4 Best Picante Sauce Substitutes

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Mexican food stores sell salsa Picante; the name translates to hot sauce, but it is not the same as the American Picante sauce.

When substituting the Picante sauce, you would definitely be tempted to think of the various salsa out there that are named like the Picante sauce or look like it. But you have to be careful as they are sometimes not the real thing.

Some of the best Picante sauce substitutes that we’ll be discussing here today include copycat pace Picante sauce, quick Picante sauce, Texas-style Picante, and salsa.

Let’s look at them one by one!

Best Picante Sauce Substitutes

The Picante sauce is a type of salsa —a tasty, tomato-based sauce invented by the pace corporation, under the leadership of David E. Pace in the 1940s, and named it “Pace Picante sauce.”

It is a variant of the modern salsa; it is made up of tomatoes, white onions, jalapeños, and various other spices; however, the Picante is smoother than the chunky salsa, owing to its finely chopped vegetables.

It is more like a modified version of the salsa!

There are various recipes that have been developed for you; if you happen to run out of your Picante sauce and you do not have anywhere to get it from, below are the best alternatives to Picante sauce that you can use.

1. Copycat Pace Picante Sauce

Picante Sauce Substitutes

Aside from falling back on this recipe when you run out of your Picante, you can, in the first place, save a lot of money for yourself by making your own Picante sauce right at home rather than buying it from the stores!

Amazing right? We know!

This Picante sauce freezes excellently well, and you can almost always not tell the difference between it and the ones you buy from the stores.

The ingredients required include:

  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 28 ounces of water
  • 1 minced medium yellow onion
  • 2 fresh minced jalapeno peppers, with seeds
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of dried onion flakes
  • 1/2 of teaspoon garlic powder

The steps to making it is quite simple and easy to follow.

First of all, bring all the ingredients together to boil in a saucepan over med-high heat. After a while, reduce the heat, and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes or until it becomes thick enough for you.

Then you can remove it from the heat and let it cool off.

You should store it in an airtight jar and keep it in a refrigerator to retain the freshness until you serve it.

2. Quick Picante sauce

The Hot pepper sauce and jalapeno pepper combined give this sauce the right amount of strength.

It can make an excellent dip for tortilla chips or a sour taste for tacos and fajitas. This will make a big hit at parties and gatherings in offices and other social gatherings.

It packs a number of ingredients which includes:

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes that have been drained of water
  • 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup of minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper that is seeded and halved
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 5 drops hot pepper sauce
  • Tortilla chips

It’s quite easy to make.

Simply combine the first 10 ingredients in your blender, cover it and blend until it becomes smooth. Then serve it with tortilla chips.

3. Texas-style Picante sauce

The Texans’ cooking style revolves around big and bold flavors; this Picante sauce recipe fits that description perfectly.

The ingredients are quite plenty; they are as follows:

  • 4 -8 fresh jalapeno peppers
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 4 cups fresh tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of alum
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped

The steps are also relatively easy!

You start by combining the jalapeno pepper, garlic, tomato paste, sugar, vinegar, alum, and spices in your blender, blend until you get your desired consistency.

Then you put the chopped vegetables in a large saucepan, make sure it starts boiling, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 45 minutes.

Pour it into a hot and sterilized 1-pint jar leaving a little space. Seal it up and boil for 15 minutes, or you can put it in a pressure canner for 5 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.

4. Salsa

Salsa is also an excellent substitute for Picante. You can use a salsa like pico de gallo in place of Picante sauce if what you want is crisp spiciness.

Although a pico de gallo can be quite spicy, you can use bell peppers or banana peppers to reduce the heat and make a mild, fresh Picante sauce substitute.

You can also use a mild salsa Roja to replace the Picante sauce. If you want to get a condiment that has a similar texture, it doesn’t have the same heat level, though.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Picante sauce taste like?

The word “Picante” in the Spanish language means flavorful. This indicates that the sauce is very spicy.

Does Picante sauce have to be refrigerated?

The accurate answer depends mainly on storage conditions.

If you want to maximize the shelf life of your opened salsa, then you should keep it refrigerated and tightly covered.

What is the difference between salsa and sauce?

The same difference between the English and Spanish languages is the answer to this question. Salsa literally means sauce, but generally, Americans view salsa as a raw or cooked mixture of vegetables, fruit, and/or legumes, dressed with a vinaigrette.

Is Picante sauce good for you?

Absolutely! It gives a good dose of vitamin C. Lime juice, onions, and tomatoes are all rich sources of the antioxidant vitamin C. Vitamin C helps prevent heart disease and promotes healthy aging. But salsa is often served raw, which is especially helpful for absorption of vitamin C.

Where is Pace Picante sauce made?

Pace Picante source was made in San Antonio.


Salsa and Picante are both heavily spiced sauces. But then, they are very distinct condiments; the major difference between them is in their textures.

Other differences are in term of consistency; the Picante has a thinner consistency and uses. They are very similar, though, when it comes to their ingredients and production.

So, when you’re thinking about the possible Picante sauce substitutes, even though you can think of the salsa, there are other options for you, as we have discussed above.

It is guaranteed that you will get almost the same flavor as you get when you use your regular Picante sauce.

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