Nusrat Azim October 9, 2013 at 6:39 am #

    You gave those red, hot, sexy peppers a whole new level of makeover… with vinegar 🙂 Thanks for the useful recipe.

    And I almost had a heart attack seeing those vivacious, gorgeous, dazzling pepper moments in your pictures!

    Lordy Lord!!

    • mj October 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

      Thanks so much Nusrat!!! They are sexy and dazzling aren’t they? 🙂

  18. Bam's Kitchen October 8, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    What a great idea and it looks so easy! I made home made Chinese chili sauce and chili soybean sauce for my boys. They polished that off in about a week. I must give this idea a try as I serious run out of hot sauce faster than most kitchen run out of bread and eggs… Take care, BAM

    • mj October 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

      Thanks Bam! Oh the homemade Chinese chili sauce sounds fantastic! Did you post it? I’m come over and check.

  19. Minnie@thelady8home October 8, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    I am SO making this. Looks fantastic, and my mouth waters simply thinking of the heat and OOmph they will add to a plate. LOVE this post. Bookmarking and making. Also, reusing the soy bottle such a steller idea. I am almost done with a bottle, so perfect timing too!

    • mj October 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

      Thanks Minnie! I have a shelf of empty bottles waiting to be repurposed. I really need to go buy more peppers and use up a couple of them. 🙂

  20. Bill October 8, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    I’ve never made pepper sauce, but you know this southern boy grew up eating my grandmother’s pepper sauce on greens. They’re not greens with out it! This sounds so easy and I think I’ve got to try this one. I hate that the kind you buy in the store has preservatives in it. Thanks for a great post!

    • mj October 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

      Of course you did Bill!!! Now southerner would NOT put pepper sauce on greens. 🙂 My mother made turnip greens all of the times, so we went through a lot of pepper sauce. I hope you get a chance to make it.

  21. Debra October 8, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    To reciprocate, I gave you a shout out today—you and Cushaw actually.

    • mj October 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

      Thanks Debra! My sister and I are thrilled!

  22. Swathi October 8, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    Beautiful chili infused vinegar, very good gift item.

  23. The Wimpy Vegetarian October 8, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    I love this, MJ! I had no idea the fresh ones were so spicy. I have dried here in my cabinet and it’s not spicy at all as you know. I would love to make this. I’m going see if I can find some of these peppers here. We don’t get as wide variety of peppers as you, but I bet I can find some Thai peppers. This would make a fabulous holiday gift too!!!

    • mj October 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

      thanks Susan! Thai peppers would work great! And yes, they do make fabulous holiday gifts!

  24. Katerina October 8, 2013 at 4:09 am #

    These mother/grandmother recipes are priceless! They carry all the experience and trials and errors from past generations! I love your chili sauce!

    • mj October 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

      I totally agree Katerina! I wish I had written down more of them. Thanks!

  25. Abbe @ Abbe's Cooking Antics October 8, 2013 at 2:53 am #

    Oh my, that photograph is to die for! What a beautifully elegant recipe. My hubby would love this 🙂

    • mj October 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

      Thanks so much Abbe!

  26. ChgoJohn October 7, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    I’m such a neophyte when it comes to these peppers, chiles, and their sauces, MJ, and that’s why I like coming here. Although I think this to be too hot for my palate, I won’t know until I try it. All I need now is to find a source for the peppers. I’m sure they’re here, hiding — but I’ll get ’em. 🙂

    • mj October 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

      You always make me smile John! 🙂 Yes, this probably would be too hot for the untrained palate, but if used sparingly, you can control the heat and still get the flavor of these wonderful little peppers. You can’t find peppers and I can’t find fish! 🙂

  27. Jodee Weiland October 7, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    Thanks for the storage tips as well!

    • mj October 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

      You are most welcome and thank you!

  28. Jodee Weiland October 7, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    I love this idea! I’m definitely going to try it. We love hot sauce in our house.

  29. Evelyne@cheapethniceatz October 7, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    The stuffed bottle is so pretty! Could one process in a blender the peppers after 2 weeks too?

    • mj October 7, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

      Evelyne, Absolutely you could do that. However, if you do plan to blend the peppers, I would remove the stems before bottling and be sure to wear clothes when you do. These are HOT peppers! Thanks for your comment!

  30. wok with ray October 7, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    I love pepper infused vinegar as it goes well with fried shrimp, grilled pork, and even fried calamari. I love how easy it is to make your version and what a beautiful shot. Thank you for the mention and link my friend. Have a good week to you and Bobby. 🙂

    • mj October 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

      thanks Ray! Oh I love the idea of using it on fried shrimp and calamari! I always sprinkle vinegar on fish and chips so why I didn’t think of shrimp and calamari – who knows. DUH! 🙂 You are most welcome for the mention and hope you have a great week as well!

  31. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles October 7, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    How pretty is this! So… not being a pickler nor a pepper sauce maker of this kind, I have to ask the embarrassing question… how does it work as a sauce? By sauce do we mean chile infused vinegar — the chiles are not actually mashed up and used in the sauce are they (like a sriracha)? — do you remove the chiles before using the infused vinegar? Does the vinegar/sauce change colour over time? I know, for someone who’s been doing this all her life, these questions must sound silly! (my brother describes my personality type as “the questioner” lol). Love the use of the soy sauce bottle MJ — going to mimic that one for sure.

