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Beth's Ever So Sweet and Spicy Chilli Chili (Stovetop and Slow Cooker Methods) Recipe

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Beth’s Ever So Sweet and Spicy Chilli (Stovetop and Slow Cooker Methods)

We spell it "chilli" while others spell it "chili". It is a good thing that the spelling does not affect how delicious my sweet and spicy chilli is.

Who would ever think of a sweet chilli? I have been working on this recipe since last year. Yes, really. I have a basic chilli recipe that was handed down to me from my Aunt, but it was becoming a little humdrum. With the cold months coming around the corner, I’ve been cooking, tasting and altering my recipe until the taste buds of my taste testers screamed “PERFECTION”!!!

Now, I’m prepared to deliver real comfort food when the temperatures drop below -15⁰C to my family and friends. Come with me, and try a new twist on an old favourite!


1             pound red kidney beans (picked over, washed)

3             quarts water

4             cubes beef bouillon (1 cube = 2 cups stock)

3             medium tomatoes, diced

2             medium onion, diced

1             green pepper, diced

1             red pepper, diced

1             tablespoon garlic, minced or through a press

1             teaspoon basil (fresh is preferred)

1             teaspoon oregano leaves (fresh is preferred)

2             tablespoons olive oil

¼            cup tomato paste

4             tablespoons chilli powder

2             tablespoons ground cumin

1             tablespoon paprika

Scroll to Continue

1             tablespoon salt

1             pound extra lean ground beef

1 ¼         cup brown sugar

               cheddar cheese, grated


As you are using dried beans, it is necessary to prepare the beans for cooking. The preparation begins the night before. There are two methods, and the traditional method is called slow soaking. The other method is called the quick soak method. For more information on this method, visit my article entitled “Beans, Legumes, Pulses: Everything You Wanted to Know Part 3 – How to Prepare Dried Beans”. Simply click on this title (it’s a hyperlink). In this article, you will also find a detailed step by step guide that will teach you how to slow soak beans.

The Night Before Cooking the Meal

The night before:

1. Sort and wash the dried kidney beans in a colander. Let the water drain from them.

2. Place the beans in a large stainless steel bowl.

3. Soak overnight with 3 quarts of cold water. A general rule of thumb is for every one cup of dried beans, add 3 cups of water for soaking.

4. Allow the beans to sit for at least 8 hours or overnight in a cool place.

The Day of Cooking the Meal

Cooking day:

1. Strain the beans that were soaked overnight and wash with cold water.

2. Place the beans in a large pot and cover with 3 quarts water.

3. Place on the stove top and bring to a boil. Bring the temperature down until the beans are simmering. Cover and let simmer between 30 and 40 minutes or until tender. You can perform the bite test to check for doneness – if it is soft and chewable, it is cooked. If it is hard, then it is not cooked. Drain and set the beans aside.

4. Sauté the onions, green and red peppers, garlic, basil, oregano and olive oil in a large skillet until they begin to soften. Add the chilli powder, cumin, salt, bouillon cubes and paprika. Mix thoroughly.

5. Add the tomato paste and slightly brown the paste. This will give an extra taste of tomato flavour to the chilli. Add the diced tomatoes. Mix and bring to a boil. Add the brown sugar and let simmer for 2 minutes on low heat.

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Putting it all together to make the chilli

1. Using the Stovetop to Cook Chilli

After Step 5, place the cooked beans in a large Dutch oven pan. Next, add the tomato mixture and the cooked ground beef. Simmer on the stove for 35 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir occasionally to mix the flavours.

Serve in large bowls with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, fresh baguette and a small salad.

2. Using a Slow Cooker to Cook Chilli

After Step 5, you will begin layering the chilli into the slow cooker. Begin the layering with the kidney beans, then the cooked ground beef and then the tomato mixture. Continue layering in this fashion and complete the layering with the tomato mixture. Cover and cook on low heat for 6-7 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours.

Serve in large bowls with cheddar cheese, fresh baguette and a salad.


Substitutions and Options

Options for this recipe:

1.      The ground beef can be substituted with ground bison, venison, turkey or chicken.

2.     You can replace the fresh tomatoes with one 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, including the liquid. 

3.     If you like it really spicy, substitute the chilli powder with chipotle chilli powder. 

4.     Play with the sweet and spicy tones of this dish by increasing or decreasing the appropriate ingredients.

5.     The brown sugar can be substituted with 1 cup honey and ½ cup brown sugar.  The sweetness will be toned down but the flavour of the honey will come through.

As with all my recipes, feel free to manipulate the combinations and create a new dish that is distinctively yours. Enjoy!!

