Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

5 from 2 votes

Sometimes a meal is only as good as the condiments that you pair with it! That’s where this sweet chili sauce comes in. It’s perfect for seafood, chicken, and beef — use it as a marinade or a dip to add a sweet and savory flavor.

Sweet Chili Sauce in a black and white bowl

There are some people who like eating their food as is, and there are others who can’t have enough condiments and dipping sauces. I belong to the second group: I love to slather certain foods with my favorite saucy add-ons. There’s also something so special about making condiments from scratch. 

Japanese steakhouse ginger sauce, gochujang sauce, Vietnamese fish sauce… the list goes on! I’ve had my eye on today’s recipe, Thai sweet chili sauce, for a while now. It’s absolutely perfect with crispy coconut shrimp, and I also love it as a glaze for meatloaf and chicken wings. 

It’s a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and a little bit sour. It’s also tangy thanks to the added vinegar, and there’s plenty of heat from the bird’s eye chilis and fresh ginger. Its sweetness comes from the addition of sugar and red bell pepper. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. You’ll learn all about the ingredients and how to prepare this special condiment below!

dipping chicken into Sweet Chili Sauce

INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS

  • Red Bell Pepper – Bell peppers have a certain sweetness that I just can’t resist. You can also use any type of sweet red pepper — just make sure that you remove the seeds first. 
  • Bird’s Eye Chili – This type of chili is often seen in Thai cooking. It is quite spicy and a little bit fruity. It packs an enormous punch! Substitute a red fresno or jalapeno if needed.
  • Onion – I typically opt for yellow onion for this recipe.
  • Garlic – I love adding garlic to almost everything, and this condiment recipe is no different!
  • Ginger – Grated ginger comes together with the rest of the ingredients to form a wonderful peppery, sweet, and spicy flavor.
  • Vinegar – Use white vinegar for some extra tang.
  • Sugar – Yes, this condiment calls for sugar. That’s where much of the sweetness comes from!
  • Corn Starch – This ingredient works to thicken the sauce.
  • Salt – Use just a bit to round out the flavor profile.
  • Water – You’ll need to use quite a bit of water in order to create a saucy texture.

HOW TO MAKE SWEET CHILI SAUCE

  1. Blend The Larger Ingredients. Place the bell pepper, chilis, onion, garlic, ginger, and 2 cups of water in a blender or food processor, then pulse into a purée. If you find that there are still some tiny pieces left over, cut them up and place them back into your blender to pulse again.
  2. Cook The Sauce. Transfer the purée to a saucepan and add the sugar, salt, and vinegar. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat, then cook down until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
  3. Combine The Cornstarch & Water. Add the cornstarch and remaining water to a small bowl and mix to form a slurry. Add the mixture to the sauce and lower the heat. Stir as the sauce thickens, then remove from heat. Allow it to cool before using.
  4. Serve & Store. You can use your Thai sweet chili sauce recipe as a dip or a marinade. You can also store any leftovers in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to a week!
jar with Sweet Chili Sauce

What Does Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Taste Like?

This condiment boasts sweet, savory, tangy, and spicy flavors. Thanks to ingredients like vinegar, ginger, spicy peppers, and sugar, the flavor profile is complex and simply delish!

What Is Similar To Sweet Chili Sauce?

If you’re really short on time and are unable to make this recipe from top to bottom, here’s a hack: mix your favorite hot sauce and a bit of honey. The flavors aren’t as pronounced as my recipe, but it works in a pinch!

overhead shot of Sweet Chili Sauce and chicken wings on a platter

What Is the Difference Between A Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe And Regular Chili Sauce?

These two condiments are different in terms of both flavor and ingredients. My Thai sweet chili sauce recipe is sweeter and tangier thanks to the addition of sugar and vinegar. Regular chili sauce isn’t as sweet and is usually made with tomato sauce. Its taste is comparable to ketchup.

How Hot Is Sweet Chili Sauce?

The sweetened version of this sauce isn’t as spicy as some of its other chili sauce counterparts. This is due to the addition of sugar. That said, bird’s eye chilis are quite spicy, so there is definitely a heat factor in there. If you really don’t like spicy foods, you may want to try adding just a little bit to determine whether or not it’s too hot for you.

spoon with Sweet Chili Sauce

Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Made with bird’s eye chilis, garlic, red bell pepper, and ginger, my sweet chili sauce is the ultimate sweet, sour, and spicy condiment!
Servings: 12
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 15 minutes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Pulse the bell pepper, chili, onion, garlic, ginger and water in a blender or food processor. Cut into tiny pieces but do not puree.
  • Transfer sauce pan. Add the sugar, salt, and vinegar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until sugar and salt are dissolved.
  • In a small bowl mix the cornstarch and water to form a slurry.
  • Turn the heat to low and and stir cornstarch slurry into the pan. Stir constantly until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and let it cool.
  • Serve as dip, toss with chicken wings or transfer to a jar and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.

Notes

This makes 3 cups total, nutrition based on 1/4 cup per serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 82kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 586mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 320IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: condiments
Cuisine: Asian, Thai
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
Sweet Chili Sauce on a spoon

Kevin

I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

Free Bonus
Kevin's Guide to Amazing International Cooking
My secrets to authentic & delicious international recipes

Explore More

Leave a comment

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

Recipe Rating




4 Comments