How to Make Chili Garlic Oil

Homemade Chili Garlic Oil is incredibly easy to make and a simple way to enhance the flavors of any dish. It is great used as a dipping oil for artisan bread, added to pasta dishes, drizzled in soups, sauces, or on pizza. Your creativity is the only limiter when it comes to using this Chili Garlic Oil.

Jar or Chili Oil and Artisan Bread on a Cutting Board

If you’re looking for a simple way to take some of your recipes to the next level, I recommend learning how to make infused oils, like this recipe for Chili Garlic Oil.

Recipes like this are simple but can make a big impact when used in place of all or a portion of the oil that a recipe calls for, as a dipping oil, or even as a finishing oil.

If you’ve never used a finishing oil before. There are a few things to know. A little goes a long way. Finishing oils are used at the end of a recipe to add flavor to the finished dish. Think of them like a condiment.

How to Make Chili Garlic Oil

This recipe is so easy to make and it only takes a few minutes of prep time. The longest part of this recipe is the steeping time, which is completely hands off.

step by step images how to make chili garlic oil
  1. Gather the ingredients: oil, crushed red pepper flakes, and fresh garlic cloves
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over low heat.
  3. Add the garlic.
  4. Add the Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  5. Heat the ingredients just until the surface of the oil is gently simmering.
  6. Remove from heat and allow the mixture steep for an hour as the flavors infuse.
  7. Discard the garlic.
  8. Cool and store!

Tips for Making Homemade Chili Garlic Oil

Crushed Red Pepper spice levels can vary according to brand and freshness: Fresher crushed red pepper flakes will be stronger in heat.

For Milder Chili Garlic Oil, Strain the Crushed Red Pepper: The oil can get progressively hotter the longer it is stored with the dried crushed red pepper in the oil, so use caution when using older chili garlic oil. Alternatively, strain the crushed red pepper flakes before transferring the cooled oil to the storage container. When straining the chili garlic oil, I recommend cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer.

Don’t let the oil over power the flavor: Use light olive oil as opposed to extra virgin olive oil if using olive oil in this recipe. I recommend light olive oil if you intend to use this as a dipping oil or in Italian recipes. For a more neutral oil that is flavorless, I recommend grapeseed.

Don’t burn the oil! It is important to use a heavy bottom pan (I like Le Creuset Cast Iron Saucepans) and heat the oil slowly, over low heat. You never want to “boil” the oil when making this Chili Garlic Oil.

Make sure to remove the garlic cloves: The garlic cloves can spoil and become rancid over time when this chili garlic oil is stored. I always remove and discard the sliced garlic cloves after infusing the oil.

Want to infuse this oil with herbs? Add fresh, washed and dried herbs, to the oil at the same time you add the garlic, making sure to also discard the herbs when you discard the garlic.

jar of dipping oil on cutting board

Chili Garlic Oil Dipping Oil Variations

Want to get creative with your Chili Garlic Oil when serving this as a dipping oil? Try a few of these variations!

Add on ingredients for dipping oil should be added just before serving and to the plate or bowl you plan to serve the oil in, rather than the storage container

  • For a chili garlic herb dipping oil, add fresh chopped herbs to the bowl or plate. I recommend thyme, rosemary, or oregano, or use a combination.
  • No fresh herbs? That’s ok! Dried Italian Seasoning works well, too
  • For a spicy, citrusy oil, add fresh lemon zest.
  • Fresh cracked black pepper and sea salt make nice additions if you want to keep this simple.
  • Balsamic Vinegar or Red Wine Vinegar can be added for an oil and vinegar dipping oil.

How to Store Chili Garlic Oil

How you store this Chili Garlic Oil is incredibly important. To get the safest, freshest, and longest lasting infused oil, make sure to follow these tips:

  • For best results, use a clean, sterilized jar to store your chili garlic oil in. To sterilize the jar, you can place it in boiling water for a few minutes, then let it air dry completely before using it – you don’t want any droplets of water in the oil.
  • Make sure to use new lids if your jar has disposable lids, or purchase jars that have glass lids that you can sterilize.
  • Weck Jars are some of my favorite jars for storing homemade condiments or spice blends in because they stack well, the lids are glass and can be reused and sterilized. They have a variety of shapes and sizes.
  • This Chili Garlic Oil must be stored refrigerated and used within a week due to using fresh garlic.
  • Always use a clean utensil when serving oil from the jar. Dipping directly into the jar or using dirty utensils will introduce potential contaminants and can shorten the shelf life of the oil.

Does Homemade Chili Garlic Oil Have to Be Stored Refrigerated

Yes, due to the concern of botulism with homemade chili oil, I only recommend storing this recipe in the refrigerated even though the fresh garlic is cooked and strained out. Better safe than sorry in my opinion!

How Long Does Chili Oil Last?

1 week when stored properly and in the refrigerator. The FDA has recommended that infused garlic oils be used prepared fresh, used right away, and leftovers must be refrigerated and used within a week. More information regarding FDA recommendations and garlic infused oils can be found here: Current Food Safety Issues of Home-prepared Vegetables and Herbs Stored in Oil.

