Are you ready to elevate your dishes with a delicious, fiery kick? I’ve got just the thing for you – homemade hot chilli oil! This incredible condiment, rooted in Italian tradition and loved all around the world, will instantly transform your meals and awaken your taste buds.




Ready In:


15 min



44 / tsps

Good For:



About this Recipe

By: Silvana Lanzetta

Growing up, our family’s table was never complete without hot chilli oil! My dad, the spice enthusiast that he was, couldn’t eat anything without a generous dose of chilli. I sometimes wondered if his mouth was coated with some sort of heat-proof material!
Now, don’t get me wrong! I love a bit of kick on my pizza as much as the next person, but my dad’s love for chilli was on a whole different level. And guess what? My sister seemed to have inherited his fiery taste buds too, becoming a big fan of extra spicy food. As for me, I’m more about adding some spice, but not going overboard. That’s why making my own chilli oil is perfect for controlling the heat in my dishes.
You see, hot chilli oil is deeply rooted in Italian tradition, especially in the South and particularly in Calabria. We call it “Olio Santo” (Holy Oil) because it’s used with reverence in almost every recipe. It’s a homemade flavoured oil that adds a delightful burst of flavour to dishes like simple pasta, meat, or crunchy bruschetta.
Hot Chilli Oil vertical


View of scilla, town in calabria

View of Scilla Promontory, the charming fishing village in Calabria

clusters of chillies drying in the sun in southern italy

Clusters of chillies drying in the sun in southern italy

Avoid bacteria proliferating in your hot chilli oil

But making chilli oil isn’t as simple as tossing chilli into oil—at least not if you want to do it right. The process is pretty straightforward, but it does need a bit of care. You can use fresh or dried chillies, but I find dried ones are easier to handle and safer to use. Using fresh chilli might cause bacteria (like botox) to proliferate. And don’t forget to sterilise your bottle!

A brief history of chilli and olive oil

Fun fact: chilli’s history goes way back to 1492 when it arrived in Spain with Christopher Columbus’s caravels. It later spread throughout the Mediterranean. It found an ideal home in Calabria, where the environment is similar to its native regions of Chile and Mexico. Olive oil, dubbed “green gold,” is also a centuries-old symbol of Mediterranean civilization and has greatly influenced the tradition and economy of many people.

Olio Santo is not only tasty, but also healthy

Chilli pepper oil, born in Calabria, is the fantastic combo of crushed red chilli peppers and extra virgin olive oil. Not only does it taste amazing, but it’s also packed with health benefits! Thanks to capsaicin (the source of spiciness), chilli peppers stimulate blood circulation, digestion, and even provide antioxidants due to their vitamin content. And let’s not forget olive oil. Goof quality extra virgin olive oil lowers blood sugar levels, reduces cholesterol, and contains substances that can help combat cancer cells. Talk about a powerhouse duo!
In a nutshell, Olio Santo is the perfect condiment for happiness, adding that extra touch to any dish and bringing many health benefits along for the ride. So why not give it a try? Making homemade chilli oil is an incredible way to customise your dishes and create the perfect heat level just for you!
Hot Chilli Oil - olive oil
Hot Chilli Oil - chilli flakes



The hot chilli oil recipe is a flavourful and versatile condiment that can be used to add a spicy kick to various dishes. While extra virgin olive oil is a source of healthy monounsaturated fats, it should still be used sparingly to avoid excessive caloric intake.

  • Proteins 0.5% 0.5%
  • Carbs 1% 1%
  • Fats 98.5% 98.5%
Hot Chilli Oil

The Ingredients

Olive Oil
Hot chilli oil is made with all sorts of vegetable oils, but my go-to recipe for Olio Santo uses only extra-virgin olive oil. Now, I know that in Eastern countries like China, Korea, or Japan, they often use sesame or soy oils for their chilli oils. And sure, plenty of popular recipes for Western cooks suggest other oils like canola, grape seed, or peanut oil. But trust me, a good quality extra-virgin olive oil is the way to go!
Why? Well, not only is extra-virgin olive oil one of the healthiest fats out there, but its unique flavour adds an extra layer of depth to the chilli oil. I mean, who wouldn’t want that? It’s a win-win situation, if you ask me!

