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16 February 2018

A recipe for homemade chili sauce made with fermented garden-grown sweet peppers. It’s like a mild, richly flavored hot sauce. Dash it over everything!

As we’ve been fermenting our garden grown vegetables far more lately, particularly the huge number of peppers we grow, I’ve made a number of fermented hot sauces. They ROCK.

Can You Make This Chili Sauce with Fresh Instead of Fermented Peppers?

Absolutely. Just skip the fermenting steps.

Fermented peppers offer up a milder flavor for your hot sauce blends, so the resulting hot sauce is typically more complex and nuanced than many other chili sauces.

I can’t say that I prefer one over the other, but I absolutely love the flavors of fermented peppers and other vegetables when they are worked into sauces and blends.

As I typically make hotter chili sauces, Patty asked me if I could make here a milder sauce, not so much a “hot sauce” per se, but a “chili pepper sauce” made from sweeter peppers.

But of course!

Sweet Pepper Chili Sauce - Recipe

The Process – Making this Sweet Pepper Chili Sauce

The process for making a sweet chili sauce is the same as for making a hot sauce, and this is also true for a fermented version.

You’ll simply blend the ingredients together, then add the resulting mixture to a pot, bring to a light boil, then simmer about 15 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Cool, then bottle or store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

Patty loves this stuff. She enjoys spicy food for sure, but often she wants some flavor without all the crazy heat I sometimes cook with.

Best of all worlds here!

Notes on the Fermenting Process

Most of the work is in the fermenting process, and that isn’t much work. It’s mostly chopping, measuring, and WAITING. Waiting is the hardest part.

You can ferment for a week or 2 to let the good bacteria do their work, but I left ours to ferment for 8 weeks, then proceeded to make this hot sauce.

If you’re new to fermenting, I have some information you can refer to. See: How to Ferment Chili Peppers (How to Make Fermented Pepper Mash).

Let me know how your sweet chili sauce comes out! I hope you enjoy it! — Mike H.

A few notes on making hot sauce.

Adjusting the Hot Sauce Heat Factor

This is a MILD level chili sauce because I’ve only used sweet peppers here. However, if you’d like some heat, you can either start with hotter peppers, use a mix of fresh mild and hotter peppers, or incorporate a dried chili powder or chili flakes into the overall recipe.

Frequently Asked Hot Sauce Questions

Here are answers to some of the most common questions I get on other sauces:

How long will this sauce keep?

It should keep a few months easily in the fridge, or even longer. It’s all about the acidity. To be technical, target level ph for shelf stable foods is below 4.6 ph, but should probably be lower for home cooks, around 4.0 or so, to account for errors. If you’re concerned, add more vinegar to lower the ph. Sauces made with fermented chili peppers will last even longer.

The best ph meters that I recommend are from Thermoworks. Get yourself a ph meter from Thermoworks today. I am a happy affiliate.

Where’d you get that sauce bottle?

I find them locally sometimes, but I also order through Amazon. Here is a link to some bottles I like (affiliate link, my friends!): Swing Top Glass Bottles, 8.5 Ounce – Set of 4. If you like the smaller bottles that most hot sauce makers use, here’s another link: Hot Sauce Bottles, 5 Oz – 24 Pack.

Can I process this hot sauce for longer storage?

Absolutely. Just be sure to use proper canning/jarring safety procedures.

What should I do with hot sauce?

Aside from drizzling it over anything you please, here’s a post I did about How to Cook with Hot Sauce. As if you need even MORE reasons to eat hot sauce. LOL. I hope you find it helpful!

Check out more Hot Sauce Recipes or learn more about How to Make Hot Sauce.

Check out These Related Recipes:

Sweet Pepper Chili Sauce - Recipe

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Sweet Pepper Chili Sauce Recipe
Print Recipe
4 from 3 votes

Sweet Pepper Chili Sauce - Recipe

A recipe for homemade chili sauce made with fermented garden-grown sweet peppers. It's like a mild, richly flavored hot sauce. Dash it over everything!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course, Salsa
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili peppers, hot sauce
Servings: 20
Calories: 8kcal


  • 12 ounces fermented sweet peppers
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender or food processor. Add the resulting mixture to a pot and bring to a light boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes to let the ingredients meld.
  • Cool and pour into sterilized bottles. Enjoy!


Makes 2.5-3 cups.
Heat Level: Mild


Calories: 8kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Sodium: 117mg | Potassium: 48mg | Vitamin A: 535IU | Vitamin C: 21.8mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.2mg


Sweet Pepper Chili Sauce - Recipe



  1. Michelle

    What can you use to preserve this sauce so that you don’t have to refrigerate it

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Michelle, if you get a low enough pH (3.5 or below), the sauce will keep longer. I still recommending refrigerating it. Usually people use vinegar or citrus juice to get the pH down.

  2. Hi, I would like to try this with fresh peppers. I have jalapenos, poblanos and banana peppers. I would also like to know if it can be frozen in bags to lay flat in the freezer? How would that affect the quality? Husband, son and grandkids all love pepper relish and sauces. Thank you, Sam

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Sam, absolutely, you can make this with fresh peppers. Yes, you can freeze it as you mention. Freezing sauces doesn’t affect the quality much at all, in my opinion. It’s a great way to preserve it. Let me know how it turns out for you.

  3. Hi Mike. Sweet pepper isnt a term we use in New Zealand. Can you give me a name for one? I am growing a crop of Hungarian Yellow Wax chillies. Would these be in the ballpark of what you mean?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      5 stars
      Jason, I have a list of Sweet and Mild Chili Pepper Types that you can review. There are many types to choose from, anywhere from the larger sweet bell peppers to banana peppers to a range of Italian peppers and more. Hungarian Wax Peppers are more of a mid range heat, about 5K-15K SHU, which is a bit hotter than a jalapeno pepper. You can still use them to make this hot sauce. It will just have a bit of a kick to it. I hope this helps.

  4. 4 stars
    Just made a batch. Decided to try my hand after binge watching about 50 episodes of Hot Ones on YouTube. Added a few spicy chilies to the recipe. Think it could use more heat, can I add more after? If so should I reheat it to blend in their flavours, or what?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Charlie, yes. The original recipe was meant to be a “sweet” sauce, which is why I used only sweet peppers, but you can add in whatever hot peppers you’d like to introduce a heat element. If you still want more heat afterward, you can either add in more hot peppers, process the sauce again per the recipe, and heat it through the let the flavors develop a bit, or just process in fresh peppers and bottle for a “greener” taste. You can also add in some hot pepper powder. Let me know how it turns out for you. Enjoy.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Great, Norma. Let me know how it turns out for you. Yes, blend the ingredients either before or after you simmer them in the pot. It will work either way.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Andrew, yes, you can definitely make this with fresh sweet peppers. The flavor won’t be QUITE as mellow, but it will still be very good. I make many of my hot sauces with fresh peppers. Let me know if it turns out more to your preference.

  5. Could this be processed in a water bath for long term storage?

    REPLY: Lynne, absolutely. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

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