Sweet Chili Sauce

Whip up my mouthwatering Sweet Chili Sauce in a flash! 🌶️ Just toss maple syrup, garlic, and a dash of spice into a pot, simmer, and voilà! Perfect for dipping, drizzling, or dunking your favorite snacks! 😋
Sweet Chili Sauce pinit

Hey there, fellow foodies! Today, I’m beyond excited to share an amazing recipe with you: Sweet Chili Sauce. 🌶️ This sauce is like a flavor bomb in a jar, combining the sweetness of maple syrup with the kick of garlic and red pepper flakes. It’s ridiculously easy to make, and the best part? You can slather it on just about anything! So, grab your apron and let’s dive into this deliciousness together!

Try my Easy Homemade Tomato Salsa recipe.

What you’ll need

Serves 6

  • 6 oz. (170g) maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp. water
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1⁄4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1⁄2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch + 1 tsp. water

Now, let’s talk about our key ingredients! First up, luscious maple syrup adds the perfect sweetness. 🍁 Then, glorious garlic brings an irresistible savory flavor. A pinch of red pepper flakes adds just the right kick. 🔥 With a splash of tangy apple cider vinegar, sea salt for balance, and cornstarch to thicken, these ingredients create a simple, yet incredibly delicious sauce. It’s the magic of flavor fusion at its finest!

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What you’ll need to do

Prep time: 5 min Cook time: 10 min

Alrighty, let’s get saucy! Grab a small pot and toss in your maple syrup, water, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for that zing, and a pinch of sea salt. Give it a good stir until everything’s mingling nicely.

Now, fire up the stove and bring that flavorful concoction to a nice, bubbly boil. Once it’s bubbling away happily, turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 7 to 8 minutes. It’s like a little flavor party in there!

While your sauce is doing its simmer thing, let’s work on thickening it up just right. Mix together your cornstarch and water until you’ve got a smooth, silky slurry ready to go.

Now, here comes the fun part! Slowly pour that slurry into your simmering sauce, whisking it all together like a boss. Keep whisking for a few minutes until your sauce starts to thicken up and get that perfect, glossy texture. You’re basically a sauce magician at this point!

Once your sauce is looking just right, take it off the heat and let it cool down. Patience is key here, but trust me, it’s worth the wait.

Sweet Chili Sauce 1

Once it’s cooled off a bit, grab yourself a sealable jar and transfer your sweet chili sauce into its new home. And there you have it, folks – homemade sweet chili sauce that’s sure to add a kick to any dish! Enjoy! 🌶️🎉

Some possible substitution and improvisation ideas for the recipe

Here are some ideas for substitutions and improvisations for the Sweet Chili Sauce recipe:

Try my Jalapeño and Cilantro Yogurt Sauce recipe.

Sweetener Swap: If you’re looking to change up the sweetness level, you can try using honey, agave syrup, brown sugar, or even a combination of different sweeteners.

Vinegar Variation: Instead of apple cider vinegar, you can experiment with rice vinegar, white vinegar, or even balsamic vinegar for a different flavor profile.

Spice it Up: Feel free to play around with the level of spiciness by adjusting the amount of red pepper flakes or using different types of chili peppers, such as Sriracha sauce or fresh chili peppers.

Aromatic Additions: Get creative with additional aromatics like ginger, lemongrass, or shallots to add layers of flavor to your sauce.

Citrus Zing: For a tangy twist, consider adding a splash of citrus juice such as lime or lemon to brighten up the flavor.

Thickening Agents: If you don’t have cornstarch on hand, you can use arrowroot powder, tapioca starch, or even flour as a thickening agent.

Gluten-Free Option: To make the sauce gluten-free, ensure that your choice of vinegar and soy sauce (if using) are gluten-free, and opt for a gluten-free thickening agent like cornstarch or arrowroot powder.

Herbaceous Touch: Experiment with fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, or mint for a burst of freshness and color.

Soy Sauce Swap: If you prefer a deeper umami flavor, you can substitute soy sauce for the sea salt, just adjust the saltiness accordingly.

Smoky Flavor: Add a dash of liquid smoke or smoked paprika for a smoky undertone that will take your sauce to the next level.

Feel free to mix and match these ideas to customize the Sweet Chili Sauce recipe to your taste preferences and pantry availability!

