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The Best Substitute For Tabasco Sauce: 14 Spicy Alternatives

Looking for the best substitute for Tabasco sauce? You’ve come to the right place.  Hot sauce is one of the most popular condiments worldwide, and Tabasco sauce is no exception.

You can add Tabasco sauce on top of any dish or use it in cooking. But what do you do if you don’t have Tabasco sauce on hand? Let’s explore all the spicy alternatives to this popular hot sauce and how to use each one. 

Glass jar filled with red Tabasco sauce and red peppers next to it.

What Is Tabasco Sauce?

Tabasco sauce is a hot sauce made from tabasco peppers, vinegar, and salt. It was created in 1886 by Edmund McIlhenny in Avery Island, Louisiana.

Compared to other hot sauces, Tabasco sauce is a mildly spicy sauce. It only has 3,750 Scoville heat units (SHU), while the spiciest hot sauce contains at least 6,000,000 SHU. But fresh tabasco peppers are actually hot, reaching up to 50,000 SHU.

Tabasco is an American brand. But the hot sauce recipe features peppers from a Mexican state called Tabasco.

This sauce also has its own specific flavor. It has a notable vinegary taste and a hint of sweetness. The flavor profile is straightforward, with a subtle kick at the end.

There are many uses for Tabasco sauce. In fact, it’s the most popular spicy condiment for hotdogs, burgers, and pizza. You can also use this spicy sauce in marinades, soups, and stews.

Best Tabasco Sauce Substitutes

Tabasco sauce is readily available in many grocery stores. But there are quick alternatives if you’re in a pinch. Whether it’s to add heat to a dish or marinade, here’s a list of every substitute for Tabasco sauce:

1. Louisiana Hot Sauce

Louisiana hot sauce is one of the best substitutes for Tabasco sauce. This hot sauce uses almost the same ingredients as Tabasco sauce. The recipe involves soaking the chili peppers in vinegar and salt to create the sauce.

The trick to Louisiana hot sauce is letting the chili peppers soak longer than needed. This results in an intense vinegary flavor that’s like Tabasco sauce.

Pro Tip:

This substitute is less spicy than Tabasco sauce. It only has 450 Scoville heat units.

2. Sriracha Sauce

Sriracha sauce is a perfect alternative to Tabasco sauce in most recipes. It’s a brand of hot sauce from Thailand that’s extremely popular in the United States. It’s made of chili pepper paste, vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic.

What’s excellent about Sriracha sauce is how close its flavor is to Tabasco sauce. It has the same vinegary flavor with added sweet and garlicky notes. Regarding heat, Sriracha sauce is a mild hot sauce at 2,500 SHU.

Tabasco even has its own Sriracha sauce named “Tabasco Sauce Sriracha.”

This hot sauce uses chili peppers, jalapenos, sweet chiles, and Thai spices. Tabasco Sauce Sriracha is also notably hotter than regular Sriracha sauce at 3,000 SHU.

Pro Tip:

Sriracha sauce has a thicker consistency than Tabasco sauce. So, when using this hot sauce as a substitute, expect a difference in texture.

3. Cayenne Pepper 

Cayenne peppers are an adequate Tabasco sauce substitute. You can use its concentrated forms like chili flakes or powder as a Tabasco alternative. 

You can also make a hot sauce from fresh cayenne peppers. But know that a small amount goes a long way, as these peppers are really hot. A single cayenne pepper can reach up to 40,000 Scoville heat units.

Pro Tip:

Mix roasted cayenne peppers, garlic, vinegar, and salt to create a thick sauce. Get the same garlicky taste and kick of Tabasco sauce with this cayenne pepper sauce recipe.

4. Cholula Hot Sauce

Cholula Hot Sauce is another suitable Tabasco sauce alternative. This hot sauce is a blend of two kinds of peppers: pequin peppers and árbol chilies. The recipe also includes vinegar, garlic, salt, and other spices.

In terms of heat level, this hot sauce is pretty tame at 2,000 Scoville heat units.

Pro Tip:

It can give your dish a subtle kick. You can also use this hot sauce for recipes like chili, stews, and Cajun dishes.

