What can I use instead of chilli sauce

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “what can I use instead of chilli sauce?” and provide you with insights on how you can alternate your chilli sauce with other amazing flavors.

What can I use instead of chilli sauce?

 You can use many alternatives to chilli sauce which include sriracha, chilli powder, and flakes, and even spicy tomato sauce.

What is chilli sauce?

Chili sauce and chili paste are condiments prepared with chili peppers.

Chili sauce may be hot, sweet, or a combination thereof, and may differ from hot sauce in that many sweet or mild varieties exist, which is typically lacking in hot sauces. 

Several varieties of chili sauce include sugar in their preparation, such as the Thai sweet chili sauce and Filipino agre dulce, which adds sweetness to their flavor profile. 

Sometimes, chili sauces are prepared with red tomatoes as primary ingredients. Many chili sauces may have a thicker texture and viscosity when compared to hot sauces.

Chili paste usually refers to a paste where the main ingredient is chili pepper. Some are used as a cooking ingredient, while others are used to season a dish after preparation. 

There are different regional varieties of chili paste and also within the same cuisine.

Chili sauces and pastes can be used as dipping sauces, cooking glazes, and marinades. Many commercial varieties of mass-produced chili sauce and paste exist.

The alternatives for chilli sauce include:

  1. Sriracha Sauce

Ever since the boom of Thai food worldwide, the well-known sauce also got the nod of the international culinary scene.

The sauce is made out of red jalapeño chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, and sugar. You can actually try making this at home and use your very own homemade sriracha sauce. 

For first-timers, you might want to try a small amount first and work your way on how you feel about its level of spiciness. It’s relatively spicy compared to other spicy condiments so handle with caution.

  1. Hot Sauce

The easiest choice from this list is of course store-bought hot sauce. But, do not underestimate it because there’s a lot of good choices to choose from when it comes to picking a good hot sauce. 

The market offers a variety of heat levels depending on your preference. There are hot sauces that are milder in heat and there are ones that are extremely spicy, feel free to choose your weapon. 

First, it’s important to check the label for the ingredients and the spicy levels before buying. This will help guide you on which ones to pick.

For the extremes and want to challenge their spice limits, try the Old Texas Ghost Pepper BBQ Sauce. Please remember, this is extremely spicy, do a taste test first before smearing it all over your food.

  1. Chilli Powder or Flakes

Chili powder or chili flakes are also easy to find in the market. They have it packed as a seasoning in a bag or in a jar form. 

It doesn’t matter if you pick the powdered or flaked ones. It all boils down to the type of chili being used in the packet.

Check the label and assess if you like its spicy level. Banana peppers, poblano, and anaheim peppers are some of the variants that you should prefer if you like a milder kick of spice. 

For a really spicy kick, pick the ones that are made from jalapeño peppers, Carolina reaper, ghost pepper, and Korean chili peppers.

You can also make your own homemade chili flakes by drying or roasting your choice of chili peppers. 

Just grind it with the use of a food processor and store it in an airtight jar or ziplock bag. 

This recipe is great to follow because it can last you for a year of usage which makes it practical and time-saving.

  1. Spicy Tomato Sauce

Research.  And last but not least is substituting chili sauce with tomato sauce. You can apply the same concept as ketchup. Open a spare can of tomato sauce, it doesn’t matter which brand. 

Then pick whether you like to add fresh chili or chili powder instead. Then just mix or heat it so the sauce can absorb the heat better.

Some chefs use this technique for making pasta sauces more spicy and unique. Also, it gives you the freedom to adjust the level of spiciness of the sauce instead of buying ready-made chili sauces.

But, you can also purchase a spicy tomato sauce variant such as Bertolli and Prego Tomato Sauce. They offer spicy variants for making spicy pasta or pizza dishes. 

Just take note that the sauce will be more tomatoey. If you like, you can add garlic to mellow down the tomato taste.

We hope that the list above brought additional insight on what to substitute the next time you run out of chili sauce. But if you personally prefer the real thing, that’s perfectly fine, too!

Other FAQs about Sauces that you may be interested in.

Can you freeze cream sauce?

What is the difference between the sauce and condiment?

What can I substitute for oyster sauce?


In this brief article, we answered the question, “what can I use instead of chilli sauce?” and provided you with insights on how you can alternate your chilli sauce with other amazing flavors.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.