A quick and easy copycat recipe for a homemade Valentina sauce that’s perfect for drizzling over salty snacks and more! Enjoy this homemade version that you can replicate in every corner of the world using local ingredients.
From popcorn to your favourite crunchy tacos, nachos or tostadas, this sauce will be the best partner to have, and it needs only 5 ingredients to make!
Reading: how to make valentina hot sauce
What is Valentina sauce?
For the majority of us (mexicans), the Valentina sauce plays a huge part in our culinary culture. There’s nothing that we mexicans likes more than pouring this thick sauce over some chip potatoes, popcorn and even fruit.
If you ever have been in Mexico you probably have noticed those small carts selling healthy snacks made with diced vegetables and fruits served inside a plastic bag and drizzled with a thick, spicy and very vinegary sauce. That’s salsa Valentina.
Related recipe: Pepinos locos (crazy cucumbers).
Valentina sauce is a brand of course and now is also very easy to find outside Mexico, but before that, I think the Valentina sauce bottles have been traveling overseas in many, many mexican luggages bypassing all custom controls from all around the globe.
The store bought version of Valentina sauce is made with mexican chillies from the Jlisco state, like chile puya which is pretty similar to guajillo chili. Is also a bit thicker, with more chili flavour and a little less vinegar than Tabasco sauce which is also a very popular brand.
Homemade copycat Valentina sauce
Even though I can find now this sauce here in Italy, I decided to make my own homemade Valentina sauce version. It came out delicious, very easy to make at home and also very cheap since her recipe calls for local ingredients, so not need of fancy-hard-to-find-chillies or anything else.
Just local ingredients and so little time to have ready your delicious Valentine’s alike sauce and use it in your favourite snacks and mexican dishes.
You just need 5 (yes, five!) ingredients to make this delicious homemade valentina sauce at home, most of them are in every mexican expat pantry but, in case you don’t have them I’ll leave you below a few substitutes to replace them.
WATER: Pretty much 1 metric cup or a little more than one US cup (250ml).
PAPRIKA: This is very easy to find around the world, that’s why we’re using this shortcut to make the sauce. the traditional recipe calls for mexican chillies, so feel free to swap paprika for puya or guajillo powder.
CHILLI POWDER: You can add any chilli powder you have available, just make sure is not seasoned with other spices like garlic, onion, etc.
VINEGAR: I used white wine vinegar but you can use other types like white vinegar or apple vinegar. It will change a bit the final taste but no worries, it will be delicious anyway.
SALT: Salt helps to preserve the sauce together with the vinegar.
OPTIONAL: SUGAR – Add a little bit (like 1/2 tsp) of sugar or honey to help the flavours balance a bit.
How To Make It
- Add all ingredients in a pot and bring to boil. Let it simmer for one minute at medium heat.
- Take it off from the stove and let it sit for 4-5 minutes without cooling completely.
- Put everything in a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes at high until everything is well dissolved.
- Pour the sauce into a sterilized bottle and secure with an airtight lid.
- Add a bit of sugar to the sauce to create a nice balance between the spicy and vinegar.
- You can use any kind of vinegar, even though I highly recommend using white vinegar.
- Let the homemade valentina sauce rest for a few hours. You’ll notice a better texture.