Perfect Barbara Hot Sauce With Irresistible Flavor-Packed Easy Recipe

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If you’ve got a taste for fiery flavors, Barbara Hot Sauce is one of the go-to choices. This sauce packs a punch, commonly satisfying those with a zest for heat. While adding to your favorite dishes is excellent, you’ll want to use it in moderation. I recommend trying a drop or two to start. The vibrant red hue not only adds spice but also brings color to your plate. It’s necessary to shake the bottle well before use. With Barbara Hot Sauce, you will elevate your meal in seconds.

Are you constantly searching for that perfect hot sauce to elevate your dishes? I stumbled upon Barbara Hot Sauce in a quaint local eatery on my recent trip to a Middle Eastern country. 

The rich, fiery flavor reminded me of the vibrant spices dancing on my palate during a European escapade. 

Barbara Hot Sauce Recipe

When I visited a friend’s house last week, I was thrilled to find the same Barbara Hot Sauce in their kitchen, confirming its popularity. 

My kids, usually fussy about condiments, couldn’t stop requesting it at dinner. This sauce provides the kick many crave and boasts an authentic blend that seamlessly integrates with various cuisines. 

If you’ve the same craving for an exceptional hot sauce, introducing Barbara Hot Sauce to your pantry is the way to go. 

What Is Barbara Hot Sauce? 

Barbara Hot Sauce is a spicy condiment known for its robust flavor and fiery kick. This sauce is a must-have for those who crave an added zest to their meals. It’s commonly used to enhance dishes from traditional staples to modern cuisines. 

If you aim to elevate your cooking, I recommend trying Barbara Hot Sauce. With its rich, red hue and unmatched taste, it’s no wonder it’s one of the preferred choices for heat enthusiasts worldwide.

History Of Barbara Hot Sauce

Barbara Hot Sauce traces its roots to Barbara Gonzalez, a passionate cook from Central America. During a visit to a European friend, Barbara was inspired by the rich spices and flavors she encountered. 

Merging these tastes with her native ingredients, she birthed a fiery and flavorful sauce. Upon her return home, she began bottling this unique blend, which quickly garnered attention. 

As word spread, the demand for her hot sauce soared. Today, Barbara Hot Sauce is recognized globally, and it’s excellent to note that it all began with one woman’s love for food and her ingenious blending of cultures.

Interesting Facts About Barbara Hot Sauce  

  • Barbara Hot Sauce contains a blend of peppers from Central America and Europe, offering a unique fusion of flavors.
  • It’s one of the few sauces that gained international popularity without massive advertising campaigns.
  • Many chefs, especially in European kitchens, have adopted Barbara Hot Sauce as a staple in their culinary toolkit.
  • Despite its widespread recognition, the original recipe remains a closely guarded secret.
  • The sauce has a dedicated fan base, with enthusiasts often organizing tasting events worldwide.
  • If you’ve got a bottle, you might notice a subtle variation in flavor from batch to batch due to natural ingredient variations.
  • The sauce isn’t just about heat; it’s known for its depth of flavor, which helps you enhance dishes without overwhelming them.

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce? 

While rooted in Central American flavors, Barbara Hot Sauce has seen various regional adaptations. 

You might find a version infused with zesty sumac and tangy pomegranate molasses in the Middle East. 

For added depth, European adaptations commonly blend in Mediterranean herbs, such as rosemary and thyme. 

In some parts of Asia, it’s not uncommon to find Barbara Hot Sauce with a hint of lemongrass or ginger. 

North America often incorporates smoky chipotle or tangy apple cider vinegar. Each region’s twist makes the sauce even more versatile. 

So, wherever you travel, I recommend sampling the local take on this iconic condiment; you’ll want to experience its global flavors.

What Will Make You Love This Barbara Hot Sauce? 

Barbara Hot Sauce is not just another condiment on the shelf. What sets it apart is its intricate balance of heat and flavor. The sauce’s vibrant hue is an indication of its rich ingredients. 

If you’ve got a penchant for authentic taste, this sauce brings a unique fusion of Central American and global flavors. 

It’s great to know that it doesn’t just overpower dishes with heat but complements and enhances them. 