    • mj October 7, 2013 at 9:55 am #

      Actually Kelly, these are GREAT questions. This recipe has been in the family for so long and we always referred to it as “pepper sauce”, that I naturally didn’t think of the meaning of it until your comment. So to answer your questions, it’s like Tabasco sauce – just sprinkle some of the “infused vinegar” on top of each serving for a little flavored “heat”. 🙂 The peppers actually start to discolor after several months and that’s when I drain off the vinegar, rebottle what remains and toss the peppers. The vinegar itself stays pretty clear for about 6 months. Having been a teacher for 30 years – I LOVE questioners! 🙂 They always made it challenging for me! I’m sure you’ve heard – “There’s no such thing as a stupid question!” 🙂 Have a great day Darlin!

  32. Ramona October 7, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    MJ, all your chili recipes make my heart happy… that first photo….. amazing. I would love this sauce on so much. 🙂

  33. easyfoodsmith October 7, 2013 at 5:52 am #

    How beautiful is that bottle and how wonderful that sauce! Fallen in love with it 😀

  34. Sissi October 7, 2013 at 4:36 am #

    MJ, will you give me pickle photography classes, please? They look amazing! I must steal some of your presentation ideas because my pickles look always so boring….
    Your sauce sounds amazing and now it’s my turn to say I am preparing another chile-related post (I just need to taste the jar before posting, or not). Great minds think alike 😉 especially when they have a passion for chiles! Thank you so much for the kind mention and link.

    • mj October 7, 2013 at 9:10 am #

      You are so kind Sissi! I personally think YOU do a gorgeous job! I love your photography! Yes, we do think alike quite often don’t we. 🙂 Your my chile doppelganger. 🙂 Can’t wait to see you new chile post.

  35. Giulietta | Alterkitchen October 7, 2013 at 1:28 am #

    This year I made my first hot oil (with chili in it), but this sauce is amazing… I should definitely give it a try! Great job, MJ!
    You’re the chili queen! 🙂

    • mj October 7, 2013 at 9:07 am #

      Thanks Giulia!!! I hope you like it. I can see it sprinkled over a nice fish dish, just to add a little spice.

  36. Nami | Just One Cookbook October 6, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    I must say I’ve never seen pepper sauce that is this beautiful. You’re one amazing representative of peppers. 😀

    • mj October 7, 2013 at 9:05 am #

      Thanks Nami! I had a beautiful subject to work with. I love the color of RED peppers!

  37. cquek October 6, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

    great way to keep all the chilies.

    • mj October 7, 2013 at 9:04 am #

      Definitely! Thanks!

  38. Nisa Homey October 6, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    MJ, I have been thinking of making this for sometime now, and wanted a guidance…thanks for all the wonderful tips….and love your bottle…I am making these ASAP!!

    • mj October 7, 2013 at 9:04 am #

      You are most welcome Nisa and thank you! Hope you do get a chance to make it.

  39. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef October 6, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    That pepper sauce is so pretty to look at! I had no idea it was that easy to make.

    • mj October 7, 2013 at 9:03 am #

      Thanks Maureen! Yep – an easy breezy recipe! Hope you’re doing well!

  40. Tessa October 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    Wow! That bottle full of peppers is just gorgeous!

  41. CCU October 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    This pepper sauce looks wonderful 😀


  42. Nads October 6, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    Beautiful pictures as usual. We like pepper sauce so much that I often have a couple of bottles made with different kinds of peppers in the fridge at the same time. The different peppers have different flavors as you know. I’m more interested in the taste than the heat so when the bottle gets low I just add more vinegar. That way I get several years off of each bottle. I’m too cheap to throw the peppers away until they turn colorless and get mushy. Maybe that’s why yours are always so much prettier than mine.

    • mj October 7, 2013 at 9:02 am #

      Thanks so much Sis!! Of course YOU refill the bottle with vinegar! 🙂 You crack me up! The last jar I made was with serranos and we really liked it. This is the first time I’ve used chile pequin. Can wait to taste it, but one thing I know is that it’s going to be HOT! Did you see that Scoville rating? Have a great day!

  43. john@kitchenriffs October 6, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    I know how to do this, but I almost never do. Silly, huh? You’re inspired me – I’m going to start! BTW, love the “yield” amount (“Pick out the bottle, then buy enough peppers to fill it”)! Good stuff – thanks.

    • mj October 7, 2013 at 9:48 am #

      I think we just forget about recipes once in a while. I haven’t thought about until I was out. 🙂 Glad you like the “yield” comment. 🙂 Wasn’t quite sure how to deal with that so I had to be creative. 🙂 Have a great day!

  44. Debra October 6, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    I have some Thai peppers that I am going to try this with. Thanks for the shout-out!

    • mj October 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

      Thanks Debra! And you are most welcome! I plan to try your pepper sauce soon.

  45. Kate@Diethood October 6, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    How BEAUTIFUL!!! My mom does this with all her peppers, as well. Come winter time, their house smells spicy and vinegary. 😀

    • mj October 6, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

      Thanks Kate! My mother loved putting up peppers. Her jars of pickled jalapeno were awesome! We need to be sure to continue the tradition. 🙂

  46. Karen (Back Road Journal) October 6, 2013 at 5:43 am #

    Love your bottle of colorful pepper sauce. You are right…the sauce is wonderful on sautéed greens and black-eyed peas. 🙂

    • mj October 6, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

      Thanks Karen! The color of the peppers is beautiful, isn’t it? 🙂


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