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22 February 2016

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?

Fresh Chili Paste Recipe - How to Make Chili Paste from Fresh Chili Peppers

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!

Fresh Chili Paste Recipe - How to Make Chili Paste from Fresh Chili Peppers

Fresh Chili Paste Recipes

Here is a list of homemade chili paste recipes I have on the site, made from either fresh or dried peppers. Essential for big flavor!

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.

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS.

See also: Chili Paste Substitutes and Chili Paste from Around the World.

Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! —
Mike H.

Fresh Chili Paste Recipe - How to Make Chili Paste from Fresh Peppers
Print Recipe
5 from 11 votes

Fresh Chili Paste Recipe

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.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili paste, chili peppers, spicy
Servings: 10
Calories: 199kcal

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Should last about a week or so. Yields about 1.5 cups.

Nutrition

Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 42mg | Potassium: 864mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 12015IU | Vitamin C: 14.9mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 2.9mg

 

50 comments

  1. I’ve got all the leftover pulp from straining some fermented chili sauce. Thinking to maximize use and minimize waste but turning them into paste? Reasonable??

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Absolutely. You can swirl it into soups and stews for extra flavor. I love to dehydrate it and use it for seasoning. Let me know how it goes for you.

  2. Randall Hardy

    Is it possible to can this using a canning process without hurting it paste that is it’s pepper paste

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Randall, look into pressure canning, or you can use a water bath method, though you’d need to make sure there is enough acid for preservation. Shoot for a pH of 3.5 or lower for home preserving.

  3. Bob Atkinson

    I would like to try this paste with assorted peppers grown in my garden that I have frozen. I would like to hot water bath can them. Any recipe you may have to help me understand how much vinegar to add when would be appreciated. Thanks

  4. Christian Wiergowski

    5 stars
    I made this chili paste a few days ago. Ohhhhh its really awsome! The best chili paste, i´ve ever had. I made it with peperoni-chilis and the small rawit – thai-chilis. I did not put the cumin in. But I have added a bit tomatopaste. Perfect!
    Greetings from Germany!
    Christian

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Excellent, Christian! Sounds perfect for many, many dishes. I love it. Glad you enjoyed it.

  5. Bob in Cincinnati

    Mike, Thanks for this recipe. I am going to try this today. I see people asking questions about how to can this. Has anyone ever used Citric Acid as a preservative in this recipe? It gives you the acid without affecting the flavor. 1/4 teaspoon equals 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. I use citric acid in other recipes when I can. So this may be the answer.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Bob, citric acid would be great to preserve it. Absolutely.

  6. Hey Mike!! This is a great column of info. We’ve been doing the chilehead thing for a while, but haven’t been preserving so much as constant fresh use. Way too many this year, so it’s time to learn fermentation. This recipe obviously would need acid, as you said, to water bath. But what do you think the resulting product would be at 3.5-4 pH? Is there a commercial equivalent for reference? Those great ripe chile garlic pastes of Thailand and Korea would be the target for us! Thanks so much.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hey, Steve. These chili pastes would definitely have more vinegary or citrusy flavor with the introduction of acid, so consider accordingly. With fermenting, the acid produced by the process does the preserving. It doesn’t affect the flavor as much, but it does mellow out the peppers and adds a unique “sour funk” that is pleasant. Again, something to consider. Or, you can look into pressure canning. Let me know how it goes.

  7. 5 stars
    Hi Mike. I’m making this as we speak (so to speak) and I’m adjusting the recipe volume down a little bit to account for the 14.75 oz. I was able to pick from the two Thai plants we have. This comment section is also helpful because I was able to use it to answer a few questions. One last one though: Have you ever added fresh tomato? Was thinking of the next time I make this and might include a few chopped plum tomatoes into the processor.

    Great site and I’ve shared it with our FB family!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Gerry. Yes, I actually do sometimes add tomato. Remove the liquidy innards of the tomato to achieve more of a paste, but yep, works great.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Myra, this will only last a week or so as is, but several months in the freezer. You can also add in some acid, like vinegar and/or citrus to make it last longer in the refrigerator.

  8. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe, I am making it now, I added water, I hope it will boil off.
    We had chillis I grew in the garden.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Pat, yes, you can freeze chili paste. I actually do it all the time. I just use baggies, but you can also freeze some in ice cube trays, then pop them out and bag them. Good serving sizes that way. Let me know how it turns out for you.

