Sauce is one of the finishing touches to a variety of dishes. From spaghetti sauce to alfredo sauce to green chili sauce and more, many dishes simply are not complete until they are topped with sauce.
Various sauce options can make or break a dish if they are not created and taken care of properly. Additionally, sauces can sometimes take a lot of extra time to make. Finding time to make the perfect sauce can be a significant challenge in this busy season.
Canning is a great solution to prepping your sauces ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about it when your time is limited. Set aside a weekend or a day to simply make up your favorite sauces and can them away for easy use when you need them.
Have you tried canning red and green chili sauces? These sauces use either red or green chilies to make scrumptious sauces that are most commonly used on Mexican cuisine.
We’ve put together a simple guide to walk you through all of the steps you should know about canning red and green chili sauces. We think you will find this process to be delightfully simple and you will certainly appreciate having those canned sauces in the pantry when you need them.
Keep reading to learn the most important details for canning red and green chili sauces, and more.
A Canning Guide for Red and Green Chili Sauces
To begin our guide, we want to walk through the various aspects of how red and green chili sauces are typically made. We will share a basic instructional on each type of chili sauce and everything you should know about how they are made.
We will then round out this guide by bringing you back to the canning process for your sauces. Red and green chili sauces can be canned in much the same way for both types of sauce so there is no need to give you that same instructional twice.
If there are any prevalent differences, you should be aware of for canning either of the sauces we will certainly touch on those details. If you don’t see any differences specified, you can rest assured that the method works the same for both types of sauce.
Let’s start with discussing red chili sauce.
Red Chili Sauce
Red chili sauce is very similar to enchilada sauce and is often used as such. It is a bit more spicy than what you might find in a can of enchilada sauce you purchase from the store, but in cultural use, it’s often interchangeable.
Red chili sauce is a common sauce for Mexican dishes. It is the perfect addition to those enchiladas or tamales you plan to make for dinner soon. Red chili sauce adds just the right amount of flavor and spice to finish off a variety of dishes.
How Red Chili Sauce is Made
To give you an idea of what we’re working with, we wanted to walk you through a basic description of making red chili sauce.
Keep in mind, this is a general recipe but recipes can vary greatly and there is not necessarily a right or wrong recipe.
- You will need dried Ancho chilies and Guajillo chilies if you want some extra spice. You can use all Ancho chilies or do half and half. On a side note, Ancho chilies are also commonly known as pasilla chilies in the U.S.
- You will also need water, garlic, cloves, pepper (or crushed peppercorns), salt, and olive oil.
- Cut the chilies open using a paring knife and remove the stems and seeds. If you want extra heat, set aside some of the seeds to add to your sauce later.
- Draw out the flavor of the chilies by heating them lightly in a skillet. Heat skillet to medium heat and flatten out the chilies. Heat for just a few seconds and then turn over and heat another few seconds. You are not cooking or toasting the chilies, this simply pulls the flavor out.
- Place the chilies in a small sauce pan and add enough water to just barely cover the chilies.
- Bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and let the pan sit for 10 minutes.
- Proceed to puree the chilies and add seasoning. Use the water from soaking if it is not bitter. Otherwise, use plain water. Puree until fully smooth. Test the flavor and add additional seasoning if needed.
- Strain through a sieve strainer into a skillet or saucepan.
- Add olive oil to the sauce in the pan and bring the sauce to a simmer.
- Reduce heat to maintain simmer and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Skim off the foam from the top and remove from the heat.
- You can then use immediately or place into a canning jar to save for later.
We do want to point out that you will probably want to wear gloves or some form of hand protection while handling the chilies. If you choose not to wear gloves, be sure to carefully and thoroughly wash your hands when you are through handling the chilies.
This measure is important as the chilies could cause your fingers to burn. You also should not touch or rub your eyes as they could cause burning to your eyes as well.
Uses for Red Chili Sauce
If you plan to make a large batch of red chili sauce to can away for later, you may need some inspiration for using your sauce. We wanted to share some ideas with you that you can always refer back to.
Here are a few great uses for your red chili sauce.
- Beef or cheese enchiladas
- Mexican quinoa
- Enchilada dip
- Southwest-style ribs
- Enchilada soup
- Chicken enchilada skillet dish
- Stuffed peppers
- Bloody Mary
These are just a few simple ideas for using red chili sauce but there are a number of options you can use the sauce for. These are just provided to give you some simple inspiration. You never know, maybe you can come up with your own new creation using red chili sauce.
Now let’s move on to green chili sauce.
Green Chili Sauce
Green chili sauce and red chili sauce are made slightly differently initially. Green chili sauce is not quite as versatile as red chili sauce and has a slightly different texture.
In the end, both of these items are sauces that have their own unique characteristics and uses.
