Homemade Sweet Chilli Sauce

What can I say? Wow! If I knew that homemade sweet chilli sauce was this easy (and tasty) I definitely would have made this sooner. Last week we went to the Vic’ markets and bought a big ol’ bag of chillies. Luckily we had everything else in the cupboard, but to be honest there really isn’t much to it. We started to chop, measure and blitz the ingredients together without thinking about the 37ºC heat outside. We cranked the oven up to sterilize the jars and turned the hotplates on high to cook the sauce. Before we knew it the house was a sauna, hotter inside than out. :(  Fail

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So what better way to conquer the heat? Go to the beach! Yippeee! After bottling the sauce we hopped in the car and headed straight down the Eastern Freeway all the way to the Mornington Peninsular. This was all very exciting as we hadn’t seen this part of Victoria before. In fact, there’s lots of Victoria we haven’t seen but we hope to put an end to that over the next few months.

We drove to the town of Mornington and stopped off at the Counting House for lunch. It’s a lovely French Provincial style restaurant/wine bar with super tasty food. Nom nom. I would have been quite happy to settle in with a bottle of wine for the afternoon but as we drove down, this wasn’t an option *humph*. After lunch we headed further down the coast and finished the day off with a lovely little dip at the beach.

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After arriving back from the long-ish drive home, I realised that the one thing I took for granted in Hobart was it’s proximity to a good beach, never more than 20 mins away. Regardless of how long the journey took, our adventure down the Peninsular was one of the best days ever.

Has anyone else had a nice mini-break lately?  I’d love to know where we should go next!

x e.

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Homemade Sweet Chilli Sauce

Recipe by Michelle Southan – Good Taste Magazine

500g long fresh red chillies, stems trimmed
3 garlic cloves, peeled
750ml white vinegar
645g caster sugar

1. Halve 100g of the chillies and place in the bowl of a food processor. Halve and deseed the remaining chillies. Coarsely chop and place in the food processor. Add garlic and 250ml white vinegar. Process until finely chopped.

2. Place the chilli mixture, remaining vinegar and caster sugar in a large saucepan over a low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.

3. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 35-40 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Pour into sterilised airtight bottles and seal.

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63 Discussion to this post

  1. Ambika says:

    LOVE the sauce and your photos!! Wish I could get fresh red chillies where I stay, absolutely yumm!!!

    • Emily says:

      Thank you Ambika! Yes, the chillies weren’t cheap even though it’s summer here. I would make truck loads otherwise!

  2. Mercedes says:

    I love sweet chili sauce and your photos are so great! Do you know specifically what kind of chills you used?

    • Emily says:

      Hi Mercedes. Thank you! Your comment means so much coming from a food blogger such as yourself! I’m not quite sure what sort of chillies these were sorry. I bought them from the market so the sign wasn’t very specific. Are you making some yourself? It is sweet chilli sauce after all for the sweet tooth! Em

  3. Emily, such stunning photos!!!

    I never used to be much of a chilli lover, but over recent years I realised that there is more to chilli than just the heat. It’s now one of my favourite things, and I love sweet chilli sauce.

    • Emily says:

      Hi Jennifer. I know, I’m not one for hot hot chillies but this is just perfect and the sweetness is delicious!

  4. What a wonderful recipe with such clear pics – I am always running out of this magnificent sauce so this is totally useful :)
    Thanks and great blog :D

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Giant Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Peanut Butter M&M Cookie For One

    • Emily says:

      It’s a must for the pantry! Homemade is always best. At least you know exactly what’s in it.:)

    • Jennifer says:

      What do you use it for? This may sound like a stupid question…

      • Emily says:

        Hi Jennifer, sweet chili sauce is great in any Asian cooking. I also like to use it as a dipping sauce for spring rolls. Delicious!

  5. Cheryl says:

    Your photo makes me want to try some of this right now! LOL I must plead ignorance here…What is Caster Sugar? I’ve not heard of it, I don’t believe I do love sweet chile sauce and would love to make this. Thanks.

    • Emily says:

      Hi Cheryl, thank you for your lovely comment. Castor sugar is a finely ground white sugar. I’m sure you could just use raw sugar instead as it’s all cooked and it all dissolves. You must give it a go!

  6. Danguole says:

    I’m a sucker for anything spicy–definitely will be on the lookout for fresh peppers from now on!

