You're going to want to put this copycat Popeye's Sweet Heat Sauce on practically everything! It's the perfect blend of heat and spice that pairs perfectly with all of your favorite recipes. It's a smash hit at Popeye's chains across the nation and now you can have it without ever leaving your kitchen.
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I Can't Stop Making This DIY Popeye's Sweet Heat Sauce
I've been keeping a batch of this sweet heat sauce on hand on the regular lately. I use it as a dipping sauce alongside so many dishes - dishes like these beer battered shrimp, these crispy fried chicken breasts, and these spicy fried jalapenos! It's a great dipping sauce and it also works well as a sauce for grilled meats and burgers as well!
Plus, one of my favorite things about making this copycat Popeye's sweet heat sauce is that it doesn't take long at all to make, and it uses common ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
- Vinegar- I recommend using white vinegar in this recipe. It adds the perfect tang!
- Apricot jam- the jam adds a delicious sweetness to the sauce that helps to balance out the heat.
- Honey- another sweetening option to pair with the jam.
- Brown sugar- this sugar adds a deeper depth of flavor.
- Garlic powder- garlic is a great way to bring in savory notes to the sauce.
- Cayenne pepper- one of the best ways to add heat to the sauce.
- Crushed red pepper flakes- dehydrated and crushed peppers, this isanother great way to add spice to the sauce.
- Salt- to taste, kosher salt or sea salt is great!
How to make Popeyes sweet heat sauce at home
Step 1: Add all of the ingredients together. To a jar with a lid, add the vinegar, jam, honey, brown sugar, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt.
Step 2: Whisk everything together. Using a whisk or a spoon, stir everything together until it is well combined.
Step 3: Adjust to taste and enjoy. Once everything is well combined, taste the sauce to evaluate the heat level. If needed, add more crushed red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. Once it is to your liking, serve the sauce with chicken or seafood.
My tips for making the best Popeye's sweet heat sauce
- Balancing the heat and the spice is the key to making this sauce a success! I highly recommend tasting the sauce as you combine the ingredients to figure out which one you need more of.
- If your sauce is a little too thin, try letting it sit in the fridge for an hour or so. The jam should gel up again.
- Apple cider vinegar is another great option for vinegar in this recipe if you don't happen to have white vinegar on hand. The apple cider will give a welcome and interesting tang to the sauce!
How to store this sauce
Store it in the fridge: You can store this sauce in the fridge for up to two weeks! Make sure to keep it in an airtight jar before placing it in the fridge.
Frequently asked questions
How spicy is Popeye's sweet heat sauce?
In general, the sweet hear sauce at Popeye's has a medium heat to it. With that said, it is perfectly balanced with the sweetness of honey and brown sugar, and it can also be tailored to your exact spice level needs!
What else can I use this sauce for?
Aside from dipping, this sauce is the perfect marinade for chicken or pork and can also be used as a spread for sandwiches, burgers, wraps, and so much more! I think the better question is "what can't I use this sauce for?"
More Sauce Recipes
- ¼ cup White Vinegar
- ¼ cup Apricot Jam
- 2 tablespoon Honey
- 2 tablespoon Brown Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Pinch of Salt
- Add all ingredients to a small mixing bowl and mix well with a small whisk.
- Serve with chicken or seafood.
Serving Size:1 Tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 27Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 11mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 0g