Several restaurants I frequent (and used to frequent...RIP, Scopa) serve chili oil with their pizza and it's excellent. Chili oil adds a wonderful lip-tingling heat without the distracting flavor of condiments like Tabasco. This recipe is straightforward and can be used for everything from pizza to vegetables thanks to the olive oil base.

This oil has a solid kick but it's not so hot that it ruins the food. With that said, a little goes a long way.

    Heirloom Garlic from Milliken Family Farms - Santa Monica Farmers Market



    • 3 árbol chiles, broken into pieces Note: Wear gloves when handling dried peppers. Keep any stray seeds and put them in the pot.
    • 1 tablespoon crushed Aleppo pepper Note: The Aleppo pepper I've seen at the stores has the consistency of a rough powder or very small flakes. I use Penzeys which can be found here.
    • 3 tablespoons red pepper flakes
    • 3 garlic cloves, skin removed and smashed
    • 1 1/4 cups olive oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon Diamond kosher salt


    • Combine everything together in a small non-reactive sauce pan.
    • Heat over medium, swirling the oil and chiles frequently.
    • When the oil is just shy of a simmer, lower the heat and cook gently (about 190°F) for a few minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, then fish out the garlic and discard.
    • Pour the pepper flakes and oil into a heat-proof storage container, cool to room temperature, seal and refrigerate.


    I store my chili oil in the refrigerator. In terms of longevity, I'm not sure how long it lasts since we always polish ours off pretty quickly. I've read online that the peppers can get moldy but I haven't seen that issue.

    Serving Suggestions

    Use the chili oil as a finishing touch or substitute it for plain olive oil in most any recipe where you want some heat.

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