Follow me

Chilli Peppers
You know, the spiciness of your chilli oil depends on the type of chilli you choose. If you’re all about that extreme heat, then go for chillies like Bird’s Eye Chilli or Habanero. But if you prefer a milder heat, give the Calabrian Peperoncino a try – it’s way more mild!
I’d say, use at least 1 chilli per 250ml of oil. And dried chilli is definitely the safer option. Can’t find a dried version of your favorite chilli pepper? No worries! You can try drying it at home using your trusty oven.
All you need to do is lay out your peppers on trays covered with parchment paper, making sure they don’t overlap. Pop them in a fan oven at 45°C (113°F) or a non-ventilated oven at 70°C (158°F), and don’t forget to leave the door slightly open to let out the humidity.
Now, heads up! With the door open, capsaicin from the chillies will disperse into the air, so you might wanna avoid hanging out around the oven. To get those chillies completely dry, leave them in the oven for about 7-10 hours. You’ll know they’re ready when they take on a darker color. And there you have it – homemade dried chillies ready for your hot chilli oil!
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Hot Chilli Oil in glass bottle lying on table

Hot Chilli Oil

  • Author: Silvana
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 500 ml 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Hot chilli oil is a fiery, flavourful condiment that adds a delightful burst of heat and depth to a wide variety of dishes. Made by infusing dried chillies in oil, this versatile ingredient allows you to personalise the spiciness to your taste. . Perfect for drizzling over pasta, pizza, or even salads, hot chilli oil is a must-have addition to any spice lover’s kitchen.


Units Scale
  • 500 ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 30 grams of dried chilli pepper


  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, gently heat the oil over low heat, taking care not to let it reach frying temperature. Keep a close eye on the oil and as soon as you see the first bubbles forming, immediately turn off the heat.
  2. While the oil is heating, take your dried chilli and chop it finely, ensuring it is reduced to small flakes.
  3. Carefully add the chopped chilli flakes to the hot oil in the saucepan. Allow the mixture to cool for approximately 10 minutes, letting the chilli flavours infuse into the oil.
  4. Once the chilli oil has cooled, pour it into a dark, light-blocking bottle. This will help to preserve the quality and flavour of the oil.
  5. Store the bottle of chilli oil in a cool, dark place and wait for at least 10 days before using it. This will give the oil time to thicken slightly and allow the flavours to develop fully. After this period, your hot chilli oil is ready to be enjoyed!


When preparing chilli oil, it is essential to prioritize safety. I recommend wearing disposable latex gloves to protect your hands from the heat of the chillies. Be sure to avoid touching your eyes and nose while handling the chilli peppers, as this may cause irritation.

In crafting your hot chilli oil, feel free to explore the addition of other ingredients to suit your personal taste. Some delightful options to consider include pepper, dried garlic, paprika, and sugar, which can further enhance the flavour profile and complexity of your homemade chilli oil.

Your homemade hot chilli oil can be stored for up to 10 months when kept in a cool and dark location, ensuring its freshness and flavour are maintained over time.

To ensure your hot chilli oil remains safe and bacteria-free, do not skip the sterilization of the bottle and use only dried ingredients in the preparation process. This will help maintain the quality and safety of your homemade condiment.

When preparing your hot chilli oil, keep in mind that the type of chilli you choose will determine the level of spiciness in your final product. Consult the Scoville scale to ensure that the chilli you select aligns with your preferred level of heat. This will help you create a perfectly spiced oil that’s tailored to your taste.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Vegetables
  • Method: slow food
  • Cuisine: Italian
Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

Get your FREE guide "How to match pasta with sauces"

Head to your inbox to download your guide! If you can't find the email, please check your junk folder before contacting me!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This