If you’ve ever tried Nashville Hot Sauce, then you’ll know what I’m talking about when I tell you it’s insanely delicious! This regional hot sauce has taken America by storm thanks to KFC’s Nashville Hot Chicken.
This granular hot sauce is more of a paste than a liquid, and that helps cling to chicken, adding a depth of flavor you won’t find with bottled store-bought hot sauces.
Typically, this hot sauce is made by adding some of the cooking oil used to fry chicken. That’s not always possible, so I created my recipe using butter.
It takes minutes to make and can be added to your homemade chicken tenders or your favorite brand of frozen breaded tenders or breasts.
Made with cayenne pepper, brown sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and honey, it’s easy to scale the spices to make it hotter or milder, depending on your taste preference.
Ingredients to make Nashville Hot Sauce
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients needed to make my Nashville Hot Sauce recipe. In Chef Speak, this is called the “Mise en Place,” which translates to “Everything in its Place.”
Not only does setting up your ingredients ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
How to make Nashville Hot Sauce
- Add the melted butter to a large saucepan over medium heat, along with the cayenne pepper, brown sugar, honey (optional), smoked paprika (or sweet paprika), garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
- Whisk to combine
- Let the sauce cook for 1 minute, whisking until all the ingredients are combined.
- Remove the slightly thickened sauce from the heat.
Be careful not to let the the sauce get too hot. High heat will cause the sauce to separate.
Use the sauce to toss with fried chicken breasts, thighs, or tenders. It can also be used to coat grilled or fried shrimp or used as a condiment on eggs, vegetables, rice, mac and cheese, or just about anything you enjoy hot sauce with.
Store any leftover Nashville Hot Sauce refrigerated in a well-sealed jar or airtight container for 7-10 days.
My recipe makes a delicious condiment, using cayenne pepper, melted butter, or oil from frying chicken, honey, smoked paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
You can easily adapt the seasonings to make the sauce hotter or milder, depending on your taste preference.
Nashville hot sauce gets its flavor from a combination of the heat from cayenne pepper and sweetness from the brown sugar and honey. This creates a more complex sauce with layers of flavor, rather than just heat. Whereas Buffalo sauce gets its heat from jarred hot sauce creating the hot sauce most Americans know and love.
It is slightly gritty in texture, due to the spices added to the mixture. Think of it more of a paste, than a typical liquid sauce.