Nashville Hot Sauce Recipe | The recipe critic

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A classic Southern condiment, this Nashville hot sauce is the best for coating chicken in flavorful spices! It mixes with just a few simple ingredients. You’ll love having it on hand!

You probably know by now that I love making sauces and seasonings from scratch. Not only do they taste better, but they are also free of preservatives and artificial flavors! You have to try this homemade buffalo sauce! And if you’re looking for tasty sauces to dip chicken in, copycat Chick-fil-A sauce and Cane’s sauce recipes are both great choices!

Top view of Nashville hot sauce in a mason jar.

Nashville hot chicken sauce

If you’re a hot sauce lover, you’ve probably already tried Nashville’s hot sauce. But let me tell you – there’s nothing better than making it from scratch! The taste and texture is out of this world. It’s perfect for dipping or coating tasty fried chicken.

If you’ve never tried this tasty sauce, today is your lucky day! Nashville hot sauce is like the love child of buffalo sauce and chili oil. It has the kick of buffalo sauce, but a smooth, oily consistency that makes fried chicken extra tender and extra flavorful. Try it once and you’ll be hooked! The good news is that it’s more than easy to make. You’ll love having it on hand!

Is Nashville Hot Sauce the Same as Buffalo?

No! Although they have a similar taste, Nashville hot sauce and buffalo sauce are quite different. One of the biggest differences is their texture. Buffalo sauce is thick and glossy, while Nashville hot sauce has a more oily consistency. Plus, buffalo sauce is usually made with bottled hot sauce and vinegar, but in this Nashville hot sauce recipe I only use a handful of different spices!

Ingredients needed

The best thing about this homemade Nashville hot sauce is simply all the simple ingredients! They’re all in your spice rack! As long as you also have some brown sugar, butter, and honey on hand, you can easily make a batch of this tasty sauce!

  • Unsalted butter: This is a key ingredient for making Nashville hot chicken sauce! It gives the sauce its signature texture and also adds a rich flavor. (You really can’t go wrong with butter.) You can also use ghee as replacement.
  • Cayenne pepper: This is what gives this sauce its kick! Feel free to adjust the spice to your preference.
  • Brown sugar: I love adding brown sugar as it helps balance the spice.
  • chili powder: For some extra peppery spice.
  • garlic powder: Adds a delicious savory element to the sauce. You can also use chopped garlic.
  • smoked paprika: Smoked paprika is one of my favorite spices to cook with. I love it because it’s so hot and flavorful!
  • kosher salt: Table salt can sometimes have a bitter aftertaste, so I always go for kosher salt.
  • sweetheart: Adds a little sweetness and softens the texture of the sauce.

How to make Nashville hot sauce

This tasty hot sauce is so easy to whip up! It mixes in minutes. I know your family will love it as much as mine! They want to go all out. I don’t blame them for the great spicy flavor this sauce adds to any dish!

  1. Melt butter: Add the butter to a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  2. Mix in spices: Once the butter is mostly melted, add the cayenne pepper, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt.
  3. Combine, add honey: Whisk to combine until mixture is smooth and reduce heat to low. Then stir in the honey.
  4. Warm up and serve: Heat the sauce through it and baste it on your fried chicken and use it as a dipping sauce!
Collage of sauce ingredients being mixed and cooked together.

What can I use Nashville Hot Sauce for?

The savory-spicy flavor of this sauce makes it perfect for so many different dishes! Nashville hot sauce is extremely versatile and you’ll LOVE having it on hand!

Reserve leftover sauce

The great thing about homemade Nashville hot sauce is that it has a nice long shelf life! You just want to make sure you keep it in the fridge for best results.

  • In the fridge: Store sauce in a airtight jar for up to 2 weeks.

Nashville hot chicken served with sliced ​​pickles.


  • Add the butter to a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat.

  • Once the butter is mostly melted, add the cayenne pepper, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt.

  • Whisk to combine until mixture is smooth and reduce heat to low. Stir in the honey.

  • Heat the sauce through it and baste it on your fried chicken and use it as a dipping sauce!



Serves: 4

calories310kcal (16%)Carbohydrates24g (8%)Egg white2g (4%)Fat26g (40%)Saturated fat15g (75%)Polyunsaturated fat2gMonounsaturated fat6gTrans fat1gcholesterol61mg (20%)Sodium600mg (25%)Potassium348mg (10%)Fiber4g (16%)Sugar16g (18%)Vitamin A7256IU (145%)Vitamin C11mg (13%)Calcium38mg (4%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional content will vary depending on the brands you use, measurement methods and portion sizes per household.

Class Sauce

kitchen American

Keyword Nashville hot chicken sauce, nashville hot sauce recipe

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