Vegan Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce Recipe

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The best ever, 100% vegan sweet and spicy chili sauce recipe for dipping everything. Like the famous Trader Joe’s sauce but better, because hello homemade!

Friends, let me show you how to make the popular Asian sweet and spicy chili sauce at home from scratch, to dip all your favorite things in. Spring rolls, scallion potato cakes, tofu, tempeh, tacos, chickpea meatballs, you name it, I probably dip them in this fiery liquid! Ha!

Quick. Easy.Gluten-Free!

Homemade Vegan Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce with Tapioca  
I love the sweet and savory combo here and the little tang from rice vinegar. However, the Trader Joe’s sauce is a little bit more on the sweeter side so adjust the rice vinegar If that’s the flavor you are after.
A really simple concept of simmering a few ingredients together, then thickening up with tapioca flour. Cool off and store in the refrigerator or it could potentially go bad if left at room temperature for too long.
I wish a could say this is a health food, but let’s be honest: this is a super delicious sweet and spicy chili sauce that is sugar based! A delicious treat perfectly fine as a condiment used sparingly even on a plant-based diet, but not a health food.
That being said, red chili flakes are very good for you so load them up as hot as you can handle. They can be stored in a cool, dark place in an airtight container for up to 1 year, so buying in bulk is always a good idea.
Easy Vegan Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce
note: Usually the chili seeds contain about 80% of the capsaicin – the compound that gives chiles their fire. Capsaicin has been proven to stimulate the digestive process and circulation. 
4.80 from 5 votes

Vegan Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce

100% vegan sweet and spicy chili sauce recipe for dipping everything!
Print Recipe
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:7 minutes
Total Time:12 minutes



  • Add the vinegar, water, sugar, red pepper flakes, sea salt and garlic to a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low flame. Cook for a few minutes until it starts to thicken. (If doing the ginger version then add it here as well )
  • In a small bowl whisk together the tapioca flour + 2 tbsp of water until smooth then add it to the simmering sauce making sure to stir frequently. 
  • Simmer the sauce another minute or so until thickened to your liking. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools down so keep that in mind as well. Use a little splash of water to loosen it up a bit if needed. 
  • Allow to cool off completely before storing in tight lid jars in the refrigerator.


  • If you don't have tapioca you can use cornstarch instead.


Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Sodium: 42mg | Potassium: 45mg | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 595IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 79kcal
Author: Florentina

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  1. This sauce was absolutely amazing, we actually used it on quinoa burgers and tacos and now I have to make more. I wonder if I can make it with fresh peppers as well ?

    1. Yes, you can use chopped up red chili peppers, just be careful with the level of heat you can handle. Enjoy!

  2. This was amazing! Seriously addicted now! Tried it on jasmine rice and stirfry veggies..delicious! Planning to use as a dip for Vietnamese spring rolls..Mmm! Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Very good indeed! But too hot for me, I will definitely tone down the chilli flakes next time to more like half a tbsp if not a quarter.

  3. This looks amazing!! What can I use as a substitute for tapioca flour if I’m out of it? Thanks for the recipe by the way (•‿•)

    1. You could use maple syrup, coconut nectar, agave or some vegan honey but none are quite exactly the same. It turns out that sugar is sugar, this is kind of an indulgent condiment 😉

  4. I never liked buying chilli sauce at the store prepare, so happy to find this easy recipe, but honestly I like hot but I thought this was extreme hot, I’ll try to use it or just cut back way back.

  5. Great recipe without all the junk that isn’t good for us. It was a little on the hot side for my husband and I. I use 1T of chili flakes, 1 tsp ginger because I didn’t have any fresh and 2 T cornstarch to thicken. Thank you for sharing! So simple and easy to make.

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