Some useful tips for the recipe

Here are some useful tips to ensure success with your Sweet Chili Sauce recipe:

Taste as You Go: Since everyone’s taste preferences vary, be sure to taste your sauce as it cooks and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Add more sweetener for extra sweetness, more spice for heat, or more vinegar for tanginess.

Consistency Check: The thickness of the sauce can vary depending on personal preference. If you prefer a thicker sauce, simmer it for a bit longer to reduce and concentrate the flavors. Conversely, if you want a thinner sauce, add a little extra water or adjust the amount of thickening agent accordingly.

Storage Solutions: Once your sauce has cooled, transfer it to a clean, sealable jar or bottle for storage. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. If you want to prolong its shelf life, consider freezing it in ice cube trays for easy portioning.

Customization is Key: Don’t be afraid to get creative and customize the recipe to suit your taste preferences. Experiment with different sweeteners, vinegars, and spices to create your own signature version of Sweet Chili Sauce.

Double Up: If you’re a fan of this sauce (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), consider making a double batch. It stores well and can be used in so many dishes, from stir-fries and marinades to dipping sauces and glazes.

Stir with Care: When adding the cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce, be sure to whisk continuously to prevent any lumps from forming. A smooth and glossy sauce is what we’re aiming for here!

Let it Cool: Allow the sauce to cool completely before tasting or transferring it to a storage container. This will help the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken slightly as it cools.

Labeling Love: If you’re making multiple sauces or storing it for future use, don’t forget to label your jar with the date and contents. Trust me, future you will thank present you for the organization!

Sweet Chili Sauce 2

With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of homemade Sweet Chili Sauce. Get ready to elevate your dishes with a burst of sweet, spicy, and savory goodness! 🌶️🔥

Some serving suggestions

Here are some delicious serving suggestions for your homemade Sweet Chili Sauce:

Dipping Delights: Use it as a dipping sauce for crispy spring rolls, potstickers, chicken nuggets, or vegetable tempura. The sweet and spicy flavor will take your appetizers to the next level! Try Homemade Healthy Quinoa Chicken Nuggets.

Glaze and Grill: Brush it onto grilled chicken, shrimp, tofu, or vegetables during the last few minutes of cooking for a caramelized glaze that’s bursting with flavor. Try Spiced Grilled Shrimp Kabobs.

Stir-Fry Sensation: Add a few spoonfuls to your favorite stir-fry dishes for a sweet and tangy kick. It pairs especially well with vegetables, tofu, shrimp, or chicken. Try Vegetables and Tofu Stir Fry

Sandwich Swagger: Spread it onto sandwiches, wraps, or burgers for an extra punch of flavor. It’s particularly delicious with grilled chicken, pork, or tofu. Try Crispy Herb Tofu Sandwich.

Salad Dressing Switch-Up: Use it as a dressing for Asian-inspired salads or grain bowls. Drizzle it over mixed greens, shredded cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, and your protein of choice for a vibrant and flavorful salad.

Rice and Noodle Bowls: Add a dollop to rice or noodle bowls for an instant flavor boost. It’s a fantastic addition to dishes like rice bowls, noodle soups, or cold noodle salads. Try Vegan Herby Lemon Tofu Salad Bowl

Marinade Magic: Use it as a marinade for meats, seafood, or tofu. Let your protein soak up all that delicious flavor before grilling, baking, or sautéing.

Party Platter Pleaser: Serve it alongside a platter of sliced vegetables, crackers, cheese, and cured meats for a tasty appetizer spread that’s sure to impress your guests.

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, whipping up a quick weeknight meal, or simply craving a flavorful snack, Sweet Chili Sauce is the perfect condiment to have on hand. Get creative and enjoy exploring all the delicious ways to use it! 🌶️🍴

Some storage suggestions

Here are some storage suggestions to keep your Sweet Chili Sauce fresh and flavorful:

Refrigeration: After making your Sweet Chili Sauce, allow it to cool completely at room temperature before transferring it to a clean, airtight jar or container. Once sealed, store it in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness. It can typically last for up to two weeks when refrigerated.

Freezing: If you’ve made a large batch or want to store your sauce for an extended period, consider freezing it. Pour the cooled sauce into ice cube trays or freezer-safe containers, leaving a little room for expansion. Once frozen, transfer the sauce cubes or containers to a resealable freezer bag for easy storage. Frozen Sweet Chili Sauce can last for several months in the freezer.

