Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (2022)

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Yeahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! It's fall and that means homemade Chili Sauce! The tangy, sweet, spicy condiment that makes pork, potato pancakes and chicken come ALIVE. Well, not technically "alive". That would be quite scary.

  • Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (1)

If you can chop vegetables, simmer something on the stove and happen to have a working nose you CAN make chili sauce. It's full of chunky vegetables and wintery spices like cloves, brown sugar and cinnamon with the added heat of CAYENNE.

So about that nose thing ... several years go I got sinusitis. One of the symptoms of it is not being able to smell anything. Great for walking through garbage juice puddles at the dump, but not so great when making chili sauce. The thing about creating great food is you need to taste as you go. Even if you're using a recipe. And the thing about tasting is you need your sense of smell to get a good idea of how things taste. So I made my sinusitis chili sauce and had no idea how it tasted. I dragged it around for all of my friends and relatives to taste and got a unanimous decision.

It was gross.

Bland I believe was the actual word. I pulled the spice bag out too early. So as you make this and let it simmer don't be afraid to adjust things. The inability to adjust is my main complaint about the stupid Instant Pot by the way. You can read my complete unbiased review of how much I don't like the Instant Pot here.

  • Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (2)

Shot of a rare museum quality artifact - the recipe card.

You may be asking yourself why now Karen? Why NOW? Because now (around the end of summer) is when you're going to find the fresh ingredients for everything you need to make it.

Everything that goes into chili sauce is in season in late summer.

Table of Contents

What's in Chili Sauce

This isn't the thin runny, condiment you see in the grocery storey. It's a hearty, full of fruit and vegetables concoction that's more like a chutney.

  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Banana Peppers
  • Red Peppers
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Peaches

As far as spices and flavourings go you have brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.

Honestly all you do is rough chop a bunch of vegetables, throw them in a pot and let 'em simmer. If you can't manage that then I'm so sorry to hear you're in a coma. Get well.

Ready for this old timey, vintage, sweet and spicy chili sauce recipe? Good. I'm proud you were able to shake yourself out of that coma.

What to Eat it With

  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Fritters
  • On potato pancakes. - which is my FAVOURITE way to eat it.
Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (3)

Canning Chili Sauce

  1. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Bring sauce to a boil if it isn't already.
  3. Fill washed, hot pint jars with hot chili sauce, leaving ½" head space.
  4. Wipe rims, put lids and screw rings on. Finger tighten the rings.
  5. Process in a hot water bath making sure they are submerged with at least 2" of water over them.
  6. Process for 20 minutes. Start timing the 20 minutes once the water has returned to boiling after putting all your jars in.
  7. Remove jars from the water bath using a jar lifter and set on the counter undisturbed until you hear the satisfying "pop" of them sealing.

To make canning less of a pain (literally) get one of these cheap canning kits that have a jar lifter, a funnel, tongs and everything else you need for canning.

The Recipe

Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (4)

Chili Sauce

Classic, old fashioned sweet and spicy chili sauce. PERFECT with potato pancakes, chicken and pork.

3.84 from 6 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Canning/Preserves

Cuisine: English

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 7 hours

Canning Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 15 jars

Calories: 643kcal

(Video) Old Fashioned Chili Sauce.

Author: Karen Bertelsen


  • 18 quarts tomatoes
  • 2 bunches celery
  • 3 quarts banana peppers
  • 10 red peppers
  • 12 onions
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup coarse salt
  • 4 cups vinegar
  • 4 peaches
  • 2.5 lbs brown sugar
  • 2 tsps. cayenne pepper
  • 3 tsps. cloves
  • 3 tsps. cinnamon
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 10 whole cloves



To can this chili sauce:

  1. Prepare a water bath.
  2. Fill canning jars with hot chili sauce then put on sealer and band.
  3. Process for 20 minutes in water bath.

If you want you can also add other spices to the spice bag. Mustard seed, star anise, peppercorns would all be good additions.


