This fiery chile-garlic sauce is a great way to add spicy flavor to almost any meal. With equal parts red bell pepper and hot chiles, plus plenty of garlic, it delivers quite a kick of heat. You may want to add it, in small amounts, while cooking a dish, rather than serving it as a condiment. This recipe takes just 15 minutes and yields 1 cup. Depending on how hot you like your food, you'll only need a teaspoon (or less) per recipe. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months. 


Chile varieties: Choose whichever hot chile you prefer. You can even mix different types of chiles for different flavors. The heat level varies significantly between types of chiles, depending on the growing environment and whether you leave the seeds in. For more on chiles, check out our handy guide to fresh chile peppers.

Gloves: Wearing gloves is advised when cooking with super-hot chiles, as they contain oils that can irritate your skin and eyes. 

Freeze leftover chiles: Got too many chiles? Freeze them for later! Chop fresh chiles, spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet, freeze, then transfer to a resealable plastic freezer bag. Store in the freezer up to 3 months.

For more inspiration, check out these tasty ideas:

By Ellen Boeke,

  • 2


  • 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen red chiles (see tip in intro)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic, trimmed
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pure cane sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt


  • In a food processor combine all ingredients. Process until nearly smooth, scraping down sides of processor occasionally.
  • Transfer mixture to a small saucepan. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool. Transfer sauce to a jar; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

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About the Author

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About the Author

Ellen Boeke

Ellen Boeke has more than 25 years of experience as a recipe developer and food editor. She holds Bachelor's of Science degrees in consumer food science and journalism from Iowa State University and attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France. Find her on LinkedIn.
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