While commonly used to spice up meals, its versatility goes beyond the kitchen; you might even find it used in cocktails or as a marinade. For those seeking a sauce that provides both kick and character, I recommend Barbara. 

Bowl and Spoon

Ingredients List

Canned crushed tomatoes64 ounces
Minced onion2 cups
Jalapeno peppers, chopped6
Ground cumin2 teaspoons
Salt2 tablespoons
White sugar2 tablespoons
White vinegar1/2 cup
Minced garlic1 teaspoon
Tomato sauce1 (15 ounce) can
Tomato paste1/2 (6 ounce) can
Ketchup1/2 cup
Water1 cup

Ingredient Tips 

  • You might consider using ripe, fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones for a fresher taste.
  • Choose organic onions, which generally have a more potent and sweeter flavor.
  • If you aim for more heat, leave the seeds in the jalapenos.
  • Toasting ground cumin beforehand releases its aromatic oils, enhancing its flavor.
  • I recommend using sea salt or Himalayan pink salt for a better mineral profile.
  • Opt for unrefined sugar or raw honey as a healthier alternative to white sugar.
  • It’s great to use apple cider vinegar as a substitute for white vinegar for a subtle tang.
  • Freshly minced garlic provides a more robust flavor compared to bottled versions.
  • Ensure the ketchup used has no added high fructose corn syrup.
  • If the sauce is too thick, you’ll want to add more water gradually.

What Are The Variations Of Barbara Hot Sauce Recipe? 

  • Smokey Barbara: Infused with smoked paprika and chipotle peppers for a deeper, smokier flavor.
  • Tropical Barbara: Incorporates pineapple or mango for a fruity twist and a hint of sweetness.
  • Mediterranean Twist: Uses sun-dried tomatoes and olives, offering an earthy, tangy dimension.
  • Asian Fusion Barbara: Introduces soy sauce and a hint of sesame oil, giving a distinct East-Asian flair.
  • Barbara Verde: Swaps red tomatoes for green, including tomatillos and green chilies.
  • Creamy Barbara: Blends avocado or yogurt for a creamier, milder sauce.
  • Zesty Herb Barbara: Infused with fresh herbs like cilantro or basil, enhancing its aromatic profile.

Recipe Directions 

Cooking Method

  • Combine tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, cumin, salt, sugar, vinegar, garlic, tomato sauce, tomato paste, ketchup, and water in a large soup or stock pot. Add enough water to bring the mixture to your desired consistency.
  • Bring the mixture to a slow boil over medium-high heat.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to low and let the sauce simmer gently for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • After simmering, remove the pot from the heat and cool the mixture. This can take between 2-3 hours.

Ferment Method (Optional For Those Desiring A Fermented Sauce)

  • After the sauce has cooled, transfer it to a fermentation vessel or jar instead of immediately storing it in jars.
  • Ensure the sauce is submerged beneath its liquid to keep it anaerobic. Using a fermentation weight helps.
  • Cover the vessel with a lid or cloth, and let it sit at room temperature for 2-4 weeks. Check periodically for any mold or unwanted bacteria growth.
  • After fermenting, transfer the sauce to individual jars and store it in the refrigerator.

Scaling The Recipe

Scaling a recipe like the Barbara Hot Sauce requires a systematic approach.

Scaling Up

  • If you’re doubling the recipe, simply multiply each ingredient by two. If tripling, multiply by three, and so on.
  • However, when it comes to spices like cumin or jalapeños, you might want to scale up cautiously to avoid overpowering the sauce.

Scaling Down

  • To make half the quantity, divide each ingredient by two. For a quarter batch, divide by four.
  • Even when scaling down, ensure that the consistency and flavor are maintained. Sometimes, minor adjustments may be necessary, especially in the water content.
Barbara Hot Sauce Recipe

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads? 

Absolutely! Barbara Hot Sauce is incredibly versatile. As a marinade, it imparts a spicy, flavorful kick to meats, poultry, and seafood. Its rich consistency allows it to cling to the proteins, enhancing their taste. 

When used as a dipping sauce, it pairs excellently with appetizers like spring rolls, chicken tenders, or vegetable sticks, providing a zesty counterpoint. 

