DIY: Homemade Garlic Chile Sauce

in Condiments, DIY, Sriracha

Homemade Garlic Chile Sauce

Oh, sriracha. I adore that stuff. At some point in the last year or so, it supplanted Tobasco as my favorite hot sauce. It’s sweet, it’s spicy, and with a nice dose of garlic, it’s far more flavorful than the little bottle with the red lid.

And with only 5 ingredients, it’s so easy to make your own garlic chile sauce at home. Fresher. And with less (no!) xanthum gum.

The red bell peppers give body to the sauce as well as sweeten it naturally (no added sugar!). And then you’ll get the heat. If you’re not big on heat, consider using less peppers than the recipe calls for (the original recipe called for 4 habaneros or other spicy red or orange peppers).

I used tepin chiles after my 2-year-old stumbled upon a small bush growing wild in our backyard. “Strawberry hurt” were the first words she finally muttered after several minutes of crying and drooling like she had rabies. And for good reason – tepin chiles are hot.

Tepin Chiles

Like, crazy *@&!#% hot. They’re either almost as hot as habanero peppers or as hot as habanero peppers, depending on which site you look at. They’re the official native pepper of Texas (the distinction is important so as not to offend jalapenos) and mostly grow wild because the seeds won’t germinate unless they’ve passed through a bird.

Our wild little plant is growing in the neglected corner of the backyard… right under a power line.

Because the sauce doesn’t have any commercial thickeners, the texture will resemble a fresh, homemade tomato salsa. And after the flavors get a chance to settle for a few days, you’re only problem will be figuring out how to work a spoonful of the vibrant red-orange sauce into everything from breakfast to dessert 🙂

Homemade Garlic Chile Sauce

A sweet and garlicky chile sauce for sriracha fans that's made with summer's freshest - and hottest - peppers.


  • 2 red bell peppers, seeds and stems removed
  • 2-4 spicy red or orange peppers (like a habanero, fresno, etc), stems removed (I used 8 tepin chiles)
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Roughly chop the bell peppers, spicy peppers, and garlic and add to a small sauce pan with the vinegar and salt.
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cooking for another 10 minutes.
  3. Don't stand over the pot, deeply inhaling the fumes.
  4. Transfer the pan contents to a blender and blend ~10 seconds or pulse until you reach desired consistency.
  5. Transfer to a jar (or jars) and let come to room temperature.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for 3 days before eating.
  7. The sauce will keep for weeks - months! - in the fridge.


Yields: ~2 cups

Adapted from the New York Times

Estimated time: 20 minutes

24 comments… add one
  • This looks too easy/good to be true! But with so many family members and family friends still in Texas, I think this could be an adorable Christmas gift (if shipped in the winter, and quickly).

  • This post is so timely- my mother-in-law and I were watching the Food Network recently when I asked her, “What IS sriracha? I’m hearing about it everywhere,” and she said, “Never heard of it.” So I’m sending her a link to this! Thanks!

  • Love, love sriracha. What a cool idea to make your own. Will have to see if we can find the tepin chiles.

  • I recently bought some of this to use in a drunken noodles recipe and holy sh&t ^*%& mother hell lover I didn’t realize how spicy it was until I dumped a 1/4 cup of it into the rest of my sauce. This recipe is definitely getting made so I can dial down the heat factor in it to “wimpy.”

  • Wow, I absolutely have to try making this! I’ll have to look for a tepin chilie plant – that looks pretty and how great to have it at your disposal!

  • Oh, I love this! Can’t wait to try it – we have a houseful of hot sauce lovers!!

  • This looks amazing, love that you used bell peppers in it.

  • Whoa, this might be life-changing! I use chili garlic sauce in a lot of my recipes but I always feel a little guilty that it’s not “clean” (ie, sometimes has sugar, thickeners, etc.) I never knew you could make your own!

  • BeckyS

    Can’t wait to try this one! Thanks for the heat-filled recipes. You are one amazing cook!

  • Oh man, on some scrambled eggs? Perfection. Great shots

  • Poor baby!

    And hold up…sriracha has XANTHAM GUM? Why?? I choose your version hands down.

  • Aww…your poor little girl! 🙁 Hope that didn’t ruin strawberries for her!

    And I need to make this! This recipe looks too simple not to!

  • I wonder what my dad would do if I made him some of this! He looooves chili sauce and sriracha, and probably eats it with every meal. I think he would flip out!! 😀

  • Ahhh poor baby! Did you give her milk to make the crazy heat go away? Hope she feels better and careful whenever picking those wild berries. Homemade sriracha is like saucy heaven! Yeah!

  • I love sriracha! I eat it so much that tabasco no longer is spicy to me. I may try thai chiles for this recipe.

  • Douglas

    Just made this!! do the flavors transform a ton in the 3 days it refrigerates?

    • They *definitely* settle down. I just cracked into the second jar this week – now a month old – and it was even better than the first jar.

  • Jen

    I just found a tepin plant in my back yard! Actually a friend of mine found it hiding way in the corner, growing up against our fence. As soon as I saw it, I remembered this blog post and was so excited! I just got the rest of the ingredients I need to make the chile garlic sauce…just in time for Christmas presents! I can’t wait to try this sauce, and the tepin chiles themselves, in various recipes.

  • Thank you for this recipe. Do you cover the pot as you cook the sauce? Or leave it uncovered? Thank you so much!

    • I leave it uncovered. And it really, really improves with age, too, if you want to stick it in the fridge and forget about it or make a larger batch.

      • Thank you! I made it Friday. I couldn’t find tepin chiles or red japapeños, so I used serrano peppers. It’s not spicy but very flavorful.

  • Laura

    You can grow tepin chiles from seed! My Daddy always had them when I was growing up. He found one wild somewhere and brought them home, extracted the seeds and dried them on paper towels in the sun. They grew very well for him, but he’s gone now and I have no clue if he kept any seeds, but I sure wish he had.

  • DoriG

    Hi, sorry to say but my stomach is very wimpy with super hot stuff. Anything I can substitute for this sauce or maybe use less of the hot peppers or peppers that are not so hot?

    • You can use any non-hot red pepper, more red bell would be a good choice.

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