© August 19, 2010


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Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 07, 2013:

Beth's Ever So Sweet and Spicy Chilli Chili (Stovetop and Slow Cooker Methods) Recipe sounds a delicious spicy meal and I enjoy spicy foods

Beth100 (author) from Canada on May 10, 2012:

Wisdom25 -- ha ha ha that's the whole point of tempting photos! :D The sweetness and degree of spicy-ness can be adjusted for little ones. They love it sweet with a slight hint of spicy-ness. My guys eat bowls of this on chilly (or is it chilli?) nights. Thank you! Lots of love. Peace and light.

Maurice Wisdom Bishop from San Tan Valley on May 09, 2012:

Looking at this just made me hungry! Thanks for sharing those ingredients. Much Love and Respect

Beth100 (author) from Canada on April 12, 2012:

Happyboomernurse -- this is an extremely easy and low maintenance chili. It stores well and letting it "sit" overnight blends the flavours even more. Please enjoy and thank you for the votes! I appreciate them greatly. :)

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on April 11, 2012:

I love Chilli but have never made it myself. This recipe looks easy to follow, especially in a slow cooker and I'm going to save it for future reference.

Thanks for sharing it and for giving instructions on ingredient substitutions.

Voted up and useful.

Beth100 (author) from Canada on May 06, 2011:

Quigley -- :D ha ha

Quigley on April 08, 2011:

Yum! (the chili that is....) :)

Beth100 (author) from Canada on February 26, 2011:

Travis_S_Music -- Want to know what's really funny? No one that I know (friends, friends of friends, etc.) have ever tried sweet and spicy chilli and yet, since I've published this recipe, I am discovering that it is not so unique! I thought I discovered a new taste combo. :) Thank you for the smiles! :)

Travis_S_Music on February 02, 2011:

Love the hub! Funny, it sounds a lot like my dad's chili that he makes! I'm sure it's very delicious :D

Beth100 (author) from Canada on January 27, 2011:

Hey Camlo! The type of honey will affect the flavor -- you can try blueberry honey for a slight fruity flavor or goldenrod if you like a strong honey taste. Clover works well as it is sweet but does not add the "honey" after taste as goldenrod does. Apple honey is very nice with this chili (as well as for basting a pork roast).

I hope that you're feeling much better!

Thanks Camlo!

Camlo De Ville from Cologne, Germany on January 22, 2011:

Hi Beth!

A great change from the run-of-the-mill Chil(l)i con Carne I always cook. I think I'd like to try this with honey, as you suggest under 'Substitutions and Options' - sounds interesting.

Right now, I'm suffering from a heavy cold, so I think this is just the thing for me ... Hmmm ... I'll go and take a look in my cupboards to see if I have all the ingredients ...

Thanks for a great recipe!

All the best, Camlo

Beth100 (author) from Canada on October 08, 2010:

DjBryle -- As do I!! I serve the moon pies with milk for my kids as a dessert treat -- and they think that it's out of this world! See you soon my friend! :)

Beth100 (author) from Canada on October 03, 2010:

KristenGrace -- I' sooo excited for you and your brother!!! He is going to fall in love with this chilli -- some of my friends won't eat any other chilli after eating this one. :) Even my children won't touch another unless it's this one. :) Enjoy, enjoy and enjoy!! Let me know how you both like it. :)

DjBryle from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =) on October 03, 2010:

lol! Sure thing I love moon pies! I love Tony DiTerlizzi's Jimmy Zangwow's Out- Of- This -World Moon Pie Adventure... I have the heart of a child and I enjoy being a kid again whenever I take time to play and read stories with my son. See you around my friend! =)

KristenGrace from Philadelphia, PA on October 02, 2010:

Wow I can't believe I found this!! My brother's going to LOVE this recipe - can't wait to make it with him - Thanks!!

Beth100 (author) from Canada on October 02, 2010:

DjBryle -- AWESOME!! Thanks for coming back and giving me the results of your taste test!! You know the Grimble Grinder too? That's even more awesome!! :) Thanks for rating this one up and useful!