Serving: 1jar | Calories: 643kcal | Carbohydrates: 150g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 2616mg | Potassium: 3230mg | Fiber: 25g | Sugar: 120g | Vitamin A: 12395IU | Vitamin C: 290mg | Calcium: 239mg | Iron: 4.6mg

This recipe makes a HUGE batch so either half it or plan on preserving it.

Pro tip? Do not attempt this while suffering from sinusitis.

→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←

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Reader Interactions


  1. Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (9)Laura

    Hi Karen, What sized jars are you using? Really want to try thisThanks,


    • Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (10)Karen

      Hi Laura! These are 500 ml jars (1 pint). `~ karen!


      • Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (11)Laura

        Thanks. It's hard to believe that 18 quarts of tomatoes, and all those veggies cook down to 15 pints! That's a lot of cooking down!
        Thanks again, Laura

  2. Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (12)Lynn

    Hi Karen
    You call this a Chilli Sauce yet it looks more like a Salsa Sauce, is that a fair comparison?
    Wondering if it work as Salsa ?
    It looks so tasty 😋
    Plus was wondering if you ever made or had Chow Chow red or green or Zucchini Chow Chow. Which is what I make. If you make the red Chow Chow could you Pass on your recipe please pretty please
    Love your blog


    • Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (13)Karen

      (Video) 2 Easy Chili Sauce Recipe | Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

      Hi Lynn! I don't make Chow Chow, although it's on my very long list of things to try, lol. This is a traditional chili sauce. It's supposed to be chunky but somewhere along the way it became marketed as a tiny runny sauce. It can work as a salsa, but don't expect it to taste like a salsa. The spices in it give it an entirely different taste. :) ~ karen!


      • Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (14)Lynn

        Thank you Karen, I realized that spices could be altered to make it more salsa like… I just think it’s close to a salsa in Veg and fruit that we gravitate to.
        How long does your chill sauce last when you waterbath can it? An how long do you put it in waterbath?

  3. Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (15)Rachel

    Confused on the quart measurement of banana peppers. Do they need to be pickled/ store bought? Have a surplus of most ingredients and I am intrigued enough to stay minding my stove for 5-10 hours. Thanks for the blog. It comforts me to know someone swears more than myself.


  4. Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (16)Anna Marie Mangili

    Was wondering if there was any way to approximate the weight of the tomatoes? The quart measurement is a bit foreign to me. Same for the peppers.


  5. Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (19)Maria

    I noticed on your recipe card that you scald your tomatoes to peel them.

    I learned this summer that if you cut the tomatoes in half and freeze them for a couple of days in a ziplock bags then defrost them, the skin will slip off in your hand. No boiling water needed. It does not affect the taste at all. I did this all summer and it worked perfectly with any cooked tomato recipe. Pro tip!


    • Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (20)Karen

      Yup. Freezing tomatoes is a great option! I freeze all my tomatoes at the end of summer. But this requires half a bushel of tomatoes and most people wouldn't have enough room in their freezer for them all. :) ~ karen


  6. Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (21)Beth L Bilous

    (Video) Making Homemade Hotdog Chili Sauce Learn By Kathy | Kentucky Cooking with Kathy | Kathy Recipes 2022

    OOOh I'm gonna just buy a jar of Calabrian Chili sauce at Wegmans, and whirl it up in a blender. Way easier folks.


  7. Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (22)Rose G. Sluzas

    This recipe sounds great-
    Like some others, I would like to make half the quantity. So, I have a few questions-
    What would the weight be for some of the ingredients?--

    18 quarts tomatoes is equivalent to ??? lbs. (if I have a choice, what type of tomato should I buy?)
    Banana peppers--3 quarts is equivalent to ??? lbs (I have not seen banana peppers at our local farm market--can I use jalapenos???-they are very plentiful--would I use the same amount?
    Celery--how much does a bunch weigh?

