Southwestern-inspired, made with fresh jalapeños, sweet and subtly spicy, this fermented jalapeno hot sauce is one your whole family will love! This sauce can be used in a wide variety of dishes and is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free. Super easy to make with a 10 minute preparation time, the main ingredient you need (as with any fermented food recipe) is time!
The subtle and fresh-tasting heat of this sauce paired with the natural sweetness of honey makes it a perfect blend for adults and kids alike. It always goes fast at my house, and is my 3 year old’s favorite sauce! If your family loves this fermented honey jalapeno sauce as much as mine, it’s super easy to double this recipe by using the same amount of water and salt, but doubling all of the other ingredients.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Super quick and easy to make.
- Requires only a handful of ingredients.
- Gut-healthy and probiotic rich from the fermentation process.
- Fun to watch ferment!
- Keeps up to a year in the refrigerator, although it’s sure to be devoured before then!
- This is the perfect use if you are already growing jalapenos.
- Naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
Jalapenos: are a mild chili pepper, and the heat they do have work wonderfully in this recipe paired with the honey. You can substitute a different chili pepper, keeping in mind it will bring a different level of heat.
Garlic: makes everything amazing, and this sauce is no exception! Garlic will arm you with some health benefits too, as it’s anti-inflammatory and immune-supportive.
Honey: can be a good source of antioxidants, as well as antibacterial and antifungal properties. Either raw or pasteurized honey can be used, and you can substitute vegan honey if needed.
Apple cider vinegar: is known for improving digestion, lowering blood sugar, and improving heart health. It also adds a delicious and unique flavor to this sauce! White vinegar, white wine, rice vinegar, or other vinegars can be used as a substitute.
Cumin seeds: are a spice that will add a depth of flavor to this sauce, pairing amazingly with the subtle heat. I wouldn’t recommend omitting, however you could substitute ground cumin at the same ratio if you don’t have access to the whole seeds.
How-to Make Fermented Jalapeno Hot Sauce
- Combine the jalapeños and garlic in a clean jar, then top off with a brine made from water and salt.
- Let the ingredients ferment for 10 days, burping the jar daily.
- Strain the ingredients, reserving some of the brine.
- Combine the ferment, reserved brine and remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Enjoy! Keep stored for up to one year.
For the full recipe, visit the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
This honey jalapeno sauce is very versatile and can be eaten with a wide variety of dishes, anytime you need a dipping sauce, or when you want to add a subtly spicy sweetness to your meal. Get creative, because it really tastes good on almost everything! Wonderful on:
Keep this sauce stored in the refrigerator for up to one year. Although I’m guessing you’ll eat it up well before then!
Can I use canned chili peppers in this recipe?
I would suggest you only use fresh peppers for this recipe, so the fermentation isn’t disrupted and the taste turns out as desired.
Can I use a pepper other than jalapeno?
Yes, you can use a different variety of chili pepper, but be aware that it will change the level of the heat and some flavor depending on which type you use.
How do I know the jalapenos and garlic are fermenting properly?
You will know it is fermenting when it bubbles, has a sour vinegar-like smell, a cloudy brine forming, and a tangy effervescence when taste testing.
Can I use pasteurized honey or does it need to be raw?
Since the honey is not used for fermentation purposes, you can use any store-bought or market-bought honey for the flavor.
Can I use a honey substitute to make this recipe vegan?
Yes! Using a honey substitute is just fine, here is a vegan honey recipe if you need one.
Where can I find the proper jar and weight to use for this recipe?
How do I know if my water is chlorinated?
If you are unsure if your tap water is chlorinated, a home filtration system used with tap water is sufficient, or store-bought spring water works as well.
Can I substitute the cumin seeds with ground cumin?
Yes! You can use an equal amount (⅛ tsp) of ground cumin in place of the cumin seeds.
More Delicious Fermented Recipes with a Kick
This recipe is from my cookbook The Fermented Hot Sauce Cookbook.
Fermented Honey Jalapeño Hot Sauce
- 8 ounces fresh jalapeno peppers, stemmed and halved about 5 peppers
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 ½ cups non-chlorinated water filtered or spring water (no tap water!)
- 2 tablespoons non-iodized salt sea salt works well
- ¼ cup honey we like to use raw
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup reserved brine from straining the ferment
- ⅛ teaspoon cumin seeds
- In a clean jar, combine the jalapenos and garlic.
- In a separate vessel, make a brine by combining the water and salt.
- Place a weight, if using, then pour the brine into the jar, leaving at least one inch of headspace. Screw the lid on tightly and store the jar at room temperature away from direct sunlight to ferment for 10 days. Burp the jar (open the lid to release gas buildup) daily.
- Once fermentation is complete, strain the ferment, reserving ¼ cup of the brine. Place the ferment, honey, vinegar, reserved brine and cumin seeds in a blender or food processor. Blend until completely smooth.
- Keep the sauce stored in the refrigerator for up to one year. Enjoy!