DjBryle from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =) on September 30, 2010:

Hey Beth... I just tried this out yesterday! The Grimble Grinder would feel soooo insecure if it heard my tummy rumbling! lol! I so love the recipe... Thanks so much for presenting it in a very attractive way... your hub is as tasteful as your chili! Two thumbs up! Rated this hub useful too! =)

Beth100 (author) from Canada on September 28, 2010:

DjBryle -- It is mouth watering, and when it starts to cook, watch out! Your stomach will be rumbling like the Grimble Grinder! Let me know how you like this chili! Thanks for dropping in! :)

DjBryle from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =) on September 26, 2010:

My mouth is watery and there's grumbling in my stomach! Gotta go try this! lol! Thanks for sharing! I'll come back and let you know how I enjoyed your recipe =)

Beth100 (author) from Canada on September 05, 2010:

Twentyfive -- Oh, it is!! It is sooo satisfying you'll want to have another serving! Your welcome, and thank you for stopping by. :)

twentyfive on September 04, 2010:

Wow, sounds so yum yum Beth. :)Thanks for sharing

Beth100 (author) from Canada on September 04, 2010:

Maven -- Hello Larry! It's always such a pleasure when you come and visit and read. :) There is no need to worry that this chilli will be dry. The tomatoes will let off plenty of liquid and if you like, add 3 additional fresh tomatoes, loosely diced. This will provide a the extra amount of liquid that you like. I find this recipe is just right -- not too liquidy and not too dry. I hope you enjoy it Larry. Thanks for bookmarking it!

Beth100 (author) from Canada on September 04, 2010:

Timorous -- Tis I am the one who is glad to be following you! For those who haven't visited Timorous' profile and hub pages -- do it now, but not before leaving a comment!!! Thanks for the ratio for the cocoa. I am going to try it with the next batch I make!! It's sounds really yummy!!

Larry Conners from Northern Arizona on September 03, 2010:

Hi Beth...This looks delicious..!! My only concern would be the lack of fluids...Seems the chili would be awfully dry when mixed with the beans...I like a soupy chili that I can mop my cornbread in...Perhaps instead of four bullion cubes, using 8 cups of stock will give me that dunkin' delight...

Great recipe bookmarked !! Thanks for the share, Larry

Beth100 (author) from Canada on September 03, 2010:

maheshpatwal - Maybe you should try it with MOM around -- MOM might surprise you and like it!! :)

Tim Nichol from Me to You on September 03, 2010:

Hi Beth again; The cocoa idea came from a vegetarian chili recipe. I usually only make enough for 3 big servings, so 1/2 to 1 teaspoon is plenty.

btw, thanks for following me. :)

Beth100 (author) from Canada on September 02, 2010:

Goody6 - There's plenty of food to go around when I'm cooking! Yes, let's chat some about our food hubs when you're ready. Perhaps we can link some together! :)

Beth100 (author) from Canada on September 02, 2010:

Timorous -- I agree with you about the canned beans. I don't use anything that is canned -- salt, preservatives and/or oil -- an little taste to boot! I always buy my dried beans in the bulk department (I pick each one...). I haven't tried cocoa powder before. How much do you add in? I'll have to try it. Thanks for another great idea!! :)

Tim Nichol from Me to You on September 02, 2010:

Mmmmm..nice Beth. One thing about the canned beans is they've been stewing in saltwater for a few weeks/months. We certainly don't need more salt in our diet. I think the raw dried beans are a bit tastier (and a bit cheaper from a bulk food store) too.

One ingredient I've tried a couple of times is cocoa powder. Interesting...once in a while.

maheshpatwal from MUMBAI on September 02, 2010:

Beth wow sweet and spicy chilli looks so delicious.......mouthwatering!!!! Will give it a try at home when MOM is not around.......

goody6 on September 02, 2010:

Me love some cooking to ! glad to see you on my hub ! Maybe when I get all my stuff up and running we can chat some on cooking !

Beth100 (author) from Canada on September 01, 2010:

Jack -- I hope you brought them chilli!!! (ya know, chilli dogs....)

Beth100 (author) from Canada on August 31, 2010:

Brianzen -- Awww, thanks Brian! You're pretty cool yourself! Loved the video you sent the link to. Always good to see you!! :)

Beth100 (author) from Canada on August 31, 2010:

WryLilt - Ha! Remembered the second "l". :) I have come across sweet chilli sauce, but have not tried it. It is available in speciality stores only. I don't know if it can be used as a substitute for the chilli powder and brown sugar. Well, only one way for me to find out...back to the stove I go!!

Beth100 (author) from Canada on August 30, 2010:

Nick -- You can always make this and freeze portions for yourself if Penny is not into chilli. Then again, I've turned some friends onto chilli with this recipe. Good luck!

Jack Crockett from Columbia, Missouri on August 30, 2010:

Um....I went to the dogs.

Beth100 (author) from Canada on August 30, 2010:

Jack -- Whoah! What happened to your "friendly" avatar? You must have become hungry after reading this! lol I haven't tried cinnamon before. I'll give it a whirl! Let me know what ya think!

