Homemade Chili Sauce from Grandma Mabel

Ah, those memories of walking into my grandma’s home after she had just canned a batch of her fabulous Homemade Chili Sauce! The smell enveloped me like her hug, and to this day, I feel Grandma’s hug every time I make a batch of her Chili Sauce. Often, I use the chili sauce as the base for my Sloppy Joe, and, it’s also delicious on hot dogs, hamburgers, or added to many recipes to add a sweet zest.

My grandma grew up on a farm as the oldest daughter in the large family with 7 children. Sadly, when she was still young, her mother became ill and my grandmother shouldered the responsibility of cooking not only for the large family, but also for the farmhands. She learned all she could from her mother and other ladies in the farming community. Amazingly, in no time, she was recognized for her flair for delicious cooking, baking, and canning. Thankfully, some of her recipes were preserved for our benefit. As we enjoy the harvest from our gardens, I am pleased to share with you my dear grandma’s chili sauce recipe.

Homemade Chili Sauce

Grandma Mabel’s Homemade Chili Sauce Yield approx: 6 Pints

  • 18 ripe tomatoes, blanched (blanching instructions here)
  • 6 medium onions, peeled
  • 2 red peppers, tops off and seeds removed
  • 2 green peppers, tops off and seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon each:
    • ground cloves
    • ground cinnamon
    • celery seed
    • ground allspice
Everything else
  • 4 teaspoon salt, I use pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 1/2 cup white sugar, I used Kirkland organic sugar
  • 1 qt (4 cups) apple cider vinegar, I use 3 cups Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar (undiluted) with 1 cup of water. You can also use 4 cups diluted apple cider vinegar


Even more, enjoy this in your Sloppy Joes with a glass of red wine to further excite your taste buds!

  • Chop up blanched tomatoes, red and green peppers, and onions and place in a 5 to 6-quart pan.
  • Add in salt, sugar, and vinegar and mix with vegetables.
  • Put the spices – cloves, cinnamon, allspice, and celery seed in a square of cheese cloth, or clean piece of a bedsheet and tie loosely with a piece of string (like a pouch). Place the bag of spices in with the rest of the ingredients. Tie the string to a handle and push the spices into the mixture.
  • Place the pan on the stove over medium high heat and bring to boiling. After the mixture begins to boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer. Stir occasionally. Cook until mixture thickens. (This can take several hours.)
  • After mixture thickens, remove from heat and place in jars and seal. However, if the lids do not seal, then follow these instructions to seal the jar safely.