This delicious Sweet and Spicy Chili with brown sugar is a busy weeknight favorite! With the perfect flavor combination subtly sweet, yet sassy chili is sure to win anyone over. Simple to make, this chili is packed with complex flavors.
The real key to great chili however is brown sugar! In fact, brown sugar is what gives the chili a subtle sweetness you never even knew you were missing. With both subtly sweet tones and punches of heat, this Sweet and Spicy Chili, lives up to it's name, it truly is sweet and sassy!
As a matter of fact, if you are looking for more sweet and sassy recipes give our Honey Garlic Meatballs a chance, you will not be disappointed! Equally our One Pot Beef Stroganoff, Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole and Easy-Peasy Chicken Pot Pie are more delicious comfort food recipes we know you will love.
Honestly, without doubt this is hands down one of the best chilis I've had... and I have had my fair share of chili. Nevertheless, having attended many a chili cook off competition and even judging one or two I can say confidently this Sweet and Spicy Chili is a winner.
- Ground Beef
- Green and Red Bell Peppers
- Yellow Onion
- Garlic Powder
- Black Pepper
- Brown Sugar
- Cayenne Pepper (optional)
- Cumin (optional)
- Chili Powder (optional)
- Diced Tomatoes
- Diced Green Chilies
- Kidney Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Tomato Soup
🍳 Step-by-Step Instructions
Cook Veggies and Meat
Firstly, pre-heat a large skillet or pan. Then cook beef and sauté vegetables on medium to high heat. You will know it is done when the meat has had time to brown and the onions appear translucent.
My aunt likes to make this all in one big pan. However, I start off my Sweet and Spicy chili in my biggest skillet and transfer it to a big soup pot.
Secondly, add in all those yummy spices! Once you have those added stir everything together. Then we want to transfer everything in the pan to a larger pot on medium heat.
Simmer and Stir
Thirdly, lets add water, brown sugar, diced tomatoes, green chilies, beans, corn and tomato soup to the large pot. Then allow it to reach a low simmer. In general everything needs about 45 minutes to an hour to come together. In the meantime though, be sure to stir the chili occasionally.
💭 Top Tips
As mentioned earlier, chili can have many varying levels of spice. If you or someone in your family is sensitive to heat, have no fear. To be sure everyone is happy you can adjust the level of seasonings in your Sweet and Spicy Chili more to your taste.
As a matter of fact, I would say this recipe generally has too much heat for your average kid. If I know I have a more sensitive crowd, then I leave out the cayenne pepper all together. You could also adjust the amount of cumin and chili powder to help with level of heat.
Now that we've got our Sweet and Spicy Chili cooked, the real fun can begin! Before sitting down and enjoying a bowl we need to add our toppings.
There is something so satisfying about building your own customizable meal experience. With this in mind some of our favorite toppings include:
- Shredded Cheese
- Sour Cream
- Greet Yogurt
- Crumbled Bacon
- Sliced Avocado
- Shredded Lettuce
- Sliced Olives
- Chopped Tomatoes
- Diced Onions
- Chopped Green Onions
- Crushed Tortilla Chips
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Sourdough Toast
My most favorite way to enjoy a bowl of chili however is with a sourdough loaf. Which is exactly the reason we almost always have a loaf in our freezer! But if you don't have any of that on hand try it with a slice of our favorite homemade sandwich bread!
Can you freeze chili?
Absolutely! Double the recipe and make future meal planning so easy. Serve Sweet and Spicy Chili tonight as a bowl of chili with sourdough toast, and freeze the rest.
What can you eat chili on or with?
We especially love using leftover or a doubled batch of chili as our base for Southwestern Tamale Pie. We also love chopping up your favorite taco toppings and serving chili over a bed of corn chips for taco salad!
Or next time you bring home leftover fries from your favorite restaurant, pop them in the air fryer or oven, top with the chili from the freezer and cheese for chili cheese fries. We also love serving chili on top of baked potatoes or hot dogs. The options are endless!
Can you make chili in a crockpot?
This recipe is easily adjusted for preparing in a crockpot!. After browning the meat and sautéing the onions move everything to a crockpot instead of a large pot. Then, add all the other ingredients to the chili and mix thoroughly. Allow your Sweet and Spicy Chili to cook for 4 hours on high or 6 on low.
And if you really want to make life easier use one of these slow cooker liners and save yourself from having to do any heavy cleanup!
- 1 pound ground beef, cooked
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 cans diced tomatoes, 16 ounces
- 1 can diced green chilies, 4 ounces
- 1 can kidney beans - drained and rinsed, 16 ounces
- 2 cans pinto beans - drained and rinsed, 32 ounces
- 1 can canned corn - drained, 15.25 ounces
- 2 cans condensed tomato soup, 10.75 ounces
Add the Spice and Heat
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1½ tablespoon chili powder
- Preheat large skillet or pan. Add oil, ground beef, bell peppers and onion. Cook beef and sauté vegetables on medium to high heat until meat is browned and onions appear translucent.
- Add all the spices and stir together. Feel free to adjust the cayenne pepper, chili powder and cumin to your liking for spice/heat level. Transfer everything in pan to a large pot on medium heat.
- Add water, brown sugar, diced tomatoes, green chilies, beans, corn and tomato soup to the large pot. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.
- Serve hot, garnished with your favorite toppings. We enjoy ours with shredded cheese, sour cream and a piece of toasted sour dough bread!
- As is, this recipe is too spicy for my children. If they will be eating it I usually leave out the cayenne pepper.
- I let the chili simmer for closer to an hour as I like my peppers, corn and onion a little on the softer side.
- This could easily be adjusted to be prepared in a crockpot if you prefer. After browning the meat and sauting the onions move everything to a crockpot instead of a large pot. Allow to cook for 4 hours on high or 6 on low.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 470Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 764mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 14gSugar: 27gProtein: 27g