Macheesmo Boss Sauce

I installed a Plugin for Macheesmo recently that lets me check out what people are searching for on Macheesmo. It’s a bit Big Brother, and I usually don’t pay attention to it. The most useful part for me is looking at what people search for that return zero results. So in theory I can make what people want! Oddly enough the most popular search over the last month or so was for something called “boss sauce.” I’d never heard of such a thing.

Turns out that there is a hot sauce, that looks awesome, called Boss Sauce. I don’t really know what that Boss Sauce tastes like, but it looks like a solid hot sauce. I decided to make my own though. The Macheesmo Boss Sauce.

I thought this search info was very odd before I realized that Boss Sauce is an actual thing. In retrospect, I guess people are searching for it to see if I use it. Never have!

And yes. You may notice that I have one reader (Hi Bill) that frequently communicates with me by typing messages into the search box. Thanks Bill.

My motivation.

I had never really tasted boss sauce, but I had a few ideas of what I wanted mine to taste like. First, it had to be spicy. For me this was a no-brainer. Second, I wanted to make a sauce that would be good on a lot of different things. For me, this meant a barbeque sauce.

Macheesmo Boss Sauce

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Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Dishes, Side Dishes
Servings 16 Servings
Yield Makes 3-4 Cups



  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chopped
  • 2-3 habaneros diced
  • 3 large yellow tomatoes peeled and cut into 1/8 sections (You could use red obviously, I just liked the color.)
  • 10 strawberries optional, but I liked the fruity touch. Kind of a mystery ingredient.
  • ¼ Cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ Cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons hot sauce Tabasco for example
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • ½-1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper optional. It might be hot enough without this for most people


  • Roughly chop all the veggies.
  • Dip each tomato into boiling water for about 10 seconds and then remove them. Let them cool for a few minutes and the skin on each tomato should peel right off. Then chop them into 1/8 sections.
  • In a large pan, put a few tablespoons of oil in the pan along with the onions and garlic.
  • Let the onions and garlic soften up a bit, just for a few minutes. Then add all the peppers.
  • Cook for a few more minutes and then add the tomatoes and strawberries. Hit the veggies with a good pinch of salt at this point.
  • Once all of that cooks down for a few more minutes, transfer all the veggies to a food processor or blender and give them a whirl.
  • Transfer the sauce back to the stove, preferably to a narrow pot sort of what you would use for stock. Add all the other ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes or so.
  • Cool sauce and then fill up an empty ketchup bottle and keep it in the fridge and use it anytime you want to give something a little kick.


Serving: 3TablespoonsCalories: 25kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 0.4gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gTrans Fat: 0.001gSodium: 72mgPotassium: 54mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 53IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 0.2mg
Keyword barbeque sauce, Boss Sauce, Macheesmo Boss Sauce, Spicy Sauce

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Getting the veggies started

To start this sauce, roughly chop all the veggies. Don’t worry about getting them too even. Everything is going to get blended together anyway.

For the tomatoes, dip each one into boiling water for about 10 seconds and then remove them. Let them cool for a few minutes and the skin on each tomato should peel right off. Then you can chop them into 1/8 sections.

In a large pan, put a few Tablespoons oil in the pan along with your onions and garlic.

Don't worry about chopping much.
Don’t worry about chopping much.

Let the onions and garlic soften up a bit, just for a few minutes. Then add all your peppers!

This is a pretty good amount of heat.
This is a pretty good amount of heat.

Cook for a few more minutes and then add your tomatoes and strawberries. Now the strawberries are kind of an odd ingredient for a sauce. Honestly, it was a last minute decision. It gave the final product a kind of fruity taste, but it was very subtle. I don’t think you could identify strawberries as an ingredient if you didn’t know about them.

I also hit the veggies with a good pinch of salt at this point.

Strawberries and tomatoes added.
Strawberries and tomatoes added.

Once all of that cooks down for a few more minutes, transfer all the veggies to a food processor or blender and give them a whirl.

I love my blender.
I love my blender.

Spicing up the sauce

The sauce right now is kind of one dimensional. Which, by the way, is not a good description for a sauce. Basically, it just taste like a tomato sauce that is really spicy. I decided to add some ingredients to it to hopefully round out the flavor a bit.

This is what I pulled out of the pantry.

Some extras.
Some extras.

To add these ingredients, transfer the sauce back to the stove, preferably to a narrow pot sort of what you would use for stock. Add all the other ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes or so.

The real key is to taste the sauce and adjust to your tastes. This is a good base, but feel free to adjust it. Definitely taste for salt and heat and maybe add a pinch of salt and pepper and cayenne to adjust all those things.

Ok. What do you do with this stuff?

Well, you can do a lot of things. I thought I would try it out on a nice pork chop.

A good looking chop.
A good looking chop.

I just seasoned the pork chop with salt and pepper and browned it in a pan for about 5 minutes a side. The juices should run clear, but a perfectly cooked chop will have a tiny hit of pink in the center, especially near the bone.

This was my plain old dinner, which looks just fine.