    I imagine some of the quantities can be approximate. However, in making something the first time, it helps to have an idea of measurements.
    The second time around, we can adjust to our personal preference
    This looks so good, I imagine I will be making it many times in the future.

    For right now, I hope to use some as an ingredient in sweet and sour meatballs and to freeze the rest.
    Hope to hear from you soon so I can buy those tomatoes.
    Thanks so much


  8. Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (23)Candice

    PLEASE HELP! I woul dvery much like to make this recipe, but I live in France and have no idea how to convert a quart of tomato! How many grams (or kilos) of tomatoes makes up 18 quarts??? Or if that is too hard, how many "regular" sized tomatoes make 1 quart ?

    I hope you will answer, despite the age of the post :):):)


    • Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (24)Shellie

      A quart is .95 kilograms
      Or 18 quarts is 17.03 kilograms.


  9. Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (25)Todd


    • Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (26)Karen

      Hi Todd. It *might* work but I actually don't think that you'd save any time because it's the simmering to thicken (and meld the flavours) that really takes all those hours. So mainly you'd just be dirtying two things instead of one. :) ~ karen!


  10. Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (27)Sabina

    Ok your "rare museum quality artifact" (aka the recipe card) first says 3 quarts of tomatoes, then I see a 6 written above that. Then down on your printable recipe you have 18 quarts of tomatoes. What is the correct amount of tomatoes because I really want to make this and I still have tomatoes left from the garden :)


    (Video) Original Old Time Hot Dog Chili Recipe...Delicious! Also A Greatful Thank You Message.
  11. Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (28)Jacqui

    Yet again, something I cannot wait to make! Let me know if you ever start taking interns, I'll be the first to apply, HA! Question - have you ever made in a crock-pot (ie apple-butter) for reduction? I love my gas stove, but it also likes to scald my concoctions that require simmering. It doesn't know how to simmer. I cannot wait to make my house smell like spicy-spicy goodness!


    • Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (29)Jacqui

      Ok just saw the slow-cooker comment, did a search for the "crock," didn't find anything, so asked away. Dis-regard the cooking question, intern question still stands :)


  12. Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (30)Jan in Waterdown

    Hey Karen, as soon as I read “chili sauce” my nose memories kicked into gear. I grew up in Winona with the E D Smith jam factory almost in our backyard. This time of year they made chili and the air was filled with the most glorious smells imaginable. Thanks for the happy thoughts.... my nose hairs are tingling! Lol.


    • Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (31)Karen

      LOL! Happy to help a girl's nose out. ~ karen!


  13. Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (32)susan warder

    Did this ever exist in a smaller form. I love the taste image that the ingredients form but I only want a single jar (which would live forever in fridge with the condiment family )
    I can do the math but sometimes w recipes, extreme reductions or multiplications have a dramatic effect on the outcome.
    Do you think reducing this to single size would work?


    • Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (33)Karen

      Eek. I'm not sure Susan. That's a big reduction. I can see halving the recipe as an O.K. way to go but I'm not sure a single serving would work. In fact I'm almost positive it won't. It needs to simmer for a long time to both reduce and get the proper flavour from the spices. If you were to try to simmer one jars worth of it I think all the liquids and balances would be off. You could maybe make a half recipe and give the other jars away? Or freeze them if you're worried about canning. ~ karen!


      • Homemade Chili Sauce. An Old Fashioned Recipe. (34)susan w

        I was afraid of that. Perhaps its worth a "science experiment", using chutney recipes but with these ingredients. They're not hugely dissimilar.
        Thanks for such a speedy response

Leave a Reply


How much vinegar do you put in chilli sauce? ›

20%-25% of the hot sauce should be vinegar to preserve it. The same amount of citrus/pickle juice should do it too, though there will be variances depending on other ingredients you'll be using. The pH level is going to be key here so I recommend getting a pH tester, you'll want your finished hot sauce to be at 3.4.

