Homemade Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce is easy to make at home and goes well with so many dishes, from egg rolls to dumplings to Asian salads!
Growing up, we always had a bottle of Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce in the refrigerator. It was the perfect dipping sauce for so many of my family's Filipino recipes, but especially for our lumpia (Filipino spring rolls). For me, this yummy sweet and sour sauce is a staple of Asian cuisine.
Did you know that it's actually easier than you might think to make homemade sweet chili dipping sauce?
❤️ Why you'll love homemade sweet chili sauce
This sweet chili dipping sauce is a fave classic condiment for so many reasons.
- You can make this in about 30 minutes.
- The easy sweet chili sauce recipe calls for simple ingredients found in most grocery stores.
- It's a versatile sauce that can be used as a dip, condiment, and more.
- The flavors go so well with Thai cuisine, Filipino food, Vietnamese food, Chinese food, and other Asian cuisines.
- You can easily control making it a mild sauce or a spicy sweet chili sauce.
- It tastes just like authentic sweet chili sauce you'd find in any Asian restaurant, with the perfect balance of sweet and sour.
🌶 Ingredient notes
Peppers - It starts with peppers, and let me tell you the best part about this recipe: you can pretty much use ANY pepper you would like. Simply choose the peppers based on the different spice levels you want.
- For spicy sauce: hot Thai chilis, sambal oelek, red chili peppers, red jalapenos, red pepper flakes or red chili flakes.
- For mild sauce: use a one-pound bag of sweet bell peppers.
Aromatics - you'll need an onion, garlic, and ginger
Other ingredients - you'll need rice wine vinegar (or white vinegar or apple cider vinegar) and fish sauce for a tangy Asian flavor, plus a little honey and brown sugar for sweetness. Finally, arrowroot powder helps thicken up the sauce; you can substitute potato starch or cornstarch.
✅ How to make sweet chili sauce
It's so easy to make this Asian sweet chili sauce recipe! Full instructions with ingredients list and nutritional information are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here's a visual step-by-step to help you make it.
- Blend onions, garlic, and ginger together in a food processor.
- Add to a large saucepan or pot and simmer together with honey, rice vinegar, brown sugar, a little arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) to thicken the liquid, and fish sauce.
- Keep stirring and simmering the sauce over medium-low heat, for about 20 minutes.
In about 30 minutes from start to finish, you get this vibrant, bright, colorful, slightly tangy, sweet chili dipping sauce!
See FAQ section for tips about sauce thickness and consistency.
👩🏻🍳 Recipe FAQs
Sambal oelek is a good, spicy substitute. If you're looking for a different kind of dipping sauce that still goes with Asian cuisine, use a simple soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, or
Store homemade sweet chili sauce in an airtight container, like a mason jar, in the refrigerator for up to one week.
About 3 cups. The sauce should be slightly thick (thanks to the arrowroot powder), but not so thick that it's challenging to dip an egg roll into. It also should not be too runny or liquid, like water. Be sure to simmer it until it gets slightly thickened; you can also add more arrowroot powder or cornstarch in ¼ teaspoon amounts at a time until you get the desired consistency.
🍽 Serving ideas
This amazing sauce is the perfect dipping sauce for so many different finger foods. Serve it with Filipino Lumpia, Air Fryer Crab Rangoon, Air Fryer Popcorn Shrimp, Crispy Chicken Wings. Or use it as a Thai dipping sauce for almost any of your favorite Thai dishes.
It's also a tasty staple at the dinner table anytime you want to serve egg rolls, summer rolls, spring rolls, dumplings, fried calamari, wontons, and more.
Heck, this is even a delicious sauce to dip your chicken nuggets and fries into! I totally did that growing up!
More Asian recipes
Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to leave a 5-Star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card, and if you really loved it, please leave a comment further down on the page. Thank you!
Homemade Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce Recipe
- 1 pound peppers of your choice I used sweet bell peppers
- ½ cup peeled and quartered onions
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Add peppers, onions, and garlic to a food processor and pulse until well blended. If you have a smaller food processor you may want to do this in two separate sections so as not to overcrowd the container.
- In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and then add the pepper, onion, and garlic mixture. Stir, and cook for about one minute.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients to the pan and bring to a low rolling boil, stirring continuously.
- Lower heat to low-medium, and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Be sure to stir the ingredients every few minutes during this time.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.
This recipe was originally published here on January 25, 2016. It was updated with new photos, more helpful content, and an updated recipe card on January 24, 2023.
Francine from Callaloo Soup says
I am absolutely going to make this very soon! We actually have all the ingredients in the pantry, and this is exactly the kind of sauce my husband and I love.
Mama Munchkin (@globalmunchkins) says
Yum... I LOVE Asian food and this sweet dipping sauce is one of my favs. Plus, its a pleaser for the whole fam. I didn't realize it was so easy to whip up. I can't wait to try it!!!
Sweet chili sauce is one of my favorites! I absolutely adore it with chicken. I'll be making this soon!
Becky @ Project Domestication says
This sauce looks quite tasty! I love dipping sauces. YUM!
Cathy M says
This sweet chili dipping sauce looks amazing! I can almost taste it just looking at your photos--I'd love to try it with our homemade wontons recipe!
We always look for more dipping sauce and this one is definitely on my list!!
Carrie @huppiemama says
My son absolutely loves those little sweet peppers - He can tear through a whole bag himself. I may need to make this sauce for him one day to serve with Pagoda snacks! #client
YUM, I want to dip everything in this sauce!
Bella B (xoxoBella) says
This sauce looks so flavourful! Yum!
Oh yum this all looks so good! I could really go for some egg rolls and sweet chili sauce! Thank you for sharing this recipe!
I love sweet chilli sauce! Just another example of why I need to invest in a food processor. Thank you so much for the inspiration, this sounds delicious. :)
That sounds delicious!
I've been contemplating making egg rolls again, and this sauce would be ideal with my recipe. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
hmmm...I love Filipino Lumpia, obviously! LOL and dip it with sweet chili sauce. OMG! I'm done. Such a good recipe. Thanks for sharing MArlynn!
Oh my! these look so good! Looks easy enough to involve my 10 year old in the process! thanks for sharing.