What can I use instead of Louisiana hot sauce?

In this guide, we shall explore the possible substitutes to the popular Louisiana hot sauce and how they may differ as each of them have unique flavour profiles.

What can I use instead of Louisiana hot sauce?

There are many substitutes to Louisiana hot sauce that include:

  • Chilli powder
  • Chilli flakes
  • Sambal
  • Gochujang
  • Sriracha
  • Wasabi
  • Harissa

Below you will find an explanation for each individual flavour profile and how it may be different from the hot sauce.

What is Louisiana hot sauce?

If you’ve ever loved adding a dash of hot sauce to your meals, then the classic Louisiana hot sauce is a must-try for you spice lovers. For the layman, Louisiana hot sauce is an umbrella term for most available hot sauces. You must have heard of the famous brand Tabasco – they sell variations of Louisiana hot sauce. Of course, while inherently different in flavour and ratio of vinegar to chilli, you can substitute Louisiana hot sauce with variants such as Tabasco, per-peri sauce, etc. 

In essence, the Louisiana hot sauce is a flavorful blend of red peppers and tabasco peppers, as well as vinegar and salt, to offer just the right amount of spice to spruce up your dishes.

But what do you do if you can’t find this bottle of liquid gold in your supermarkets? Or even online? 

Or perhaps you find that your existing bottle of hot sauce has been used up and you need a quick alternative. 

Or maybe you have travelled to a country where you’ve forgotten to bring along your bottle and hot sauce is simply impossible to find. Here’s what you can do.

Can you make Louisiana hot sauce at home?

Your first thought may be to whip it up from scratch at home. Easy as this may sound, it involves sourcing peppers like Tabasco, Cayenne, or Serrano. However, the classic take on the Louisiana hot sauce involves fermenting these peppers for years before transforming them into this delectable sauce.

There are plenty of recipes online that show you how to create it, but if you’re in a time crunch or simply unable to find the right ingredients, the best you can do is opt for an accurate substitute.

List of possible alternatives to Louisiana hot sauce:

1. Chilli powder

A non-liquid substitute to Louisiana hot sauce, a variety of chilli powders such as Paprika and Cayenne mixes sprinkled on your meal can be used to add a touch of spice and flavour. Cayenne pepper has a moderate amount of heat and is easy to find in both local stores and online. Habanero pepper powder can also be used, however, this one in comparison is far spicier. Additionally, this pepper has a fruity, citrusy flavour profile that varies from the strong vinegar flavour in hot sauce. 

Paprika, on the other hand, is a milder substitute that can be used by those with a lower spice tolerance. There are myriad more kinds of chilli powder that can be found based on where you live, but these are just some of the most widely consumed ones.

2. Sambal

Almost an Asian version of basic hot sauce, this is a combination of chilli paste, vinegar, and salt. Widely used in Asian cuisine, this can also be used to liven up your meals. However, the most significant difference between sambal and hot sauce is that sambal is a lot chunkier. 

Another thing to note is sambal uses less vinegar and no sugar; enhancing the kick of spice from the chillies. Ingredients such as shrimp paste may be added to transform the flavour to each individual’s liking.

3. Chilli Flakes

This substitute, quite simply put, is dried-up, crushed chillies. It is extremely easy to find and can be eaten with almost any dish without compromising the flavours much and can be used to add a smidge of spice to each bite. From being sprinkled onto slices of pizza and used to add heat to your pasta, chilli flakes are one of the most common ways for spice lovers to enhance their meals.

4. Harissa

Harissa is a chilli paste with a unique flavour profile as it includes the use of many other spices. In addition to the basic foundation of the chilli paste – which can be made using ancho and guajillo for example – it also uses spices such as cumin, coriander, and more. Due to this, it’s important to keep in mind that it may change the overall taste of your dish so use it accordingly.

5. Gochujang 

Widely used in Korean cuisine, Gochujang is a fermented chilli paste made from glutinous rice, fermented soybean powder, barley malt powder, chilli powder, and salt. This is served in a thick paste. Gochujang has a unique balance of sweet and spice and is hence used by a lot of people to add to their meals for a kick of flavour. It is mostly used in rice and noodle dishes. 

6. Sriracha

Although considered a hot sauce, Sriracha is a tad sweeter but still maintains a good amount of heat. This too can be consumed by those with lower spice tolerance. Sriracha can be found almost anywhere and can be used to add to almost any dish.

Other FAQs about Sauces that you may be interested in.

How to open a pasta sauce jar?

How long does Pasta Sauce last in the fridge?

How to store hot sauce?

What can I use Instead of Enchilada Sauce?


These are but a few examples of other available options that you can try. Keep in mind that for each substitute, the spice level, flavour profile and viscosity vary so be sure to consider these while adding them to your meals.