  9. Tracey Maclou

    Hi Mike, your website is amazing. Thank you for allowing me access to all this awesome information. I make very similar pastes and as i make small batches, it gets used up in no time. Can you kindly assist in advising what the average fridge life is should i wish to make a bigger batch. I steam my chillies or peppers in vinegar for 30 minutes, then cook them in oil and spices then blend and store in the fridge. I look forward to your response.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hi, Tracey. Thanks for posting. You can store pastes for a very long time if the vinegar or acid content is high enough, which lowers the pH. Shoot for 3.5 or lower and it will keep many months in the refrigerator.

  10. paul watson

    5 stars
    I have reaper, armageddon, thai dragon and basket of fire , all ready to go.This recipe looks awesome, going to mix them all together and make a mind blowing hot chilli paste. thank you, brilliant. I gave some to a local chef who in turn gave me some made up. I froze into ice cubes! next step make my own and freeze the same way. Ideal for adding to curries, casseroles etc or just dip in!!!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Perfect, Paul. That would be one heck of a HOT dip! You are a true chilihead, sir! Enjoy.

  11. 5 stars
    Just harvested my organic chilies and am so excited to try this recipe..thanks mike!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Dianne, I usually don’t, but you can if you’d like. No problem. Some people don’t like the seeds. Most of the heat is in the whitish innards, so you may be scooping out some of the heat as well.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Trina, you can pressure can this, but if you want to use a water bath, you’ll need to introduce and acid, like vinegar and/or citrus, and get the pH below 4.6. Ideally, it should be 3.5 or below for home canning to account for errors.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Sounds great! Let me know how it turns out for you, Bjarte!

  12. I would like to make a calabrian chili paste with pepperoncino peppers but can’t find fresh. can I use pickled ones? Thank you

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Patty, yes, you can make a chili paste from pickled peppers, but you’ll get the vinegar taste with it. Not necessarily a bad thing, but something to consider. Let me know how it turns out for you.

  13. 5 stars
    Totally wonderful colour and looks very yummy ???? i will try this recipe later today. Well dome and thankyou for sharing Mike

  14. 5 stars
    Totally awesome recipe. I actually bought sealed ice cube trays from the dollar store and portioned the paste evenly amongst them. Makes for easy access when cooking.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      5 stars
      Great tip, Scott! I do that as well. Works perfectly.

  15. Grace Kabucho

    What can you use in place of the food processor?

    REPLY: Grace, you can use a blender, or even a mortar and pestle. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  16. It would be good to know if I processed the jars in a water bath if I could store it for longer ?

    REPLY: Rose, chili paste can be stored, but if using the waterbath method, you’ll need to add in vinegar or citrus to bring the PH to 4.0 or below for storage. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

    1. Gergana Shkodrova

      5 stars
      From my experience, you can store the paste for a longer period without bain-marie cooking and adding an acid, if: the paste goes to glass jars while still very hot, the jar is filled at it’s maximum capacity, the salt is adequate quantity and you pour some olive oil on top of it before closing tight. That way you get vacuum, and it keeps longer, say, a month or so; maybe longer, haven’t tried. If when opening the typical “plock” of the unvacuuming is heard, that means, it should be OK to eat. Trouble is, you can only find out if it worked when opening:) And you have to use your common sense: if any change of smell and color and/or white or green or pink or black any hairy patches on the surface, don’t eat it!

  17. 5 stars
    I made one today , it was chilli madness at it’s best.
    Used some home grown red chillies from Italy.

  18. I thought chilli pastes, sauces. Etc had vinegar in them to last longer or am i wrong?

    REPLY: You can include vinegar, though it is not necessary for a paste. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  19. Hi I just want to ask if I can use this paste to alter the red pepper flakes/Powder in making a kimchi , I love spice and I want to improve my kimchi, Im selling my kimchi actually ⯑

    REPLY: Kristhop, I would think you could use this in place of red pepper flakes for kimchi. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out. Curious! — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  20. Can this be frozen?

    REPLY: Liz, yes, you can freeze this then thaw to use as desired. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  21. John Shotsky

    Hey, Mike!
    I’m wondering if, by fingerling peppers, you mean those little sweet peppers about the size of a jalapeno? There is an interesting history of those:
    http://www.liseed.org/fingerpepper.html
    I think I’d just use a regular orange/red sweet bell pepper in this recipe, if that’s what you mean by fingerling. They are sweet and mild, right?

    REPLY: John, those would work fine for a paste. I used a combination of peppers, but this works for any type of pepper. Good stuff! — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness

  22. how can I make chillie paste as home base business

    REPLY: That is a very good question for discourse! Perhaps one of our professional readers will be able to answer that one. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

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