Chili Sauce Substitutes

chili image by Annett Goebel from

Chili sauce is a condiment with various uses. It usually consists of tomatoes, spices, sugar, onions and peppers. Bottled varieties may also contain salt and preservatives, which may not be healthy for some people. There are several healthy substitutes available for chili sauce that are so good, you may not miss the bottled variety.

Cocktail Sauce

The tang and spice levels in cocktail sauce are similar to chili sauce. As a substitute, it would be best to use the spicier varieties of cocktail sauce. Cocktail sauce is high in additional salt. Try choosing a variety of cocktail sauce that's low in sodium.


The biggest difference between cocktail sauce and salsa is that salsa consists of chopped tomatoes and peppers. Place the salsa in a blender and blend until both smooth and completely combined. The consistency will favor that of chili sauce. Whether making or purchasing salsa, aim for low sodium.

Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce has a taste that is very similar to barbecue sauce, making hoisin sauce a great substitution to chili sauce. While it's available in grocery stores, you may have to purchase hoisin sauce at an Asian market or specialty store to get the flavor that you need. Like cocktail sauce and salsa, hoisin sauce is high in sodium. Try choosing a variety low in sodium.

Prepare Your Own

For 1 cup of chili sauce, combine 1 cup tomato sauce, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp. of vinegar, 1/4 cup cinnamon, a pinch of ground cloves and a pinch of ground allspice.