Making your own Chile Salt (whether you spell it chili salt or chilli salt) is not only easy, it’s fun! The pretty pink salt is an easy way to preserve the flavor of fresh of peppers, and it’s a delicious and versatile seasoning.
It’s great to add some extra flavor to your foods and drinks, and it makes a great handmade gift!
I first made and published this recipe in 2012. It’s a super simple recipe and a great gift, but I wanted to update it for a better user experience. Better photos and useful information about the recipe. The recipe itself is so simple and perfect, I’ve left it as is.
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Please let me know if you have any questions about this recipe. I read all the comments myself and I try to help as soon as I can. I have readers from all levels of comfort and experience in the kitchen on my site, and I’ve tried to answer some of your questions already in the post. But if I’ve missed anything, please feel free to leave a comment and ask.
What kind of chili pepper should I use?
I used a fresh red jalapeno pepper for this salt to get that pretty pink color. Really, any bright red chili will work though. Jalapenos are medium spicy peppers that will work great for flavor and color.
Could I use a dried chili and just soak it?
You could use a dried chili and soak it, then blend it. I think that would be lovely, maybe a smokey one like a chipotle to add a nice smokey flavor.
Fresh chilies do have a bright and fruity flavor that dried ones just don’t have, so I do recommend going with a fresh one.
Can I make this with a dried chili and not soak the chili?
Or, maybe you’re asking, “do I still need to dry in oven if using dried ingredients”?
Yes, flavored salt can be made with dried add-ins and you don’t have to oven dry them in the oven! The color isn’t as even and vibrant if you use dried chilis, and you will get a more speckled look to the final salt. But, it’s still very pretty, and that’s a great way to save some time too!
How to make chili salt?
Chili salt is easy to make. Simply pop the chili and salt in the food processor. And pulse until combined.
I like to take the seeds and membranes out of the chile so it isn’t so spicy, but you can feel free to leave them in if you want a spicier salt.
Because this is a fresh chile, I like to dry the salt to preserve it longer. If you didn’t want to dry the salt in the oven, you could simply use the fresh salt and store it in the fridge.
How long will this chili pepper salt last?
Once the ingredients are completely dry, the flavored salts will keep at room temperature in an airtight jar pretty much indefinitely.
The vibrant color will probably fade, but it will still have a great flavor and spiciness.
How do you use chili salts?
It’s perfect for finishing a dish with a nice hit of heat, savory, and salty, just before serving. Season your favorite pasta dish with Chili Salt just before serving.
You could rim the glass of a bloody Mary or a margarita for a spicy margarita.
Sprinkle it over corn on the cob or a baked potato. Toss roasted vegetables with Chili Salt and roast until tender.
Rub any meat like chicken, steak, shrimp, or tofu with the flavored salt before grilling, sautéing, or baking. It’s great on Edamame.
Over avocados for a simple quick guacamole.
Some people like chile on their fruit… guavas, watermelon, pineapple.
Over toasted nuts.
On eggs at breakfast time.
On a juicy sliced tomato with a basil
What other flavored salts can I make?
I’ve given a recipe for this lovely spicy salt, but don’t let that limit your imagination and creativity for flavored salts.
Here are some grand ideas that I could totally lose a day in the kitchen over.
Lemon (or lemon-pepper), lime, orange, rosemary, parsley, basil, sun-dried tomato, mushrooms, vanilla, the possibilities are pretty endless.
Try different colors of chiles, or make one red batch and one green batch and give both as Christmas gifts.
Some of these you could use already dried ingredients, like dried wild mushrooms blended with salt sounds fab to me! For that matter, use some dried garlic from the spice aisle and blend it with salt – homemade garlic salt! And, you could mix these in a mortar and pestle instead of using a food processor.
Homemade spice blends
These make great gifts as well.
Kitchen tools you may need for this recipe
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Chile Salt Recipe
- 1 fresh bright red chile seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup coarse Kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 200° F with rack in middle. Line a large baking sheet with a nonstick liner, like a Silpat or parchment paper.
- Place chili and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well incorporated. Spread chile salt on the lined baking sheet. Dry the salt in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes. Without removing the salt from the oven, turn the oven off and allow salt to dry overnight in the warm oven.
- The next day, carefully remove the dried chile salt from the oven, and break up any clumps. Using a funnel, pour salt into pretty jars.