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13 Best Replacements For Chili Garlic Sauce To Have In Your Kitchen

Sauces are the magic ingredients that take your dishes to the next level. Choosing the right type of sauce makes all the difference.  

Chili garlic sauce is a popular Vietnamese condiment. This fiery sauce combines chili peppers, garlic salt, a pinch of sugar, and vinegar. 

It comes with a spicy, hot flavor with a garlicky undertone. 

Chili garlic sauce is versatile and compliments a wide variety of dishes. It goes well with veggies, meat dishes, noodles, pasta, pizzas, burgers, and sandwiches. 

We all find ourselves reaching for our Chili garlic sauce, only to find that we’re empty and an immediate supermarket visit is necessary. 

If you’re too lazy to pay a supermarket visit or want to experiment a little, we’ve got you covered. 

Take a look at our list of amazing sauces that will serve as a replacement for Chili garlic sauce

Best Chili Garlic Sauce Substitutes

SubstitutesCalories (Per 100 gm)
Sriracha Sauce93
Sambal Oelek19.8
Chili Garlic Sauce (DIY)88
Garlic Paste, Chili Powder And Ketchup110
Fresh Garlic And Chili Peppers95
Hot Sauce11
Harissa Sauce261
Spicy Tomato Sauce32
Black Bean Sauce102
Red Pepper Flakes0
Chili Paste66.7
Chiu Chow Chili Oil700

1. Sriracha Sauce

Sriracha Sauce best replacements for chili garlic sauce

This is a popular Thai chili, commonly known as Sriracha. It contains garlic, red chilies, salt, vinegar, garlic, and other things.

Sriracha serves as an excellent alternative to chili garlic sauce in any recipe, but it uses dried red jalapeño peppers and is much hotter than chili garlic sauce.

Since it has practically all the same ingredients, Sriracha is a tasty and easy substitute.

How To Substitute

This is an excellent substitute for chili sauce since it packs some extra rich tastes from the extra ingredients. Since it is spicier than chili garlic sauce, it should always be cautiously used.

2. Sambal Oelek

Sambal Oelek best replacements for chili garlic sauce

This Indonesian chili paste, known as sambal oelek, is a smooth paste created by blending palm sugar, scallions, shrimp paste, garlic, salt, lime juice, and ground red chili peppers.  

Sambal Oelek greatly compliments Asian cuisine. It is an excellent substitute since it uses many similar ingredients as chili garlic sauce. 

Sambal oelek brings a twist to your dishes with ingredients such as scallions, sugar, lime, and more.

How To Substitute

Given the similarities in the ingredients, chili garlic sauce and sambal oelek taste quite similar. It also contains extra ingredients, so it should be taken carefully.

3. Chili Garlic Sauce (DIY)

Chili Garlic Sauce best replacements for chili garlic sauce

Why go to the supermarket when you can make your supply of chili garlic sauce. It is easy to make and may be preserved in bottles for later use. 

By doing this, you’ll have a larger supply lying around and save some bucks.

The only ingredients required are fresh red chili peppers, some sugar, vinegar, salt, and dried or soaked peppers

With the chilies, create a fine paste and then strain it. Now heat the paste to the required consistency. To make it thinner, you may add water.

How To Substitute

This DIY sauce is a fantastic and more affordable substitute for chili garlic sauce and can be easily made and is very flexible. For the best results, you’ll need a little time on your hands and the right ingredients.

4. Garlic Paste, Chili Powder And Ketchup

Garlic Paste, Chili Powder And Ketchup

If chili garlic sauce isn’t available, this is a great, easily accessible substitute that works better than you imagine. It works well as a side dip and as a substitute for the Chili garlic sauce.

You may also add red chili flakes, red pepper powder, paprika, and cayenne. 

Combine all the ingredients. You can adjust the flavor of the mixture to your preference by varying the amount of chili and garlic in the ketchup.

However, ketchup does include vinegar, salt, and sugar, and you should be aware that it can give your recipe a unique tomato taste.

How To Substitute

If you don’t have chili garlic sauce, try this simple, effective replacement. It may be substantially altered to meet the specifications of your recipe. It only has a few simple ingredients and might give your foods a sweet and sour taste.

RELATED: 15 Amazing Garlic Infused Bread Recipes

5. Fresh Garlic And Chili Peppers

Fresh Garlic And Chili Peppers best replacements for chili garlic sauce

This sauce is a simple replacement that works well in dishes cooked under high heat. For this reason, they work well with broths, stews, and soups, as well as Asian stir-fries.  

It gives a flavorful kick of fresh garlic and chili.

You must finely cut both ingredients for the best result before adding them to the mixture in a 1:1 ratio.

If you want to recreate the tangy taste of the original chili garlic sauce, add a splash of vinegar.

This sauce works well in prepared meals, dressings, and toppings. Additionally, this substitute is inexpensive, simple to create, and widely accessible.

How To Substitute

This replacement for chili garlic sauce is easy to get and simple to prepare. It is inexpensive and mimics the taste of garlic and chili. This sauce comes the closest to capturing the taste of the original spice elements.

6. Hot Sauce

Hot Sauce best replacements for chili garlic sauce

Hot sauce gives your meals a fiery kick when you’re in a real bind. Although the distinctive flavor of garlic will be absent, it still works well to create heat.

