10 Best Sweet Chili Sauce Substitutes For Your Recipes

Sweet Chili Sauce Substitutes
14 min reading time

Are you looking for a savory sauce to spice up your summer dishes? Sweet chili sauce can add flavor and zing to any dish, but if you’re trying out something new or just don’t have time for a trip to the store, it’s nice to know that there are some surprisingly tasty alternatives.

Today we’ll be exploring some popular sweet chili sauce substitutes that you may already have in your pantry so that you can get creative with your cooking no matter where you are!

What is Sweet Chili Sauce made of?

Sweet chili sauce is a popular condiment in many Asian cuisines. It is made from a mixture of chili peppers, sugar, vinegar, and garlic.

The ingredients are cooked down into a thick paste, then strained to remove the seeds and skins. The resulting sauce is sweet and slightly spicy, with a complex flavor that pairs well with many different dishes.

Sweet chili sauce can be used as a dip, a marinade, or a stir-fry sauce. It is also a common ingredient in Thai curries and Chinese sweet and sour dishes.

Whether you are looking for a new way to spice up your cooking or simply want to try something different, sweet chili sauce is worth seeking out.

Why Replace Sweet Chili Sauce?

Sweet Chili Sauce is fantastic on a lot of food dishes, as it adds a nice zing of flavor. But did you know that Sweet Chili Sauce usually contains high amounts of sugar and salt?

It’s important for us to be aware of what exactly we’re eating and put our health first. That’s why I recommend finding a delicious substitute for sweet chili sauce.

There are many condiments out there full of flavor and made from ingredients that are healthier than processed store-bought sauces. Natural sauces such as Sriracha or sweet garlic sauce can give an amazing crunchy texture without compromising your health.

Even better, you can make these sauces at home to ensure the freshness and the quality ingredients used! You’ll be able to enjoy all the great flavors without worrying about unhealthy additions – so why not try it out?

10 Best Sweet Chili Sauce Substitutes

The best sweet chili sauce substitutes are- Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce, Sriracha Sauce, Regular Hot Sauce, Chili Garlic Paste, Harissa Sauce, Gochujang, Chili Powder or Chili Flakes, Spicy Soy Sauce, Black Bean Sauce, Spicy Ketchup. They are discussed below-

1. Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce

Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce - sweet chili sauce substitutes

Making homemade sweet chili sauce is a delicious and easy way to create something special for your next meal. Whether using it to top a pizza, add flavor to tacos, or as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, the possibilities are truly endless.

Not only does homemade sweet chili sauce taste absolutely mouth-watering, but also it is much healthier than store-bought varieties because you decide exactly which ingredients go in it.

To make it, all you need is garlic, sugar, our favorite chili peppers, and apple cider vinegar. A combination of these ingredients will result in an amazing balance of flavors and textures – perfectly spicy yet sweet.

Experiment with different variations of ingredients such as garlic or red pepper flakes to make an even more flavorful and authentic taste. Enjoy the tangy sensation that homemade sweet chili sauce provides and ditch that store-bought stuff in favor of something heartily made from scratch!

2. Sriracha Sauce

Sriracha Sauce - sweet chili sauce substitutes

Sriracha sauce has taken the condiment world by storm lately, and for good reason. It’s a great substitute for sweet chili sauce, especially for those looking for a bit more zing.

This Thai-style chili sauce is made with a combination of red chilies, garlic, vinegar, and sugar – basic ingredients that make you think twice about the dreary ketchup on your table. It tastes slightly hot, with a hint of sweetness, giving your food just the right amount of punch and panache.

Sriracha can bring out more flavor in food and it goes particularly well with fried foods – anything from nuggets to onion rings.

Sweet chili sauce is a common ingredient in Thai cuisine, but it can be difficult to find in stores. Additionally, sriracha sauce is usually less expensive than sweet chili sauce.

As such, there’s no better time than now to switch things up and add some excitement to your meals. So go ahead and give Sriracha sauce a try instead of that same old sweet chili sauce!

3. Regular Hot Sauce

Many of us enjoy the sweet, zesty flavor found in sweet chili sauce. But what do you do if it’s not available? Regular hot sauce is the perfect substitute! It may be hotter, but its layers of acidic, tangy taste rival those of the sweet chili sauce.

If you find that regular hot sauce still isn’t quite spicy enough for your tastes – just add a little extra chili powder or some red pepper flakes to boost that heat! And if you want some of that sweetness back, try adding in a pinch of brown sugar or honey to give it just the right blend of spice and sweetness.

