Homemade Chili Sauce Recipe (2024)

Published . Last updated by Judy Purcell 6 Comments

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This homemade chili sauce has the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors all rolled into a kicked-up condiment you’ll reach for again and again. You might even give up plain ol’ ketchup entirely.

Homemade Chili Sauce Recipe (1)

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Our homemade chili sauce is the perfect substitute for Heinz Chili Sauce that can be whipped up in a matter of minutes using just a can of tomato sauce, tomato paste, onion, and common spices you likely already have in the spice cabinet.

Chili sauce is a delicious condiment sometimes compared closely with hot sauce but has more body and a range of sweet, spicy, and milder varieties.Not to be confused with Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce with its savory blast of garlic or Thai Chili Sauce, which is sweeter and is not a tomato-based sauce. Think of this sauce as more of a grown-up’s kicked-up ketchup.

It is called for in many kinds of recipes to add a little life and heat, like Russian Salad Dressing, or enjoyed as a tasty dipper with Sweet Potato Home Fries.

While it is readily available at the grocery store, making chili sauce at home is so easy and gives you more control over the ingredients and flavor. This is especially helpful if you’re avoiding high fructose corn syrup or preservatives common in shelved products.

You can also tweak your homemade sauce to be more spicy, sweet, or savory to your taste! The secret to making the best chili sauce is getting the right balance of flavors.

Homemade Chili Sauce Recipe (2)

The Balance of Sweetness & Acidity

The balance in this chili sauce recipe is a combination of sweetness, acidity, chili heat (spiciness), and salt.

  • Acidity comes from the tomato paste, the apple cider vinegar, and the Worcestershire sauce.
  • Sweet flavors are added in by using sweet onion and sugar to balance the acidity of the tomato sauce.
  • Chili heat comes from the chipotle Tabasco sauce and from the smoked paprika.
  • Salt should only be added at the end of the cook to adjust the seasoning, as there will be salt in the tomato sauce.

TIP: Use a light hand when adjusting the sauce to your own taste. You can always add a little more, but you cannot take away.

Homemade Chili Sauce Recipe (3)

5 Ways to Use Homemade Chili Sauce

1. Spread the sauce on sandwiches or hashbrowns, it tastes great with cheese, ham, or chicken.
2. Top burgers and hotdogs.
3. Pour over meatloaf for an added spice hit.
4. Mix with jam to make a sauce co*cktail meatballs.
5. Add to salad dressing or regular mayonnaise for a spicy twist!

Homemade Chili Sauce Recipe (4)

How to make Homemade Chili Sauce STEP BY STEP:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a saucepan, stir well to combine, and simmer gently over medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
  2. Remove the sauce from the heat and blend to a smooth consistency with an immersion blender in the saucepan. Alternatively, allow the sauce to cool a little before transferring to a blender and blending until smooth. NOTE: Blending the sauce gives a smooth texture and allows the flavors to fully incorporate.
  3. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning for sweet, spice, or salt to suit your taste.
  4. Now leave the sauce to cool completely then transfer it into a jar with a lid. Refrigerate until ready to use. The sauce will keep for up to 3 months in the fridge.

TIP: Tasting the sauce at the end of the cook is really important! Only do this once you have blended the sauce together as the flavors will be completely incorporated. Then, adjust the flavors if they need it. For example, you might want to add a little more Tabasco if you want the sauce a little spicier.

Recipe Variations

  • Coconut palm sugar can be substituted with refined white sugar or brown sugar.
  • Apple cider vinegar can be substituted with white or red wine vinegar instead.
  • Chipotle Tabasco adds a lovely smoky flavor to the sauce, but you can substitute it with regular Tabasco or 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder.
  • Smoked paprika comes in both sweet and hot varieties so take care when adding hot smoked paprika to balance the chili heat in the sauce.
  • If serving vegetarian diners, ensure that the Worcestershire sauce you are using is vegetarian, as standard Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies.

Recipe TIPS

  • This is agreat make-ahead homemade chili sauce recipeso double the quantity, store half in a jar in the refrigerator and freeze the rest for later!
  • Freezein smaller quantities for a quick add-in for other recipes. Spoon the sauce into ice cube trays and pop it into the freezer. Once frozen remove the frozen cubes andstore them in a container in your freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Once cooked,store in a jar in the fridgefor up to 3 months. Homemade sauces don’t last quite as long as store-bought sauces, so you’ll want to enjoy it or freeze.
Homemade Chili Sauce Recipe (5)

More Easy Sauce and Condiment Recipes You’ll Love

  • The Best Marinara Sauce
  • Gochujang Aioli
  • Fresh Basil Pesto
  • Béarnaise
  • Tomato-Basil Butter Sauce
  • Tomatillo and Green Chile Sauce
  • Mango-Lime Cashew Sauce

Homemade Chili Sauce Recipe (6)

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Homemade Chili Sauce

"Spicy, tangy, sweet tomato sauce condiment for sandwiches and salad dressings."

Prep Time10 minutes mins

Total Time10 minutes mins

Course: Sauce

Cuisine: condiments, sauces

Servings: 16 servings

Author: Judy Purcell

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup minced sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar , or 3 tablespoons refined sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle Tabasco , or 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  • Add all the ingredients to a saucepan, stir to combine, and simmer for 5-7 minutes to meld flavors.

  • Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender right in the pot or allow to cool and transfer to a blender. Blending will create a smoother texture and completely incorporate flavors. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt or pepper, if needed (this will depend on the amount of salt in the tomato sauce).

  • Cool completely and taste again to adjust seasoning further if needed. Transfer to a jar with a lid and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

Yield: A little more than 1 cup.

Recipe Variations:

  • Coconut palm sugar can be substituted with refined white sugar or brown sugar.
  • Apple cider vinegar can be substituted with white or red wine vinegar instead.
  • Chipotle Tabasco adds a lovely smoky flavor to the sauce, but you can substitute it with regular Tabasco or 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder.
  • Smoked paprika comes in both sweet and hot varieties so take care when adding hot smoked paprika to balance the chili heat in the sauce.
  • If serving vegetarian diners, ensure that the Worcestershire sauce you are using is vegetarian, as standard Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies.

Recipe Tips:

  • This is agreat make-ahead homemade chili sauce recipeso double the quantity, store half in a jar in the refrigerator and freeze the rest for later!
  • Freezein smaller quantities for a quick add-in for other recipes. Spoon the sauce into ice cube trays and pop it into the freezer. Once frozen remove the frozen cubes andstore them in a container in your freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Once cooked,store in a jar in the fridgefor up to 3 months. Homemade sauces don’t last quite as long as store-bought sauces, so you’ll want to enjoy it or freeze.

Nutrition

Calories: 15kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 112mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 155IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

Learn how to make this and all recipes even easier!Check out our Monthly Meal Prep System!

Homemade Chili Sauce Recipe (2024)

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