Copycat Taco Bell Hot Sauce

This Copycat Hot Sauce from Taco Bell is not for the faint of heart. If you love a super hot sauce this one is for you! Good Luck!

taco bell hot sauce

We love to use Hot Sauce when we have Mexican food. And this Copycat recipe from Taco Bell is exactly what we needed for the Chicken Tacos I was making one night. If you love Taco Bell Hot Sauces then you need to give this recipe a try.

saucepan with hot sauce
Taco Bell Hot Sauce simmering in Saucepan

Like most sauce recipes, this one is super easy to make and doesn’t call for any special ingredients. If you eat a lot of Mexican Food or make spicy dishes on a regular basis, you most likely already have some Hot Sauce in your refrigerator.

taco bell hot sauce

You can use whatever brand of hot sauce you have on hand. I always have a bottle of Tabasco or Frank’s Hot Sauce on hand so that is what I typically use. Just remember to start with a little hot sauce, taste it, then add more if needed.

frank's redhot original hot sauce
Fresh Jalapeños

If you eat at Taco Bell on a regular basis, you know they offer many different kinds of sauces. As of this writing, they offer the following sauces at their restaurants: Mild Sauce, Hot Sauce, Fire Sauce and Diablo Sauce.

bowl of taco bell hot sauce

This copycat sauce recipe from Taco Bell is Hot. At least by our standards and we eat a lot of spicy food. I’m finding it a little hard to pin down if this is the Fire Sauce or the Diablo Sauce. My wife thinks it’s most likely the Diablo Sauce.

bowl of hot sauce and chicken tacos

She found it extremely spicy but she recognized the distinctive flavor from Taco Bell. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this in the comment section below. Either way, this sauce is awesome!

chicken tacos with red sauce

Since the goal of a Copycat Recipe is for it to taste exactly like the original, it’s only natural to rate this recipe against the original. This Copycat recipe rates a solid 8 out of 10 in my opinion.

chicken tacos with hot sauce
reader feedback

Reader Feedback

We love this sauce! Perfect spice, I’m on my second batch, no more store bought sauce for us!

Claire

If you don’t have any Xanthan Gum on hand and don’t feel like buying some for this recipe you can substitute for some Cornstarch.

package of xanthan gum

Update 6/13/22: We made some slight changes to the list of ingredients from our original post.

You will need the following ingredients to make this Copycat Hot Sauce recipe from Taco Bell (see recipe card for quantities): Tomato Paste, Water, Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder, Salt, Xanthan Gum, White Vinegar, Onion Powder, Ground Black Pepper, Ground Cumin, Garlic Powder and Hot Sauce.

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the tomato paste with the water and stir until smooth.
  2. Add the cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt, Xanthan Gum, vinegar, onion powder, black pepper, cumin and garlic powder. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Add the hot sauce and continue to heat the sauce mixture to boiling. Continue to stir for about 3 minutes then remove from the heat.
  4. Let the sauce cool, and then put it in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate.
  5. Let the sauce sit for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. This will allow all the flavors to meld. You can use it immediately, but the longer you let it sit in the refrigerator, the more flavorful it will be.

Printable Recipe Card

Copycat Taco Bell Hot Sauce

Copycat Taco Bell Hot Sauce

This Copycat Hot Sauce from Taco Bell is not for the faint of heart. If you love a super hot sauce this one is for you! Good Luck!
4.47 from 62 votes
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course Sauces
Cuisine American
Servings 32
Calories 7 kcal

Equipment

  • Saucepan

Ingredients
 

  • 6 oz Tomato Paste
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 2 ½ Tsp Salt
  • ½ Tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 2 Tsp White Vinegar
  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • ½ Tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Hot Sauce, or to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the tomato paste with the water and stir until smooth.
  • Add the cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt, Xanthan Gum, vinegar, onion powder, black pepper, cumin and garlic powder. Whisk until well combined.
  • Add the hot sauce and continue to heat the sauce mixture to boiling. Continue to stir for about 3 minutes then remove from the heat.
  • Let the sauce cool, and then put it in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate.
  • Let the sauce sit for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. This will allow all the flavors to meld. You can use it immediately, but the longer you let it sit in the refrigerator, the more flavorful it will be.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ozCalories: 7kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 241mgPotassium: 67mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 250IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 4mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information provided for this recipe is based on 1 serving. This information is an estimate and may vary based on several factors. If nutritional information is important to you and your diet, please verify this recipe with a Registered Dietitian.

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22 Comments

  1. Patrick J Dodge says:

    I love this and like it better than Taco Bell’s.

  2. Mayra Perkins says:

    Great Recipe Hot Rod! it’s what I remember tasting back when I went to
    Taco Bell as a teenager. Thank you!

    Disclosure: I omitted the xantham (didn’t have it on hand), the extra hot sauce (I thought it was spicy enough) and the third cup of water (I only used 2 cups of water, to keep the thicker consistency. It was still spicy and perfect for the hardshell taco dinner.

    1. Rodney says:

      Glad you liked the sauce!!

  3. Brian says:

    Made this sauce today and it tastes amazing. My only question is how long will this stay good for in the fridge?

