Cuban Barbecue Sauce

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors(yellow, orange,green, red,chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique,distinctively fruity flavor.

It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 large sweet peppers, seeded and chopped (preferably red or gold bell peppers)
1-2 habanero chiles, seeded and chopped
8 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1-2 large ripe mangos, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 tsp. dried oregano or 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add the onion and peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is transparent and the onion and peppers are softened, without browning. Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes, until the garlic just begins to turn to a golden color, but not brown. Add the water and stir to combine. Add the lime juice, mangoes, oregano, cumin and salt, stirring to blend until the mixture comes to a simmering boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool about 15-20 minutes. Just before serving, add the chopped fresh cilantro.

Yields approximately 3 cups.

NOTE: For a smooth sauce, blend or puree in a blender or a food processor. Sauce of a chunky texture serves well as a dipping sauce with chips or crisp bread toasts and steamed shrimp.