Puma Pepper Hot Sauce Recipe

Now that you’ve grown some beautiful puma peppers, you can use them to make hot sauce!

Puma hot peppers can be used to replace habaneros in most any recipe, keeping in mind that pumas tend to be a bit hotter than habaneros, so the finished product may be spicier.

This sauce was created to be somewhat mild though, so that it has a heat level similar to popular cayenne based commercial hot sauces. Check our recipe tips below for ways to make the recipe hotter, or milder.

This flavorful hot sauce can be made with puma peppers, or habaneros.
Now that you’ve grown some beautiful puma peppers, you can use them to make hot sauce! (Don’t have puma peppers? Use habaneros instead.)
basket of puma peppers
a basket of fresh puma hot peppers from the garden

You will need:

  • gloves, nitrile or latex
  • 6 fresh puma peppers, tops and seeds removed – OR leave the seeds in, if you want a hotter sauce (habaneros can be used as a replacement if needed)
  • 2 bell peppers, tops and seeds removed
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp honey, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • optional: 1 tbsp lime juice, tames down the heat level
  • blender (or Ninja/Magic Bullet)
cutting board with puma peppers, blot peppers, garlic, onion, vinegar, and honey
The type of bell pepper we used for this recipe is called Blot Pepper – picked in the yellow/orange stage, but any kind of orange or yellow bell pepper would work just as well.

How to make:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Prepare the peppers. Make sure that you’re wearing gloves – hot pepper juice will burn! Cut the puma peppers in half, and the bell peppers and onion pieces in similar sizes.

Place the peppers and onion pieces in a square baking dish and toss with the olive oil. Roast in the hot oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, checking and stirring every 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and roast for another 5 minutes.

The peppers should be tender and the edges will show some light browning; if not, try broiling for a minute or two. Turn off the oven, crack the door, and leave the pan in the oven to cool for 5 minutes.

roast the vegetables until lightly browned
roasted puma hot peppers, yellow/orange bell peppers, onion, and garlic

Remove the pan from the oven. Put the hot peppers, onion, garlic mixture into a blender, Ninja, Magic Bullet, or whatever machine you have that works best to get a nice smooth puree.

To the peppers, add the apple cider vinegar, water, honey, and salt then process until smooth. If your hot sauce is too thick, your peppers were probably larger than ours, but you can add more vinegar, a tablespoon at a time to thin it out.

Optionally, you can add lime juice. This thins out your sauce, but also has the added bonus of taming down the heat level. We like to add lime juice to our hot sauces since we don’t eat things TOO spicy around here.

Pour the hot sauce into a glass jar, and store in the refrigerator. Leave to sit in the refrigerator overnight before using, to allow the flavors to develop and mingle with one another.

bottle of puma pepper hot sauce
Try making your own homemade hot sauce with your garden bounty of peppers!

Recipe Notes

This hot sauce should be stored in the fridge and used up about 2 to 3 months after making. If you see any signs of mold, strange coloring or smells, or notice it has a bad taste, it’s past its prime and should be discarded.

After letting the hot sauce sit overnight, give it a try! Heat tolerances and preferences vary among people, but we would classify this as a mild sauce, with a complex fruity overlay. Side by side taste comparisons with Frank’s Hot Sauce showed they had similar heat levels.

Give it a try and see what you think of the taste!

FAQS & Tips

To make your hot sauce extra hot:

  • leave the seeds in the puma peppers
  • replace some or all of the bell peppers with more puma peppers, or another hot pepper such as cayenne or jalepeno
  • don’t add the honey at first, instead taste test, then add honey if you feel like it needs it

To make your hot sauce milder:

  • be sure to remove the seeds from your hot peppers before roasting
  • add extra honey, or you could also add sugar, maple sugar, or maple syrup to taste
  • add lime juice, a couple teaspoons at a time, until the heat level is more tolerable
  • dilute it with melted butter (or water, depending on the dish) right before using, to create a milder serving of hot sauce

How to use this hot sauce:

Use in dishes wherever you want to add an extra spicy kick, such as chili, soups, stir fries, and scrambled eggs.

We love to make grilled chicken breasts with our puma pepper hot sauce by melting a few tablespoons of salted butter, then adding a couple teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, plus a few generous dashes of onion powder and a generous amount of this hot sauce, to taste. Pour most of it over the chicken before cooking, reserving some to use as a dipping sauce, if you’d like.

puma peppers hot sauce

Puma Pepper Hot Sauce Recipe

This hot sauce is made with puma peppers (which are similar to habaneros) and has a fairly mild heat level that can be adjusted to taste.
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Course: Sauce
Keyword: hot sauce, puma peppers
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Blending Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 12 ounces

Equipment

  • disposable gloves, nitrile or latex or similar
  • 8 x 8 baking dish
  • blender (or Ninja, Magic Bullet)

Ingredients

  • 6 puma peppers, tops and seeds removed (or leave the seeds in, if you want a hotter sauce)
  • 2 bell peppers, tops and seeds removed
  • 1/2 onion, medium
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp honey, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp OPTIONAL: lime juice, tames down the heat level

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Prepare the peppers – make sure you're wearing gloves. (Hot peppers will burn your skin!)
  • Cut the puma peppers in half, and the bell peppers and onion pieces in similar sizes.
  • Place pepper and onion pieces in the 8 x 8 pan and toss with olive oil.
  • Roast in the hot oven for around 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for 5 minutes longer.
  • Check doneness level. If needed, broil the peppers for 1 to 2 minutes for extra browning.
  • Turn off the oven, crack the door, and leave the pan in the oven to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Add the roasted peppers, onion, garlic mixture to your blender. Pulse a few times to start blending, then add the other ingredients: vinegar, water, honey, salt, and optionally – lime juice.
  • If your sauce is too thick, try thinning with a tablespoon of vinegar (or more lime juice) at a time.
  • Pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge overnight to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Store in fridge and use within 2 to 3 months.

Notes

FAQS & Tips

To make your hot sauce extra hot:

  • leave the seeds in the puma peppers
  • replace some or all of the bell peppers with more puma peppers, or another hot pepper such as cayenne or jalepeno
  • don’t add the honey at first, instead taste test, then add honey if you feel like it needs it

To make your hot sauce milder:

  • be sure to remove the seeds from your hot peppers before roasting
  • add extra honey, or you could also add sugar, maple sugar, or maple syrup to taste
  • add lime juice, a couple teaspoons at a time, until the heat level is more tolerable
  • dilute it with melted butter (or water, depending on the dish) right before using, to create a milder serving of hot sauce

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