I’ve tried several Chili Sauce recipes over the years and I keep going back to this Sweet Chili Sauce recipe that was shared with me by my best friend, Virginia Hansen.
I have many sweet memories of canning and preserving with a phone attached to my ear visiting with my friend… who was also canning and preserving. (Those were the days when a very very long phone cord was important… for my mental survival.)
This Chili Sauce Recipe came from Virginia’s Grandma Mitchell. And… heaven knows how many bottles of this Sweet Chili Sauce recipe have been placed on pantry shelves in the last 100 years.
Sweet Chili Sauce
1/2 bushel of Tomatoes
5 1/2 Cups Sugar
1/3 Cup Salt
3 Cups White Vinegar
3 Large Onions (minced)
4 Chopped Green Peppers
Spices are placed in a bag. I cut a bit of nylon hosiery (4X4) and place all of my spices into the middle and tie it up so it forms a loose spice ball. (Yes… I wash my my nylon first.)
1 Teaspoon ground cloves
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Prepare the tomatoes using tomatoes canning basics and then squish them up with your hands until they are in small pieces.
2. Cook the tomatoes down 1/4th. You really have to watch the tomatoes and stir them often so they won’t scorch. Once brought to a boil… turn heat way down.
3. Add all of the rest of the ingredients and cook your chili sauce down until you have the desired consistency. You have to keep the heat very low and stir often. Since you have added sugar, it will scorch easily. (This process could take a better part of a day… but it’s worth it.)
4. Tip. I let my sauce stand uncovered over night because a lot of the excess liquid will evaporate out. The result is… nice thick chili sauce.
5. Place sauce into pints with canning lids and canning rings. Place in a waterbath canner or steam canner for 20 min. I don’t go longer than that because the sauce has been cooked to death and it has plenty of sugar and vinegar. It won’t kill you.. I promise.
It makes about 16 pints.
The aroma of this recipe can be enjoyed from the driveway of my house. My girls say… “When Mom preserves Chili Sauce… we come running. We can smell it cooking from a mile away.”
Happy Canning and Preserving!
Kathy Griffiths – Insightful Nana
P.S. My sweet friend, Virginia, passed away last month from diabetes complications. This recipe takes on a new meaning for me. I will never think of this Chili Sauce recipe in the same way. Thanks Virgina for sharing with all of us.