When it comes to cuisine, some like it hot. A quick way to satisfy a piquant-loving palate is with a splash or two of hot Tabasco sauce.
Tabasco sauce is commonly served with Mexican dishes, including tacos, nachos, and burritos. It can also spice up everyday fare like eggs, potatoes, and sandwiches.
In case you don’t have a bottle of this spicy sauce on hand and are looking for a decent Tabasco substitute, you’ve come to the right place.
Join us on this fiery adventure as we investigate some of the greatest Tabasco sauce substitutes.
What Is Tabasco Sauce?
The Tabasco company has been producing this famous hot sauce since 1868.
Edmund Mcllhenny, the company’s founder, set out to spice up American cuisine after the American Civil War.
In 1868, he created a red pepper sauce mixture that added excitement and taste to even the most basic food.
He planted Capsicum frutescens pepper seeds from Central America or Mexico on Avery Island in Louisiana and carefully cultivated them. Workers at his pepper plantation began using little red sticks known as “baton rouge” to check crop maturity. These red sticks are still utilized today.
The signature version of Tabasco is made from tabasco chili peppers. The sauce comes in additional varieties made with habanero, chipotle, and green jalapeno peppers.
Three essential components make up Tabasco sauce: salt, vinegar, and red Tabasco peppers.
With a delectable vinegar flavor and a moderate amount of heat, it’s as adaptable as spicy sauces go.
Tabasco Sauce Alternatives
- Huy Fong Sriracha
- Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce
- Yellowbird Habanero Hot Sauce
- Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
- Crystal Hot Sauce
- Valentina’s Salsa Picante
Huy Fong Sriracha
Huy Fong Sriracha is developed by Huy Fong Foods in Los Angeles.
It has a slight burn and adds just the proper balance of sweetness and heat to almost any dish. It has a reddish color and a thick, velvety feel. It’s made using chili, garlic, and vinegar.
This option is an excellent marinade for chicken, turkey, or any other type of meat, allowing you to taste the chili, garlic, and vinegar combo once cooked.
It’s a fine condiment for those that don’t like overly hot spices. For reference, it’s slightly spicier than marinara or tomato sauce and somewhat more sugary than ketchup.
Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce
Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce stays true to its promise of “not too spicy, nor too mild.” The sauce is red in color and has a somewhat thin texture, so make sure to shake it well before using it.
The Lousiana also provides more daring flavors, such as red chili, habanero, and “Hotter Than Hot.”
If neither of those seems appealing to you, you can also choose between chipotle, roasted garlic, jalapeño, and even honey overtones. In other words, it’s a hot sauce that seeks to please everyone.
Tapatio was founded in Maywood, California, in 1971, and since then, it has gained popularity all over the world.
It’s made of red peppers, salt, spices, and garlic. Despite the simple ingredients, this sauce is extremely flavorful. It’s not very hot, but the burn intensifies once you heat it.
It also has a somewhat watery consistency, so shake it well before consuming.
Overall, Tapatio is a tasty, classic sauce with a mild spice that’s ideal for a Bloody Mary or empanadas.
Yellowbird Habanero Hot Sauce
The Texas-based Yellowbird Foods sells a range of hot sauces made from locally sourced fruits and veggies.
Jalapeno, Serrano, and Ghost Pepper Sauces are one of the many hot sauce flavors available from the Yellowbird brand.
The most potent formula, however, is the traditional Habanero one, which also has a characteristic flavor combination. It contains carrots, onions, tangerines, limes, habaneros, and organic cane sugar.
This will give your food a flavor that is hot, sweet, and zesty – a bit sharper than your regular Tabasco.
Cholula hot sauce is easily recognized by its unique wooden bottle top that can often be found in supermarkets and restaurants.
The original recipe for Cholula is rather modest in terms of heat intensity — ideal for those who want a bit of heat but cannot tolerate a strong burn. However, the combination of vinegar, spices, and peppers imparts a delicious taste evocative of garlic.
Along with the original Cholula, the company has introduced a variety of other varieties throughout the years, including Chipotle Hot Sauce, Chili Lime Hot Sauce, Chili Garlic Hot Sauce, and many more.
Frank’s RedHot Sauce
Frank’s RedHot Sauce is famous for being drizzled on everything, and it’s a sauce that anybody can enjoy in place of Tabasco, regardless of their spice tolerance.
The Louisiana-born sauce is adaptable enough to complement a wide range of dishes — tacos, Bloody Marys, and even leftover barbeque. However, the finest culinary item to combine Frank’s Red Hot Sauce with is chicken wings.
Frank’s, like other brands, offers a variety of flavor profiles, and they all work nicely with chicken, eggs, avocado toast, or even mashed potatoes.
Crystal Hot Sauce
Crystal is the best-selling hot sauce in Louisiana and was previously the official hot sauce of the New Orleans Saints.
It dates back to 1923, so it’s almost as vintage as Tabasco. It has been sold all over the world ever since the Roaring Twenties.
The sauce succeeds at simplicity, using aged cayenne peppers, salt, and vinegar.
It has a rich pepper taste with a moderate but not overwhelming degree of heat, so it’s yet another worthy substitute for Tabasco.
Valentina’s Salsa Picante
Valentina’s Salsa Picante has been gracing the tables of Mexican restaurants for more than 50 years. Along with Tapatio, the sauce is one of Mexico’s most well-known condiments. In fact, both were first made in Guadalajara, Jalisco, and are equally tangy.
However, Valentina’s is cheaper and zestier. Compared to Tabasco, it has a thicker consistency and a moderate level of heat that doesn’t dominate its unique citrus flavor.
This is an excellent sauce to keep on hand in case you run out of Tabasco. It goes especially well with popcorn, tortilla chips, or any other neutral-tasting food that just begs for extra spice.
Other Sauces From the Tabasco Company That You Might Like
So you want to try an alternative to the Tabasco Original, but our suggestions didn’t cut it? Try one of Tabasco’s other sauces instead!
- Green Jalapeno Sauce is ideal for Mexican dishes and dips.
- Buffalo Style Hot Sauce is ideal for hamburgers or chicken wings.
- Chipotle Pepper Sauce is well-known for its smokey flavor and is an excellent option for backyard barbecues.
- Habanero Pepper Sauce is the strongest and spiciest choice in the collection.
- If you like a lot of taste, go for the Sweet & Spicy Sauce, which is a great balance of sweet and hot, and it’s awesome for dips.
- If you like garlic, Garlic Pepper Sauce is made with three types of chili peppers and quality garlic.
- The final option is Sriracha Sauce, which has a rich garlicky taste as well as flaming undertones of red jalapeno peppers.
If you step into any grocery store, you’ll be presented with a dizzying selection of Tabasco alternatives. Different brands include different types of peppers, ingredients, heat levels, and meal combination suggestions.
While the combination of sweet, citrusy, and spicy ingredients in Yellowbird Habanero Hot Sauce has won our hearts, every sauce on this list is worth trying.
But what’s your favorite? Do you prefer the spicy Huy Fong Sriracha or the tangy Valentina’s Salsa Picante?
Crystal Hot Sauce, a Louisiana best-seller, is another option to consider, unless you’re cooking chicken wings, in which case you should absolutely go for Frank’s RedHot Sauce.
While the tastes of each option vary, one thing is certain: everything on our list works incredibly well as a substitute for Tabasco sauce.