  7. Ashlee says:

    I have just moved into a new house with the whole garden FULL of chilli plants!
    This recipe will come in handy… I am excited to see how it turns out!

  8. Kerri says:

    Hi everyone. I am so glad I found this website as I have been searching for the perfect sweet chilli sauce and judging by the comments this recipe seems to be the perfect one. I have so many chilli’s growing in my vegetable garden at the moment I cant keep up!! I do have a couple of questions:
    How long does the sauce last for? And does it get stored in a cupboard or fridge before opening? Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you in advance :)

    • Emily says:

      Hi Kerri! Sorry I forgot to reply to your message – I’m SO sorry! I’m no expert but I’d safely say it would last up to 3 months (if you don’t eat it all before!). It is essentially a preserve and there’s a fair amount of sugar so it could last longer but just to be on the safe side. Just make sure you sterilise your bottles properly and you should be right. It’d be fine to store in the cupboard but I’d keep it in the fridge once opened.

      This is the perfect recipe if you have excess chillies – you lucky thing. They were quite expensive when I bought them but it was so worth it! Good luck.

  9. abbie says:

    How long do tese sauces last many thanks

    • Emily says:

      Hi Abbie. I’m not entirely sure. To be honest, it was so tasty we ate it quite quickly so it didn’t have a chance to go bad! I’d probably say a couple of months as it has a fair amount of sugar.

      • Harry says:

        Used the last of mine up and it was 12 months old and still good just more mellow but still delicious.

      • Finlay says:

        Mine, which has lime juice but no garlic, lasts at least a year. The heat intensifies over time too, so it’s actually better with age!

  10. Mafe says:

    First of all, I love your photos. Second, I just tried this recipe and it’s AMAZING and so simple. Thanks so much for sharing.


    • Emily says:

      Thank you Mafe. I’m so I’m so glad you like my photos and the recipe. We use the bottle we made WAY too quickly! Haha!

  11. Maria says:

    Hi there
    I would love to make this as I have lots of chillis in the garden. Would you mind clarifying if I use a total of 500g chillis or 100g as in the method.
    Sorry if its a silly question.

  12. Maria says:

    Just re- read it and I think I have worked it out. I physically cut in half 100g and I was thinking it was half of 100g being 50g. Thanks all good. Will get started on it!

  13. AJ says:

    This recipe looks great. I love this flavour sauce so I hope I dont make a mess of it.
    Thank you ;-)

  14. Rozanne says:

    I Love sweet Chillie Sauce and have been making it over the past 12 months. I add some Jalapenos, try it especially if you like it a little hot.

  15. Maisyann says:

    Hi. Making this as I type. Does it still thicken if you use liqiud sweetner instead of sugar???

    • Emily says:

      Hi Maisyann, I’m not sure. I can’t see why not however you may have to cook it for longer to let it thicken properly.

  16. Marta says:

    Hi, I love your blog and sweet chillie sauce on anything going. I am going to attempt making this but I was wondering if I could substitute the sugar for sweetener, just dieting at the moment!!


    • Emily says:

      Hi Marta, thank you and im glad you like the blog! I’d stick to sugar as this helps preserve the chillies, much like making jam.

  17. Antjie says:

    Hi Emily
    I’m looking for a recipy for peppadew jam of peppadew jelly
    Can u perhaps help me with that
    Love Antjie

  18. ladicius says:

    Wow great recipe I used jamaican hot peppers and it turned out great

  19. Helen britto says:

    What is the shelf life of the chilli sauce, has it to be stored in the fridge. Noticed there is no preservatives in it

    • Emily says:

      Hi Helen, the sweet chilli sauce should be good for up to 6 months in the fridge, if you don’t eat it all before then (it’s totally addictive!). As long as all bottles are properly sterilised, you shouldn’t have a problem. The viengar and sugar act as the preserver in this recipe, just like in the good old days before additives existed. However, with that said, if ever any preservatives don’t smell good, throw it out!

  20. Pauline says:

    Hi Emily. FANTASTIC…..I have found an Aussie site!!!! I have seen so many American ones with ingredients like bisquick, all purpose flour, biscuits that appear to look like our scones and so on and I have no idea what they are. Along with their measurements, like a stick of butter, being an oldie I can do ounces and pounds along with inches…..it’s the centimetres I have trouble with!!!!!!! Love this easy recipe and can’t wait to make it….when the chillies are in season or on special. Thanks

  21. Jim says:

    Hi all, just made my first sweet chilli sauce using my own freshly grown chillies with your recipe. Came out brilliant. Can’t wait to try your other recipes….
    Photographs are great you have a good photographer working for you….

