If you’re itching for a Tabasco sauce replacement we’ve got what you need! Our list of best substitutes for Tabasco sauce will be sure to add a spicy kick to your next dish, and may even cause you to leave those old bottles of Tabasco sauce in the dust. From Crystal’s Hot Sauce to El Yucateco and more, we’ve got countless alternatives that you can use the next time you run out of Tabasco. So, if you’re ready, let’s jump into some of our favorite Tabasco sauce substitutes.
Table of Contents
- What Is Tabasco Sauce?
- Tabasco Substitute
- Other Tabasco Sauce Alternatives
- Substitute For Tabasco? Check!
- Substitutes for Tabasco sauce – FAQs
What Is Tabasco Sauce?
Tabasco sauce is a hot sauce made of a blend of tabasco peppers, salt, and vinegar. It is used in many recipes and as a condiment to add heat to any dish.
People love to put tabasco sauce on chicken, burgers, pizza, sandwiches, salads, potatoes, and so much more. You can also add Tabasco sauce to previously made condiments, such as mayo, ketchup, or mustard for a spicy and vinegary kick!
In terms of spiciness, Tabasco sauce may be able to be tolerated by people who like spicy food, but don’t like it too hot. For reference, a bell pepper is rated 0 SHU (Scoville Heat Units) on the Scoville rating scale, pepperoncini peppers at 900 SHU, and tabasco peppers at 3,750 SHU. Therefore, if spiciness doesn’t tend to be your thing, you may wish to skip the Tabasco sauce.
Still, they aren’t the most spicy peppers out there for those that don’t mind a bit of kick.
So, you’re reaching for your Tabasco sauce only to realize you’ve got none on hand. Now what? Thankfully, there are several options you can use to substitute for Tabasco sauce. Ready to know what they are? Let’s dive in.
Frank’s Hot Sauce
If you’re looking for a bit of spice with a touch of vinegary tang, then Frank’s Hot Sauce is a good choice.
Frank’s Hot Sauce offers not only heat but also a lot of flavor which enthusiasts of this brand really love. In terms of heat, Frank’s Hot Sauce ranks at only 450 SHU, which is a testament to how mild this sauce truly is.
Still, Frank’s Hot Sauce may seem quite spicy to some that aren’t accustomed to heat, so it might not be a good idea to douse too much of this sauce in (or on) foods being served to children.
Note: Frank’s Hot Sauce comes in a variety of flavors. For the purpose of this article, we are only mentioning Frank’s Original. However, there are other versions of the sauce such as Frank’s Wing Sauce and Frank’s Xtra Hot. The Xtra Hot version ranks at about 2,000 SHU (about the same as a poblano pepper but still a bit milder than Tabasco sauce’s 2500-5000 SHU rating).
Louisiana Hot Sauce
Similar to Frank’s Hot Sauce, Louisiana Hot Sauce gives you mild zing with lots of flavor. The makers of Louisiana Hot Sauce state that they leave the peppers used to “age” in salt and vinegar making the taste more poignant and flavorful.
Louisiana Hot Sauce is a popular pick, much like Frank’s Hot Sauce, in the United States. Because of that, it is readily available on store shelves to be substituted for Tabasco sauce anytime you need it.
Just know that when substituting milder sauces like Louisiana Hot Sauce you won’t get quite the same amount of heat that you would with Tabasco sauce…this substitution only ranks at 450 SHU.
Cholula Hot Sauce
Cholula Hot Sauce is a Mexican hot sauce favorite that is full of flavor. It is made from many of the same ingredients as Tabasco including salt, peppers, and vinegar, but it also contains extra spices like garlic. The spices used in Cholula include Arbol and Piquin.
This sauce ranks at 1,000 SHU making it hotter than Frank’s Hot Sauce and Louisiana Hot Sauce, but easier to handle than Tabasco sauce itself. Therefore, when using Cholula Hot Sauce as a substitute for Tabasco sauce, you can feel free to be a bit more liberal as this substitution isn’t quite as hot.
