Sweet, spicy and sticky, this chilli sauce makes an appearance on our table whenever we're eating curry, crispy chicken, kebabs or fajitas.
Easy to make at home, this recipe makes 2 jars, so you can always have some in the fridge.
Who doesn't love some sweet chilli sauce with their chicken wings, as a dip for prawn toast or samosas or even as an added bonus to breakfast eggs and avocado!
Sweet and spicy at the same time, the blend of ginger, garlic, chillies and red pepper is just so perfect.
It takes about 20 minutes prep, and then you can leave it to bubble away (with the occasional stir) until it's lovely and sticky.
I don't like it too hot!
Don't worry, this is a relatively mild Thai style sweet chilli sauce. I use mild chillies (Fresno or Serenade varieties) in addition to red bell peppers. The bell peppers help to bulk out the sauce and give it a fresh flavour. So we can have lots of chilli sauce, without it being too overpowering.
If you like it hotter, simply replace some of the mild chillies with hot chillies - such as Thai red chillies.
What do we need?
We going to need tinned cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers, red chillies, fresh ginger and garlic, red wine vinegar and golden caster sugar.
How to make it
Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Add the roughly chopped peppers, chillies, ginger and garlic to a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Add to a saucepan.
- Add in the tinned cherry tomatoes, sugar and vinegar and bring to the boil.
- Turn the heat down and simmer for around 90-105 minutes (scoop off the scum from the top of the mixture in the pan a few times) - until the sauce thickens.
- Leave to cool slightly and pour into sterilised jars.
What to serve this sauce with
- Quick Chicken Stir Fry
- Asian-style Baked Cauliflower Wings
- Thai-Style Fish Burgers
- Guacamole and Egg Breakfast bowl
- Crispy Sesame Chicken
- Asian Mushrooms with Cashews with Veggies
Why should I make it at home?
Apart from being able to show off your awesome sauce-making skills, making the sauce at home allows you to control the thickness and spiciness of the sauce.
How long can I store sweet chilli sauce?
Once prepared and sealed in sterilised jars, it can be stored for 3 months in a cool, dark place. Refrigerate the jar after opening.
More fantastic Asian style recipes
- Ultimate Beef Massaman Curry
- Try this copycat Firecracker Chicken
- My go-to Chicken Fried Rice
- Reader favourite Honey Garlic Chicken
- Slurpy Seafood Laksa
- Oven-Baked Asian Spare Ribs with Crispy Onions
Watch how to make it
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Sweet Chilli Sauce Recipe
- 8 red peppers - deseeded and roughly chopped
- 8-10 red chillies (see note 1) - roughly chopped
- finger-sized piece fresh root ginger - peeled and roughly chopped
- 8 garlic cloves - peeled
- 400 g (14 oz) tin cherry tomatoes - *Replace with finely chopped good quality tinned tomatoes if preferred
- 760 g (4 cups) golden caster sugar
- 210 ml (⅞ cup) red wine vinegar
- Chop the peppers, chillies (with seeds), ginger and garlic by hand or in a food processor until finely chopped.
- Transfer the peppers, chillies, ginger and garlic to a large saucepan and add the tin of cherry tomatoes, sugar and vinegar.
- Bring to the boil. Skim off any scum that comes to the surface, then turn the heat down and let it bubble gently for about 90 mins-1.5 hours, stirring occasionally. Stir more frequently during the last 20 mins or so and give the tomatoes a mush with a fork if they haven't broken down.
- The sauce should thicken during this time, but will still be pouring consistency (about the consistency of tinned tomato soup). It can be cooked for longer if it still looks very thin (but it will thicken more once cooled).
- Once the sauce has thickened, turn off the heat and leave to cool for 20 mins or so. Then carefully pour into sterilized jars, place lids on and leave to cool completely before storing (see notes on storage).
They're relatively mild (Scoville rating of 2,500 to 8,000 - about the heat of a jalapeno). You can bump up the heat by adding or replacing a couple of the chillies with hot chillies - such as Thai chillies (birds eye chillies). Storage: This sauce will keep for 3 months in a sealed, sterilised jar in a cool, dark cupboard – refrigerate once opened. Why use tinned cherry tomatoes and not chopped tomatoes? The cherry tomatoes are a little sweeter and don't contain as much liquid as chopped tinned tomatoes. You can replace with good quality finely chopped tinned tomatoes. Or you can replace with regular chopped tinned tomatoes if you prefer, just drain off a few tablespoons of the liquid before adding. Source: Based off BBC Good Food Sweet Chilli Jam recipe (here) with some of my own changes. Nutritional Information is per tablespoon
This recipe was first posted in Feb 2014. Updated in August 2020 with new photos, video and tips.
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sharon Sivori says
What is golden caster sugar and what could I use as a substitute, please?
Nicky Corbishley says
Hi Sharon, you can replace it with regular caster sugar (if you're in the US, I think they call this superfine sugar - it's like granulated sugar, but has been ground to a slightly finer texture).
Delicious. Easy to make. I have used it in so many recipes. We especially like shrimp in sweet chili jam (ala Jamie Oliver's recipe)
Thank you for such a wonderful recipe. None of the local markets here sell Chili Jam. I had to order it online before I discovered your recipe. Thank you again, Nicky.
This is a great recipe. I doubled it so to have lots as we love chili sauce like your family does. The only change I made was I cut back on the sugar as it seems to excessive. In stead of 8 cups of sugar for the double batch I only put 3 cups and it was perfect.
Thankyou for this recipe
Joe Tuffin says
Fantastic recipe, very easy to make and amazing results, made 2 full jars.
It helped me with my preparations for cooking
I have made this so many times and it’s absolutely hands down the best sweet chilli sauce I have made, and all my friends and family think so too!!! I cannot thank you enough Nicky xoxo
Christine V Stork says
Very easy and very tasty. Love it
Love the site, really easy to use for a novice.
Can you do the sweet chilli sauce in a slow cooker.