Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chili

A slow cooked chili with hints of sweetness and a bit of heat.  This is the perfect no-fuss game day meal!

Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chili | The Suburban Soapbox

No beans here, friends.  I am not a fan.  So…my recipe, my rules…no beans.  This helps when you have a roomful of men watching the big game.  The no beans rule.  Beans do things to you….that’s all I’m saying.  I think when you have a bunch of people munching on cheese, hot dogs and beans all within a few hours….mix that with some beer….you see where this is heading.

Add beans at your own risk.

Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chili | The Suburban Soapbox

This recipe is an adaptation of one my husband gave me….he received it from a co-worker….who got it from his wife’s brother?  Who got it from his cousin’s, grandmother’s, sister’s farmer?  Something like that. So I don’t really know where it came from but once I got my hands on it I tweaked it….a lot.  And of course, once I was done perfecting my Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chili I declared it the best chili on the planet.

Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chili | The Suburban Soapbox

It’s amazing on anything!  Nachos, hot dogs, Fritos, bread bowls….TATER TOTS!!!  Try it…you’ll be hooked.

Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chili | The Suburban Soapbox

And now you have the best chili on the planet that’s super easy to make and perfect for any event where you have a large group of men( and women) staring at the television screen for hours.  I think this will be happening on Sunday….is it still football season? :-)

Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chili | The Suburban Soapbox

Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chili

Yield: 12 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup


2 pounds ground beef (I used 80-20)

1 large onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

5 garlic cloves, minced

2 large jalapeno peppers, minced (remove the seeds and veins for less heat...leave them for more heat)

1/4 cup chili powder

3 tablespoons ground cumin

3 tablespoons ground cayenne pepper

6 ounce jar of chopped sweet peppers and juice

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 - 28 ounce cans tomato sauce

salt and pepper to taste


In a large frying pan, brown the ground beef until no longer pink and transfer to the slow cooker using a slotted spoon. Drain off all but two tablespoons of fat and add the onions to the pan. Cook the onions over med-high heat until they begin to soften. Add the peppers to the onions and sauté until softened. Add the garlic and jalapeno peppers, cooking for one minute longer. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker with the beef.

Add the chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, sweet peppers and juice to the beef mixture and stir to combine. Add the brown sugar and tomato sauce stirring thoroughly to be sure all the ingredients are incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and cook in the slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours.

Serve with your favorite chili toppings, we love greek yogurt, sour cream, shredded cheddar, green onions, and pickled jalapenos...just to name a few.

Note: Chili can be stored in an airtight container refrigerated for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 2 months.


Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chili | The Suburban Soapbox



  1. I love slow cooker recipes. Great ingredients, especially the jalapeno…always love spicy! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love a good chili recipe and slow cookers are the best. I like your sweetness in this. I will be adapting this and adding beans.

  3. I just used this recipe for a friendly chili cook off and it turned it out GREAT!

    Instead of chili powder I puréed 4 Ancho chilies and I made the tomato sauce from scratch. I also backed off the cayenne a little.

    I thought it was a little hot halfway through the cooking so I added more the of jarred sweet peppers.

    The sweet and hot worked wonderfully together. This may be the best chili I’ve had, and I also won that cookoff.

    • Congratulations on your win! I’m so glad the recipe turned out well for you. It’s one of our favorites but I’ll have to try your modifications. I could see the anchos making it a bit spicy so Bravo with the addition of the extra sweet peppers. Great tips, thanks for sharing!

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