Making Green Chili Sauce
Green chili sauce is made in much the same methodology as red chili sauce is made. There are a few slight differences to the methods but overall the process is very similar. The end results are different in texture and flavor because the chilies used are different.
Here is a simple recipe for making green chili sauce.
This recipe is not set in stone and there are many different recipes you can follow. This is just a basic recipe that should give you an idea of what you are working with when it comes to canning your chili sauces.
- You will need olive oil, onion, garlic, green chilies, flour, cumin, coriander, oregano, salt, and water. Your green chilies will need to be roasted, peeled, and seeded much like the chilies in the red chili sauce were. You will also need to either dice them or puree them.
- Using a large sauce pan, warm oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté.
- Separately stir together spices and flour and then the mixture over the onion and garlic to coat.
- Add water and stir to dissolve the flour.
- Add the green chilies and remaining water to the mixture.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.
- Simmer for about 15 minutes.
- You may use the sauce immediately or pour into glass jars to can for later. Green chili sauce is often commonly used at room temperature.
Again, we recommend that you wear gloves while working with the chilies. Although green chilies are not quite as spicy as red chilies. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Uses for Green Chili Sauce
You can use green chili sauce for a variety of recipes. You can be creative and use the sauce however appeals to you.
The most common use for green chili sauce is chicken enchiladas and dishes made similarly to chicken enchiladas, like chicken piccata.
There are more options for using green chili sauce but green chili sauce is not used in nearly as much variety as red chili sauce. While green chili sauce is commonly used in enchiladas, it is also commonly used as salsa or topping to add additional flavor or substance to a dish.
Green chili sauce is very commonly used in Southwestern-style dishes. It can be stirred into a dish or added as a topping. It works similarly to salsa in this manner.
Canning Red and Green Chili Sauces
In this section, we bring these two types of sauces together. While we have uncovered that the sauces vary in style, texture, flavor, and even what they are used for; we have also uncovered that they have similar make-ups.
When it comes to canning your red and green chili sauces, the process is the same for both types of sauce. These sauces are canned in much the same way that salsa does.
They are light sauces and mostly the peppers and some seasoning, water, and oil in the mixture.
These styles of sauces can very well and will last quite some time in the pantry.
Prepare your sauces according to your favorite recipes and then proceed to canning instructions. You can water bath can or pressure can this type of sauce.
Here are your steps for canning red and green chili sauces.
- Warm your canning jars prior to canning your sauce. You can do this by running them under hot water or running them through a dishwasher cycle.
- Ladle your sauces into the chosen canning jars, leaving 1/2 –inch of headspace at the top of the jar.
- If either sauce has chunks in it, you may need to stir it in the jar to use all of the space and eliminate air bubbles.
- Wipe the jar rims clean using a clean towel or paper towel that is slightly damp.
- Apply canning lids and rims to the jars.
- Processing time could vary by altitude and size of jar. We recommend using pint-sized jars for this type of sauce as it will most likely be about the right amount for whatever dish you might make.
- Place jars in a pot of water that covers the tops of the jars and heat to boiling. Allow to boil for 15-25 minutes, depending on your altitude. The most common time is 15 minutes.
- Once you have processed in the water bath, remove your pot from heat. Allow to cool slightly.
- Use a tool to safely move the canning jars to a towel on your counter. Let the jars finish processing. This could take several hours.
- Each jar will essentially pop when sealed. Most canning supplies have lids that have an indention that pops when it is fully sealed so you can tell the jar has sealed appropriately.
- Once they are sealed, you can store them in your pantry or cupboard up to one year.
Best practice for storage is up to 1 year, but it is commonly stated that canned goods could last indefinitely if they are stored in a closed pantry, out of direct heat or sunlight.
If you prefer to can using a pressure canner system, you will follow much of this same process but rather than the boiling water bath, you will use your pressure canner. The timing should be the same for processing.
You should also be able to follow the steps for sealing and storing that are listed above.
We wish you happy canning and delicious chili sauces to come!
We hope that you find this guide to canning red and green chili sauces to be a valuable resource for you. The processes are fairly simple and are similar between the different sauces as well.
We invite you to take a look at the question and answer section for some additional information that you might find to be valuable.
Can You Store Red or Green Chili Sauces in the Fridge or Freezer?
Yes, you sure can! Store your sauces in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Just be sure they are well sealed and airtight for whatever storage means you decide to try out. However, canning is the longest-lasting storage method available.
Is One Sauce More Spicy than the Other?
Red and green chili sauces have different flavors. It’s hard to compare the flavors since they are made with different types of peppers. Red chili sauce can be made both mild and spicy, as can green chili sauce.
Red chili sauce is made from a more ripe pepper that could have a bolder or stronger flavor while green chili sauce is made from a less ripe pepper. The flavor of green chili sauces tends to be more mild and herbal but it can also be made with heat if desired.