Granny’s Chili Sauce

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So since all of my favorite blogs jumped on the canning bandwagon, I decided to join in on the fun. Ever since last year when my Granny gave this recipe to my sister-in-law at her bridal shower last year, I have been obsessed with the idea of making it myself. When we learned that Hurricane Irene was rolling in, the first place I ran (like everyone else) was the grocery store. Unlike many shoppers who were frantically loading up on water, batteries, and peanut butter, I loaded my cart with tomatoes. Knowing that I would be stuck inside all weekend long, this particular project needed to happen.

My grandmother is known for this particular sauce and when people know she has just made a batch, they don’t hesitate to ask for a jar. I can tell you that I love every year when late August rolls around knowing that my mom would get one, and make a mean sloppy joe dinner. My grandfather was known to eat this right out of the jar, or alongside some scrambled eggs. However you choose to use it, I guarantee it won’t disappoint you.

Granny’s Chili Sauce

Yield: I got 4-pint size jars, Granny usually gets 2 1/2 quart size jars


  • 18 large peeled tomatoes (see note below)
  • 2 onions, cut fine
  • 2 green peppers, cut fine
  • 1 red pepper, cut fine
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. celery seed*
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp. red pepper
  • 1 tbsp. mustard seed
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. salt


Put cloves, celery seed, and mustard seed on a 4×4 piece of cheesecloth and tie to secure. Set aside. In a large pot, combine tomatoes, both kinds of peppers, and onions. Add the sugar, cinnamon, red pepper, vinegar, and salt. Add in cheesecloth with other spices and mix everything until combined. Simmer 3 to 4 hours until thick. Seal in sterilized jars.

*Fresh celery can be substituted for celery seed

Note: After making the sauce I asked my grandmother for some tips. She said that she likes to use plum tomatoes since they are the least juicy. The problem is that they are small so she actually uses 54 of them! That is a lot of peeling. So my suggestion would be to let the sauce simmer uncovered so that some of the juice evaporates.

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