Make It Yourself: Chile-Infused Honey

How to Make Chile-Infused Honey. Makes a spicy-sweet addition to toast, smoothies, yogurt, cornbread and more! -
I love a great DIY opportunity especially one that’s simple and with Southwestern flavors.  I’ve had chile-flavored honey before and love the spicy-sweet addition to foods like cornbread.  After creating a batch of Cherry Bounce (bourbon, cherries and sugar dating back to George Washinton’s era) my interest has been piqued and I’m anxious to do more infusing.  I’m not sure exactly how this recipe idea popped to mind; perhaps in parallel with creating a smoky breakfast pancake recipe, Mesquite Blue Corn Blueberry Pancakes (gluten-free) that cry for an unexpected topping like Chile-Infused Honey.  If you have not tried mesquite flour, it has a wonderful ‘campfire’ flavor that is unexpected and earthy.  A little goes a long way and it calls out for special partner flavors such as this honey.
Once making the honey I realized how many other uses it would have.  Drizzled over a piece of crusty toast for breakfast on a chilly winter’s day.  Swirled over yogurt to add some sweetness and heat to that familiar tangy flavor.   Cornbread would be a natural, already pairing well with heat and honey’s sweetness.  On granola.  In smoothies.  The possibilities are truly limitless!
How to Make Chile-Infused Honey (solid honey) -
Being made with dried chilies, the heat in this infused honey is a subtle one.  Lacking the spice intensity that fresh chilies have makes this Chile-Infused Honey a more mild-mannered partner to perk up to your favorite foods!  I’ve used dried New Mexican chilies however you can substitute another variety of small chilies as is available in your area.  If you aren’t sure where to look for dried chilies, I would suggest the Mexican food section of larger grocery stores, Whole Foods or a Mexican grocery store in your area.  Finding them online is easy too through  or for an excellent source of Southwestern supplies The Santa Fe Cooking School has an online store.  Small batches of the honey are a great gift idea too.

DIY Chile-Infused Honey

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1/2 pint of chile-infused honey

This simple recipe adds some zip to regular honey by infusing chile flavors. The recipe makes a 1/2 pint (1 cup) however the recipe can be multiplied to make larger batches. Since it is made with dried chilies the spicy flavor is not overwhelming.


  • 1 cup Honey
  • 5 dried New Mexican red chilies (another small chile variety may be substituted to your taste)
  • Half pint jar and lid


  1. Place dried chilies in the bottom of the glass jar.
  2. In a saucepan over very low heat warm the honey. Note: If you are using raw honey as I did it will solidify over time so either dig some out and warm, or place the open jar in a saucepan of water and bring to a low boil until the honey melts in the jar.
  3. When is liquefied and hot, pour into the jar over the chilies. Allow it to cool fully before sealing with a lid. Let it sit for a few days before using. It may be stored at room temperature indefinitely.


  1. says

    Gasp!! That looks amazing! I really need to start doing more things like that- I guess you could infuse with anything, really! Can't wait to see how you use it! BTW- totally appreciated your green chile stew recipe from the other day- one of my favorite winter concoctions!

  2. says

    Thanks all for your comments. It is easy (love that) and great tasting. Feels to open the door to endless possibilities too.

    On the shelf life, the 2 weeks is something I read about infusing oils and honey. I think in the case of oils when using fresh ingredients (esp. garlic) things can grow. Candidly I would not think that would be the case with honey and dried ingredients. I felt to err on the conversative side I would include that however. I think the flavor reaction occurs when the honey is warm so it's not going to improve over time anyway. Easiest to make a batch for a particular use. Just my thought about it. BL

  3. says

    Toni-Such a genius idea infusing chile peppers with honey. I would certainly love it. Never heard of this before, but I do love sweet, and spicy together, and this would be so delicious.

  4. says

    Oh my god – I love it! How about New Mexico Desert Wildflower honey infused w/ New Mexico chiles! A classic taste of new mexico in jar!

    This is a must do for me now.

  5. says

    Hi, a google search for making chile infused honey brought me here. I am a little concerned about botulism – I know that it’s a possibility when using fresh or even dried chile peppers. Do you think heating the peppers and honey together might reduce the risk? ALso, in my search I’ve noticed that some people suggest adding vinegar (acidity) might reduce the botulism issue but I’m not sure how much vinegar to add in a recipe like this and how to do it: heating it with the honey?
    I want to use ancho chiles – any idea how much I’d need per cup of honey? I’d have to break up the chile in order to use it so I’m thinking 1 chile should be enough? Or do you think I could stand to add more?

    • says

      I too was wary about introducing any bacteria which is why I chose dried chilies instead of fresh chilies, as I intended to store the honey for a short time refrigerated. I unfortunately do not know about adding vinegar though agree it would both change the flavor and the texture of the honey. When I made my honey I consulted with a beekeeper/honey producer who felt my approach was safe. Here is a safety article on infusing honey I located you might be interested in. It actually uses herbs instead of chilies though the key attribute is that they are dried:

      With regard to using ancho chilies I think you’ll need to experiment to find the flavor you enjoy!


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