The BEST fruity, sweet Strawberry Chilli Relish with a spicy, tangy kick. You can make it as a thick relish/spread or a smooth sauce to be used as a delicious glaze on grilled meat or BBQ sauce! An incredibly versatile and easy to make relish, and a great way to use up those juicy summer strawberries!
Updated: July 2017
We used to have a small patch of strawberry trees in our backyard when I was little, which my father tended to with great care. When I was a little older, I remember how my parents told me this story of how the strawberries kept going missing one time and they couldn’t figure out what was happening for months. They feared that birds or some animal was getting to them before they ever could. Eventually, my father apparently went out and got a bird net once and then set it up, only to find that the strawberries still kept disappearing. And then one fine day he went out to the backyard and caught the culprit red-handed (literally), and it turned out to be a very small version of yours truly! I thought it was hilarious and although I have no memory of this, I guess it goes to show how my love for strawberries goes a long way back!
You guys know that I have an obsession for combining sweet and spicy flavor profiles. I think it’s a great way to challenge and enlighten your taste buds. I’ve always loved eating sweet and spicy tomato relish, so I figured it might work just as well with strawberries too. Strawberries pair so beautifully with savory flavors like balsamic vinegar and black pepper, so I decided to make this beautifully bright red Strawberry Chilli Relish that you could use at home with whatever you fancy!
I added some Aleppo chilli flakes, but you can add regular crushed chili (crushed red pepper) instead, but that’ll make this strawberry relish a bit spicier. I sliced the strawberries for this recipe, but I have used chopped strawberries as well. The difference is that you get a chunkier spread with sliced strawberries and a smoother relish with chopped strawberries. If you’re looking to make a delicious spicy strawberry sauce (like ketchup), or a base for a BBQ marinade, then I’d recommend that you chop the strawberries instead.
This spicy strawberry chilli relish is perfect to use up that bounty of strawberries in the summer, even when they are overripe and soft – in fact those are ideal for this recipe! I first shared this spicy strawberry chilli relish recipe in early 2015, but I figured an update with better photos was way overdue!
With that bright red color and the bold, sweet and spicy flavor combo, this strawberry relish is perfect on ANY summer table. It’ll be right at home even on a Valentine’s day menu as well. Whether it be a grilled chicken, a perfectly cooked steak, a sandwich, a salad, your breakfast, dessert recipes or just straight up from the bottle/jar (like a boss!), this strawberry chilli relish will add a fantastic fruity sweetness and a spicy chilli kick.
I often make a double batch of this strawberry chilli relish because we could never get enough of it! It’s such a versatile relish and the possibilities are endless. I frequently use it to spice up my grilled chicken, and recently, one of my readers said that it tastes great as a glaze for pork tenderloin on the BBQ! So go ahead and make a double batch, you just can’t go wrong with a fruity, sweet, spicy relish like this! 🙂
Lately, I’ve been using this strawberry chilli relish on my bagels and sandwiches. But for a truly nifty idea – try using this sweet and spicy relish in place of strawberry jelly/jam in this frozen cheesecake recipe for an amazing summer treat!
- 1 lb / 450 g ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced (see notes)
- 1½ tbsp chilli flakes/crushed red pepper (only add 1 tbsp if you have a relatively low tolerance to heat - this is a spicy relish with chilli flakes as the co-star, I used 1 tbsp crushed chilli flakes and ½ tbsp Aleppo chilli)
- 5 oz / 145 g sugar
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp salt
- Extra water to thin out the sauce (if needed)
- Slice the strawberries (or chop if you like a smoother, sauce-like relish).
- Add the strawberries and all the ingredients (except water) into a saucepan and mix well.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer on low-medium heat for about 40 minutes, until the relish thickens.
- Stir the relish from time to time to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- If you like a thick relish, keep it as is. If you prefer a pourable sauce-like consistency, add a few tablespoons of water to thin out the relish.
- Store in an airtight jar, or a sterilized glass jar. It should stay fresh for about a week in a normal jar, but longer in a sterilized jar.
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