Sweet Chili Jam


Introduction: Sweet Chili Jam

About: Medical school graduate, homechef and food blogger. I use local, seasonal ingredients to create tasty and nutritious dishes.

Sweet chili jam is a vegan savory jam made from only four healthy and budget-friendly ingredients (chili peppers, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and garlic). This sauce has the capacity to elevate each and every single dish you can think of, it goes divine with veggies, dairy and meat products, pasta, rice, omelets, burgers or sandwiches.This chili jam has such a lovely vibrant color. It is hot and spicy, fragrant and so flavorful.

The recipe:


Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients


  • 500g red chili peppers - 17.5 oz
  • 1 cup brown granulated sugar - 200g (I used raw cane sugar; you can also use regular white caster sugar)
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar (5%) - 180ml
  • 3 large garlic cloves


  • a sharp knife
  • a cutting board
  • disposal gloves
  • a food processor
  • a medium saucepan
  • a clean 500ml (17 oz) airtight jar (I use 5 small 100ml jars)


  • tsp = teaspoon

Step 2: Prepare the Chili Peppers

Carefully wash the chili peppers and place them on a clean towel (or some clean paper towels).

While working with hot chili peppers, I strongly advise you to use disposal gloves to avoid direct contact with the skin. Be careful not to rub your eyes when the gloves are on. After you finished chopping the peppers, please wash the gloves with plenty of soap and water (or just throw them away). If you don't have disposable gloves, oil your fingers with about 1/2 tsp of vegetable oil. The oil will create a barrier between the skin and the capsaicin (the active compound that causes skin irritation).

Take the clean chili peppers and trim their ends. Cut the peppers lengthwise using a vegetable knife and discard the seeds and veins. Keep 1-2 tsp of seeds for extra spiciness.

Step 3: Chop the Chili Peppers

Using a sharp knife, chop the chili peppers roughly and place them in the food processor.

Peel the garlic cloves and add them to the food processor as well.

Pulse for a few seconds until they are finely chopped.

Note: If you don't have a food processor, you can finely chop the chili peppers by hand, using a sharp knife.


Step 4: Boil the Jam

In a medium saucepan combine the apple cider vinegar and the brown sugar. Heat the mixture over high heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Add the mixture from the food processor and 1 to 2 tsp of chili seeds. Simmer the sauce over low-medium heat until the liquid is reduced by half (about 30 minutes). After 30 minutes the mixture will be still watery, but it will get thicker as it cools.

Step 5: Spoon the Jam Into Jars

Choose your jars. From 500g of chili peppers, you will get about 550g (20 oz) of chili jam. I like to use 5 small (100ml) jars.

Meanwhile sterilize the jars using your favorite method.

I usually use the following method: I remove the lids from the jars, I place them on a tray and I sterilize them in the preheated oven at 180°C / 350°F (gas mark 4) for 20 minutes. I sterilize the lids by boiling them in hot water for 20 minutes.

Carefully spoon the jam in an airtight jar, seal immediately and let it cool down. Store the jam in a cool, dark place.

After you've opened the jar, refrigerate. The jam will last up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator.



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    Please be positive and constructive.




    I've been looking for a recipe to make bacon pepper jam. this looks like it would be a good start to what I want. If I add some bacon and some liquid smoke I think that would do it.

    4 replies

    Hello, Beewrangler! Bacon jam sounds delicious! I've never tried before but I can imagine it tastes heavenly.
    If you want to use this recipe as a base, I advise you to use half chili peppers and half red bell peppers because if you'll use only hot chili peppers, their spiciness might overpower the complex flavor of the bacon.
    If you decide to give the recipe a try, please let me know how it turned out. I'm really curious! :)

    I'm trying to make a copy cat recipe of Tastefully Simples Bacon Pepper Jam. Here is a link if you want to give it a try.


    It's not cheap but worth every penny.