5. Worcestershire Sauce

Does your recipe call for Tabasco sauce’s vinegary taste minus the heat? We recommend using Worcestershire sauce as a non-spicy alternative. This sauce contains many ingredients, including vinegar, molasses, and anchovies.

Worcestershire sauce is best known for its salty and umami flavors. It also has sour notes due to the added vinegar and tamarind extract. But this sauce isn’t spicy at all. 

Pro Tip:

We recommend using Worcestershire sauce for marinades and grilled foods. You can also add it to sauce recipes for steaks, barbecues, and stir-fries. 

6. Texas Pete Hot Sauce

Texas Pete Hot Sauce is a mild substitute for Tabasco sauce. It’s the gateway hot sauce for aspiring spicy food lovers. This hot sauce includes red cayenne peppers, vinegar, salt, and other spices.

Producers age the chili peppers for up to two years to allow the flavors to harmonize.

Pro Tip:

At 747 Scoville heat units, Texas Pete hot sauce is mild in heat. If you’re not particular about heat, this hot sauce works as a quick Tabasco alternative.

7. Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Frank’s Red Hot Sauce is an American hot sauce widely used as a condiment. It’s also an easy alternative to Tabasco sauce. Its ingredients include aged red cayenne peppers, vinegar, garlic, and spices.

This hot sauce is mild on the Scoville heat scale at only 450 SHU.

Pro Tip:

It can add a subtle heat to a quick snack. This hot sauce tastes best in hotdogs, burgers, or pizza.

8. Crystal Hot Sauce

Crystal Hot Sauce is another hot sauce from Louisiana you can use in place of Tabasco sauce. Aside from cayenne peppers, this hot sauce also uses vinegar and salt. In turn, it has a similar flavor profile as Tabasco sauce.

Pro Tip:

Crystal Hot Sauce is hotter than Tabasco sauce. Its heat level sits at 4,000 Scoville heat units. Feel free to use this hot sauce if you want something hotter with a tangy kick.

9. Valentina Hot Sauce

Valentina Hot Sauce is a Mexican hot sauce that’s a perfect alternative to Tabasco sauce. It’s a blend of various chili peppers, vinegar, salt, and spices. Valentina has mild spiciness with 900 Scoville heat units. But it’s a good choice if you’re in a pinch. 

Pro Tip:

You can use Valentina instead of Tabasco sauce to add heat to fried and grilled foods. We recommend using this hot sauce in stews, chili, and pizza.

10. El Yucateco

El Yucateco is another Mexican hot sauce substitute for Tabasco sauce. This is the spiciest among the other Tabasco sauce recipes on this list. It’s because the star ingredients of this sauce are habanero peppers.

On the Scoville scale, this sauce can reach up to 11,000 SHU. The brand also offers milder varieties, with the lowest at 5,790 SHU. Still, the brand’s mildest variety is spicier than Tabasco sauce.

Pro Tip:

El Yucateco offers a scorching sauce with a slightly acidic taste from the tomatoes. It tastes different from Tabasco sauce, but it’s the best choice if you want some real heat. Remember to use it sparingly and to taste-test until you reach the desired heat. 

11. Ketchup

Ketchup is the most accessible replacement for Tabasco sauce. Although it has no added heat, ketchup has a sweet and sour flavor combination we all love. When using it as a substitute for Tabasco sauce, pair it with cayenne powder.

Pro Tip:

You can also use spicy ketchup, primarily available in grocery stores. This tastes best as a condiment for fries and burgers. Ketchup is also essential in barbecue and meat marinades.

12. Asian Chili Garlic Sauce

Asian chili garlic sauce is a hot sauce often used in cooking or as a condiment. Luckily, you can also use this in place of Tabasco sauce. This hot sauce may include chili pepper, canola oil, salt, sugar, and lots of garlic.

Traditional chili garlic sauce recipes include cornstarch slurry as a thickener.

Pro Tip:

This sauce has a thicker consistency than Tabasco sauce. It offers a blend of sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors. In terms of heat, it’s a mild hot sauce with 1,000 SHU.

13. Chili Oil

Chili oil is mainly used in Asian cuisine but can also be a quick alternative to Tabasco sauce. It’s made of various chili peppers or chili flakes soaked in oil. The hotness of chili oil depends on the variety of peppers used.