  22. Diane says:

    Just wondering specifically what is the name of the chili you used/are pictured so I can get plants next spring. Can’t wait to make some of this!!!

    • Emily says:

      Not sure sorry Diane. I just asked for some chillies from my farmers market that weren’t too hot but you never really know what you’re going to get!

  23. Elmar says:

    I’ve made my first batch … can’t wait to taste it but I’m worried about the vinegar smell. It takes my breath away (literally) does that go away or have I goofed?

    • Elmar says:

      Never-mind! I chilled it overnight in the fridge and that smell is all but gone.

      NB: Check your chillies Heat! Lol, my first batch is like liquid Napalm … but it tastes yummy!

      So glad I had a go!

      I used 3 cups of Dextrose instead of the sugar (Ref David Gillespie of ‘Sweet Poison’) and it’s worked out great.

      • Emily says:

        Hi Elmar, so glad it all worked out for you. To be honest, it’s been such a long time since I made this I couldn’t remember if it had a vinegar smell to it! I do remember we went through our first batch so quickly it was that tasty. I’ll have to make another batch this summer (and I’ll be sure to check the heat of the chillies first!)

  24. Alice Burgum says:

    Oh my goodness! I love this sweet chilli sauce! I seriously made litres upon litres after I tried it once. I gave a bottle to my friends for Christmas and then again for one of their birthdays last week. Everyone loves it so with the next lot I send out I will definitely be putting links to this site on them!! Thanks. X

  25. Alice Burgum says:

    Oh my goodness! I love this sweet chilli sauce! I seriously made litres upon litres after I tried it once. I gave a bottle to my friends for Christmas and then again for one of their birthdays last week. Everyone loves it so with the next lot I send out I will definitely be putting links to this site on them!! Thanks.

  26. sheila daniel says:

    I have peppadew trees loaded with ripe peppadews. Has anyone got a recipe for Peppadew ja? Will appreciate it so much

  27. Please I need a peppadew jam recipe as I have quite a lot of peppadew trees with lots of them ripening now. I need it for using it on savoury biscuits. Thankyou so very much.

  28. PattyB says:

    I love the vintage pinking shears you have. My mom used to have a pair of these.

  29. Shannon says:

    I made this sauce for my hubby last year and he loved it so much that we grew our own chilies this year, just to make this sauce. It is delicious!

  30. Merisa says:

    I pinned your sweet chille sause and making year after year! Thanks for sharing ! Merisa

  31. Merisa says:

    Thanks for your swear chillie recipe! Making year after year! Delicious!

  32. michelle sykes says:

    how long does it last

    • Emily says:

      Hi Michelle, the Sweet Chilli Sauce should last for 6 months, provided the jars are properly sterilised. Good luck with it!

  33. Cath says:

    Hi I was wondering how much this actually makes, just to have an idea of no of bottles I will need.

    • Emily says:

      Hi Cath, from memory it made at least a 750ml bottle of the sauce. The recipe calls for 750ml of vinegar so it can’t be too much more, but I’d have a spare jar for any excess! Trust me, it wont last long!

  34. Kerrie says:

    In the process of making this sweet chilli sauce and have followed the recipe down to a tee but it seems to be taking way longer than the suggested 35-40 minutes to thicken , it’s still very liquidy.

    • Emily says:

      Hi Kerrie, did it thicken as it cooled? Quite often sauces, jams, chutneys can seem quite liquidy until they cool down. Once cool they usual arrive at the correct consistency. If not, heat it back up and boil it again for another 20 minutes and let cool again. I hope it turned out ok!

  35. Drina says:

    Hi Emily,
    Im excited to make this for my husbands birthday present, he loves chillis!
    My question is about the vinegar. Is white vinegar the same as white wine vinegar? Googling says they are different but I kept reading white vinegar is used for cleaning. Hope you can let me know if it is white vinegar so I can get cooking. Thankyou

    • Emily says:

      It’s so delicious you’ll be addicted! Yes white vinegar and white wine vinegar are different. White vinegar is multi purpose so can be used in cooking (especially in relish, pickles etc) as well as cleaning around the house with bicarbonate as an enviromentally friendly cleaning product! So handy!

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