Recipe: Simple, scorching, scotch bonnet chili sauce

Scotch bonnets are popular chilis from the Caribbean. They get their name from the traditional bonnets worn by men in Scotland. 

Today, these fiery fruits are widely available far beyond the Caribbean.

Scotch bonnets are aggressively hot, but they’re also fruity — a wonderful mix of heat and flavor.

On the Scoville scale — the most common way to rate the spice of a chili — they weigh in at well over 100,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). 

SHU are a measure of how much capsaicin is in a chili. Capsaicin is the chemical that provides the chili kick.

In comparison, a typical bell pepper, which contains very little capsaicin, scores from 0–100 SHU, a jalapeno is around 5,000, and pure capsaicin hits the scales at 16 million SHU.

Safety first

Today, we will make a potent and powerful chili sauce using scotch bonnets. Before we get to the meat of the matter, some safety tips:

When you’re chopping or handling the cut chili, make sure to wear gloves.

Although it’s unlikely to burn your skin, it can cause an unpleasant tingling that lasts a few hours — it feels like your hands are constantly submerged in hot water.

Also, you don’t want to accidentally touch any sensitive regions with chili juice on your fingers because it will hurt.

If you're particularly sensitive to chili, it might be a good idea to wear swimming goggles, too, just to be on the safe side.

Another bit of safety advice: Once you’ve finished the chopping, keep your gloves on while you handle the knives and cutting board — they’re still covered in delicious, fiery juice.

Scotch bonnet sauce ingredients

This is a wonderfully simple recipe, so here’s all you need to make around 500 milliliters (ml), or 2 cups of sauce. If you’d like to make half the amount, simply half the ingredients.

  • 10–15 scotch bonnet chilies

  • 300 ml of orange juice (with the bits)

  • one-half tin of pineapple chunks including the juice (around 200 grams or 7 ounces)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • one-quarter of a teaspoon of allspice

Note: If you'd like a fruity chili sauce with less of a kick, you can choose jalapenos or any other chili pepper. But you might lose some of the fruity tang.

Alternatively, you could reduce the number of scotch bonnets and add a bell pepper.

Making your sauce

We like this sauce because it’s just so easy to prepare, and there’s hardly any washing up afterward. So, here we go:

  1. Roughly chop the chilies and remove the seeds.

  2. Mix all the ingredients in a pan.

  3. Bring to a boil.

  4. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

  5. Blend it.

  6. Let it cool.

  7. Bottle it.

  8. Enjoy it.

Once you’ve blended the sauce, if you’d like to thicken it, pop it back on the stove and (very) slowly stir in a teaspoon of flour. Let it simmer for another few minutes.

Serving suggestions

Really, this sauce will go with anything you might usually add chili sauce to. This includes, but is certainly not limited to:

  • salads (halloumi salad in particular)

  • soups (especially tomato soup)

  • stews

  • falafel dishes

  • BBQ’d veggie skewers

  • chilli

  • sandwiches

  • grilled cheese sandwiches

  • burgers

You can even dip dark chocolate into it for an interestingly delicious sweet snack.

One last safety tip to round this off: This is a fairly intense sauce, so keep it out of the way of kids, and taste a little bit before you try a whole mouthful!

How will your body respond to this sauce?

At ZOE, we know that everyone’s tastes differ. But it goes deeper than that, everyone’s body responds differently to food, too.

For instance, after eating a meal, your blood sugar and fat levels rise — that’s normal.

But some people have larger responses than others and, over time, these can increase the risk of negative health outcomes.

Interestingly, even identical twins can have different blood sugar responses to the same meal.

When you join ZOE, we’ll measure your blood sugar and blood fat responses to food. We’ll also analyze your gut bacteria. After combining all this data, we can provide personalized nutrition advice to help you move toward your long-term health goals.


Scottish hats and Scottish caps. (n.d.). 

Volatile compounds and capsaicinoid content of fresh hot peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) of different Calabrian varieties. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. (2009).