Lastly, if you’re thinking of a salad, mixing Barbara Hot Sauce with olive oil and maybe a splash of lemon juice or vinegar can transform it into a fiery dressing. 

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Barbara Hot Sauce? 

  • Tacos & Burritos: Add a dash to boost the heat and flavor profile.
  • Grilled Chicken: The sauce gives an irresistible spicy, tangy glaze.
  • Stir-Fry: A few drops can provide a delightful kick to Asian-inspired dishes.
  • Pizza: Drizzle over the top for an extra zing.
  • Pasta: Mix it into marinara or Alfredo for a spicy twist.
  • Burgers: Either mix into the patty or spread on the bun.
  • Eggs: Perfect for omelets, scrambled eggs, or even poached.
  • Soups: A splash can enliven a bowl of soup, especially creamy ones.
Best Dishes To Accompany Barbara Hot Sauce

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Barbara Hot Sauce? 

  • Barbara’s Spicy Wings: Chicken wings marinated and glazed with the sauce, then baked or fried to perfection.
  • Barbara Tofu Scramble: Tofu scrambled with vegetables and a generous sauce dash.
  • Hot Barbara Quesadillas: Tortillas filled with cheese, chicken, and sauce, then grilled.
  • Barbara Chili: A spicy stew of beans, meat, and veggies, highlighted by the sauce’s kick.
  • Spicy Barbara Shrimp Tacos: Shrimp marinated in the sauce, grilled and served on tortillas.
  • Barbara’s Fiery Pizza: A pizza with the sauce as the base, topped with mozzarella and choice toppings.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Barbara Hot Sauce Offers?

  • Spiciness: The dominant sensation, derived from jalapeño peppers, delivers a controlled heat without being overwhelmingly fiery.
  • Savory: The minced onion and garlic blend offers a deep, umami profile.
  • Tanginess: White vinegar introduces a sharp, sour note, balancing the sauce’s richness.
  • Sweetness: White sugar subtly counteracts the heat and sourness, rounding out the flavor.
  • Earthy: Ground cumin provides a warm, woody undertone.
  • Tomato-rich: The combination of crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and paste adds a fruity, mildly sweet foundation.
Jar and Spoon

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life?

Barbara Hot Sauce is designed for storage and preservation. After preparation, storing the sauce in sterilized glass jars with tight-sealing lids is best. Once sealed, you should refrigerate the sauce to extend its freshness. 

When stored properly in the refrigerator, the sauce generally has a shelf life of several weeks. However, suppose you opt for the fermentation method. 

In that case, the sauce’s shelf life can extend to several months due to the preserving nature of fermentation. 

Always use clean utensils to extract the sauce and ensure no contaminants enter the jar. If the sauce changes in smell, color, or texture, or if mold appears, it’s better if you discard it.

What Are The Substitutes For Barbara Hot Sauce? 

  • Sriracha: Commonly available, it offers a balance of heat and tanginess.
  • Tabasco: It brings a vinegary punch and sharp spiciness.
  • Cholula: Rich and tangy, it’s great for various dishes.
  • Frank’s RedHot: It has a distinct cayenne pepper base with a vinegar tang.
  • Homemade Salsa: A blended mix of tomatoes, chilies, onions, and vinegar can mirror some of Barbara’s characteristics.
  • Harissa: A North African chili paste with a smoky, spicy profile.
  • Gochujang: A Korean chili paste; it’s sweeter and has a different spice note.
Barbara Hot Sauce Recipe

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

Adjusting the consistency of Barbara Hot Sauce is straightforward:


  • Reduce: Let the sauce simmer longer on low heat. This allows excess water to evaporate.
  • Tomato Paste: Add more tomato paste, stirring it gradually until the desired thickness is reached.


  • Water: Add water gradually, stirring constantly, until you achieve the desired consistency.
  • Vinegar: Add small amounts of vinegar to thin it down for a tangier sauce.
  • Tomato Sauce: This not only thins the sauce but also maintains a tomato-rich flavor.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm? 

Whether to serve Barbara Hot Sauce cold or warm depends on the dish and personal preference.


Refrigerated sauce is excellent as a dipping sauce, a drizzle over salads, or a topping on cold sandwiches and wraps. Serving it cold generally retains its fresh taste and robust flavors.