  4. CaseyLynn says:

    Moved to the UAE 4 years ago and there isn’t a Taco Bell here. I guess there used to be one in Dubai, but no longer exists. The only chance I have of getting sauce is paying about $20 a bottle to have it shipped, so I would just buy about 3-5 bottles when I go to the states.
    Anyway, I was a little confused reading reviews about jalapeños, but I made recipe as is now except I held out the chili powder and only used cayenne until checking how spicy. Thank goodness I did. This is much hotter than Taco Bell hot, however really close to taste. So, I left out red chili powder.
    Something was still a little off… I happen to have pickled jalapeños, so I added some of the juice.
    It’s great, thanks so much!
    P.S looking forward to the green sauce recipe.

  5. Kel says:

    Nice recipe! Haven’t made it yet, but will tonight. Looking at the mix, I’m betting this would be much like the Diablo sauce. I say that specifically because both their Hot and Fire sauces use jalapeños, and you don’t. That does make a difference. The Diablo oddly doesn’t list any kind of chili or peppers in the ingredients, but probably uses cayenne or habañero under their secret spices. That secret “spices“ ingredient also has a pinch of oregano, dried onion (in addition to the onion powder), probably some cilantro, neutral smoke flavor, and a tiny bit lemon or lime essence as well, so I think that might be where yours diverges. It also has a couple other emulsifiers and binders that can affect the flavor, although not enough to worry about.

  6. Joe Becker says:

    This is great. Just made my 3rd batch. I found this while looking for hot sauce, as the local stores have had difficulties keeping the ones I like in stock (supply chain issues).
    First batch was the old recipe, the one with diced jalapeno peppers and dried minced onions in it.
    Then I came back to make a second batch, and you had changed it, removing the peppers & onions and adding a few things.
    Would you consider republishing the original one, just for reference?
    Or noting what was changed?
    I liked the original one, so I still put the peppers & onions in it, but the addition of black pepper & cumin are great.
    It’s not QUITE the same as TB sauce, but it’s great. It has flavor in addition to heat, which is what I look for. Just ‘hot’ doesn’t really appeal to me.

  7. Brenda Rosas says:

    I ordered Taco Bell for delivery and they didn’t give me any sauce. Out of desperation, I looked online and found this recipe and thankfully had all the ingredients except for the xanthan gum(I used corn starch). It taste so good!!! I couldn’t believe how easy and simple it was to make! Thank you to the person that made it!
    One question, how can I store this so I can keep it for my next taco bell delivery!

    1. I usually keep mine in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Nikki says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe!

    We had a hard time finding the Taco Bell sauce in stores and the boyfriend doesn’t care for the other brands we’ve tried. One night I searched for a copycat recipe and came across yours. I’ve made it several times now, but just getting around to writing a review because I suck. lol

    The boyfriend loves this stuff! He said it doesn’t taste EXACTLY like Taco Bell sauce, but he actually likes it better. Win! I like it too, but I’m honestly not as picky about taco sauce. (I’m who had to finish all the jars of the other brands we bought). However I do love that it’s inexpensive and I can make it easily whenever we need it from things I keep stocked anyway. Also, like others, I used pickled jalapeños and the liquid from the jar rather than vinegar.

    Thanks again, you rock! <3

    1. Thanks for the feedback! Glad you liked it! I hope to publish the recipe for Taco Bell’s Green Sauce in the very near future!

  9. Claire says:

    We love this sauce! Perfect spice, I’m on my second batch, no more store bought sauce for us!

  10. Claire Biagianti says:

    I love this! Quick, easy and tastes great! This will be a staple from now on in my house!

  11. Tracy says:

    My husband loves this!
    The hotter the better, so I added a tsp of chipotle powder. I also used pickled jalapeños as that’s what I had on hand. I normally buy Pico Pica but it went up $5 a bottle on Amazon so I looked for something better and this is it. I just threw everything into a Vitamix on soup mode and it was perfect. Thank you for a fantastic recipe!

  12. Kerry says:

    Close enough for me! I love Taco Bell Hot Taco Sauce but only 1 store I know near enough to me carries it, the bottle is too small, and ingredients aren’t great for my dietary lifestyle. We can fly thru the bottle in 3/4 meals between 2people. Like another reviewer I used pickled jalapeños but doubled the amount, used the vinegar from that jar, swapped 1/4 tsp xanthan gum instead of cornstarch, and added a squirt of lime juice for extra zing. Way less carbs than brand bottle or using cornstarch for the amount per serving. And this recipe give way more flavor using less!!! Thank you Hod Rod!

    1. Love your use of xanthan gum. I totally need to try that next time I make a batch of this sauce.

    2. Holly Devine says:

      Hi, I was wondering if this recipe able to be canned? We love hot sauce & have a garden, so would be great to make in a bulk batch.

  13. Zach says:

    I substituted pickled jalapenos for the sliced, they did not seem as spicy though.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe, because we have not seen any Taco Bell Hot Sauce on store shelves for a month now.
    It is a great substitute until I can buy more.

  14. Sharon says:

    This sauce is very hot/spicy. So if you like this kind of sauce give it a try. I made it for family and they just loved it. I am not a spicy person, so was left out, but I must say it smelled delicious. Will certainly make this again for family or for someone who loves spicy sauces.

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