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Garlic Chili Oil

Garlic chili oil is so easy to make and a great way to add flavor and spice to any dish! You can easily make this into crunchy garlic chili oil by letting the garlic get toasted and crunchy before adding the pepper flakes. The nice thing about making homemade garlic chili oil is that you get to control the ingredients and the spice!

This recipe is a quick and easy take on a traditional dish using ingredients I always have on hand. If you want a more authentic recipe, check out this recipe from Woks of Life.

Large spoonful of chili garlic oil being spooned out of a jar.

Why you will love this recipe

  • Easy to make – you won’t believe how simple it is to make your own garlic chili oil. All you need is a small pot and about 10-15 minutes. Once you make your own homemade garlic chili oil, you won’t need to buy it in the store again.
  • Great for meal prep – you can make a big batch of this chili garlic oil and store it in the fridge for up to 3 months (as long as you use a clean spoon every time).
  • You get to control the heat – whether you like a super spicy or less spicy chili oil, you can control the level of heat in this dish depending on the spices you use and the amount of chili flakes you add.
  • Versatile – Use this garlic chili oil to so many dishes. Its great for noodles, dumplings, over eggs, on veggies or on avocado toast. The uses are endless!
Ingredients to make garlic chili oil in white bowls on a marble countertop.
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Ingredients

  • Avocado oil – avocado oil is my oil of choice for this recipe since it’s a very neutral oil. Any neutral oil is great for this recipe. You could also use something like grapeseed oil if needed.
  • Fresh garlic – this recipe calls for fresh garlic, finely minced. You can use as much garlic as you want. I recommend about 4-6 cloves of garlic per ¼ cup of oil. Note: You can make this crunchy garlic chili oil by cooking the garlic in the hot oil for 3 minutes before adding the chili flakes.
  • Chili pepper flakes – for a traditional recipe, Sichuan chili pepper flakes (or Szechuan chili flakes) are best. However, if you are like me, you likely don’t have them on hand in the kitchen, you can use red pepper flakes. Just know that the end result won’t be as bright red and flavorful as using the traditional ingredient.
  • Spices: Salt and chili powder – the salt helps to elevate the flavors of the dish and the chili powder adds a touch of spice and heat but also provides a deeper flavor. The chili powder is 100% optional.

How to make garlic chili oil

Stary by finely chopping the garlic.

Add the garlic and avocado oil to a small pot. Place over medium heat on the stove for about 5-7 minutes until you start to smell the garlic.

Before and after cooking the garlic and oil in a small pot.

Once the oil starts to bubble (from interacting with the water in the garlic), pull the garlic oil off the stove and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir well and let sit 5 minutes (or longer) before using.

Before and after adding chili flakes to hot oil and garlic.

How to make crunchy garlic chili oil

Finely chop the garlic.

Add the garlic and avocado oil to a small pot. Put it over medium heat and cook 5-7 minutes until the oil starts to bubble.

Cook the garlic in the hot oil for 3 minutes before taking it off the heat and adding the rest of the ingredients. Let sit 5 minutes.

Top tips

  • The chili flakes can burn easily, so I don’t recommend adding them to the pot with the garlic right away. Wait until the oil is off the heat to add the chili flakes.
  • When you store this garlic chili oil in the fridge, you will notice that the oil will thicken. It will quickly thin out once brought back to room temperature or heated.
  • Use a clean spoon when you spoon out the oil from the jar of leftovers to keep it from getting contaminated.
  • You can easily double, triple or 4X this recipe depending on how much you want to make at one time. Note that you may need to use a larger pot if you decide to make more than double the recipe.
Small glass jar filled with garlic chili oil, garlic clove on the side.

Other additions to this homemade chili oil

  • Green onions or scallions, thinly sliced and added with the garlic
  • Toasted sesame seeds (add at the end)
  • Dried minced onions
  • Sesame oil – add just a little sesame oil (about ½ tablespoon) when adding the chili flakes for a deep sesame flavor.
  • Cayenne pepper (this can add more heat without adding more flakes)
  • Chopped peanuts or thinly sliced almonds

Ways to use homemade chili garlic oil

  • On noodles, ramen or low carb pasta
  • Potstickers or dumplings
  • Over eggs (hard boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, sunny side up eggs)
  • Drizzled over hummus or dips
  • As a dipping sauce for bread
  • To sauté veggies in or drizzle over roasted vegetables
  • In fried rice
  • In stir fry (chicken stir fry, vegetable stir fry, shrimp stir fry)
  • On pizza
  • Over avocado toast
  • In cauliflower rice, rice or quinoa
Garlic chili oil drizzled over hard boiled eggs on white plate.

Common questions

What is the best kind of oil to use

You want to use a neutral oil so that the oil doesn’t overpower the chili flakes and garlic. My go to neutral oil is avocado oil but you could also use grapeseed oil. Many recipes will recommend canola oil but I do not recommend canola as it is considered an inflammatory oil.

