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Three bowls of sweet and spicy chili with saltine crackers scattered around the bowls.
5 from 5 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 mins
cook time 4 hrs 30 mins
total time 4 hrs 50 mins
servings: 14 servings
calories: 442kcal
author: Salt & Baker


  • 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 :) 


Inspired by A Family Feast

Suggested Equipment

Calories: 442kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 460mg | Potassium: 373mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 980IU | Vitamin C: 23.8mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2.1mg
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
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