Chili Sauce - the Classic

From the Collection of Marg Dye

This recipe – or something like it – has been in every Canadian family's recipe treasury for generations – how better to use some of those tomatoes that are ripening faster than you can ever hope to eat them?

Honestly, there's no substitute for hand-chopping. The food processor will make short work of it ... but the resulting Chili Sauce "relish" will not be quite as spectacular. Delicious with meats and cheeses… or chips... or just by the spoonful!


  • 12 cups peeled ripe tomatoes, cut in eighths
  • 3 cups finely chopped inner celery
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup pickling salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/16 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp mustard seed
  • 1 finely chopped medium green pepper
  • 6-ounce can tomato paste


  1. Pour boiling water over about 3 1/2 quarts tomatoes to blanch for 1 minutes.
  2. Drain. Peel and cut into eighths, then measure 12 cups, well packed.
  3. Stir in the chopped celery and onion, and sprinkle with the pickling salt and stir in and let stand overnight.
  4. In the morning, drain through colander to drain off excess liquid but do not press it.
  5. Turn into large kettle (not enamel) and add sugar, vinegar, mustard seed and cayenne and boil for 45 minutes, or until celery is tender and tomatoes are cooked to a mush, stirring frequently.
  6. Now add finely chopped green pepper and the tomato paste and boil 15 to 30 minutes longer or until green pepper is tender and all is of chili sauce consistency.
  7. Pour into sterile jars and seal.

Scan the recipe index for other ways to get into a
delicious pickle!

Posted on September 8, 2015 and filed under preserves.