Brian on August 29, 2010:

So glad you have something to keep you warm, And as always love your hub. (you rock)

Beth100 (author) from Canada on August 27, 2010:

Cheeky Girl -- Aw, you're the best! This recipe can easily serve 6 - 8 with sides of salad and buns. You can cut back on the sugar if you prefer a less sweet taste; I do this when I use garden tomatoes as they are extremely sweet when fresh. As you already know, adjust the spices to suit your taste. Please tell me how you like it!! Thanks Cheeky -- it's always a pleasure to see you!

Beth100 (author) from Canada on August 27, 2010:

Ralwus -- Oh yes! I have this terrible addiction to hot chilli dark chocolate. It's dark chocolate and mixed throughout it are pieces of chilli. I'll have to try it reversed -- chocolate in the chilli. Sounds delish! xox

Susannah Birch from Toowoomba, Australia on August 27, 2010:

Sounds yummy.

However by the comments it appears no one has heard of sweet chilli sauce. It's a common condiment over here - don't you have it in the US or Canada?

Nick B from Normandy, France on August 27, 2010:

I love chilli. Sadly Penny's not so keen, but I have one or two recipes of my own that I indulge myself in. This one is definitely one to try. Thanks Beth.

Jack Crockett from Columbia, Missouri on August 26, 2010:

Wow! I've never tried brown sugar in chili before. I'll have to give this a go. I'm no stranger to unique chili ingredients though; I put chopped asparagus and a pinch of cinnamon in my secret recipe. This is on my shopping list!

Cassandra Mantis from UK and Nerujenia on August 26, 2010:

I am going to try this recipe, Beth. I love Chilli sauce and anything with Chilli in it. I am surprised by that much brown sugar. How many will that serve, can I ask? Is it for 2 people? Sounds like it will feed a small army! Hehehe! Sweet and spicy chilli here we go! I will rate up in anticipation (slurp): your other hubs are gospel with me!

Beth100 (author) from Canada on August 25, 2010:

The Mainer -- You'll be hooked after the first shot!! :) Thanks!

Beth100 (author) from Canada on August 25, 2010:

ftclick -- I'll admit that this chilli is still really, really good without the brown sugar. Just turn the spicy heat up a bit, and enjoy! :)

ralwus on August 24, 2010:

sweet and spicy is finally catching up with me darlin'. LOL Try it with some chocolate too, spicy that is. xox

Beth100 (author) from Canada on August 24, 2010:

Mtsi -- You better hurry...the snow will be coming soon and without the top on the Jeep, you might freeze!!! Bring the Moosehead, and I'll whip up a fresh batch for you! Good seeing you! :)

The Mainer on August 24, 2010:

Hi, I too will give it a try.

ftclick on August 24, 2010:

definitely worth a shot. I may leave out the brown sugar but all else is a go.


Beth100 (author) from Canada on August 24, 2010:

Prasetio -- It's great to see you!! I'm very glad that you like chilli -- I think that you will love this one! Thanks for booking marking this!

Beth100 (author) from Canada on August 24, 2010:

Jim -- You could use canned beans, but the flavor and texture will not yield the same results as soaking the beans. This process does not take any more time -- you're sleeping or partying while they soak. While they cook, you can prep and begin cooking the remaining ingredients. I hope you try this with soaked beans -- you won't be disappointed.

Beth100 (author) from Canada on August 24, 2010:

vydyulashashi - Not only is it mouthwatering to look at, it's mouthwatering with the first bite. And, if you make it super spicy, you're eyes will be watering too! Thanks for your great feedback!

mtsi1098 on August 24, 2010:

ok - I am officially driving to Canada, in my jeep, to get a bowl...just in time for hockey season...I will bring the Moosehead :)

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on August 23, 2010:

Nice tips from you. I love chili very much. Thanks for share your recipes with us. I'll bookmark this one.

Beth100 (author) from Canada on August 22, 2010:

Ralwus -- I always said you are an original, I just didn't realize how original you are!! Now, why didn't you share that secret with me years ago?!? It would have saved me tons of time! :D xox

Beth100 (author) from Canada on August 22, 2010:

puter_dr -- Once you try this, you may never turn back to regular chilli! I have served this to many unsuspecting friends and family, and the feedback has been great. Enjoy!

jim10 from ma on August 22, 2010:

This chili sounds delicious. I have always gone with canned beans for convenience. But, it sounds like soaking dried beans overnight could be worth the effort.

vydyulashashi from Hyderabad,India on August 22, 2010:

mouth watering recipie..i will try this definitely

god bless you

ralwus on August 22, 2010:

I have loved my chili sweet since I was about 14. I aways add a little sugar to my bowl. My wife thinks I am nuts. I also load it with Frank's Red Hot. Bookmarked, rated up Beth. x

Mike Bouska from Midwest USA on August 22, 2010:

Sounds good. never thought of adding brown sugar to chili, or chillli

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