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Sweet and Spicy Chili Recipe

If you're not cooking for a big crowd, you might want to halve this recipe. After two decades of making this recipe, I've finally perfected it in every way!

Course dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword chili
Cook Time 3 hours
Servings 10
Calories 373kcal
Author Ang Paris



  • 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 olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ cup mashed sweet potato
  • 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.)
  • Transfer the cooked vegetables into the pot. Add the raw ground beef and use a spatula to break it up a little.
  • Season with salt, pepper, onion powder, granulated garlic, cumin, coriander and chili powder.
  • 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).
  • Add the beans, including the water in the can, to the stockpot.
  • 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.
  • Season with additional salt, pepper, onion powder, granulated garlic, cumin, coriander and 2 tablespoons chili powder.
  • Stir in the honey and the barbecue sauce.
  • Cover and let simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.


Note: This 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!


Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 377mg | Potassium: 1491mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1739IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 8mg