Condiment/ Sauces/ Summer

Sweet Chili Sauce made with Fresno Peppers

September 1, 2021
Sweet Chili Sauce made with Fresno Peppers

This Sweet Chili Sauce made with Fresno Peppers is simple, balanced, and packed full of flavor. A perfect dipping sauce for dumplings, sandwiches, noodles, and more. Although simple, the complexity all lies within the chemical interaction on your taste buds! Sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami tastes are all present in this recipe.

We’ve started harvesting more peppers on the farm, and one that has swiftly become a favorite in our kitchen is the Fresno pepper. It’s super sweet (for a spicy pepper!) if you remove the seeds, and has a citrusy aftertaste that lends well to a hot sauce or pepper paste marinades. Hence, the Fresno pepper has by far become our favorite chili to use in the ever-loved sweet chili sauce!

What to eat with Sweet Chili Sauce:

  • Spring rolls
  • Toast with chevre, or another spreadable cheese
  • Roasted potatoes or croquettes
  • Stir-fry
  • Dumplings
  • Chicken wings

Tips and Substitutions

If you have some on hand, kaffir lime leaves go a long way with the flavor of this sauce. Thinly slice 1-2 leaves and incorporate them with everything in the first step. They bring a bright, citrusy flavor to this sweet and savory chili sauce. You can find them in the frozen section of Asian supermarkets. I was lucky enough to find a Kaffir lime plant at one of our local farmers’ markets and I’ve never had to purchase them in-stores since.

The consistency of the sauce is very important. You don’t want any lumps or a watery sauce–should be thickened to a near syrup consistency. Just make sure when you add the cornstarch to the sauce, that it has been thoroughly mixed in the tablespoon of water. And then when the sauce is boiling, pour in the cornstarch and mix well. Stir for a minute or two, and let it cool.

If you’re a pepper person, I think you might like this Shishito Pepper Steak’s definitely better than takeout!

Fresno Pepper Sweet Chili Sauce


  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon minced chili pepper (we used Fresno) *for mild sauce, remove most of the seeds; vice versa for spicy
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water



Combine everything except for the dissolved cornstarch into a small pot. Bring to a boil and then lower back to a simmer, pour in the dissolved cornstarch, and stir until smooth, about 1 minute.


Let this cool and enjoy! I store this sauce in a half-pint jar, in the refrigerator, for up to two weeks.

Fresno Pepper Sweet Chili Sauce with dumplings.

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