    I'd never heard of this before seeing your comment. It sounds amazing! But you're right, it's not cheap. lol So, I peeked online and was surprised how *few* recipes there are for this - I only found two! But if you're interested, here they are: :)

    Thank you so much for the suggestion! I can’t wait to give
    it a try! :)

    First, this Jam sounds divine. :) Secondly, on the issue of heated honey being harmful... for honey to get over 140c (284F), it would make no difference whether you added it to any hot liquid you were drinking, as water boils at 100c (212F), and so even adding it to your liquids, it would never be able to get hot enough for this theory to apply. Secondly, you would need to heat the honey over that temp for four hours for it to produce HMF, and I can't think of many recipes that you'd bake that long. I think it's fine to share your beliefs with people, but please don't state them as a fact unless you have definitive proof to back it up. At the moment, there are arguments on both sides of the fence, but it's leaning towards you'd have to eat a LOT for it to be harmful enough for it to matter to humans. I think everyone should make up their own minds on this issue, but do your research first. Here are some articles to help with your decisions, but you can Google up as many as you'd like:

    And the one below, scroll to the right and down a bit. It's the same thing, just by a different name.

    I don't mean this to be nasty, or negative - but how is a recipe containing almost as much sugar as the main ingredient in any way 'healthy'? Maybe a substitution of honey (which typically goes beautifully with peppers) would help, some.

    4 replies

    Hello, ccooper-burke! I'm glad you brought up the topic of health!

    The recipe above is for a jam, so the high amount of sugar is absolutely mandatory for achieving (naturally) its specific consistency. I used granulated raw sugar instead of regular white sugar not only because I wanted that wonderful depth of flavor, but also because it's healthier than white sugar (because it's less processed and it has slightly higher amounts of calcium and magnesium).

    The amount of sugar might sound huge at first glance but remember that you'll have 1 tablespoon of chili jam per serving, which means you'll have about 5g of sugar (1 teaspoon) per serving. Honestly, it sounds pretty good to me!

    550 (g of jam) / 15 (g in a tablespoon) = 36 (tablespoons)
    200 (g of sugar) / 36 (tablespoons, servings) = 5,55 (g of sugar per serving)

    And to answer your final question, even though honey goes wonderfully with peppers, in this case it mustn't be used under any circumstances. Unfortunately, honey becomes toxic if it's heated above 60C/ 140F.

    Thank you very much for your comment and I hope I helped! :)

    You had me up until your claim of honey becoming toxic at high temps. Please back this up with some more info... I've never heard this before, and a quick search turns up no credible source...

    Anyway, I can't wait to make this. It sounds great. If only I could find some red chilis.

    Hello, nplant! Thank you very much for your comment!
    I've been researching this topic for quite a while and I can certainly tell you that we're stepping on a gray area. Raw honey is unanimously accepted to be the healthier choice, as it preserves all its natural vitamins, enzymes, minerals and antibiotic properties. While heated honey is far from being lethal, studies have shown that heating it above 140°F/ 60ºC leads to a significant rise in hydroxymethyl furfuraldehyde (HMF), a substance with cytotoxic and genotoxic effects.
    I personally avoid heating honey as much as possible, but, again I think it's more a matter of choice. Below you will find two links on this topic.
    Please let me know if you decide to make the chili jam! :)



    Thanks for those links. I think I'll just have to agree to disagree with the Ayurveda idea about heated honey, and honestly, I won't likely ever mix heated honey with ghee, but it is something to keep in mind.

    Oh, and I've already decided to definitely make the jam. :) Just need to get a good source of red chilis. For some reason, I feel like I always see them, but now that I'm LOOKING TO BUY SOME, they're all gone. Heh. Go figure.

    Oh my, I have a similar instructable as draft since last winter, it was part of my bread basket. Try pomegranate vinegar ..

    1 reply

    I've read a lot about pomegranate vinegar but I've never tasted it before. I imagine it's fruitier than white wine or apple cider vinegar. Next time I'll make chili jam, I plan on using pomegranate vinegar and maybe some fresh rosemary or tarragon. Thank you very much for your suggestion! :)

    this looks soooooooo good! will pick up some fresh chilies on my way home and give this a try.

    5 replies

    Not so much the peach part as the spice of the chili's goes better with peanut butter than you might think!

    Today I made some hummus (made with peanut butter instead of tahini) & chili jam bruschette. They tasted amazing! Thank you so much for the tip! :)

    Thank you so, so much! Please let me know if you liked the recipe! :)

    it's wonderful! i have a feeling this may well become a staple in our kitchen. thank you for the inspiration!

    Thank you so, so much for your feedback! This chili jam became a staple in my kitchen years ago. It's healthy, budget-friendly and mouth-watering! :)

    We love a version with some of the sweetness from fruit - usually peaches, the stuff is amazing for what we call adult peanut butter & jelly sandwiches (think Thai food).