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Substitutes for Chili Sauce

Fitday Editor
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Chili sauce is a popular sauce that is typically loaded with salt and other preservatives that can be damaging to your heart. Instead of using chili sauce, try using one of the healthy alternatives described below. Purchase low-sodium varieties of these alternatives, or get creative and try to brew up a batch on your own. The taste will be so close to that of chili sauce that it may surprise you!

Cocktail Sauce

Cocktail sauce makes a great alternative to chili sauce because it has a tang similar to that of chili sauce. In addition, you can typically find a wide range of spice levels in cocktail sauces. And to use it in place of chili sauce, you most likely will want to choose one of the spicer varieties.

When using cocktail sauce as an alternative to chili sauce be aware that it can contain high amounts of added salt. Therefore, in order to choose an alternative that is healthier and is less likely to lead to the develoment of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and other chronic diseases such as cancer, try to choose a cocktail sauce that is low in added sodium. Read the labels carefully to find a product that best suits your needs.


Salsa, when prepared correctly, can make a great alternative to chili sauce. There is one major difference between chili sauce and salsa--salsa contains chopped tomatoes and peppers that are much more obvious to the palate than that of chili sauce. Except for this difference, the taste betweent the two items is practically identical.

In addition, salsa makes a great alternative to chili sauce because it contains a variety of vegetables that have been found to be effective in the treatment and prevention of certain chronic conditions. When using salsa as an alternative to chili sauce, purchase (or prepare) salsa that is low in added sodium. Place the salsa in a large blender and beat until smooth and thoroughly combined. Taste the salsa. You will find that the product now mirrors chili sauce almost completely. Your guests most likely won't be able to tell the difference.


Hoisin is a great Asian sauce that provides a taste that is very similar to that of traditional barbecue sauce. It therefore makes a great alternative to chili sauce. While you may be able to find hoisin sauce at your local grocery store, you will more than likely have to visit an Asian market or specialty store in order to find exactly what you need.

Like the other items described above, hoisin can sometimes contain high amounts of added sodium. However, it typically contains less sodium than that of chili sauce, making it a healthier alternative. You can also experiment with making your own hoisin at home. But it is important to be aware that this can be a difficult product to make. Therefore, you probably will have better luck simply purchasing a hoisin sauce that is low in added sodium.

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