Homemade Chili Sauce

Yeahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!  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.

It was probably 3 years ago that I got the sinus infection which turned into sinusitis.

I’m not sure if you know what the symptoms of sinusitis are, but one of them is loss of smell. As in you can’t smell a thing. I lost my sense of smell for a month or two and it happened to be the month that I was going to make chili sauce.

Now the thing about cooking is you need to taste it as you go. 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 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. It just didn’t have enough spices apparently but I couldn’t know that because I couldn’t smell it or taste it.

I took it home and threw some more stuff in it, just kind of guessing at how much it needed to make it “not gross”. It all worked out and the chili sauce turned out fine.

I’m planning on making some more this weekend, but wanted to get this post up as soon as possible because I’ve been getting threatening emails and comments from people that they want to make their chili sauce NOW!


As a result there won’t be any process pictures with this post on how to make chili sauce, but you really don’t need them. If you don’t know what a chopped vegetable looks like, your bigger worry should be that you’re an embryo that’s reading a website clearly meant for adults. And people with fully developed fingers.





This is my recipe card. I kind of go by it.  And you should kind of go by it too.  If you want, you can add more hot peppers, or more peaches or less tomatoes.  It’s chili sauce and really the only way to screw it up is by getting sinusitis.

It doesn’t say so on the card, but all the ingredients are rough chopped. Just hack them up. No need to be pretty about it. I mean, you can be pretty while you’re doing it, but the vegetables don’t have to be pretty once you’re done chopping them. Like … don’t put lip gloss on them or anything. We want utilitarian looking vegetables here.

Because this is such a huge batch you can either half it and give a ton away or you can plan on canning it.

To can this chili sauce recipe, fill washed, hot pint jars (with hot chili sauce) leaving 1/2″ head space.  Wipe rims, put lids and screw rings on.   Process in a hot water bath for 20 minutes.

Looking at the “boil down for 10 hours”, it seems a bit extreme.  I haven’t made this in a few years so I can’t remember if that’s correct or way off.  My hunch is it’s correct because you just want your chili sauce simmering as it reduces, not boiling.

I used spices in their powdered form for the measured ingredients and then I’ll also throw in a couple of whole sticks of cinnamon and a tiny cheesecloth bag of maybe 5-10 whole cloves)

And there you have it, my long awaited chili sauce recipe. Which one day I hope to have time to make myself to serve my favourite way … on potato pancakes.


Chili Sauce

Classic sweet and tangy chili sauce filled with spice.  PERFECT with potato pancakes.
0 from 0 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Canning/Preserves
Cuisine: English
Cook Time: 10 hours
Servings: 15 jars
Calories: 643
Author: Karen


  • 18 quarts tomatoes
  • 2 bunches celery
  • 3 quarts banana peppers
  • 10 red peppers
  • 12 onions
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 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


  • Peel tomatoes by placing them in boiling water for 30 seconds and then plunging them into cold water. The skin will slide right off.  If it doesn't, plunge them in the hot water again.
  • Wrap all the whole spices in a little cheesecloth bag.
  • Rough chop the remaining ingredients.  Don't worry about it being pretty, just chop them up into pieces between 1/4" - 1/2".
  • Put all the ingredients into a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer until thick and reduced by 1/3rd.  This will take many hours.


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


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



  1. Marti says:

    Karen, I just want you to know that you are the ONLY person I know who would start a blog post about homemade chili sauce by discussing her sinusitis.

    And certainly the only person I know whose recipe post with such an enticing first line would I ever read.

    I’m not even sure I like chili sauce, but I may try this recipe…in spite of both of us.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Wait’ll my next recipe post when I discuss my cat’s weepy eye.

      • Patti says:

        Lord you make me laugh out loud … and proud I might add! I’m the South Carolina rattle snake lady. Guess good things come from bad times. Now it is confirmed I have friends in my neighborhood …. bless them, they check on me daily now! As a single “mature” woman, with kids grown and out of the nest, I kind of retreated into my big empty house. But, that damn rattler reunited me with people … my loving neighbors, who came with shovels and hoes in hand to protect me. Kinda like a scene from Frankenstein … without the torches … it was day time!

    • Ms Mathieu says:

      I am going to give this a try ,thanks

  2. This looks delicious. Not sure what I would do with 15 jars of chili sauce, but it’s better than having 35 jars of red pepper jelly which is what happened with my chili peppers last year. This might just be the year of the chili sauce in my house.

  3. Kim says:

    “No need to be pretty about it. I mean, you can be pretty while you’re doing it…”
    Loved this! Made me guffaw! Ok, maybe not guffaw. But definitely an audible chuckle.