How to Make Chili Oil Last Longer

To make this chili oil last longer, and remove the requirement of refrigerator storage, eliminate the fresh garlic and only make a simple chili oil. When used as a dipping oil, fresh garlic can be added at the time of serving.

plate with dipping oil and slices of bread on a cutting board

What Do You Use Chili Oil For?

Now that you know how to make this Chili Garlic Oil, check out these recipes that you can use this dipping/finishing oil with. Or, simply browse the Recipe Index to find something that looks good to you!

This recipe for Arrabiata Sauce is simple and just-spicy-enough. Use this Homemade Chili Garlic Oil to prepare this sauce. This sauce is great on a variety of foods – chicken, sausages, pasta, even your morning eggs!

One of my favorite artisan breads to make at home is this Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread. It is great served with dipping oil and I highly recommend trying it with this Chili Garlic Oil!

Use this Chili Garlic Oil as a finishing oil and drizzle it over the top of this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus for an extra spicy kick!

If you’re looking for a creamy, rich and flavorful soup, try this Italian Sausage Kale Soup. It’s a lightened up version of an Olive Garden Classic and crowd favorite, Zuppa Toscana. Add a drizzle of this Chili Garlic Oil for an extra punch of flavor!

Easy One Skillet Baked Ziti is the perfect, easy comforting pasta dish. Take it up a notch for a spicier version by using this Chili Garlic Oil in place of the olive oil in the recipe!

Use this Chili Garlic Oil as a finishing oil drizzled over top of this Pizza Caprese with Garlic Foccacia Crust! I love the combo of spicy garlic oil paired with cheese, fresh basil, and tomatoes!

These are just a few recipe suggestions for using this Chili Garlic Oil! You can use this oil in place of olive oil in many recipes as long as you think that the flavors will go well with the recipe you are making.

Did you love this post?
Sign up for Good Life Eats email updates and never miss another update!

Chili Garlic Oil

Chili Garlic Oil

Yield: 1 cup oil
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Homemade Chili Garlic Oil is incredibly easy to make and a simple way to enhance the flavors of any dish. It is great used as a dipping oil for artisan bread, added to pasta dishes, drizzled in soups, sauces, or on pizza. Your creativity is the only limiter when it comes to using this Chili Garlic Oil.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Light Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, sliced (not chopped or minced)
  • 1 ounce Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Instructions

  1. Pour the light olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan, approximately 2 quart size is plenty large.
  2. Heat the oil over low heat.
  3. Add the sliced garlic cloves to the oil and stir.
  4. Then, add the crushed red pepper flakes - you can vary the amount depending on how hot or mild you would like the chili oil to be. The amount listed in the recipe is for medium heat. For mild, use .5-.75 ounces. For hot, use 1.5 or more ounces.
  5. Stir to combine and continue heating the oil over low heat, just until the surface of the oil is gently shimmering. You do not want to boil or burn the oil or the garlic.
  6. After the oil begins to shimmer, remove from heat and allow to steep for 1 hour.
  7. After 1 hour, remove and discard the garlic clove slices. This is important and required due to safety concerns.
  8. The crushed red pepper can be left in the oil or strained out - it is up to you. Leaving the crushed red pepper in the oil will intensify the heat over time, so remove it if you don't want to risk the oil becoming too spicy.

Notes

IMPORTANT SAFETY CONCERNS:

I only recommend storing this recipe in the refrigerated even though the fresh garlic is cooked and strained out. Better safe than sorry in my opinion! To make this chili oil last longer, and remove the requirement of refrigerator storage, eliminate the fresh garlic and only make a simple chili oil. When used as a dipping oil, fresh garlic can be added at the time of serving.

The FDA has recommended that infused garlic oils be used prepared fresh, used right away, and leftovers must be refrigerated and used within a week. More information regarding FDA recommendations and garlic infused oils can be found here: Current Food Safety Issues of Home-prepared Vegetables and Herbs Stored in Oil.

How to Store Chili Garlic Oil

  • For best results, use a clean, sterilized jar to store your chili garlic oil in. To sterilize the jar, you can place it in boiling water for a few minutes, then let it air dry completely before using it - you don't want any droplets of water in the oil.
  • Make sure to use new lids if your jar has disposable lids, or purchase jars that have glass lids that you can sterilize.
  • Some of my favorite jars for storing homemade condiments or spice blends in are Weck Jars because they stack well, the lids are glass and can be reused and sterilized. They have a variety of shapes and sizes.
  • This Chili Garlic Oil must be stored refrigerated and used within a week due to using fresh garlic.
  • Always use a clean utensil when serving oil from the jar. Dipping directly into the jar or using dirty utensils will introduce potential contaminants and can shorten the shelf life of the oil.

Nutrition Information
Yield 32 Serving Size 1/2 tablespoon
Amount Per ServingCalories 60 Total Fat 7g Saturated Fat 1g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 6g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 0mg Carbohydrates 0g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 0g Sugar 0g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 0g
GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.