Habanero Salsa

Salsa Habanera

If you like your salsa hot, this is the one for you, a fiery red tomato habanero sauce like they make in the Yucatán. Habanero chiles have a fruity taste and are very hot, not for the faint of heart. A little goes a long, long way.

Tomato Habanero Salsa

How to Make


A few simple ingredients make a great salsa.

  • 3 very ripe tomatoes (about 1 lb.)
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2 habanero chiles (peppers)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. oil.
Ingredients Tomato Habanero Salsa

Remove the stems from the tomatoes and chiles and quarter the tomatoes and onion.

Chopped Ingredients Habanero Salsa

Preheat 1 tbsp. oil to medium-hot. Cook the tomatoes, onion, chile, and garlic until they start to brown, about 10 minutes.

Cooked Ingredients Habanero Salsa

Blend with the salt, vinegar.

Habanero Salsa Ingredients in Blender

You’re salsa before being cooked. It’s starting to look good. The next step is “seasoning.”

Blended Salsa Ingredients

Fry the Salsa. This is an important step. Heat 2 tbsp. of oil to hot. Once the oil is hot, pour the blended salsa into the hot oil.

This is called “seasoning” the salsa and it adds depth of flavor.

Seasoning Habanero Salsa

Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. During this time the salsa will darken in color, slightly thicken and take on a more intense flavor. It’s now ready to serve.

Reducing the Salsa

Looks good, doesn’t it?

Yucatán Style Habanero Salsa
Tomato Habanero Salsa
Print Pin
4.56 from 27 votes

Habanero Salsa Recipe

Yucatán style tomato habanero hot sauce recipe. Habanero chiles have a fruity taste and are very hot, not for the faint of heart. If you like it hot, this is the salsa for you.
Course Salsa
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Habanero Salsa Recipe, How to Make Habanero Salsa, Salsa Habanera
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 61kcal
Author Douglas Cullen


  • 3 very ripe tomatoes about 1 lb.
  • 2 habanero chiles
  • 1/2 white onion
  • clove garlic
  • tbsp  apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp  salt + to taste
  • 3 tbsp  cooking oil


  • Remove the stems from the tomatoes and chiles and quarter the tomatoes and onion.
  • Preheat 1 tbsp. oil to medium-hot. Cook the tomatoes, onion, chile, and garlic until they start to brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Blend the browned tomatoes, onions, and garlic with the salt, vinegar.
  • Heat 2 tbsp. of oil to hot. Once the oil is hot, pour the blended salsa into the hot oil to "season" it.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes to thicken and intensify the flavor.


Reducing the Heat
You can reduce the heat by only using 1 habanero chile. You can also remove the stems and seeds which will reduce the heat even more.
A Word of Caution
Habanero chiles are very hot. If you touch your mouth or eyes after handling them it will burn. Wash your hands thoroughly after working with chiles. Wearing gloves will help you avoid an uncomfortable situation.


Serving: 1/4 cup | Calories: 61kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 6mg | Sugar: 2g

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31 comments… add one
  • Ben

    Nice recipe! Do you think cilantro is out of place in this salsa?

  • Micky

    First time I made this and it was an instant HIT! I gave 2 batches away and now my friends are asking for more. I doubled the recipe and used 3 habaneros and it was just right for me. I didn’t want it too hot.
    Thanks for the excellent recipe!

  • Robert Guillaume

    Great salsa, however I have to point out a discrepancy in ingredients list. The list at the top of the page calls for 1 teaspoon of vinegar, but the list at the bottom of the page calls for 1 TABLESPOON of vinegar. I have made it both ways but like it more with a tablespoon of vinegar. The amount of vinegar will definitely affect it’s shelf life when canning

  • Anna

    This was quick and easy and a great solution for the abundance of habaneros that my garden produced this year. I used one habanero for the same number of other ingredients and it was the perfect spice level ie tolerable by most “people who vaguely like spicy”. I could have gone with the two of making for myself, but if your habaneros are anything like mine that will be very spicy! Delicious!

  • Dorothy White

    Made this last night after looking through lots of recipes..I am trying to replicate my fave taqueria salsas as we are all stuck at home. I only had Campari (small) tomatoes so used 4, but otherwise followed the recipe, using 2 habaneros. Really delicious! I love heat and this definitely delivered! I mixed it a bit with my regular homemade salsa to tone it down. Only “complaint” is that this doesn’t make much..ok for my trial batch but I would at least double up next time. Now on to another of your recipes!

  • Christopher

    This salsa recipe was AWESOME. Thank you for sharing it. My question is this: I like my salsa a little more liquidy, how would you alter this recipe? Don’t cook on the stove top as long? Add more tomatoes? Or something else? Thank you.

  • KO

    5 stars. Hands down. If your question is “oh crap what do I do with these habeneros I planted in spring” you’ve found your answer.

    Red habs. Orange habs. Chocolate habs. Celebrity tomatoes. Cherokee Purple tomatoes. Sun Golds (if you can get enough of them, highly recommend!!). All of these variations turned out delicious. The sun gold one is like spicy tortilla candy.

    Add in some home grown texas super sweet onions and a handful of cilantro and wow.

    I intended to bottle the first batch, and we ate it. The second batch we also ate. The third we showed some restraint and bottled. The last with the sun golds didn’t last 20 minutes.

    Spot on recipe. Simple and delicious. Really great work.

    • opie

      Any tips on “bottling” it, do you mean canning? Some of us are looking into canning this recipe for storage, any advice would be awesome. Thanks.

      • I have never done any canning so I don’t have any tips on how to do it. Sorry, I can’t be of more help on this one. Cheers!

  • Margaret

    Just amazing, tastes exactly like it should! HIT and delicious!

  • Rebecca M

    This Habanero Salsa recipe is probably our VERY favorite salsa recipe – and we make a lot of them. It is out of this world. In the spirit of sharing only the best, I’d like to pass on our 2nd favorite recipe (it’s like an authentic jalapeno salsa at a great taco truck)…

    1 lb jalapenos (or ¾ lb jalapenos and ¼ lb serrano), stems removed
    5 – 6 fresh garlic cloves, peeled
    1 cup water (for steaming)
    2 tsp Orrington Farms Chicken Broth Base… (much more flavorful than regular broth)
    ¼ cup peanut oil

    1. Place peppers & garlic in a pot (remove pepper seeds if you don’t want it as spicy).
    2. Add about 1/4 – 1/3 cup of the water.
    3. Steam over medium low heat for 15 minutes, adding 1/4 cup water as needed if it evaporates.
    4. Scrape into a blender, then add broth base and oil. Blend until smooth.
    5. Taste to see if more salt, water, or chicken base is needed. Taste can vary due to the jalapenos/the season. Keep in mind that the chicken base adds plenty of salt – so go easy if it’s already salty enough.

    Thank you so much, Douglas!! Excellent site – and fabulous habanero salsa!! : )

    • Thank you for the kind words and the excellent recipe. We definitely have to give it a try. It looks fantastic! Cheers!

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