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A classic Southern condiment, this Nashville hot sauce is the best for coating chicken in flavorful spice! It mixes up with just a few simple ingredients. You’re going to love having it on hand!

You probably know by now that I LOVE making sauces and seasonings from scratch. Not only do they taste better, but they’re free of preservatives and artificial flavoring! You’ve got to try this homemade buffalo sauce! And if you’re looking for yummy sauces for dipping chicken in, copycat Chick-fil-A sauce and Cane’s sauce recipes are both great choices!

Top-down view of Nashville hot sauce in a glass jar.

Nashville Hot Chicken Sauce

If you’re a hot sauce lover, you’ve probably already tried Nashville hot sauce. But let me tell you this- there’s nothing better than making it from scratch! The flavor and texture is out of this world. It’s perfect for dipping or coating some tasty fried chicken in.

Now if you’ve never tried this tasty sauce, today’s your lucky day! Nashville hot sauce is like the love child of buffalo sauce and chili oil. It has the kick of buffalo sauce but a smooth, oil-like consistency that makes fried chicken extra tender and extra flavorful. One taste and you’ll be addicted! Good news is, it’s beyond easy to make. You’re going to love having it on hand!

Is Nashville Hot Sauce the Same as Buffalo?

Nope! Although they have a similar flavor, Nashville hot sauce and buffalo sauce are pretty different. One of the biggest differences is their texture. Buffalo sauce is thick and glossy whereas Nashville hot sauce has a more oily consistency. Additionally, buffalo sauce is typically made with bottled hot sauce and vinegar, but in this Nashville hot sauce recipe I just use a handful of different spices!

Ingredients Needed

Easily, the best thing about this homemade Nashville hot sauce is all of its simple ingredients! They’re all in your spice rack! As long as you’ve got some brown sugar, butter, and honey on hand as well, you can easily make a batch of this tasty sauce!

  • Unsalted Butter: This is a key ingredient to making Nashville hot chicken sauce! It gives the sauce its signature texture and adds rich flavor as well. (You really can’t go wrong with butter.) You can also use ghee as a substitute.
  • Cayenne Pepper: This is what gives this sauce its kick! Feel free to adjust the spice to preference.
  • Brown Sugar: I love adding brown sugar because it helps to balance out the spice.
  • Chili Powder: For a little extra peppery spice.
  • Garlic Powder: Adds a delicious savory element to the sauce. You can also use minced garlic.
  • Smoked Paprika: Smoked paprika is one of my favorite spices to cook with. I love it because it’s so warm and flavorful!
  • Kosher Salt: Table salt can sometimes have a bitter aftertaste, so I always go for kosher salt instead.
  • Honey: Adds a little sweetness and makes the texture of the sauce nice and smooth.

How to Make Nashville Hot Sauce

This tasty hot sauce is so easy to whip up! It mixes up in minutes. I know your family is going to love it as much as mine does! They want to put it on everything. I don’t blame them with the amazing spicy flavor this sauce adds to every dish!

  1. Melt Butter: Add the butter to a medium-sized saucepan and heat over medium-high heat.
  2. Mix in Seasonings: Once the butter is mostly melted, add the cayenne pepper, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt.
  3. Combine, Add Honey: Whisk to combine until the mixture is smooth and reduce the heat to low. Then stir in the honey.
  4. Heat and Serve: Heat the sauce through and use it to baste your fried chicken and use it as a dipping sauce!
Collage of sauce ingredients being mixed and cooked together.

What Can I Use Nashville Hot Sauce For?

The savory-spicy flavor of this sauce makes it perfect for so many different dishes! Nashville hot sauce is extremely versatile and you’re going to LOVE having it on hand!

Storing Leftover Sauce

The great thing about homemade Nashville hot sauce is that it has a nice, long shelf life! You just want to make sure you keep it in the fridge for best results.

  • In the Refrigerator: Store sauce in an airtight jar for up to 2 weeks.

Nashville hot chicken served with sliced pickles.


  • Add the butter to a medium-sized saucepan and heat over medium-high heat.

  • Once the butter is mostly melted, add the cayenne pepper, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt.

  • Whisk to combine until the mixture is smooth and reduce the heat to low. Stir in the honey.

  • Heat the sauce through and use it to baste your fried chicken and use it as a dipping sauce!



Serves: 4

Calories310kcal (16%)Carbohydrates24g (8%)Protein2g (4%)Fat26g (40%)Saturated Fat15g (75%)Polyunsaturated Fat2gMonounsaturated Fat6gTrans Fat1gCholesterol61mg (20%)Sodium600mg (25%)Potassium348mg (10%)Fiber4g (16%)Sugar16g (18%)Vitamin A7256IU (145%)Vitamin C11mg (13%)Calcium38mg (4%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Sauce

Cuisine American

Keyword nashville hot chicken sauce, nashville hot sauce recipe