  4. Marti has it in 1!
    I love your recipe card for its little blotches, reminds me of that saying about an Italian kitchen-something about shouldn’t be too clean cos that’s a sign you don’t cook!
    I just bottled a batch of tomato and vanilla chutney, sounds weird to me but recipe came from a reliable source. Suggests you eat it with ricotta.

  5. Adrienne says:

    This looks like a great gift. Anything that has to cook that long seems like a magical experiment, and to me that equals fun. If I were to put suggestions for how to use the sauce on a card for recipients, what would be your favorite suggestions? I suspect this would be best used on beef, poultry, or pork, but I’m one if those pescatarian types and didn’t use super spicy stuff back when I wasn’t, so some recommendations would be much appreciated.

    Also, if we don’t fully can it, any idea how long it would last in the fridge once opened?


    • Karen says:

      Adrienne! My favourite way to have this is on potato pancakes. It’s also great with chicken (like a chutney), pork or with eggs. My mother particularly loves it with eggs! No idea how long it would last in the fridge, but I know I’ve had some in my fridge for several months and still used it. i’m not sure if I should recommend doing that or not though, LOL. ~ karen

  6. Annie says:

    I have never understood chili sauce. Can anyone explain?
    Do you use it like ketchup? Or salsa? or just sauce?
    How do you use chili sauce? Are there rules?

    This recipe looks so tastey! I imagine having it with eggs. Is that weird? Ok hungry now.

    Thanks Karen!

  7. RosieW says:

    Dani, you keep what you’ll use, then make others happy by gifting the rest. I sure welcome these gifts.

  8. Edith says:

    Hi Karen,

    What the heck is Chili Sauce and what do you do with it? It looks like a condiment. Does it go IN things or ON things? I’m down here in Texas where Chili recipes abound but I’ve never heard of Chili Sauce. Is it a Canadian thing like Vegemite for the Australians?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Edith – It *is* a condiment. It actually has nothing to do with chili, LOL. It can be used like a chutney with chicken or pork and is great on potato pancakes or eggs. ~ karen!

  9. Yummy! Forwarded your link to my sister……You never know, we might score some chili sauce for Christmas!

  10. Ev says:

    Thanks Karen. This recipe is safely ensconced in “The List”, my large recipe file on computer. Recently spent waaay too much time tweaking it. Many of your recipes are there, and thanks for that!
    My tomato crop was miserable this year, so no sauce. Maybe someday….

  11. toekneetoni says:

    it sounds delicious. at the risk of sounding silly i want to ask, how do you use it other than whipping up a batch of chili? i mean as creative as you are, i’m sure you use it in a variety of ways. please share.

  12. Vicky says:

    This sounds like a salsa recipe. I defintely will be trying it.

  13. christine says:

    Do you think you could do this in a slow cooker? I have a fear of canning, so would just give away jars to people to be used ASAP. LOL

    • Karen says:

      If you slow cooker can simmer with the lid off then you can slow cook it. You’d also need QUITE a large slow cooker. It’ll stay good in the fridge for at least a couple of months. ~ karen!

  14. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Good on hot dogs and burgers right?? It looks good anyway!

  15. Shauna says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one to ask – inquiring minds want to know…how do we use chili sauce? It looks delicious and I imagine using it on hot dogs, hamburgers…maybe steak? What else? Is there a common way to use it?

  16. Rondina says:

    Like Annie, I’m confused as to what all this chili sauce will be used for. I can see it being used in scrabbled eggs, on hamburgers, or hot dogs—but this will hardly use up the batch. Are you using this as a base for chili?

    A side question. What kind of camera are you using? Your pictures are always great.

  17. christine says:

    Tortiere, baby!

  18. Wendy says:

    Okay. So here’s my thing with chili sauce:

    When I was kid in the late 70’s/early 80’s my mum had a boyfriend who canned his own chili sauce. He also carried around a man purse with all his newspapers in it, and his information for his various sports pools. He and my mum made matching caftans, and they sewed up a giant beenbag “snake” out of brown corderoi filled with those little bean bag beans that got everywhere.

    He was an eccentric guy, who watched hockey, but also got me interested in the shows “Hill Street Blues” and “WKRP in Cincinatti.” I did and do think well of him.

    He canned his own chili sauce. It was awesome. On scrambled eggs. (Note: I feel very strongly against ketchup on scrambled eggs–ugh.)

    It is very unlikely that I will be making my own. I love your blog, Karen, but I know my own limitations. I will not be making chili sauce.

    But boy, did your post get me thinking about my mum’s wonderful oex-boyfriend, and what a good almost step-dad he was, in all his eccentricities.

    • Jenny says:

      Your comment made me smile! He sounded like an interesting guy with a man purse.

      Ps….I eat ketchup with everything….especially eggs! :X 😀

    • Cussot says:

      Aww, so sweet, Wendy. I can hear the theme songs, feel the corduroy and oh look, there’s a styrofoam bean clinging to my shirt, damnit. Thanks for the story.

