Canned Fire-Roasted Chili Starter Sauce Recipe

Reader Contribution by Tammy Kimbler
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Photo by Pixabay

Fire roasted plum tomatoes. Photo by Tammy Kimbler

Put up this versatile sauce now while late summer produce is available, then use this it as a starter for chili by adding canned beans, sautéed veggies and canned tomatoes. Or use it as a spicy salsa, enchilada sauce, or to smother pot roast or pork shoulder in the slow cooker or oven.

Photo by Tammy Kimbler

Photo by Tammy Kimbler

Fire-roasted dried chilis.

Yield 6 or 7 pints


  • 5 lbs plum tomatoes
  • 12 oz mixed hot & sweet peppers, depending on the heat you want
  • 2 oz dried chiles like guajillo, ancho, anaheim, chipotle, etc. (I like a mix, but definitely put in a chipotle for the extra smoky flavor)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 10 oz onions, quartered
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)


  1. Set the oven rack under the broiler and turn to high.
  2. Remove stems and seeds from dried chiles.
  3. Place on a baking sheet under the broiler, but don’t close the over. Watch them carefully until they just begin to smoke.
  4. Remove from oven, flip over, and place under broiler again until smoking starts. Remove from oven.’
  5. Tear chilies into 1 inch pieces or cut with kitchen scissors. Place in a heat proof container and cover with 2 cups boiling water. Let sit 10 minutes.
  6. Place tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onions on rimmed sheet pans. Broil until all vegetables have nice char to them. Flip over once, and return to broiler until the second side has charred to your liking.
  7. In the blender, in batches, blend tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onions until fairly smooth. Place in a stock pot and bring to a simmer. Add salt, cumin and coriander.
  8. Put the soaked dried chiles and water in the blender, along with lime juice and vinegar. Blend until very smooth. Add to stock pot with tomatoes and vegetables. Continue to simmer on medium heat while you prepare your jars.
  9. In a large stock pot or canner, submerge 7 pint jars in water. Set lids aside. Bring water to a boil and boil jars for 10 minutes. Remove hot jars to a towel covered countertop.
  10. Ladle hot sauce into jars, leaving 1/2-inch space at the top. Wide the rims well to remove any particles. Top with lids and tighten (not too tight!).
  11. Add jars back to water bath, with at least 1 inch of water covering the jars. Return pot to boil, reduce to medium heat, and boil for 30 minutes.
  12. When time is up, turn off the heat and let the jars sit for 15 minutes before removing to a rack or towel. Let cool over night. Remove lid rings and test seals by lifting each jar by the lid. If lid comes off, put jar in the refrigerator or reprocess with a new lid. Store jars in a cool dark spot without rings for up to 1 year.

Photo by Tammy Kimbler

Tammy Kimbler hails from her Minneapolis, Minn., backyard and beyond, where she is a cultivator, gardener, preserver, forager, traveler, tomato fanatic, cook, hen wrangler. Connect with her onInstagramand read all of Tammy Kimbler’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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