Sweet and Spicy Chili Recipe - my all-time favorite recipe for game day! This chili has all the kick you'd expect, with a hint of sweetness, too.
This sweet and spicy chili recipe makes a big batch, so if you're not having a crowd, you can freeze half in airtight bags or freezer-safe canning jars. I like the bag method because then it's easy to reheat in a crockpot!
Serve with your favorite toppings like cheese and sour cream - and your favorite sides, like Cheddar Bacon Muffins or Cheddar Garlic Cornbread!
- green pepper
- sweet onion
- jalapeno peppers
- fresh garlic
- red kidney beans
- crushed tomatoes
- tomato puree
- lean ground beef
- chili powder
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- mashed sweet potato (optional)
- barbecue sauce
Sweet and Spicy Chili FAQ
Here are some frequently asked questions about our Sweet and Spicy Chili Recipe:
Our recipe calls for fresh jalapenos. I remove the vein and seeds, but if you want it really spicy you can include those. We also use chili powder for an extra kick.
We add honey to help balance out the acidity of the tomatoes and make it sweeter. This recipe also includes a little mashed sweet potato (optional) which adds sweetness. You could also use yams, squash, pumpkin, or even zucchini.
Most people use yellow onions, however, I prefer sweet Vidalia onions in my chili. As a bonus, they don't make my eyes water nearly as much!
This recipe has loads of spices including coriander and cumin which, along with the paprika, adds warmth and a little smokiness.
No, red beans and kidney beans are different. However, either can be used in this chili recipe. Beans are super healthy because they are high in fiber, protein and B vitamins.
Tips for Making Chili
- Always brown the beef because that adds depth of flavor to your chili.
- Make sure your spices are not stale. Most ground spices can be kept for as much as 3 years! However, keep in mind that they lose flavor over time. I replace mine at least once a year.
- Drain and rinse the beans in a colander before adding them to the chili.
- If you are not using a vegetable puree, add in ½ cup of tomato paste to thicken the chili.
🍴 Serving Suggestions
- buttery dinner rolls
- bacon cheddar scones
- mini corn muffins
- cheesy garlic herb bombs
- bacon puff pastry twists
- cheesy cornbread
😋 Similar Recipes
- Leftover Turkey Chili - If you have Thanksgiving turkey leftovers this is the way to use them!
- Sweet and Spicy Chili Recipe with beef, beans, and lots of seasonings.
- This Slow Cooker Beef Chili is a cinch to make, and so tasty, too.
- Crockpot Chicken Chili is another great recipe the whole family will love.
- Pumpkin Chili with Chicken wow your friends and family with this unique chili recipe.
Ways to Use Leftover Chili
Sweet and Spicy Chili Recipe
Sweet and Spicy Chili Recipe
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- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 green pepper large
- 1 sweet onion large
- 1-2 jalapeno peppers
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 40 oz can of red kidney beans
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 28 oz can tomato puree
- 28 oz water
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- ½ teaspoons coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoons pepper
- 1-½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ½ cup mashed sweet potato optional, but adds sweetness and helps to thicken
- 3 tablespoons barbecue sauce - I use my own Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Sauce Recipe
- In a skillet heat up the olive oil. Simmer the onions and green peppers until tender. (You can chop or dice your vegetables depending on how chunky you like your chili. I like to put mine in the food processor so I don't have any big chunks.)2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 green pepper, 1 sweet onion, 1-2 jalapeno peppers, 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- Transfer the cooked vegetables into the pot. Add the raw ground beef and use a spatula to break it up a little.2 lbs lean ground beef
- Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato puree. Rinse the cans and dump that water into the pot as well (no more than about one 28oz can total).1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, 28 oz water, 1 28 oz can tomato puree
- Add the beans, including the water in the can, to the stockpot.1 40 oz can of red kidney beans
- Stir in the sweet potato - you could leave this out, but we had a little extra leftover, and it helps thicken the chili and adds a bit of sweetness to the flavor. Other vegetable purees would be good in this too, like squash, pumpkin, carrot or even zucchini.½ cup mashed sweet potato
- Add the seasonings.½ teaspoons coriander, 1 teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoons pepper, 1-½ teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- Stir in the honey and the barbecue sauce.2 teaspoons honey, 3 tablespoons barbecue sauce - I use my own Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Sauce Recipe
- Cover and let simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
For best results, be sure to check our Tips and FAQs above with important tips and questions that can help your delicious recipe come out perfectly.
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Growing up in a house full of girls there was little to no "man food" - as my mum might have called it - and even less football (sorry Dad!) My first experience with chili was with my husband - although, at the time I think we were 17 or 18 and not yet married or even engaged.
My mom had given me a cookbook for Christmas with recipes for entertaining and I thought we'd try making this sweet and spicy chili recipe for a little Superbowl party (also my first one of those!)
It's been a looong time since that disappointing evening when Green Bay beat the Patriots, and over the years we've tried many versions of chili, and I look forward to sharing them with you!
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