What kind of pepper flakes are best

For a more authentic version of this garlic chili oil, Sichuan Chili Flakes (Szechuan chili flakes) are best. You could also use Thai chili flakes or Gochugaru Korean Red Pepper Flakes if you have those on hand.

However, you may not have these on hand (I don’t) so in a pinch you can use crushed red pepper flakes. Crushed red pepper flakes do not have as much flavor and aren’t as bright red as Szechuan chili flakes but do add a layer of heat to the oil. If you want more spice, you can add cayenne pepper as well.

Storing leftovers

  • Fridge: Store leftover garlic chili oil in the fridge for up to 3 months in a airtight container. Be sure to use a fresh spoon every time or you will contaminate the oil and cause it to spoil faster. Also be sure all the ingredients are coated in the oil in the fridge when storing.
  • Freezer: You could freeze this for up to 6 months. It will defrost quickly once at room temperature. Freeze in ice cube trays then pop the cubes to a freezer safe bag or container. Be sure to label the bag with the name, date and use by date.
Wooden handle spoon resting in jar of garlic chili oil.

Substitutions

  • Avocado oil – use any neutral oil here. I recommend avocado oil but you could also use grapeseed oil or whatever neutral oil you have on hand. Olive oil and coconut oil will have too much of their own flavor, they can compete with the garlic and chilis. If you have a refined coconut oil that may work since that is relatively flavorless as well.
  • Chili flakes – Szechuan chili flakes are preferred (and the traditional ingredient) but you can use any chili flakes that you have on hand.  If you are using crushed red pepper flakes (like I am), you may decide to add some cayenne pepper as well for more heat and color to the oil.
  • Salt and chili powder – the salt helps to elevate the flavors, don’t skip it. If you don’t have chili powder or don’t want to add it, omit it.

If you love this recipe, you should try

Sesame Ginger Broccoli Slaw

Asian Zoodle Bowl

Instant Pot Asian Chicken Pasta

10 Minute Asian Chicken

Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Salmon and Veggies

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below!
Spoonful of crunchy garlic chili oil over a glass jar.

Homemade Chili Garlic Oil

Homemade garlic chili oil is so easy to make and adds flavor to any dish. This recipe is simple and ready in about 20 minutes. Great for meal prep, it lasts up to 3 months in fridge. Naturally vegan, gluten free, dairy free, Whole30 and low carb. Great on noodles, avocado toast, veggies and so much more.
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: sauce
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: chili garlic oil, crunchy garlic chili oil, garlic chili oil
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 7 mins
Cooling Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 17 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Finely chop the garlic.
  • Add the garlic and avocado oil to a small pot. Put over medium heat and wait to hear the garlic start to bubble in the pot (this takes 5-7 minutes).
  • Immediately take the garlic and oil off the stove or leave it for 3 minutes to cook to create crunchy garlic chili oil.
  • Once garlic and oil is off the heat, add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.
  • Let the chili flakes steep in the oil at least 5 minutes, the longer it steeps the more flavor you get.
  • Store in the fridge in an airtight container (if using glass, let cool completely before putting in the fridge).

Notes

**There is a list of substitutions and ways to use this garlic chili oil in the post above.** 
Top tips
  • The chili flakes can burn easily, so I don’t recommend adding them to the pot with the garlic right away. Wait until the oil is off the heat to add the chili flakes.
  • When you store this garlic chili oil in the fridge, you will notice that the oil will thicken. It will quickly thin out once brought back to room temperature or heated.
  • Use a clean spoon when you spoon out the oil from the jar of leftovers to keep it from getting contaminated.
  • You can easily double, triple or 4X this recipe depending on how much you want to make at one time. Note that you may need to use a larger pot if you decide to make more than double the recipe.
Other additions to homemade chili oil
  • Green onions or scallions, thinly sliced and added with the garlic
  • Toasted sesame seeds (add at the end)
  • Dried minced onions
  • Sesame oil – add just a little sesame oil (about ½ tablespoon) when adding the chili flakes for a deep sesame flavor.
  • Cayenne pepper (this can add more heat without adding more flakes)
  • Chopped peanuts or thinly sliced almonds
Storing leftovers
  • Fridge: Store leftover garlic chili oil in the fridge for up to 3 months in a airtight container. Be sure to use a fresh spoon every time or you will contaminate the oil and cause it to spoil faster. Also be sure all the ingredients are coated in the oil in the fridge when storing.
  • Freezer: You could freeze this for up to 6 months. It will defrost quickly once at room temperature. Freeze in ice cube trays then pop the cubes to a freezer safe bag or container. 
See how I calculate food cost.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
132
Fat
 
14
g
Carbohydrates
 
2
g
Fiber
 
1
g
Sugar
 
0.2
g
Protein
 
1
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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