Heating the sauce is recommended when integrating it into hot dishes like stews, stir-fries, or pasta. A warm sauce blends seamlessly with other ingredients and can accentuate its rich, spicy characteristics.

Barbara Hot Sauce Recipe

Nutritional Values 

The Barbara Hot Sauce boasts a low-calorie profile with a rich vitamin C from tomatoes and jalapeños. Its ingredients provide essential minerals, moderate sodium levels, and a hint of natural sugars.

What Are The Total Calories In Barbara Hot Sauce? 

Typically, the major contributors to calories in such a sauce would be the sugar, tomato products, and minimal amounts of onions and peppers. However, it’s generally estimated that a tablespoon of Barbara Hot Sauce would be relatively low in calories, possibly ranging between 5 to 15 calories. 

Dietary Restrictions Of The Barbara Hot Sauce Recipe

  • Gluten-Free: The ingredients listed don’t typically contain gluten.
  • Vegan & Vegetarian: Free from animal products or by-products.
  • Low Calorie: Contains minimal calories, primarily from sugars and tomatoes.
  • Low Fat: Lacks significant fat content.
  • No Added Preservatives: If homemade, it’s free from artificial preservatives.
  • Sodium Alert: Contains added salt, so those watching sodium intake should consume in moderation.
  • Sugar Concern: Contains white sugar, which might be unsuitable for specific low-sugar diets.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

  • Overcooking: Cooking the sauce for too long can compromise its fresh, vibrant flavor. It’s better if you monitor the simmering process and adjust accordingly.
  • Not Tasting as You Go: To ensure the right balance of flavors, you’ll want to taste and adjust seasonings gradually.
  • Ignoring Pepper Heat: Jalapeños vary in spiciness. I recommend starting with fewer and adding more if necessary.
  • Too Much Salt: Adding excessive salt can overpower other flavors. It’s better if you add in stages and taste.
  • Skipping the Cooling Step: Pouring the hot sauce directly into jars can cause splatters and potential burns. Let it cool to a manageable temperature first.
  • Not Sterilizing Jars: If storing for extended periods, always use sterilized jars to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Inconsistent Consistency: You might want a smoother sauce or more texture. Using a blender can help you achieve your desired consistency.
  • Substituting Vinegar Types: The acidity level varies between vinegar types. As the recipe suggests, sticking to white vinegar ensures the right tanginess.
  • Not Measuring Ingredients: While it’s great to trust your instincts, especially for spices, a miscalculation can significantly alter the sauce’s taste.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce?

  • Pasta Enhancer: Mix with your favorite pasta sauce for an added kick.
  • Spicy Mayo: Blend with mayonnaise for a tangy, spicy spread.
  • Pizza Base: Use it as a spicy pizza sauce alternative.
  • Stir-Fry Boost: Add to your stir-fries for a richer flavor.
  • Bread Dip: Mix with olive oil for a zesty bread dip.
  • Spicy Soup: Stir into soups or broths for extra warmth.
  • Grilled Cheese Upgrade: Spread inside a grilled cheese sandwich.
  • Marinades: Enhance meat or tofu marinades.
  • Chili Starter: A base for spicy chili dishes.
  • Egg Enhancer: Drizzle over scrambled eggs or omelets.
Barbara Hot Sauce Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Blender/Food Processor: For achieving a smoother consistency if desired.
  • Large Soup or Stock Pot: Ensures even cooking and prevents overflows.
  • Glass Jars with Lids: Essential for storing the sauce, especially if preserving.
  • Jar Funnel: Helps to pour the sauce into jars without spillage.
  • Stirring Spoon: Preferably wooden, to mix ingredients without scratching the pot.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For precise ingredient portions.
  • Knife and Cutting Board: To chop onions, jalapeños, and garlic.
  • Can Opener: To open canned tomatoes or tomato sauce.
  • Thermometer: To check sauce temperature, especially if preserving.
  • Jar Lifter: Useful if sterilizing or canning jars for longer storage.

Frequently Asked Questions  

Can I Use Different Types Of Peppers In This Recipe?

