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.

Southern Pepper Sauce Recipe

4.85 from 20 votes
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.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 32 tablespoons


  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or pickling salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, optional for extra hot pepper sauce
  • about 30 small peppers


  • Clean jar, lid, and band and rinse well. Keep warm.
  • Mix together sugar, salt, vinegar, and optional olive oil in a stainless steel saucepan.
  • Cook over medium heat until it begins to boil.
  • Fill jar with peppers and pour hot vinegar mixture over the peppers. Leave about 1 inch of headspace from the top of the jar
  • Remove air bubbles in the jar by tilting jar slightly to allow bubbles to escape as press peppers against opposite side of the jar.
  • Wipe jar rim to clean. Place lid on top of jar and tighten ring.
  • Allow jars to seal by setting on countertop to cool with about 1 inch in between each.
  • 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.
  • Store in dark, cool cabinet or pantry for up to a year.


Makes 1 pint.


Serving: 1 tablespoon | Calories: 21kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 136mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Robyn xo

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Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

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Recipe Review


    1. Sherry, this pepper sauce is really a hot pepper vinegar and does not have to be water processed. Once the jar is opened, I would refrigerate it.

  1. Getting ready to make with Datil peppers. Kinda excited!! Question, what does the olive oil do? It sounds like it makes them hotter but not certain. Thanks

    1. You can eat the peppers in the pepper sauce, Gail, if you wish. My daddy did but I just eat the sauce on my vegetables. Hope you enjoy!

    2. Jeannine, I don’t weigh the peppers. I just pack enough small peppers into the jar until it is full. I use about 30 small peppers.

    1. Jen, I don’t use the oil in my peppers; it is just optional for those who want to add it. I also don’t add water to mine. Sounds like ours are about the same then. Thanks!

    1. Larry, you can eat the pepper sauce after the 12 hours needed for the jars to seal. Hope you enjoy.

    1. Ruth, you can pour the vinegar solution over your beans, etc. as a sauce and some eat the peppers, too. But you don’t blend the peppers to make the sauce in this recipe.

  2. what kind of peppers are you using? How are you prepping the peppers? Do you take the seeds out? So excited to try this! Thanks!

    1. Denise, the peppers used were jalapeño and Serrano in this photo but you can use other peppers such as your hot banana peppers. I wash the peppers and leave the seeds in and then follow the recipe. You can them whole because I use the small peppers. However, if you use larger ones or just prefer them sliced, you can slice them.