This is THE BEST Sweet and Spicy Chili EVER! This chili is loaded with delicious meat and the perfect blend of spices to deliver an award winning chili recipe!

Serve this delicious chili with a slice of my best Bisquick Cornbread.

Three bowls of sweet and spicy chili with saltine crackers scattered around the bowls.

I’ve packed it with hot Italian sausage (so good), and 2 pounds of ground beef. I’d say three pounds of meat is a lot, wouldn’t you? To offset the meat I’ve added a variety of beans for good measure. This chili is very filling. Trust me, you don’t need a large serving to fill you up.

Now remember… this chili will feed a crowd! Like, this makes a lot of chili! But that’s a good thing!!

This is the best chili I’ve ever had. Ever. In my whole entire life.

A bowl of sweet and spicy chili being held in a woman's hands.

There’s one thing you should know about this Sweet and Spicy Chili recipe, it’s addicting. You’ll find yourself craving it all winter long. It’s comfort food at its finest.

The best part about this chili recipe is that you CAN TELL as soon as you take a bite it’s sweet AND it’s spicy. It’s amazing.

The sweetness factor isn’t overwhelming and the spiciness won’t make you breath fire. It’s a pleasant heat wave that comes a few seconds after you put a spoonful of the soup in your mouth.

Now, every chili has garnishes. This one is no different.

A ladle full of sweet and spicy chili.

The best garnishes for Sweet and Spicy Chili

  • Sour cream
  • Cheese (I like Colby Jack cheese)
  • Lime wedges
  • Chives (didn’t have them on hand… those buggers can be expensive!)
  • Saltine Crackers

I like to use the saltine cracker as a spoon. It’s true. You don’t even need a spoon to eat this soup. The saltine cracker becomes the vehicle that delivers this deliciousness to your mouth.

Diced yellow and red peppers in a black skillet in preparation to make sweet and spicy chili.

How to make Sweet and Spicy Chili

First, dice up the bell peppers and onions. Sauté them until the onions become translucent, cook them for about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for one minute more. Once you’ve done that, transfer this mixture to the slow cooker.

Then brown the meats. Once browned and cooked through, add the meat to the slow cooker.

Add all of the remaining ingredients and spices to the slow cooker. Stir everything to until its combined.

An overhead photo of a black slow cooker full of the ingredients to make sweet and spicy chili.

That’s it. No lie.

It’s SO easy to make! Seriously, the easiest chili recipe known to man… and the most delicious!

Can you freeze Sweet and Spicy Chili?

  • Yes. Freeze in an airtight container. The day before you want to eat it, thaw it in the refrigerator and then place in a large pot to warm it up, OR place it in your slow cooker to warm it up. Either way will work just fine.
  • Heck, or you can microwave it. Whatever works best for you.
Three bowls of sweet and spicy chili with saltine crackers scattered around the bowls.

Additional slow cooker and soup recipes:

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Three bowls of sweet and spicy chili with saltine crackers scattered around the bowls.
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4.82 from 58 votes

Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Chili

This sweet and spicy chili has the perfect balance of sweet and spicy! Plus, for added convenience it’s made in the slow cooker AND it feeds a crowd! 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 14 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 orange bell pepper - diced
  • 1 red bell pepper - diced
  • 1 large sweet onion - diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic - minced
  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage - casings removed
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 6-oz cans tomato paste
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 16 oz cans dark red kidney beans - drained and rinsed
  • 1 22 oz can Bush’s Grillin’ Beans Bourbon and Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar - packed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes - (For less heat, only add 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper - (for less heat, only add 1/8 tsp)


  • sour cream
  • grated cheese
  • saltine crackers - (I love to use the saltine cracker to scoop up the chili)
  • lime wedges



  • In a large skillet over medium heat add the olive oil. Once shimmering add the onion and bell peppers. Cook until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and transfer this mixture to the slow cooker.
  • Place the large skillet over medium heat again, this time add the hot Italian sausage and the ground beef. Using a wooden spoon, break the meat up into small pieces. Cook until no longer pink. Drain the fat. 
  • Place the cooked meat in the slow cooker. 
  • Add all of the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker except for the garnishes. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Stirring at least once within those 4 hours (making sure to scrape the bottom so no food sticks). 
  • Serve warm! This recipe makes a lot! And it’s filling 🙂 



Calories: 442kcal (22%)Carbohydrates: 19g (6%)Protein: 16g (32%)Fat: 25g (38%)Saturated Fat: 8g (40%)Cholesterol: 70mg (23%)Sodium: 460mg (19%)Potassium: 373mg (11%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 17g (19%)Vitamin A: 980IU (20%)Vitamin C: 23.8mg (29%)Calcium: 39mg (4%)Iron: 2.1mg (12%)
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
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recipe adapted from A Family Feast.