Southern Pepper Sauce Recipe

This pepper sauce recipe is a Southern family favorite. Perfect to serve with cornbread, greens or black eyed peas, this pepper sauce recipe is one you’ll turn to again and again.

Pepper Sauce Recipe | ©

Good ole Southern Pepper Sauce is a favorite condiment to serve with any number of dishes in the south – from black eyed peas to pinto beans, collard or turnip greens and some even like a little bit of it with their BBQ. A jar of this spicy sauce could just about always be found on the supper table, making it a staple item to make each year.

Actually, at the end of each summer, Daddy would gather a bunch of peppers from his garden to make a good number of jars to use, keep in the pantry and to share with friends.

Here’s how he made his pepper sauce. This recipe is for one pint jar.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Southern Pepper Sauce Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This pepper sauce recipe is a Southern family favorite. Perfect to serve with cornbread, greens or peas, this pepper sauce recipe is one you'll turn to again and again.
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, optional for extra hot pepper sauce
  • about 30 small peppers
  1. Clean jar, lid, and band and rinse well. Keep warm.
  2. Mix together sugar, salt, vinegar, and optional olive oil in a stainless steel saucepan.
  3. Cook over medium heat until it begins to boil.
  4. Fill jar with peppers and pour hot vinegar mixture over the peppers. Leave about 1 inch of headspace from the top of the jar
  5. Remove air bubbles in the jar by tilting jar slightly to allow bubbles to escape as pepper press against opposite side of the jar.
  6. Wipe jar rim to clean. Place lid on top of jar and tighten ring.
  7. Allow jars to seal by setting on countertop to cool with about 1 inch in between each.
  8. Test seal after about 12 hours by pressing finger to the center of the lid. If sealed, it will not pop back. If not sealed, refrigerate and use.
  9. Store in dark, cool cabinet or pantry for up to a year.



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  1. 24

    ThePontificator says

    Just discovered your website. Excellent, and so is the recipe for the peppered vinegar sauce.

    With the exception of the “super hots” (Fatalii, ghost pepper, Thai), my chile garden is starting to wind down and will use a variety of the last of the pods (cayenne, serrano, habanero) to make this vinegar.

  2. 28

    Jessica says

    I am looking forward to trying out this recipe but have never done any type of canning. After filling the jars, do you not have to put them back into a water bath?

  3. 29

    Larry D. Featherstone says

    This is my first year for canning peppers.
    I chopped them with various varieties;

    What is your opinion of chopping vs. whole canning?

    • 30


      It is a matter of personal preference. Daddy always made his pepper sauce with the whole pepper and would then eat a pepper on occasion with pintos and cornbread or something like that. My aunt would make hers with the peppers sliced and it was still delicious!

  4. 31

    Brian says

    My love for peppers began when I was a young boy in Texas. I now live in South Carolina after a career in the military. I grow peppers of many varieties, use my own seeds and add a few new varieties every year as I find them. I germinate the seeds indoors around February and transplant them into large pots moving them outdoors after last frost about April. I bring them back indoors the end of October. So I have fresh peppers growing most of the year. I eat and cook with all I can and pickle the excess peppers for the winter months. I find some varieties too hot to eat painlessly, but they do make a good pepper sause for seasoning or they can be used in small quanity to spice up a meal. Every pepper does have its distinct flavor and heat. I love my chile and cowboy beans a little hotter than most so I spice up my portion with a tad more heat. I mix the different sauses and peppers to create individual jars flavored to the personal taste and heat of my family members members. Peppers make a great hobby and are fun to grow and eat.

  5. 34

    jamie gibson says

    Have you ever used sweet bannanna peppers to make this sauce? If so how did it turn out and would you recommend using these peppers for it. I have some great sweet bananna pepper plants and dont know what to do with all of them.

  6. 40


    My mother and grandmother always made pepper sauce using old condiment bottles — usually ketchup or Tabasco. You can’t properly enjoy turnip greens without some pepper sauce. Love your blog.

    • 42

      Robyn says

      I’ve not tried doing it that way. I think it would be really, really hot with the seeds still in the peppers, so you may want to deseed them first. Let me know how it turns out. I’d love to know.

  7. 43

    Mary says

    Robyn – The pictures of your pepper sauce are some of the most gorgeous, delicious-looking things I have seen!!!!!!! I just wish I liked peppers!!!! I guess I could make them just for their looks!!!!!

    • 44

      Jane Bradbery says

      Actually, you don’t have to like peppers to like this..I grew up on Pepper Sauce and I don’t particularly care of peppers at all, but it’s the flavor of the sauce that is incredible!


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