Nashville Hot Sauce

  • Jump to Recipe
  • Leave a Review


    Nashville Hot Sauce Recipe

    Recently made famous by KFC Nashville Hot Chicken, Nashville Hot Sauce is the sauce used on the regional dish that has been around way longer than KFC has been selling it. The hot sauce is more of a paste or spicy oil than a sauce, thick and grainy, it is full of flavor.

    Nashville Hot Sauce with a spoon in a jar

    Nashville Hot Sauce is a regional hot sauce made from cayenne pepper, other spices and brown sugar. Served on fried chicken to make Nashville Hot Chicken.

    Have you ever been to Nashville? Hubby and I love it! We stay down on lower Broadway and hop from bar to bar listening to the stellar live music all day long.

    Make sure you PIN Nashville Hot Sauce

    Add a few good ole southern iced teas, moonshine, BBQ and Nashville Hot Chicken and you have yourself a nice little weekend.

    In fact, it has been nearly a year since we have been which means we are due for a trip!

    Nashville hot sauce in a spoon

    Nashville Hot Sauce can be made with a vegetable oil or butter base. Although a vegetable oil base won’t harden as easy, I personally like a butter base. You can use a smidge of honey or agave nectar to stabilize the sauce.

    Julie says: “Soooo good- we loved it. Make sure you stir it every time you use it to mix well.”

    It just requires the sauce to be warmed up slightly before using, because butter solidifies when chilled. Use clarified butter, butter without fat solids, works best. You can probably use ghee, but I haven’t personally tried it.

    All butter sold in the United States must contain a minimum of 80% milkfat, the white, frothy stuff that comes up when it is heated. Grades, ranging from the best grade AA to grade B, are based on flavor, body, color and salt and water content.

    You can also vary the amount of cayenne pepper used to adjust the heat. We like it hot, so I use a lot! 

    Nashville Hot Chicken in a basket

    Traditional Nashville Fried Chicken is served on white bread with pickles. However, I wanted something a little more hearty and sweet to compliment my Nashville Hot Sauce, so I opted for buttermilk biscuits. Who doesn’t love biscuits? 

    Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is probably the most popular, but nearly everywhere has their own version. If you have a favorite, I’d love to hear it in the comments!

    Jeff says: “So good thank you. I added a tablespoon of honey as well to get more of a glaze and it helped with stabilizing the spices in the butter. I served home fried chicken smothered in nashville hot sauce on ciabatta rolls.

    Reminds me of a American version of hot chilli oil for Chinese dumplings. My new favorite way to eat chicken. Might try it on dumplings too.”

    But according to Nashville historians, Nashville Hot Chicken didn’t originate there. Although it had been around for decades, it was Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack that brought it to popularity.

    And, of course, KFC has now brought it to the masses. I would be hard pressed to find a true hot chicken eater to say it even comes close to comparing to the read deal though.

    Also served with vinegary pickles, I used my honey habanero pickles. Serve over my Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Popcorn Chicken or Nashville Hot Sauce Sliders.

    You can also freeze your Nashville Hot Sauce! Simply put it in an airtight container or plastic bag with as little air as possible. Freeze it for 3-4 months. Make a double batch!

    Nashville Hot Chicken Sliders on a biscuit with pickles

    Do you like spicy foods? Here are a few more you’ll enjoy!

    Tools you’ll need to make Nashville Hot Sauce:

    Heavy Bottom Saucepan – a heavy bottom will ensure even heating regardless of what type of heating element you are using.

    Airtight Plastic Containers– Great for store any leftovers. Make sure you have a large enough set.


    Nashville Hot Sauce for Pinterest

    Questions you might have about how to make Nashville Hot Sauce: 

    Can I freeze hot sauce? Nashville Hot Sauce doesn’t freeze so well because of the butter. You can surely try and it should be okay, but I’ve never tried it personally. 

    Do I have to use clarified butter? You don’t have to and I know that step seems unnecessary, but getting all that butter fat out for a liquid gold is totally worth it for texture and flavor. 

    What can I substitute for butter? Many Nashville joints don’t use butter at all, they use vegetable or canola oil. You can use either. 

    What can I substitute for honey? You can omit the honey or substitute it with agave nectar. 

    Nashville Hot Sauce in a Jar for Pinterest


    Nashville Hot Sauce is a regional hot sauce made from cayenne pepper, other spices and brown sugar. Served on fried chicken!Click to Tweet

    4.14 from 29 votes
    Nashville Hot Chicken Sauce
    Nashville Hot Sauce
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    5 mins
    Total Time
    10 mins
    Nashville Hot Sauce is a regional hot sauce made from cayenne pepper, other spices and brown sugar. Served on fried chicken!
    Course: Condiment
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: hot sauce recipe, nashville hot sauce
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 263 kcal
    • 1/2 cup unsalted clarified butter
    • 3 tablespoons cayenne pepper more or less to taste
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 2 teaspoons black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon honey , optional
    1. Combine clarified butter with the rest of ingredients in a heavy bottom saucepan. Stir over low heat until combined.

    2. Make sure to come back and let us know how you liked this recipe. We love comments and ratings! 

    Recipe Video

    Nutrition Facts
    Nashville Hot Sauce
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 263 Calories from Fat 207
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 23g 35%
    Saturated Fat 14g 70%
    Cholesterol 61mg 20%
    Sodium 1369mg 57%
    Potassium 118mg 3%
    Total Carbohydrates 14g 5%
    Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
    Sugars 10g
    Protein 1g 2%
    Vitamin A 50.3%
    Vitamin C 3.5%
    Calcium 2.2%
    Iron 3.2%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


    You Might Also Like...

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    What type of comment do you have?


  • Lisa J Smith wrote:
  • LiaKami wrote:
  • Deb Smith wrote:
    • Jessica Formicola wrote:
  • Marcquanisha Tolerson wrote:
  • Stuart wrote:
    • Marcquanisha Tolerson wrote:
  • J Yams wrote:
    • Jessica at Savory Experiments wrote:
      • J Yams wrote:
  • Will wrote:
    • Jessica at Savory Experiments wrote:
  • Wilhelmina Wessel wrote:
  • Shannah wrote:
  • Jeff wrote:
    • Jessica at Savory Experiments wrote:
  • Dylan wrote:
    • Jessica at Savory Experiments wrote:
  • Julian Butyniec wrote:
    • Jessica at Savory Experiments wrote:
  • Joshua wrote:
    • Jessica at Savory Experiments wrote:
  • Rebecca Hubbell wrote:
  • Dana DeVolk wrote:
  • Chris wrote:
    • Jessica at Savory Experiments wrote:

    7 Days to Being a Better Home Cook

    We want YOU to join the Savory Experiments community and learn basic skills you would learn your first week of culinary school.