Give it a try and find out why sometimes regular hot sauce can be better than sweet chili sauce!

4. Chili Garlic Paste

Chili Garlic Paste - sweet chili sauce substitutes

Many of us have either heard about or tried sweet chili sauce, the delicious condiment that goes with a range of dishes from traditional Asian cuisines. But if you ever find yourself in a situation where you don’t have any in your pantry, fear not! You can easily whip up a substitute using a spicy and savory alternative: chili garlic paste.

Chili garlic paste is made from a mixture of chili peppers, garlic, and oil, and it has a similar consistency to sweet chili sauce. Just take an equal amount of each one (about a teaspoon to start) and mix them together in a bowl until they’re smoothly blended.

This tasty combo brings out the fiery flavor of the garlic while rendering the sweetness to create an incredibly flavorful sauce in practically no time at all – perfect for topping off your favorite meal.

The main difference is that chili garlic paste is much spicier, so you may want to use less of it or dilute it with some water before using it as a replacement. You might need to adjust the quantity slightly depending on your personal tastes and the rest of the ingredients.

5. Harissa Sauce

Harissa Sauce - sweet chili sauce substitutes

Harissa sauce is a spicy, savory hot sauce that is gaining popularity as a swapped-in substitute for sweet chili sauce. It’s gaining recognition among foodies and chefs because it provides a kick of flavor in an unexpected way.

Harissa has been used in North African and Middle Eastern dishes for centuries. Its hotness, combined with hints of garlic, cumin and other spices, complements any dish you can dream up as a sweet chili sauce substitute .

What better way to liven up your lunch break or fancy dinner than this versatile Mediterranean condiment? Freshly made harissa from scratch delivers the most amazing flavor – make sure you give it a try!

6. Gochujang

Gochujang - sweet chili sauce substitutes

It’s no secret that gochujang is making its way into mainstream cuisine, as more and more cooks are seeing the value of substituting sweet chili sauce with this popular Korean condiment.

Gochujang has a deep flavor that can still be considered ‘sweet’, but it also brings a whole world of other flavors to the table – such as garlic, ginger and umami.

It’s a spicy-sweet condiment made with fermented red chili powder, glutinous rice powder, and salt, providing an incredibly complex flavor profile unlike any other. Not to mention the slight kick of heat that you find in many dishes made with gochujang.

So the next time you’re looking for something tasty to bring your dish up an extra notch, swap out sweet chili sauce for gochujang – your guests will thank you!

7. Chili Powder or Chili Flakes

Chili Powder or Chili Flakes - sweet chili sauce substitutes

Have you ever been in the middle of making your favorite dish when you come to a missing ingredient? Don’t worry- chili powder or chili flakes can be an excellent substitute for sweet chili sauce! Chili powder or flakes are simple pantry staples that add a nice kick of flavor and produce the sheer heat of sweet chili sauce.

Whether you’re making a stir fry, throwing together an Asian-inspired lunchbox favorite, or adding a flavorful topping to meat dishes, these two options will do the trick without having to run out and make an extra purchase.

Give these easy pantry solutions a try – your taste buds won’t be disappointed!

8. Spicy Soy Sauce

Spicy Soy Sauce - sweet chili sauce substitutes

Many of us enjoy the zing of sweet chili sauce when we’re having barbecues or cooking Asian-inspired dishes, but have you ever tried spicy soy sauce? It’s an excellent substitute for sweet chili sauce and will bring a different kind of heat to your dishes.

It has a distinctive salty flavour that pairs perfectly with grills and stir fries, not to mention it can add an explosion of umami to any dish.

It provides another layer of depth without overpowering the taste of the food, but it adds a kick that gives a nice contrast to sweeter dishes.

Of course, this isn’t an exact replacement for sweet chili sauce, but it’s a decent stand-in if you’re in a bind.

9. Black Bean Sauce

Black Bean Sauce - sweet chili sauce substitutes

Black bean sauce is an underrated gem that can be a great substitute for traditional sweet chili sauce. It has an umami flavor that pairs really nicely with most dishes, particularly those with protein like chicken and pork.

While normally fermented black beans, vinegar, sugar, and chili peppers, black bean sauce has a rich, savory flavor that is perfect for stir-fries, marinades, and dips. Just a small amount of black bean sauce can add a big flavor to your dish.

If you need to whip up something quickly, try swapping out that sweet chili for some black bean goodness. Its mild sweetness and subtle garlicky flavour give any meal a truly unique taste without being overpowering.

Keep in mind you might want to reduce the other amount of spices you are using as black bean sauce usually has lots of bold flavors already!