Can I freeze homemade chili sauce? ›

Does Chilli Sauce Freeze Well? Yes, chilli sauce is a great condiment to freeze as it is easy to make, easy to store and easy to thaw. It will last for a considerable amount of time in the freezer and when you freeze it in smaller portions, you won't have to waste any.

How does Gordon Ramsay make chilli sauce? ›

For the sauce:
  1. 1 red chilli pepper, deseeded and very finely chopped.
  2. 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed.
  3. 6tbsp fresh finely chopped flat-leaf parsley.
  4. 2tbsp fresh finely chopped oregano.
  5. 2tbsp red wine vinegar.
  6. 4tbsp olive oil.
  7. 1tsp sea salt flakes.
  8. 1tsp freshly ground black pepper.

What is chili sauce made of? ›

Ingredients typically include puréed or chopped chili peppers, vinegar, sugar and salt that are cooked, which thickens the mixture. Additional ingredients may include, water, garlic, other foodstuffs, corn syrup, spices and seasonings.

Why is vinegar used in sauces? ›

When you add a touch of vinegar to a sauce that's thickened with flour or cornstarch, the acid breaks the starch chains that thicken the sauce into shorter pieces, which thins out the sauce much more than the same amount of water or other nonacidic liquid would.

How do you make chilli sauce last longer? ›

Vinegar and sugar make good preservatives. Provided you use sterilised containers - place them in boiling water for twenty minutes, add the sauce, seal, then boil again for ten minutes - you should be fine. Store the bottles/jars in a cool place out of direct sunlight.

Can you freeze chili in ziplock bags? ›

Yes, you can freeze chili, and they can last in the freezer for 4 to 6 months. The key to freezing them is storing them in freezer-safe air-tight containers or Ziploc bags and making sure that they are safe from freezer burns.

How long does homemade chili last in the fridge? ›


To maximize the shelf life of cooked chili for safety and quality, refrigerate the chili promptly in covered airtight containers. Properly stored, cooked chili will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Can you use frozen tomatoes for chili sauce? ›

After freezing and defrosting, the texture changes in a way that makes them less-than-ideal to eat raw. However, frozen tomatoes are excellent to use in soup, stew, sauce, chili, or for canning later.

How do you make Jamie Oliver chilli sauce? ›

How to make Chilli Sauce! | Jamie Oliver - YouTube

What chilis does Gordon Ramsay use? ›

Gordon Ramsay's Guide To Chili - YouTube

Does Chilli have beans? ›

Does True Texas Chili have beans? No. An authentic Texas Chili, or chili con carne, will not have beans.

What can I use if I don't have chili sauce? ›

9 Best Chili Sauce Substitutes
  1. Harissa Sauce.
  2. Sriracha Sauce.
  3. Ketchup and Cayenne.
  4. Fresh Peppers.
  5. Spicy Tomato Sauce.
  6. Spicy Ketchup.
  7. Chili Garlic Paste.
  8. Regular Hot Sauce.
May 26, 2022

How can I thicken my chili? ›

Add cornstarch or all-purpose flour: Cornstarch and all-purpose flour are common thickening agents that you might already have on hand in your pantry. Adding flour directly into the chili will create lumps. Instead, make a slurry by mixing one tablespoon of cold water with one tablespoon of cornstarch.

What kind of vinegar do you use in chili? ›

A little bit of vinegar goes a long way, so as a rule of thumb, stick with 1 tablespoon of vinegar per pot. Our top picks are apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or sherry vinegar, though any kind of vinegar on hand will get the job done and give your chili the boost it needs.

How do you use chilli vinegar? ›

Especially curated for Chinese dishes, just a tablespoon of chilli vinegar is enough to spruce up the food. If you are a Chinese food fan, then a bottle of chilli vinegar is a must-have in your kitchen. You can use it to make noodles, fried rice, soups and even stir-fried veggies.

How do you make Jamie Oliver chilli sauce? ›

How to make Chilli Sauce! | Jamie Oliver - YouTube


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