By adding some garlic paste or freshly minced garlic, you can make up for the absent garlic.

Hot sauce typically contains some extra ingredients and is on the spicier end of sauces. 

This implies that it will give your dishes a flavor profile. Take very good care while using it. Hot sauce can also serve as dips, dressings and toppings, and more.

How To Substitute

A simple way to add spice to your meals is by using hot sauce. You might need to make up for this lack of garlic taste by adding garlic paste or freshly minced garlic to your dishes. It is adaptable and suitable for many different recipes.

7. Harissa Sauce

Harissa Sauce best replacements for chili garlic sauce

The tastiest and one of the closest alternatives to chili garlic sauce is harissa sauce. 

It is a very hot sauce from North Africa that is created with garlic, vinegar, red chilies, and other spices. It is a popular sauce that works well as marinades or dips.

It tastes very spicy with a garlicky aftertaste.

How To Substitute

Both the sauces have a similar taste and texture. This means that the Harissa sauce can replace chili garlic sauce in any savory dish.

8. Spicy Tomato Sauce

Spicy Tomato Sauce

Whether it is spicy or sweet, we all enjoy tomato sauce. If you don’t have any chili garlic sauce, a hot tomato sauce is a simple and tasty alternative. You’ll cherish the taste.

How To Substitute

Add garlic powder to tomato sauce for the chili garlic sauce’s similar taste. Tomato sauce has a moderate, sweet taste that would go well with pizza, sandwiches, or burgers.

9. Black Bean Sauce

Black Bean Sauce

This savory sauce uses fermented and salted soybeans. It is a staple part of Chinese cuisine. 

This sauce is dark in color and has a fiery and salty taste with a hint of sweetness.

How To Substitute

Black bean sauce differs somewhat from chili garlic sauce in terms of taste, color, and texture, though, it may still be used as a last option if you run out of other sauces.

RELATED: Garlic Powder Vs Minced Garlic: What is the Difference?

10. Red Pepper Flakes

Red Pepper Flakes

Red pepper flakes usually use just one kind of pepper. It offers a mild spicy flavor to your food. As the name suggests, it comes with a flaky texture which is very satisfying to eat. 

How To Substitute

By adding garlic powder, red pepper flakes’ spicy taste resembles chili garlic sauce. Additionally, it is easily accessible! Make some tasty and spicy Cajun rice by adding some red pepper flakes to some rice.

11. Gochujang

Gochujang is a Korean chili sauce with a deep, sweet, and savory flavor that you can use to make various Korean dishes. It is one of the most popular condiments in Korean cuisine and is the primary ingredient in kimchi.

You can use gochujang to replace chili garlic sauce in various recipes, and with the distinctive flavor it holds, you will get a delicious result from your recipe.

How To Substitute

To get a similar taste profile, use one teaspoon of gochujang to replace one teaspoon of chili garlic sauce.

12. Chili Paste

Chili paste is one of the famous and closest alternatives to chili garlic sauce. It is prepared with vinegar, garlic, chili peppers, and salt. Although it has almost basic ingredients similar to chili garlic sauce, its texture is still different.

Due to its thicker texture, you may use it in recipes such as burgers, sandwiches, marinades, fried dishes or soups, etc.

How To Substitute

Add the half quantity your recipe calls for chili garlic sauce. You may increase the amount if your recipe calls for it.

13. Chiu Chow Chili Oil/Sauce

Chiu Chow Chili Oil is a Chinese-style oil made from ground red chilies, garlic, ginger, and salt. The oil is a base for many dishes and can be used as a condiment or a dip.

It is similar to traditional Chinese sauce. This sauce is used as a dipping sauce, a seasoning, and cooking oil with a robust flavor and aroma.

How To Substitute

You may use it in a 1:1 ratio to replace chili garlic sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Ketchup For The Chili Garlic Sauce In Recipes?

Your recipes could work well with ketchup, but it doesn’t have the chili’s spiciness or the taste of garlic. 

It tastes wonderful as a dip or spread since it is sour, salty, and sweet, though,  it can’t replace the distinct taste of chili garlic sauce.

What Ingredients Make Chili Garlic Sauce?

Sugar, vinegar, salt, garlic, and chili are all mixed and processed to make chili garlic sauce. 

Chemicals, stabilizers, colors, and preservatives are often included in bottled variations in addition to the main ingredients.

Are Chili Paste And Chili Garlic Sauce The Same Thing?

 No. Other ingredients, such as garlic, sugar, salt, and vinegar, are processed with chili garlic sauce. Fresh chilies are used to make chili paste, which is often unprocessed. 

The 13 Best Substitutes For Chili Garlic Sauce

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Choose the Best substitutes for chili garlic sauce


  • Siracha Sauce

  • Sambal Oelek

  • Chili Garlic Sauce(DIY)

  • Garlic Paste, Chili Powder, And Ketchup

  • Fresh Garlic And Chili Peppers

  • Hot Sauce

  • Harissa Sauce

  • Spicy Tomato Sauce

  • Black Bean Sauce

  • Red Pepper Flakes

  • Gochujang

  • Chili Paste

  • Chiu Chow Chili Oil


  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio.

Recipe Video

Jess Smith