An all purpose chili paste recipe made with fresh chili peppers and seasonings. Use it as a condiment, sauce, spread, or for swirling into other recipes for a heat and flavor boost. Or, How to Make Chili Paste from Fresh Chili Peppers.
Chili pastes ROCK. Don't they? They're pretty key in many recipes and every cuisine around the world has some version of their own chili paste that includes local chilies and ingredients. Chili pastes are wonderful because they bring the essence of the peppers into many a dish, often taming a bit of that heat and mellowing out the flavor of raw peppers.
It's an all-purpose condiment, chili paste. I like to make some on the weekend so I can use it in recipes all week long. It depends on the seasonings you're using. If you want to be even MORE all-purpose, limit your seasonings and incorporate those on a per-dish basis. This particular recipe only includes a bit of cumin and some fresh garlic, which we love as they compliment so many dishes for us. Looks tasty, doesn't it?
You can make chili pastes from dried peppers, though you must rehydrate them first. Most pastes are made from dried pods, but fresh is just as good. You can apply this recipe to any type of chili pepper. Looking for a superhot version? Go for it! I have a Habanero Chili Paste recipe here as well that you can check out.
For this recipe, I used some fingerling and long red cayenne peppers we found at the local farmer's market. As I said, I like to make this on the weekend and keep it for using all week. How can you use chili paste? So many ways!
Uses for Chili Paste
- Swirl it into soups for extra heat and flavor.
- Use it as a spread for sandwiches.
- Drop a few tablespoons into any meat mixture, like burgers or meatloaf.
- Use it as a rub or a marinade for fresh fish or chicken.
- Add it to stew for extra oomph.
- Mix it with mayo or sour cream for a quick dipper.
- So many ways!
How do YOU like to use chili paste? We want to know!
How to Make Chili Paste from Fresh Chili Peppers
First, add your peppers and other vegetables (like garlic or onion, if using) to a food processor and process until finely chopped.
Next, transfer it to a pot with olive oil. Heat to low and cook about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a bit more olive oil if needed. Do not burn the mixture.
Add seasonings and stir. Cook another 5 minutes or so to let flavors develop.
Cool and transfer to a food processor. Process until smooth.
Finally, transfer to a jar and refrigerate! Use a spoonful at a time.
See below for our exact recipe.
Fresh Chili Paste Recipe
- 1 pound chili peppers, chopped - I used a combination of fingerlings and long red cayenne peppers, though you can use any type.
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 small shallots, chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil – plus more as needed
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add peppers, garlic and shallots to a food processor and process until finely chopped.
- Transfer to a pot and add olive oil. Heat to low and cook about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a bit more olive oil if needed. Do not burn the mixture.
- Add seasonings and stir. Cook another 5 minutes or so to let flavors develop.
- Cool and transfer to a food processor. Process until smooth.
- Transfer to a jar and refrigerate! Use a spoonful at a time.
Should last about a week or so. Yields about 1.5 cups.