Crystal Hot Sauce
Another Louisiana favorite, Crystal hot sauce is made from crushed cayenne peppers, salt, and vinegar. Apparently, the feud between Louisiana Hot Sauce and Crystal’s is longstanding, as both claim to be the “original” hot sauce of the state.
Still, Crystal’s Hot Sauce is much hotter, ranking at 4,000 SHU, which puts Louisiana’s Hot Sauce to shame. Because of this, Crystal’s hot sauce is a powerfully spicy alternative to Tabasco and is probably a better swap since the heat is almost the same. In fact, in some cases, Crystal’s Hot Sauce may be slightly hotter, depending on which variety of Tabasco sauce you’re comparing it to.
Valentina Hot Sauce
Like Cholula Hot Sauce, Valentina Hot Sauce is marketed as a Mexican hot sauce and is crafted with not only peppers, salt, and vinegar, but also has a few additional “spices” thrown for good measure. And although the spices aren’t detailed on the company website, it is clear that Valentina hot sauce proves to be a crowd favorite.
Besides being slightly hotter than Cholula Hot Sauce (at 900 SHU for the original), fans love that Valencia Hot Sauce adds flavor to the heat. Still, when substituting for Tabasco, you can feel free to be a bit more liberal with the sauce since it isn’t nearly as hot as Tabasco Hot Sauces tend to be. Despite this fact, we are willing to bet that you’ll love the Valentina flavor and that it may just become a staple in your hot sauce stash–it certainly is in ours!
Texas Pete Hot Sauce
Founded in North Carolina, Texas Pete is a common hot sauce you can find in many American pantries when you need a quick hot sauce to throw on some good food. This hot sauce isn’t as flavorful as some other hot sauces as it isn’t crafted with additional spices like Cholula and Valentina.
Rather, Texas Pete Hot Sauce should be viewed as your “standard” hot sauce with only salt, peppers, vinegar, and a bit of preservative added to keep it fresh. Nevertheless, Texas Pete ranks only at 750 SHU which is quite mild when used as a Tabasco sauce substitute. Still, Texas Pete is much spicier than Frank’s Original Hot Sauce and therefore can be a better substitute for Tabasco in this way.
Hoy Fung Sriracha
Got a little Sriracha in your pantry? Yep, Sriracha sauce can be used as a substitute for Tabasco sauce when you’re in a pinch. Coming in at 2,200 SHU, it is a great substitute for Tabasco sauce. It is versatile enough to go on pretty much anything.
Just know that Sriracha comes essenced with a bit of a garlicky flavor. This may put a different spin on what you apply it to, especially when compared with Tabasco. Because of this, you may want to go easier with the Sriracha than you would with other sauce types. This delicious hot sauce may add its own garlicky flavor to the meal you’re preparing it with. Which may or may not be a good thing depending on your preferences.
We’ve saved the best for last!
El Yucateco Hot Sauce is a variety of Mexican hot sauces that are crafted from habanero peppers, red tomatoes, and spices. All these produce an undeniably spicy hot sauce with some varieties.
It gets as hot as over 11,000 SHU (we’re looking at you El Yucateco XXXtra Hot)! Even the more “milder” versions of this sauce rank at 5,790 SHU. Thus, this particular brand of hot sauce not for the faint of heart.
When using to replace Tabasco sauce, you’ll want to use it sparingly especially if you are reaching for hotter varieties. Using this brand of hot sauce to replace Tabasco may make the dish significantly hotter. So be careful how much you use and to whom you serve it to. This sauce is aimed at those who really love heat!
Other Tabasco Sauce Alternatives
Don’t have any hot sauce on hand and still need a good substitute? The following alternatives add enough heat to make your dish spicy without Tabasco sauce. But they also contain common enough ingredients that you probably already have stored in your pantry.
Check out the following Tabasco sauce substitutes to satisfy your tastebuds:
Yep, that’s right. Good ‘ole cayenne pepper can be used to add some heat to your dish without the use of any hot sauce at all.
Just know that the vinegary tang will be missing from whatever you typically put Tabasco sauce on. But you can also adjust the heat level depending on how much cayenne pepper powder you choose to put in the dish.