But then I kicked it up a notch by covering everything in the sauce!


This recipe makes a lot of this sauce. Once it was cooled, I filled up an empty ketchup bottle and now I just keep it in the fridge and use it anytime I want to give something a little kick.

So, everyone out there who was searching for boss sauce… your searches have been answered.

Need more sauce ideas? Try this ultimate green taco sauce!

40 Responses to “Macheesmo Boss Sauce” Leave a comment

  1. Being the condiment queen I am and a suck for spicy, I'll plan to whip some of this up soon… looks great!

    P.S., Wonder what its shelf life is like?

    P.P.S., Did Betsy label that or is your handwriting really that girly?? Jus wonderin ;)

    1. The color is wrong. I ate at Macheesmo Mouse from 1986 clear up to 1999. I always asked for their terrific chicken burrito. So simple, yet so delicious. A meal in itself. Black beans, shredded chicken, monterrey jack cheese, boss sauce. Love at first bite. The color was darker, and I don’t recall it being anything like barbecue sauce or spicy. It had a good, tangy kick to it, though. I always asked for extra boss sauce. Then, for some strange reason, the recipe was changed. The color was different and the flavor wasn’t quite the same. If anyone has the actual original boss sauce recipe, I want it, because I could eat that by the gallon on so many things!

      1. Hi Karen, This wasn’t meant to be a copycat recipe. It’s a coincidence. My blog is called Macheesmo. I’ve never eaten or been to the Macheesmo Mouse restaurant. Sorry for the confusion.

      2. I used to mix their spice blends for all the restaurant s
        Boss sauce was not hot ant Bite base was nacho chili pods which are not hot

  2. Well, this is the first time I've made it so I'm not positive on shelf life… I think it is fine in the fridge for at least a week. Or at least, I just tasted mine last night after a week and it is just fine still. If you are a bottler, you could probably bottle it and keep it even longer! Not really sure on that.

    Frankly, I intend to finish mine off before it gets to that point. Also you could half the recipe to make a bit less if you are worried about it.

    And yes… that is my handwriting. :)

  3. Hm, suppose I should just go ahead and admit that when you see a hit today for "tuna casserole" – that was my search. Was looking for a slightly more yummy version of that particular comfort food. Maybe the addition of boss sauce?

  4. oh my good LORD!!

    you went and outdid yourdamnself on those pictures – they look absolutely fantastico! really lovely and clear and light.


    boss sauce.

    i didn't know i needed you

    but i do now.

  5. ok

    i just thought of a Macheesmo Wishlist.

    top of my Macheesmo Wishlist

    is a magical button.

    let's call it a 'print-me' button,

    so that i can click!

    and print out your recipe.

    please Mr Macheesmo

    can you make my wish come true?

  6. RE: Print link. It already exists but it's a bit hidden :)

    Under each post there are some links in green like "Subscribe", "Follow me on Twitter"… the very last link is "Print"

    It doesn't say "Print Me" which I like better and may change… but should do the trick for ya :)

  7. Do you think apple would be a replacement for strawberries. I have an allergy to strawberries in my famly.

  8. You could definitely substitute the strawberries or just leave them out entirely. There is a lot going on in this sauce.

    I would maybe pick some other berry over apples (raspberries)? Something with a tartness to it. But at the end of the day they are kind of optional.

  9. Anytime a sandwich of any kind uses a bun , it should always be toasted. It would quickly get soggy if the sandwich filling is a wet filling.

  10. Looks like a killer sauce. Adding the strawberries is an interesting twist I hadn't thought of before when making BBQ or hot sauces. Definately something new to try out!

  11. Looks like a very decent condiment: yet I have some remarks.

    Worchestire-sauce is not vegetarian (uses a little bit of old fish oil). Not that I care, but still you might have some discerning readers that do!

    Use appropriate tagging when applicable >:D

    Strawberries are an awesome touch, one of those more sour than sweet fruits, but I suppose for the holiday season you could use cranberries instead.

    Ever made lemon flavoured oil? Might be a nice touch as well, if you like lemons.

    Getting habaneros, and proper tomatoes is tough outside of season … Near impossible where I live.

    I guess I'll stick to the canned Italian stuff :)

    Happy cooking!

  12. @CookingDM-Fan. I actually used a vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce for my version because I live with one and he wanted to try it.

    You can find the veg version at fancy stores and it tastes pretty close to the real stuff.

  13. Hey there,
    Having just found your page my searching for “Macheezmo Boss Sauce” myself, I thought I’d explain a bit. There used to be a Mexican restaurant in Portland (Oregon) called Macheezmo Mouse that used something they called “Boss Sauce” on many of their burritos. They sold it by the cup-full as well. You could put it on anything, really, and I’ve never been able to find anything else like it. It was a thin dark brown, spicy (yet sweet), and delicious. Anyway, the restaurants closed years ago and now their secret sauce remains a secret. I’ve been searching for it to no avail.

    Good luck with your new (unrelated) version!