Thawing: When you’re ready to use frozen Sweet Chili Sauce, transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Alternatively, you can defrost it more quickly by placing the container in a bowl of cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes until thawed. Avoid thawing the sauce at room temperature to prevent bacterial growth.

Labeling: To stay organized, be sure to label your storage containers with the date the sauce was made and its contents. This will help you keep track of its freshness and ensure you use it before it expires.

Portion Control: If you freeze your Sweet Chili Sauce in ice cube trays, you’ll have perfectly portioned cubes ready to use whenever you need them. Simply pop out as many cubes as you need and thaw as directed.

By following these storage suggestions, you can enjoy your homemade Sweet Chili Sauce for weeks or even months to come, ensuring that you always have a delicious condiment on hand to enhance your favorite dishes!

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And there you have it, folks – my Sweet Chili Sauce recipe that’s sure to elevate any dish from ordinary to extraordinary! 🎉 Whether you’re dunking crispy spring rolls, drizzling it over grilled chicken, or using it as a dip for your favorite snacks, this sauce is guaranteed to be a hit. So, go ahead, whip up a batch, and get ready to take your taste buds on a flavor-packed adventure! Until next time, happy cooking! 🍽️

Glycemic index: 54 (low) Glycemic load: 11 (moderate)

Sweet Chili Sauce

Spice up your life with my homemade Sweet Chili Sauce! 🌶️ With a burst of maple sweetness and a kick of garlic goodness, it's the ultimate flavor fusion. Quick, easy, and oh-so-delicious - you'll be slathering it on everything!

Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 10 mins Total Time 15 mins Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 6 Estimated Cost: 5 Calories: 80



  1. Step 1:

    In a small pot, combine the maple syrup, water, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, red pepper flakes and sea salt. Stir until well mixed.

  2. Step 2:

    Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 7-8 minutes.

  3. Step 3:

    While the mixture simmers, mix the cornstarch with the water to form a smooth slurry.

  4. Step 4:

    Gradually pour the slurry into the simmering sauce, whisking continuously for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.

  5. Step 5:

    Remove the pot from the heat and allow the sauce to cool.

  6. Step 6:

    Once cooled, transfer the chili sauce to a sealable jar.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 80kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 20g7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Expand All:
Can I adjust the spiciness of the sauce?

Absolutely! The spiciness of the sauce can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences. If you prefer a milder sauce, simply reduce the amount of red pepper flakes or omit them altogether. On the other hand, if you like it extra spicy, feel free to add more red pepper flakes or even some additional chili powder.

Can I make this sauce ahead of time?

Yes, you can definitely make Sweet Chili Sauce ahead of time! In fact, the flavors often improve with time as they have a chance to meld together. Simply store the cooled sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or freeze it for longer storage.

What can I use as a substitute for maple syrup?

If you don't have maple syrup on hand or prefer to use a different sweetener, you can substitute it with honey, agave syrup, brown sugar, or even granulated sugar. Keep in mind that different sweeteners may alter the flavor slightly, so adjust the amount to taste.

I'm allergic to corn. Can I use a different thickening agent?

Absolutely! If you're allergic to corn or prefer not to use cornstarch, you can substitute it with arrowroot powder, tapioca starch, or even potato starch. Just keep in mind that different thickening agents may require slightly different quantities, so adjust accordingly.

Can I use fresh garlic instead of minced garlic?

Yes, you can use fresh garlic instead of minced garlic! Simply peel and finely mince the cloves before adding them to the sauce. Keep in mind that fresh garlic may have a stronger flavor than minced garlic, so you may want to adjust the quantity to taste.

Can I use this sauce for marinating meat?

Absolutely! Sweet Chili Sauce makes a fantastic marinade for meats such as chicken, pork, shrimp, or tofu. Simply marinate your protein of choice in the sauce for at least 30 minutes (or preferably overnight) before cooking to infuse it with flavor.

Is Sweet Chili Sauce gluten-free?

The ingredients in Sweet Chili Sauce are naturally gluten-free. However, if you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, be sure to check the labels on your ingredients to ensure they are certified gluten-free, especially items like soy sauce or vinegar which can sometimes contain gluten. Additionally, opt for a gluten-free thickening agent such as cornstarch or arrowroot powder.

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