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How to make sweet chili sauce

Updated February 21, 2017

Sweet chilli sauce is a flavourful combination of sweet and spicy ingredients, including cane sugar, pickling spices, and apple cider vinegar. It can be used to make homemade barbecue sauces or to spice up any recipe that requires chilli sauce. This recipe yields approximately 6 pints of homemade sweet chilli sauce.

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  1. Combine the tomatoes, red bell peppers, onions, salt, and sugar in a large stockpot over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow it to simmer for 40 to 45 minutes.

  2. Place the pickling spice, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and crushed red pepper in a cheesecloth bag. Tie the bag closed securely, then place into tomato mixture in the stock pot.

  3. Simmer the ingredients for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking. Add the vinegar to the mixture. Continue cooking either until the sweet chilli sauce reaches the desired thickness, or for another 10 to 15 minutes.

  4. Pour the chilli sauce into the canning jars immediately after cooking so the mixture remains hot. Fill jars to the very top and secure the lids tightly. Fill a medium or large stockpot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Place each of the sealed jars into the boiling water and maintain a gentle boil for 15 minutes.

  5. Remove the jars from the boiling water with tongs, and allow them to cool completely. Store the sweet chilli sauce in a cool, dark room until ready to use. Refrigerate jars after opening.

  6. Tip

    As the jars cool, the lids will pop; this is an indication that they have sealed. If any of the jars fail to seal, store them in the refrigerator for up to 30 days. Sealed jars will store in a cool, dark place for up to one year.


    Be very careful not to splash the boiling water onto your skin while removing the jars of sweet chilli sauce from the stock pot. Place pot holders over your hands while using the tongs to prevent accidental contact with the water.

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 gal. red tomatoes, seeded, peeled, and chopped
  • 2 c. red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2½ c. yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 c. cane sugar
  • Large stockpot
  • ¼ c. pickling spice
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp celery seeds
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper
  • Cheesecloth bag
  • 2½ c. apple cider vinegar
  • 6 pint-sized canning jars and new lids
  • Large or medium stockpot
  • Tongs

About the Author

Willow Sidhe

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.

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