  19. Wendy says:

    I seem to not know how to spell corderoy. Or “ex-boyfriend.”

  20. Patti says:

    So sweet you read my ramblings and responded … I’m triple blessed … got Canada backing me! Just so you know, my dear, grandpa Jeanne Pierre Comeau was born in Nova Scotia! Never got his American status cause only a midwife (long dead) could confirm his birth. So I’m kinda a Canadian! Well hell, I love it!

  21. Susan says:

    Now, if it was me, I’d have gone with a pasta sauce today, just to get one more dig in after yesterday’s Facebook debacle, but I guess chili sauce is close enough. If you don’t want to make this post public on the blog, Karen, that’s fine with me. I was saying it more to you than anyone else, anyway. Keep strong.

  22. Toronto Boy says:

    What did you say Mr. Stomach? Yes I know! I haven’t made chilli sauce in nearly 3 years! I guess it’s time to change that!

    First we need to go to the grocery store and pick up a few red kidney beans, a package of mince meat, some cheddar cheese, a ripe green pepper, and a packet of chilli powder! Then it’s time to start the party over at the stove top!

  23. Barbie says:

    I’ve never done chili sauce….Looks good ….I always love the way you photograph your food….every time I take a photo for my blog I think “Now how would Karen take this photo”? Hmmmm she always either turns the dish a certain way or only photographs half of it or something or with a little sprinkle on the side….Anyway….that is always what I notice about your foodie posts!

  24. Alisha says:

    I just got into canning – made me some pickled shallots. And we go through chili sauce like it’s going out of style. I’ll have to ramp up the hotness and we can ditch the processed (but delicious) crap in my fridge. Now all I need is a how-to on building a cellar in a rented basement suite. I’m not good at sharing.

  25. Donna says:

    One fall when our house was for sale I made chili sauce. The buyer’s offer stipulated that we leave two jars of chili sauce in the cupboard. Good selling tip!!

  26. Dan says:

    Check my Instructable to get you to the thick tomato paste stage where you add the rest of the ingredients and you won’t need nearly 10 hours of cooking.


    If you don’t have a juicer or food strainer maybe you can negotiate one in exchange for mentioning it.

  27. susan says:

    Looks like a great recipe, and I was going to make it this weekend but got a little confused….. what measurement of pickling spice to you put in the cheesecloth?
    Is this canned? Water bath or pressure canned? How long?

    Are all these answers in the recipe, and I am making things difficult for myself? 🙂

  28. Karen says:

    Hi Susan,

    Yes, lol, the answers to all of your questions are in the post. You may have skipped over or skimmed the last paragraphs (underneath the recipe card). Everything you need to know is there. Good luck! ~ karen

  29. Robin Fesmire says:

    I’ve really enjoyed reading about this chili sauce recipe. My mother made chili sauce frequently, and our whole family was addicted to it. Yes, it took most of the day, even if you cheat and use canned tomatoes, but it was usually a family project. My mom was an Okie, and I know my grandmother and great-aunt always had it on hand, too (all Okies) so I figured it was an Okie thing. My family was in New Mexico and every meal was centered around beans, usually pintos, but we ate chili sauce on the beans, whether pintos or limas or navy beans. If we had roast beef, we usually dolloped chili sauce on it, too. My family would easily go through a pint jar in a single meal because it was absolutely delicious and satisfying, and you can never get enough of it, so we had to make it a lot. My mother used the recipe from her old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook from the 1950’s although I have seen it in some earlier versions, too. The whole house smells wonderful while it’s brewing in the big pot. My mouth waters just thinking about it–happy memories! –Robin

  30. Jane Keene says:

    I make this chili sauce, too, but minus the peaches and banana peppers….hmmm….I Like peach salsa so might try it. My grandkids love it right out of the jar, use it like salsa, and I eat it on white beans with ham in them. Delish!! Oh, and I cheat now and use canned tomatoes. I’m lazy and the tomatoes grown around here aren’t that tasty any more. Plus, don’t have to cook it as long. Keeps in the fridge awhile, but I don’t make as much as you and it gets eaten before it goes bad. Oh, and I just put the hot sauce in jars and they seal themselves. Don’t put them in a water bath. I can’t imagine peeling that many tomatoes!!!!

  31. cathy says:

    do you taste the peaches in this recipe? making it right nowth

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cathy. How are you? You don’t taste the peaches. You don’t really taste any individual ingredient, it’s the combination of them all and the spices that makes the flavour. The peaches help to add the sweetness plus the pectin in them would aid a bit in the thickening of the chili sauce. ~ karen!

  32. msp hacker says:

    I visit daily ѕome websites and іnformation sites to reаԀ сontent, but tҺiѕ webpage pгesents feature based сontent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)

The Art of Doing Stuff