    1. I too was looking for the Macheesmo Mouse Boss Sauce. I actually worked at Macheesmo Mouse in the early 90’s. Too bad this isn’t it! I was soo excited.

      1. I worked there in the late 80s…that’s the boss sauce I was looking for too! I too was very excited, but while I continue my search, I may give this sauce a try for other dishes…even though it isn’t actually boss sauce. Good luck in your search!

  14. We had a Macheesmo Mouse in Lynnwood, Wa, which I LOVED, I too thought that the BOSS sauce was the best I had ever had, I would literally sell my soul for that recipe, God, if anyone knows this, please let this recipe be known! Andy

  15. I know that orange juice is one of the secret ingrediants. My roommates in college worked there and the recipe was this huge, if I tell you I'll have to kill you, sort of secret. I had a craving for it tonight. I wanted what we called the Famous #5. Black beans over brown rice, cheese, fresh salsa, lots of cilantro, and tons of boss sauce. Sometimes shredded chicken as well. Macheezmo Mouse was the bomb.

  16. You know there is already a sauce called Macheesmo Mouse Boss Sauce, Right? It was trademarked by Macheesmo Mouse, Inc. a looong time ago. I would re-think the naming of that sauce. THAT is why people are searching for it. Maybe next time do a bit more research…don't you think?

    1. Ditto. In fact, the employees had to sign a legal document that they would not divulge the recipe. And as mentioned in previous posts regarding orange juice, the real Macheesmo Mouse Boss Sauce distinguishable flavors was definitely orange.

  17. Ialso worked at Macheesmo Mouse(several different locations in the Portland area) and to this day fantasize about that boss sauce. The recipe was a very guarded secret…All I know is orange juice and brown sugar…Hmmmm.

  18. How can you recreate something that you have never tried? You should be ashamed of youself for even calling it by the same name! This looks nothing like the real Boss Sauce.

  19. I worked at Macheesmo as well here in Portland for a brief stint…the food was much better than the job. The BOSS sauce was and is still a local legend. Another ingredient I KNOW it had in it that is hard to discern if you are unfamiliar is tamarind ! Boy do I miss the Number 5.

  20. we are a portland family and ate at MM regularly. Boss Sauce had addictive qualities and we were crushed when they closed. I worked for several years to get a recipe that was close. I didnt get the tamarind in there so will go back to the drawing board. I make it in 3 gallon batches and it freezes well. I miss the combo burrito.

  21. The original sauce is much darker then this, it has orange juice concentrate in it, not berries or fruit, there is a facebook page that has a recipe that is extremely close, and has a lot of ex Macheezmo Mouse employees on it, that can verify most of the recipe. The original recipe however, is held secret by Diane Hall-creator of the recipe. Here is FB’s page version of the BOSS SAUCE recipe
    Boss Sauce Recipe

    10-12 Chiles anchos (dried Poblanos)
    4-5 Chiles japonés
    1C Dark brown sugar
    12oz (one can) Orange juice concentrate
    1/2C White cider vinegar
    1T Ground cumin

    Tear the chilies apart lengthwise — basically pulling the two flat halves apart (it’s easy to do from the stem-end down) — and place them in a large bowl of hot water completely covering the chilies and let reconstitute for about an hour. Many of the seeds will float away. That’s totally OK. Don’t worry about them. Lift the chilies from soaking water to a pot containing all of the other ingredients with a slotted spoon (I used my hands, but had to wash a whole lot afterward to remove the pepper water that was burning them) and set to simmer for about two hours, stirring occasionally.

    Don’t let the sugars burn by overcooking (even at lower temperatures, it can darken in flavor beyond what you want). While the time isn’t crucial, don’t cook it for too long nor for less than about an hour.

    When it is all cooked down, passed it through a food mill (a blender or food processor would probably work great also). Everything should be soft enough to be pureed in this manner.

    The sauce may come out too thick due to all the sugars cooling (it WILL thicken as it cools) and the chili pulp suspended in the sugar mixture. If it’s too thick, it can be thinned with the water from the soaking chilies.

    Makes 1 quart or so.

    1. Hey Lyn,

      That sounds like a good sauce to me! Just so you know though, I wasn’t trying to copy the original. I actually didn’t even know there was a place called Macheezmo Mouse and I definitely didn’t know they had a boss sauce. :)

      I was just fooling around with sauce recipes.


  22. This is definately not Boss Sauce. It sounds good for a hot sauce recipe but for one I am alergic to onions so I know they are not in the original sauce. I also could not eat the peppers you described especially the habaneros. Way too hot for me. This sauce was intended to be a sweet and only slightly spicy after sauce and mild. Just sayin.

    1. Patrick, sorry for any confusion but it wasn’t intended to be a copy cat of the original sauce. I actually didn’t even know about the original sauce… It’s total coincidence that the name of my blog and the name of the defunct restaurant are similar. Sorry about that.

  23. This recipe is nothing even remotely close to Rochester’s infamous Boss Sauce. You should try some, and then change the name of your sauce before Mr. Eddie Harris finds out.

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