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26 October 2015

A recipe for making chili paste, including the bright and fiery habanero pepper.

This is it. This is the end of our chili pepper season here in zone 5 where the frost has already hit us. I still had a number of fresh chili pepper pods in the refrigerator and needed a good way to preserve them for use. We already froze a TON of them, dehydrated a crazy amount of peppers for making spice blends, made sauces galore. You name it, we’ve probably done it this year.

And! That includes making chili paste.

Why Make Chili Paste?

Chili paste is a flavorful alternative to incorporating dried spices into your meals. You can reach into the fridge and swirl your chili paste into your dish rather than season with dried ingredients. You’ll get a fresher flavor blast this way. Use it as a rub for meats or seafood, or for soups or stews.

How to Make Habanero Chili Paste

I made this one with habanero peppers, though you can easily make it with other chili peppers. I’ve inclulded garlic and fresh herbs, though again, you can incorporate other ingredients as well.

Use a food processor to combine everything, or, if you’re like me, use a molcajete and grind everything together until your paste forms. There is something inherently satisfying about processing your paste by hand with a molcajete. Fun!

Add or subtract the amount of oil to your personal preferences. I like more moisture to mine and I enjoy a chunky blend, which you can see in the photo. Your paste will last about a week in the fridge or much longer if you freeze it. Enjoy!

Habanero Chili Paste in a molcajete, being ground

Further Resources to Help You

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.

Habanero Chili Paste Recipe
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5 from 3 votes

Habanero Chili Paste Recipe

A recipe for making chili paste, including the bright and fiery habanero pepper.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili paste, chili peppers, habanero, recipe, spicy
Servings: 30
Calories: 20kcal


  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh Basil parsley is good too
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 20 habanero peppers stems removed
  • Water as needed


  • Combine all ingredients in processor and blend until very finely processed. Or, use a molcajete and grind everything up into a paste.
  • Add in more oil or a bit of water if you'd like a more consistent paste.
  • Transfer to an air tight container and refrigerate.


Should last about a week or so. Or, you can freeze it and thaw as needed for use.


Calories: 20kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 27mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 103IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg


  1. 5 stars
    I made this and froze it in an ice cube tray. Then placed the cubes in a freezer bag. I take out a “cube” when I want to spice up a recipe or use it for dip.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Perfect, Julie! I love it. I use this method to freeze lots of different sauces and pastes, like sofrito, curry pastes, so many things.

  2. 5 stars
    We love this recipe! I just used the last of the habaneros (many were still green) and a bunch of sugar rush peach peppers with your ingredients and it’s amazing! Thanks so much for your recipes. We use quite a few of them. Will try to figure out how to post a picture.
    Robbi and Dave

  3. I’m curious…We’re did you get your nutritional facts? The sodium seems really high for 1 tsp salt. Is this correct?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Katy, the values come from a recipe card plugin that I use. The issue is that I only calculated on 6 servings, though realistically you won’t be using more than a teaspoon in most recipes. I recalculated at higher servings, which makes more sense. Thanks for calling this to my attention. Also, if sodium is a concern, you can dial WAY back on it.

  4. charmaine

    5 stars
    Hi Mike

    Made this today but just wondered what the shelf life would be more or less if canned? Would like to make larger batches and use as gifts for my chilli loving friends.



    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Charmaine, chili paste will normally last about a week, though you can freeze it to keep it longer. If you want to can it, you’ll need to use a pressure canner, as there is high acidity. If you want to use a water bath method, you’ll need to introduce an acidic element, like citrus or vinegar, to lower the ph to under 4.0, 3.5 more ideal. I hope this helps.

  5. hi. would lemongrass go with it nicely as an additional spice?
    also wondering f I could leave the seeds in if i wizz it up fine enough at the end?
    what difference would it make in the flavour?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hi, Pamela. Yes, I think lemongrass would be a great flavor addition here. It would complement many recipes. Yes, you CAN leave in the seeds. Some people find them bitter, so plan accordingly. I leave them in all the time.

  6. Hi Mike, did it and turned out great, though i’d rather use 1/4 pound chili hehe!

  7. Hi, I wish to do this recipe but with a variation:

    ½ cup Sunflower oil
    ¼ cup fresh Basil
    ¼ cup fresh Parsley
    ¼ cup fresh cilantro
    4 cloves garlic, peeled
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon white vinegar
    1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    ½ teaspoon ground cumin
    1 pound mushroom yellow peppers, stems removed
    2 pcs yellow sweet bell peppers (seeded)

    Mix all with a processor and put on fire to allow all moisture evaporate, then jar it while hot to increase shelf life

    What do you think about?

    REPLY: Sounds great, David. Let me know how it turns out. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

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