Traditional Chinese recipes use Sichuan chili peppers to make chili oil. The peppers alone can reach 50,000 Scoville heat units. Add a dash of vinegar to include a tangy taste.

Pro Tip:

We recommend using this option sparingly in any dish.

14. Chili Powder

Chili powder is an excellent Tabasco sauce substitute if you’re short on time. It’s a pantry staple, so you won’t have trouble finding it. Plus, its powder form makes it easier to use in sauces, soups, and dry rubs.

Chili powder is usually made with red chili peppers.

Pro Tip:

Expect some mild heat of up to 1,000 Scoville heat units. Pair it with vinegar, salt, and sugar for a balanced flavor profile. 

How to Choose Tabasco Sauce Substitute

Finding the best Tabasco sauce substitutes can be tricky. Although there are many alternatives, there are still some factors to consider. The best option will depend on the following:


The right Tabasco sauce substitute will depend on the recipe you’re making or the food you’re eating. If you’re using Tabasco sauce as a condiment, it’s best to use a similar alternative. For example, there may be better ideas than topping hotdogs with chili powder. In this case, you’ll want to use Sriracha sauce instead.

When it comes to sauces and stews, it’s easier to use liquids like chili garlic sauce or Louisiana hot sauce. Chili powder will work too, but be sure the granules dissolve completely into the recipe. Remember that using chili peppers will add more heat than expected.

Heat Level

Another factor to consider is the heat level. This is important because not all hot sauces have the same levels of spiciness. Even Tabasco sauce’s chili peppers are hotter than the sauce at 50,000 Scoville heat units. Meanwhile, Tabasco sauce only reaches up to 3,750 SHU.

Louisiana hot sauce and Sriracha hot sauce have the same heat levels as Tabasco sauce. If you want milder heat, we recommend using chili garlic sauce. For recipes that call for a stronger kick, use cayenne peppers or chili powder.


Flavor is also an essential factor. While chili peppers can add more heat than Tabasco sauce, they won’t have the same flavors. Tabasco sauce has vinegary and salty aftertastes that are easy to replicate.

If you want to add more sweetness to a dish, we recommend using ketchup. Meanwhile, chili garlic oil leans more toward “umami,” so it’s the best savory substitute. The closest alternatives in terms of flavor are Sriracha or Louisiana hot sauce.


It’s also wise to consider consistency. Most hot sauces add spice but won’t impart a rich texture. We recommend using Sriracha sauce if you want more heat and a thicker consistency.

Ketchup also adds thickness to a dish but can be extremely sweet. If you want something that would blend into the recipe, use dry substitutes like chili powder.

The main reason Tabasco sauce is extremely popular is its versatility. It’s one of the most popular condiments in the United States. You can use this hot sauce on almost anything.

  • Tabasco sauce is often used as a condiment for snacks like hotdogs, burgers, or pizza.
  • You can also use it for marinades, stews, and soups.
  • A dash of Tabasco sauce can elevate simple recipes like scrambled eggs.
What Is Tabasco Sauce Made Of?

Tabasco sauce is a blend of Tabasco peppers, vinegar, and salt. Other versions also include spices and preservatives.

How Hot Is Tabasco Sauce?

Tabasco sauce has a mild spiciness at 3,750 Scoville heat units. But fresh Tabasco peppers can contain at least 40,000 SHU.

Which Tabasco Sauce Is The Healthiest?

Hot sauces, in general, don’t contain many nutrients. But if you want a healthier option, we recommend making your own chili sauce.

Can You Make Your Own Tabasco Sauce?

Yes, you can make your own Tabasco sauce. Roast Tabasco peppers and grind them into powder. Add vinegar and salt to flavor the sauce. Then, blend the mixture until it forms a thick sauce.


Tabasco sauce is a popular hot sauce made from tabasco peppers, vinegar, and salt. It has a notable vinegary taste used to flavor savory snacks, marinades, and stews. This hot sauce is mild, with only 3,750 Scoville heat units.

The best substitute for Tobasco sauce is either Sriracha or Louisiana hot sauce. Both hot sauces have the same flavors and subtle heat. Their spiciness may range between 450 and 2,500 SHU.

More Ingredient Substitutes

Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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