Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Chili

This Sweet and Spicy Chili is made in the slow cooker for deep, concentrated flavor.  The BEST chili recipe around, I use a secret ingredient to create a sweet-tart background to this slightly spicy recipe.

Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy 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.

Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Chili | The Suburban Soapbox

This Sweet and Spicy Chili 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 Chili I declared it the best chili on the entire planet! Because I can do things like that since I own this blog and all.

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

Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Chili | The Suburban Soapbox

And now you have the best Sweet and Spicy Chili recipe ever 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 munching on things like fajita nachos and sausage stuffed mushrooms.  I think this will be happening on Sunday….is it still football season? 🙂


Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chili

Course: Dinner, lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 255 kcal
Author: Kellie

This easy Crockpot chili recipe feeds a crowd OR you can freeze it for easy weeknight dinners. Perfect for tailgating!



  • 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
  • 2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 ounce jar of chopped sweet peppers and juice
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 - 28 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 - 28 ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes I use Muir Glen Organic
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. 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.
  2. Add the chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, sweet peppers and juice to the beef mixture and stir to combine. Add the brown sugar, tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes stirring thoroughly to be sure all the ingredients are incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook in the slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours.
  3. Serve with your favorite chili toppings, we love greek yogurt, sour cream, shredded cheddar, green onions, and pickled jalapenos...just to name a few.
  4. Note: Chili can be stored in an airtight container refrigerated for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 2 months.
Nutrition Facts
Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chili
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 255 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 53mg18%
Sodium 79mg3%
Potassium 386mg11%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 1750IU35%
Vitamin C 43.6mg53%
Calcium 48mg5%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chili | The Suburban Soapbox


50 comments on “Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Chili”

  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.

  4. A little too hot. Back off the cayenne and only use one jalapeño

  5. I`m making this tonight. I`m backing off the cayenne ALOT!! Are you sure that`s not a typo?
    I`m going to start with about 1/2 t, and go from there.

  6. What kind of jarred sweet peppers did you use?

  7. The best chili recipe. I would only use 1 tablespoon of cayenne instead of 3. I like spicy, but 3 is too much. Other than that amazing!

  8. Y’all must be used to eating extremely hot food cause that was a lot of hot and I mean a lot so the first time I only left out 1 tablespoon of cayenne… this time I only put 1/2 tablespoon altogether let’s Just say that my husband doesn’t get this whole pot! I really do love this recipe though because I am not and never will be a fan of beans either! Thank you for sharing!

    • You’re very welcome! And, yes, we do love our food pretty spicy so a half tablespoon cayenne would be perfect for someone who’s more sensitive to heat. 🙂

  9. We love spicy food so can’t wait to make this.

    Could you please give me an idea where you start from to salt to taste? Or what do you put in it fit your taste.

  10. Can I use ground turkey, would love to try this? Thanx!! ☺

  11. HI. We love your chili! I’m making it for a chili cook off tomorrow but I have to work all day tomorrow, should I just prep everything this evening and let it cook all day tomorrow or cook it tonight and just heat it up at the party?
    Thanks for any advice

    • Either way works (sorry I’m just seeing this now, I was on a business trip.) I do tend to like it the next day reheated because it gives the flavors a chance to get happy! 🙂

  12. Love this recipe. I think it’s the perfect base as far as beef, onion, pepper, garlic and tomato sauces. Everyone can tweak the spices to their own liking. I cut the cayenne and red pepper flakes in half, added a little extra brown sugar and you still get plenty of lingering heat. I may have to cut more heat next time to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. 

  13. I have everything but the jarred peppers, will it still work?

  14. Can you substitute brown sugar for regular sugar 

  15. I’m confused on the sweet peppers also what should I be looking for and is it 1-6oz or 16oz

  16. I tried this recipe and was a bit concerned on the spices using Tablespoons. Well when all done I see the recipe should probably have read teaspoons as it was WAY TO SPICY!
    My breath was taken away for a good 10 minutes. I will try adding salsa and more sauce to double and maybe tame this down a little. 

    • I’m sorry you found the recipe too spice. It definitely is on the spicier side (as referenced in the name of the chili….Spicy Chili) so it’s been a trend for readers to pull back a bit on the spice level.

  17. I made this chili for my works chili cook off and it won! Great recipe, thank you!

  18. Just made this and I had cut the spice but is still too spicy how do I curb the spice . it is already made and will be eating it next day.

    • Hi! So, this Chili IS VERY spicy as written BUT since already made it there are a few things you can do to tame the spice. Just be sure to taste it while adding the ingredients to be sure you don’t end up with overly tart or sweet flavors. Acid and sweeteners are a great way to tone done spice so add a bit of lime juice (or lemon) to your chili. Sometimes I add it anyway for a pop of freshness and fresh lime works best. Also, add a bit more brown sugar to your chili but start with a tablespoon and taste it before adding more. Good luck and let me know how it turns out!

  19. This is the best chili recipe that I’ve made. I did cut the spice a little; I did about 2/3 of the spice you used. Thanks for this! I cannot wait for lunch leftovers tomorrow. 

  20. Hello! I’m making this for my work chili cook off this week and I’m excited to see it had already won for others! I am a vegetarian and want to sub the beef for morning star veggie crumbles. Do you think that would work?

  21. Thank you so much for this recipe! I have made it 4 years in a row for the chili cook of at my work and have won all 4 years! Everyone loves this!

  22. Another work related win for the cook off XD though i added more of the ceyanne and another hot pepper n i also used the sweet cherry peppers with the seeds removed. It turned out amazing n i also like tomatoes so i took baby romas n cut them in to quarters n left 4 whole ones to soak up the flavor…though i guess i should add that i uses light kidney beans as well. All in all i loved it, so did everyone else.

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