10. Spicy Ketchup

Spicy Ketchup - sweet chili sauce substitutes

Ketchup is a condiment that we all know and love, but who says it must be limited to burgers and fries? For those looking for a sweet chili sauce substitute, why not try spicing up your dishes with spicy ketchup instead?

Despite being made with different ingredients, they have a lot in common. Both sauces add a nice balance to their dishes and provide great warmness and bold flavors.

If you can’t find spicy ketchup at your local grocery store, you can easily make it at home by adding some cayenne pepper to regular ketchup.

It’s customizable, cheap, and definitely worth taking a leap of faith with if you’re searching for something a little different than your normal condiments.

Ketchup has a familiar taste, while sweet chili sauce adds an exotic flavor and some heat. Combining them together will bring out the best notes of both sauces – an exciting mix of sweetness, spiciness and robust flavor.

I like to use it on chicken wings, as a dipping sauce for fried foods, or even as a marinade for grilling.


As you have now learned, there are plenty of options when it comes to finding a sweet chili sauce substitute. Whether you’re looking for a traditional taste or something new and exciting, there’s something for everyone! Achieving the right balance of sweetness and spice can be tricky, so why not experiment with different combinations until you find what works best for your flavor preferences? Remember, no two palates are alike! So don’t be afraid to get creative as you explore these tasty chili sauce substitutes. And if none of them quite work out, consider coming up with your own recipe—the possibilities are endless!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use chili garlic sauce instead of sweet chili sauce?

Yes, you can use chili garlic sauce in place of sweet chili sauce in recipes. Chili garlic sauce is a spicy and tangy Asian condiment made from red chilies, garlic, and vinegar. It has a hotter flavor than sweet chili sauce. So if you want a spicier version of sweet chili sauce, go with chili garlic sauce. Enjoy!

Is chili sauce and sweet chili sauce the same?

Chili sauce and sweet chili sauce are not the same. Chili sauce is a savory, spicy sauce made with chili peppers, whereas sweet chili sauce is a sweeter, milder version of chili sauce that also includes sugar, vinegar, and other flavorings.

What is similar to sweet chili sauce?

Sriracha sauce is a Thai hot sauce made from chili peppers, garlic, sugar, salt, and vinegar. It is generally thick with a ropy texture.

Is sweet and sour sauce the same as sweet chili sauce?

Yes and no. Sweet chili sauce is a Thai sauce that is made with red chilies, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, and vinegar. Sweet and sour sauce is a Chinese dipping sauce that is usually made with sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and ketchup. However, there are many variations of both sauces, so it really depends on the recipe.

Can I substitute sweet chili sauce for Sriracha?

Sure, you can substitute sweet chili sauce for Sriracha in a recipe. Just keep in mind that sweet chili sauce is sweeter and milder than Sriracha, so your dish may not be as spicy as you intended. If you want to up the heat factor, add a little bit of crushed red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños to the sweet chili sauce before using it in your recipe. Happy cooking

Is Heinz chili Sauce the same as sweet chili sauce?

Heinz Chili Sauce is not the same as sweet chili sauce. Sweet chili sauce is made from a combination of sweet peppers, vinegar, sugar, and spices whereas chili sauce is typically made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and spices.

Some brands of sweet chili sauce may also contain onion, garlic, or fish paste. While both sauces are used as condiments or dunking sauces, they have different flavor profiles.

Heinz Chili Sauce would be categorized more as a tomato ketchup whereas sweet chili sauce would be in the Asian section of your local grocery store.

What’s the difference between ketchup and chili sauce?

Well, ketchup and chili sauce are both condiments made from tomatoes, so you might think they’re pretty similar. And you’d be right, to a certain extent.

Both ketchup and chili sauce are typically made with red ripe tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and spices. However, the key difference between the two is that chili sauce also contains peppers, whereas ketchup does not. This gives chili sauce a slightly spicy kick that ketchup lacks.

Additionally, because of the presence of peppers in chili sauce, it is usually thicker and chunkier than ketchup. So if you’re looking for a slightly spicier tomato-based condiment, then chili sauce is the way to go.

Can I use ketchup instead of chili sauce?

If you’re in a pinch and need a stand-in for chili sauce, ketchup can work pretty well. The two sauces are quite similar, after all.

Ketchup is typically a little sweeter and tangier than chili sauce, so you may want to add a touch of extra spice to your dish if using ketchup as a replacement.

All in all, though, if you don’t have chili sauce on hand and ketchup is all you’ve got, it’ll do in a pinch!

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