The Unique Hot Sauce That Instantly Upgrades My Weeknight Dinners

published Mar 31, 2022
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Someone looking into kitchen pantry.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

When it comes to hot sauce, I sure do use a lot of it. To me, an at-home meal isn’t complete unless I’ve doused it in the stuff (which might be saying more about my cooking, but I digress). Here at Kitchn, we round up our favorite groceries every year, including our top sauces and spreads, essential pantry staples, and of course, the best hot sauces. And while I’ve tried plenty of varieties, it’s not often that I come across one that shines in both the heat and flavor categories. That is, until I tried Caribbean-American sauce company Hillside Harvest’s signature hot sauce. With one taste, I knew I’d finally discovered a sauce that checks both boxes and can instantly upgrade my often boring weeknight dinners.

The Hillside Harvest Original Hot Pepper Hot Sauce is anything but ordinary. In the ingredient list, you’ll see fruits and citrus in addition to hot peppers and vinegar, all of which come through perfectly in the final product. Yet unlike other fruity hot sauces that don’t always complement savory food very well, this bottle has paired perfectly with every dish I’ve tried.

Hillside Harvest was founded by Kamaal Jarrett, who was born in Kingston, Jamaica before his family moved to a town outside of Boston. His sauces and marinades are inspired by Caribbean flavors. The Original Hot Pepper Hot Sauce , for instance, uses Caribbean scotch bonnets, which just happen to be my favorite hot peppers. Fresh flavors like apples, ginger, honey, and lemon balance out the heat.

Since trying this hot sauce, I’ve been listening to Hillside Harvest’s advice to try it on everything. During the week, my go-to easy dinners typically consist of roasted veggies, a grain like rice or quinoa, and a protein like chicken, chickpeas, or fried eggs. These bowl meals are filling but can lack flavor, which is why I typically just smother them in hot sauce. Using Hillside Harvest on these meals adds the heat I’m looking for while also upgrading my dinner with tons of flavor. Basically, I use this hot sauce like I would a regular (non-spicy) sauce — it’s that good.

Credit: Erin Cavoto

I love it on everything, but the Original Hot Pepper sauce has been a real winner on chicken. I’ve used it on chicken breast and store-bought rotisserie chicken, it adds instant flavor every time. I also plan on using it on pork chops; with so much apple flavor, I think it’ll taste delicious as a spicy sub for applesauce. 

Hillside Harvest makes two other hot sauces, Pineapple Fresno and Sun Kissed Tomato, plus Spicy and Mild Jerk Chicken Marinades, all of which I plan on trying out soon. I couldn’t be happier to say that boring weeknight dinners will never be the same again!

Buy: Hillside Harvest Original Hot Pepper Hot Sauce, $11.99