sweet chili sauce substitute

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Are you looking for the best sweet chili sauce substitute? Well, how about 10 amazing substitutes for sweet chili sauce? Keep reading to see how you can use foods in your kitchen to replace sweet chili sauce.

sweet chili sauce substitute


Sweet chili sauce, also called Sweet Thai chili sauce or nam chim kaiis is a sauce made from ingredients like dried chili flakes, rice wine vinegar, and a sweetening ingredient such as honey, fruit, or sugar. This sauce is sweet with hints of sourness and spiciness.

Sweet chili sauce is most often used as a dip for wings, vegetables, spring rolls, crab legs and shrimp, etc. It is also sometimes used as a dressing or marinade, spread on toast, added to creamy pasta, and more.

But, if you’re out of sweet Thai chili sauce, are there any other ways to get the same or similar flavor with other sauces or ingredient combinations? The answer is yes. While there is no single food that can 100% mimic the flavor of sweet chili sauce, there are a few combinations that can achieve some similar results.

We’ll share all the best sweet chili sauce substitutes with you below:

Best sweet chili sauce substitute options

Most of the Thai sweet chili sauce substitutes below can be made with simple kitchen staples that you have on hand, so there will be no need to run to the store. In a few of the cases below, we’ll even show you how to make sweet chili sauce from scratch with alternative ingredients!

Hot sauce, honey & vinegar

Hot sauce, honey & vinegar


Don’t have sweet chili sauce? Have hot sauce, honey, and vinegar? Then you have the makings of a yummy homemade sweet chili sauce recipe.

Use ½ cup water, ½ cup honey, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and 1-2 tablespoons of hot sauce as a substitute for 1 cup of sweet chili sauce.

Red Jalapeño chiles & honey (or another sweetener)

Red Jalapeño chiles & honey


Another suitable sweet chili substitute is crushed red jalapeño chiles and honey. Use this if you have a dried packet of dried red jalapeños in your pantry. Feel free to use fresh jalapeños too. Also, feel free to replace the honey with another sweetener of choice such as sugar or even a syrup like maple syrup. 

For this substitute, you will need 5 large red jalapeños, ½ cup of water, ¼ cup of honey, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt to make a delicious homemade sweet chili sauce that can act as a stand-in for store-bought sweet chili.

Fresno chile & a sweetener of choice

Fresno chile & a sweetener of choice


Another good substitute for sweet Thai chili sauce is a combination of dried crushed Fresno Chile and a sweetener of choice. This substitute is very easy to make. 

You will need ½ cup water, 6-10 Fresno chiles (crushed or chopped), ½ cup vinegar, ½ cup sugar, and ¼ teaspoon of salt to make a sweet chili sauce with Fresno chiles.

Ancho chile, sugar & vinegar

Ancho chile, sugar & vinegar


This combination of ancho Chiles, sugar, and vinegar will also work as a good sweet Thai chili sauce substitute. This substitute has a smoky, mild-tasting flavor, when compared to store-bought sweet chili sauce, however, it works great as a mild smoky sweet dip for dipping wings, shrimp, and other finger foods.

Chili sauce & a sweetener of choice

Chili sauce & a sweetener of choice


Chili sauce and a sweetener of your choice like sugar, or even maple syrup can also work in place of sweet chili sauce. 

It should be noted that chili sauce is more tomato flavored, as it is made with ingredients like tomato sauce, vinegar, sugar, and spices. This means that the flavor will be somewhat different from that of sweet Asian sauce which has no tomato or tomato sauce.

Nonetheless, when some sweetener and water are added to chili sauce it does make a quite interesting sweet chili sauce alternative.

For this substitute, I’ve used 2 tablespoons of chili sauce, ¼ cup of honey, 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and ½ cup of water as a substitute for Thai sweet chili sauce.

Tabasco sauce, vinegar & honey

Tabasco sauce, vinegar & honey


If you have Tabasco sauce, vinegar and honey, you can make a substitute that has a comparable taste to store-bought sweet Thai chili sauce.

Only use this replacement if you are out of all other options.

Tabasco sauce is made from vinegar, salt, and tabasco chili peppers. Therefore, if you’re looking for a okay substitution for sweet chili sauce, use these measurements for the best results:

1 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce, 3 teaspoons of minced garlic, ¼ cup of honey, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, and salt to taste. 

Red pepper flakes, honey & vinegar

Red pepper flakes, honey & vinegar


You may not be one of those cooks who has dried chiles like jalapeños, Fresno, or ancho, however, you likely have crushed red peppers in your spice cabinet.

Good thing too, because this ingredient can help you to make a great substitute for thai chili sauce.

To make this homemade version you will need ½ cup of water, ½ cup of sugar, ½ cup of vinegar, 3 tablespoons of red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, and ½ teaspoon of salt.

Red chiles, vinegar & sugar 

Red chiles, vinegar & sugar 


Sweet chili sauce is made with red chiles, therefore if you have this ingredient in your kitchen, then you have exactly what you need to make the best homemade sweet chili sauce. 

This easy substitute for sweet chili sauce can be made in no time. Simply de-seed about a quarter pound of Chile peppers. You can use bird’s eye Chile, Thai chili, or red Chile peppers depending on what you have on hand. Then roughly chop the chiles. 

Next, grab 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, ½ tsp of salt, and grate 2 cloves of garlic. Add all the ingredients into a saucepan and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.

Then use a hand blender to puree the sauce (leave some chunks). Lastly, make a slurry with 1 tablespoon of potato starch and 1 tablespoon of water and add the slurry to this easy homemade sweet chilli sauce substitute.

Note, that the heat of the chili sauce comes from the seeds, so if you want a spicier sauce, keep the seeds of about half of the chile peppers. But if you want a less spicy sauce, only keep the seeds in 1 or 2 of the Chile peppers. If you keep the seeds in all the chile peppers, you will have a sauce that is so spicy, that it may be inedible. 

Red chiles, erythritol & apple cider vinegar

Lastly, for keto lovers, you too can make a great keto-friendly sweet chili sauce alternative. For this take this sauce, all you need are red pepper flakes, erythritol, or another keto-friendly sweetener of your choice and some apple cider vinegar, garlic, salt, and cornstarch and the results will be a delicious Thai sweet chili sauce substitute that is low carb and keto!

Sweet chili sauce with sambal oelek 

sambal oelek

Do you happen to have sambal oelek chili paste on hand? If you do, then you can use this to make a simple sweet Asian chili sauce that can be used as a sweet chilli sauce substitute.

Sambal oelek is a paste made from a combination of different types of chili peppers, as well as garlic, ginger, palm sugar, shallots, salt, and a few other ingredients.

Using this paste, you can make a really tasty sweet Thai chili sauce substitute. To make it, you will need ½ cup vinegar, ½ cup sugar, ½ cup water, 2 tablespoons of sambal oelek, and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.

Sweet chili sauce substitute using ketchup

You can also make a simple sweet chili sauce substitute with ketchup.

To make it you will need 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup of water, 2 teaspoon of chopped fresh red chilies, 2 tablespoons of ketchup, and 1 tablespoon of potato starch.

Add all the ingredients except the potato starch into a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Next whisk in the potato starch. Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool in a bowl until you’re ready to use it.

There you have it! 10 easy ways to substitute for sweet chili sauce. So, if you’re about to make some yummy wings or shrimp and you’re out of this yummy sauce, you can simply make your own since you have 10 useful substitutes for sweet chilli sauce to choose from!

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