When it comes to regional recipes I can’t get enough of, nothing comes close to Nashville Hot Sauce! This Tennessee classic hot sauce is made with key ingredients like smoked paprika, cayenne powder and light brown sugar. When they’re all mixed together, they create a hot sauce that is seriously addictive!

A small jar of hot sauce is placed in front of fried chicken.

Nashville Hot Sauce

The first time I saw this hot sauce at a restaurant, I wasn’t so sure how I was going to like it. I mean, I knew I wouldn’t hate it, since I love so many different hot sauces! However, I wasn’t sure if it would live up to the hype. I feel like Nashville hot sauce is one of those things that just about everyone talks about, but would it live up to its reputation?

Yes, yes it most certainly did. I had this hot sauce tossed on some perfectly fried chicken (hellooo Nashville Hot Chicken!), and I thought my whole world had stopped spinning! Ok, maybe a little dramatic, but still true. I just knew I had to master the recipe myself, and let me tell you – I can definitely say that this is the BEST Nashville hot sauce EVER! It’s perfectly sweet, smokey, and just spicy enough to make your mouth water.

Whether you toss this sauce on fried chicken wings, a fried chicken sandwich, or just some tasty Easy Oven Baked Chicken Tenders, you’re going to love it! While it’s best on some good ol’ fried chicken, I usually reserve some sauce on the side for dipping fries into. I mean, I could probably drink it with a straw… But chicken and fries will suffice!

Pickles are placed on top of a fried chicken sandwich.

How to Make It

This sauce is SO easy to make. Which is great, because now I can whip it up in no time and always have a jar on hand! Trust me, once you make this sauce, you’ll be reaching for that jar all the time.

Melt and whisk. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and whisk in the cayenne, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Cook and stir. Cook and stir for 1 minute until all the ingredients are combined.

Enjoy! Pour the flavorful hot sauce over your favorite fried chicken recipe or use to coat grilled shrimp, steamed veggies or more!

Nashville hot sauce is being drizzled over a piece of fried chicken.

How long will Nashville hot sauce stay fresh?

Make sure you store your hot sauce in an airtight container in the fridge! It will NOT stay fresh at room temperature.

In the fridge, this sauce will stay deliciously fresh for up to 2 weeks! That gives you plenty of time to plan exactly how many meals you’re going to enjoy with it.

Can I adjust the levels of sweet and spicy?

Yes, and it’s so easy! While I’ve added what I find to be the perfect levels of both sweet and spicy, I know that some people prefer one flavor over the other.

To add more sweetness, toss in an extra tablespoon of brown sugar. For more spice, add another tablespoon of cayenne pepper. However, just be careful when adjusting these ingredients! You can always add more of an ingredient, but you can’t take it out once it’s stirred in. Taste test as you go!

A piece of fried chicken with hot sauce and pickles is on a piece of bread.

What are the best ways to use Nashville hot sauce?

First and foremost – FRIED CHICKEN! Fried chicken and Nashville hot sauce go together better than pancakes and syrup! Fried chicken sandwiches, fried chicken and waffles, the list goes on and on. It’s a true southern classic combo that’s famous for a reason!

We even sometimes drizzle it over our weekly Baked Chicken Breast! A great way to add some spice to a family favorite.

Besides serving this sauce up with some chicken and curly fries, I also love handing out jars of this sauce as gifts! Especially for the men in my life – Men can be tricky to buy for sometimes, and this sauce has solved that problem for me. So far, no one has been disappointed in the least to receive a jar of this sauce for their birthday!

A spoon is placed in a jar of hot sauce.

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A spoon is placed in a jar of hot sauce.

Get the Recipe: Nashville Hot Sauce

Easy to make Nashville Hot sauce recipe is what you know and love about Nashville Hot chicken! Make this peppery sauce and drizzle it on everything from french fries to your favorite chicken nuggets!
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Equipment

  • saucepan

Instructions 

  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan and whisk in the cayenne, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Cook and stir for 1 minute until all the ingredients are combined.
  • Pour over your favorite fried chicken recipe or use to coat grilled shrimp, steamed veggies or more.
  • Store leftover hot sauce in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
  • To use leftovers, reheat in the microwave until liquid. (Chilled Hot Sauce will solidify.)

Notes

Nashville Hot Sauce is best if stored in the refrigerator. It will last for up to 2 months in the refrigerator. Heat before using.
Calories: 93kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 198mg, Potassium: 35mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 848IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 7mg, Iron: 1mg