Copycat Taco Bell “Fire” Sauce

…because we all know that Taco Bell’s food is merely a vehicle for Taco Bell’s hot sauce.

Copycat Taco Bell Fire Sauce

Taco Bell is pretty generous, when it comes to handing out those little packets of hot sauce. Ask for a couple, and you’ll get a dozen. Ask for a handful, and they’ll practically fill a bag up for you. Ask for more than that, and they’ll tell you to pull your car around back, out by the dumpsters.

Copycat Taco Bell Fire Sauce

But what if you REALLY love Taco Bell’s “Fire” sauce, AND you have a strong aversion to opening packet after packet of the individual sauces? We’ve unlocked the secret to Taco Bell’s Fire sauce recipe, right here in the Spork & Barrel Test Kitchen.

Copycat Taco Bell Fire Sauce

Since one packet of the sauce equals about .2174 ounces, and since we’re making about 30 ounces of sauce, this recipe is the equivalent of about 138 packets of Fire sauce, which should clear out plenty of space in your household junk drawer and keep your fingers from cramping up, from opening all of those little packets.

Copycat Taco Bell Fire Sauce

Best of all? No more sauce rationing. If you want some more sauce on that chalupa (hell, if you want to BATHE that chalupa in your homemade Fire sauce), go right ahead. Nobody has to know.

Copycat Taco Bell Fire Sauce

Copycat Taco Bell Fire Sauce

Copycat Taco Bell Fire Sauce
Yields 30
A homemade version of Taco Bell's most popular sauce, that tastes exactly like the real thing.
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  1. 6 oz can tomato paste
  2. 3 cups water
  3. 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  4. 1/2 cup pickled jalapeno slices, drained
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ancho chili powder
  7. 1 tablespoon dehydrated minced onions
  8. 2 teaspoons salt
  9. 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  10. 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  11. 1 teaspoon sugar
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer, stirring ocassionally. Transfer to a container and refrigerate overnight before using.
  1. This hot sauce needs to rest overnight, to allow the flavors to combine.
Spork & Barrel

Written by Malcolm Bedell

Malcolm is the author of "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as a frequent contributor to Serious Eats,, Eat Rockland, Down East Magazine, The L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and more. When not poisoning his body with garbage and then posting sardonic commentary about it on the Internet, he also owns and operates the 'Wich, Please food truck, named's "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015.


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  1. This is really good stuff! Making my second batch. You don’t say how long to simmer so I simmered for 5 minutes.

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