Salt, Vinegar, Red Pepper Flakes
Since Tabasco sauce is only made from salt, peppers, and vinegar, you may wish to try adding crushed red peppers, a bit of salt, and a splash of vinegar to amp up the heat in your dish. This is a perfect substitute because it mimics the essence of all three prominent flavors in Tabasco sauce while still providing heat.
You could also replace the red pepper flakes with the cayenne pepper powder mentioned previously.
When using this substitute, be careful not to overdo the amount of vinegar and salt you add to the mix. As you know, too much salt added to anything can ruin a dish. Therefore, just a splash should do it.
In terms of heat, use the cayenne or red pepper flakes in accordance with your heat tolerance. More of these ingredients will make it spicier, and less will make it milder.
Start with ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes and increase from there as you feel comfortable.
Pepperoncini or Jalapeno Pepper Juice
Did you know that you can use the juice from jarred or canned peppers to substitute for sauces like Tabasco? It’s true!
These juices are mainly vinegar that has had peppers marinating in them. So these juices make great substitutes for already vinegary and tangy hot sauces like Tabasco.
Having said that, this sort of substitute is generally best for placing within certain food dishes and not on top (as in, don’t dump pepperoncini juice on top of fried chicken). And also keep in mind that these pepper juices will likely always be a bit milder than whatever pepper they had marinating in them.
So, the spicier the pepper in the juice, the spicier the actual juice will be!
Last but not least, chili powder can produce a slightly smoky kick that might give your dish somebody and flavor.
But bear in mind that it will not produce any heat and will not offer a vinegary tang. Though made of red chili peppers, chili powder should only be used as a Tabasco sauce substitute if you’ve got nothing else on hand.
For a better mimic of Tabasco sauce flavor, you may want to add a splash of vinegar and a dash of salt to your chili powder. But again, this substitute will lack heat.
Still, this is a great substitute if you want to dial back the spiciness in a dish for children or adults who cannot tolerate spicy food.
If you’re just looking for a spicy kick, you can use sweet chili sauce (and its substitutes), or gochujang (and its alternatives)!
It should be said that the flavor will definitely not be the same. But it’s good to use if you want some spice anyway!
Substitute For Tabasco? Check!
Run out of Tabasco sauce or if Tabasco sauce is too hot (or even too mild) for you? Rest assured that there are dozens of varieties and alternatives of hot sauce out there to keep you satisfied.
From Mexican-style hot sauces to simple pairings of vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes, there are several ways you can go about replacing Tabasco in a recipe without having to make a trip to the store. Many of the substitutes you find may even cause you to leave Tabasco sauce behind!
So, go ahead and experiment. Who knows what spicy indulgences you’ll find!
Hope this has helped you. Until next time!
Substitutes for Tabasco sauce – FAQs
What can I use instead of Tabasco sauce?
Tabasco sauce can be replaced with any other hot sauce you have on hand, however, not all hot sauces are created equal. Some hot sauces are hotter and some are milder. You can also blend vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes or cayenne powder for flavor and heat similar to that of Tabasco in a recipe.
Is cayenne pepper sauce the same as Tabasco sauce?
No, cayenne pepper sauce is not the same as Tabasco sauce. Tabasco sauce is made from tabasco peppers, while cayenne sauces, like Franks’s Hot sauce, are made with cayenne peppers. The latter is milder in terms of sauce, although both pepper types have similar spiciness at 30,000-50,000 SHU.
Is Frank’s Red hot sauce like Tabasco?
Not really, but it’ll depend on what type of Franks Hot Hot Sauce you’re reaching for. Frank’s Hot Sauce does come in hotter varieties, however, the Original only ranks at 450 SHU which pales in comparison to Tabasco’s 2,500-5,000 SHU. Moreover, Frank’s Hot Sauce is thought to be more flavorful than Tabasco sauce which many people tend to really enjoy.
What can be substituted for hot sauce?
If you aren’t looking for much heat you could easily substitute ketchup or sweet chili sauce for hot sauce. If you still want heat but aren’t into traditional hot sauce, look into grabbing a bottle of Sriracha on your next visit to the market, or consider grabbing a Mexican-style Picante sauce instead for a different taste than what you might be used to.