Yes, you can. While the recipe calls for jalapeños, you might want to use serrano, habanero, or other peppers to adjust the heat level or flavor. Remember, each pepper type brings its unique flavor and spiciness.

How Long Does Barbara Hot Sauce Last In The Refrigerator?

Stored in an airtight container or sealed jar, the sauce will stay in the refrigerator for several weeks. Always check for signs of spoilage before use.

Can I Freeze The Sauce For Longer Storage?

Yes, you can. Pour the cooled sauce into freezing-safe jars or bags, leaving some space for expansion, and it will keep for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before use.

The Sauce Is Too Thick/Thin. How Can I Adjust The Consistency?

If the sauce is too thick, add some water or tomato sauce to thin it out. If it’s too thin, let it simmer longer to reduce or add more tomato paste to thicken.

I Don’t Have White Vinegar. Can I Use Another Type Of Vinegar?

While white vinegar is recommended, you can substitute it with apple cider vinegar. However, it may alter the taste slightly. It’s better to adjust other ingredients to maintain the desired flavor balance.

Perfect Barbara Hot Sauce With Irresistible Flavor-Packed Easy Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Hot Sauces


Prep time


Cooking time




Ferment/Rest Time



Barbara Hot Sauce is a tantalizing blend of crushed tomatoes, jalapeños, and aromatic spices. This homemade delight offers a rich, flavorful kick that is perfect for elevating any dish. Easy to make and versatile, it’s the spicy companion your meals have been waiting for. Dive in and relish the heat!


  • 64 ounces 64 Canned crushed tomatoes

  • 2 cups 2 Minced onion

  • 6 6 Jalapeno peppers, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons 2 Salt

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Ground cumin

  • 2 tablespoons 2 White sugar

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 White vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Minced garlic

  • 15 ounce 15 Tomato sauce

  • 6 ounce 6 Tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Ketchup

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Water

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Prepare Ingredients
    Wash your hands thoroughly.
    Rinse the jalapeño peppers and remove stems.
    Finely chop the jalapeños, taking caution as they can be spicy. Optionally, wear gloves.
    Peel and finely mince the onions and garlic.
  • Begin The Sauce
    Combine the canned crushed tomatoes, minced onion, chopped jalapeños, ground cumin, salt, sugar, white vinegar, minced garlic, tomato sauce, tomato paste, ketchup, and water in a large soup or stock pot.
  • Adjust Consistency
    Add water as needed to bring the mixture to your desired consistency. If you like a thicker sauce, add less water; for a thinner sauce, add a bit more.
  • Simmer
    Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat.
    Once the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat to low.
    Allow the sauce to simmer gently for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking or burning. The simmering melds flavors and reduces the sauce to intensify the taste.
  • Cooling
    After 2 hours, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the stove.
    Allow the sauce to cool completely. This can take about 1 hour.
  • Transfer To Jars
    Once cooled, use a jar funnel (or a regular funnel) to pour the sauce into sterilized glass jars, leaving about an inch of headspace at the top to expand.
    Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth to remove any drips or residues.
    Securely close the jars with their lids.
  • Storage
    Store the filled jars in the refrigerator. Properly stored, the sauce will be kept for several weeks.

Recipe Video


  • Heat Level: The spiciness of jalapeños can vary. If you prefer a milder sauce, consider removing the seeds and membranes from the jalapeños. For a hotter sauce, add more jalapeños or consider including hotter varieties of peppers.
  • Consistency: This sauce can be adjusted to your preference. If you’d like a smoother sauce, you might want to blend the mixture before storing it.
  • Preservation: If you want to store the sauce for longer, consider canning methods, which require sterilizing the jars and lids. This ensures longer shelf life and safety.
  • Substitutions: If you don’t have white vinegar on hand, apple cider vinegar can be used, but it may slightly alter the taste. Similarly, you can substitute brown sugar for white sugar for a different depth of flavor.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh tomatoes can be used in place of canned. If you choose fresh tomatoes, you’ll want to blanch, peel, and crush them first.
  • Safety First: When working with hot peppers, wearing gloves is better. Capsaicin, which makes peppers hot, can irritate skin and eyes.
  • Storage: Always store the sauce in the refrigerator. It’s great to check it before each use for any signs of spoilage.

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