Spicy, Smoky, Sweet Chili


by: amandamccullough

This is my signature chili recipe. If I may say so myself, it is incredible! It has a perfect balance of spicy, smoky, and sweet and is probably best served with cornbread. However, my dear husband doesn't like cornbread that much so we had ours with crackers. I meant to serve it with cheese on top and forgot all about it! I couldn't be happier with the way this chili turned out and I'm looking forward to using this recipe over and over throughout the winter season.


Adjust your ingredient quantities here. Simply enter how many servings you need, and the ingredient quantity will update accordingly!

serves: 5-6

1lb ground beef

1 small onion

2 cloves garlic



can 29oz tomato sauce

can 15oz baked beans

can 15oz black beans, drained and rinsed

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon each salt, garlic powder, onion powder

1/4 teaspoon (or more or less) cayenne pepper

1-2 tablespoons heaping brown sugar

Nutrition Facts
Spicy, Smoky, Sweet Chili

Servings Per Recipe: 5

Amount per Serving

Calories: 341

  • Total Fat: 7.9 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 55.4 mg
  • Sodium: 1209.3 mg
  • Total Carbs: 38.8 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 11 g
  •     Sugars: 10.8 g
  • Protein: 31.7 g

how is this calculated?

Download Nutrition Facts Widget Code


1.  Start by browning 1lb ground beef with 1 small onion, 2 cloves garlic, salt, and pepper in a large soup pot or Dutch Oven. If you’re going the crock pot route then brown the beef mixture in a skillet and then add it to a 5-6 quart crock pot. *I didn't use onion or garlic cloves because I don't like either. I did use garlic powder.

2.  Next add a 29oz can tomato sauce, 15oz can baked beans, and 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed. For whatever reason I used Bush’s Vegetarian Baked Beans, but you can use whatever kind you like best. I just love how the baked beans add a touch of sweetness!

3.  Now add all the spices that turn tomato sauce and beans into the Spicy, Smoky, Sweet Chili. You’ll need 3 Tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon each salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and 1/4 teaspoon (or more or less) cayenne pepper (I used regular pepper).

4.  Now for the piece de resistance: 1-2 heaping Tablespoons brown sugar. The chili tastes completely different without the brown sugar so if you like a subtle sweetness in your chili then you’ve just got to go for it! Trust me, it will not make your chili taste like candy. It’s all about balance between spicy, smoky, and sweet.

5.  Place a lid on top then simmer for 30 minutes, stirring two or three times. Alternatively, stire everything together in the crock pot then cook on low for 4-6 hours, stirring every hour or so.

related recipes