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Glenn’s Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Chili is a uniquely delicious chili that starts out sweet, then delivers a spicy kick! Addictively delicious!

Glenn’s Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Chili


Glenn is a business partner of my husband Jack – and he recently told Jack that he makes a ‘killer’ chili! We’re always up for trying new recipes, and today we’re sharing Glenn’s Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Chili.

Glenn’s Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Chili is unlike any chili we’ve eaten before! One bite into it – and it starts out quite sweet thanks to the addition of brown sugar, plus some bourbon and brown sugar-flavored canned baked beans. Then a very spicy kick takes over – and your taste buds won’t know what hit them! (In a good way of course!)

Glenn’s Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Chili

The texture of this chili is also perfect – and it’s loaded with a mix of hot Italian sausage, bison (which you can find in most supermarkets these days) and ground beef, plus beans, bell pepper and onions.


Glenn’s Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Chili is also super easy to make in the slow cooker, and I tell you – it is addictive and you’ll keep going back for more! Glenn also says that serving this chili with shredded cheddar cheese on top, and Saltine crackers on the side is a must – so we stayed true to his recipe.

Glenn’s Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Chili

You can, of course, adjust the spiciness and the sweetness levels by adding in less of the red pepper flakes and less brown sugar than is called for in the recipe. But either way, you’ve got to try this unique and delicious sweet & spicy chili!

Award Winning Chili!

Update: Since we posted this recipe, we’ve had a number of readers write to us to tell us that they used this recipe as an entry in their local chili cook-offs – and they won! Glenn’s Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Chili really is something special – and we keep telling Glenn that he needs to bottle and sell it!

Give it a try and let us know if you agree!

You may like these other Chili recipes:



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Glenn’s Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Chili

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large orange bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups sweet onions such as Vidalia, diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 pound Italian hot sausage, removed from casing
  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
  • 1 pound ground bison (pre-packaged and available in most supermarkets)
  • 2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce (Glenn recommended Contadina so we used that brand)
  • 1 16-ounce can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 22-ounce can Bush’s Grillin’ Beans (Bourbon and Brown Sugar)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes (or less for less heat)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less for less heat)
  • Juice from one lime
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
  • Saltine Crackers to serve with chili (Glenn says this is a must)


  1. In a large sauté pan, melt butter in two tablespoons of oil over medium heat.
  2. Add bell pepper, onions and garlic and sauté for 8-10 minutes to caramelize the vegetables.
  3. Pour this into a large slow cooker.
  4. Heat the pan to medium high and add the remaining oil.
  5. Add sausage meat, ground beef and ground bison meat and cook until meat has browned.
  6. Scrape all of this into the slow cooker with the vegetables.
  7. Then add all other ingredients to the slow cooker except the lime, cheddar and crackers.
  8. Stir, cover and set slow cooker to low and cook for five hours.
  9. Stir after five hours and add lime juice into the cooked chili.
  10. To serve, dish out into bowls, top with cheddar cheese and serve with the saltine crackers.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Glenn's Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chili

Glenn's Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chili

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  • Monique C. wrote:

    Hi! I am making this today. I just got home from the store with everything. My question: does the lime juice make a huge difference? I totally forgot to grab one. Doh! 🙁 Help!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Monique – Sorry for the delay in responding…you’ve probably already made the chili by now? Not totally necessary – it just adds a little bit of brightness to the flavors. Hope you enjoyed the chili!

  • Debbie Baile wrote:

    This was wicked good! I used 2 pounds ground venison and 1 pound hot sausage. Cut the cayenne pepper by 1/2. It really is sweet & spicy – loved it with our home made cornbread! Thanks for sharing.

    • Martha wrote:

      Sounds like a great adaptation Debbie! Glad you liked the recipe!

      • Duran Geragosian wrote:

        I ve been looking for a sweet and spicy chili recipe for awhile now….stumbled upon this recipe and am putting it to the test….i couldnt find bison either so i added more beef….cant wait to try it!! Should be ready by 530 pm today

        • Martha wrote:

          Hope you love the recipe Duran!

  • chris evans wrote:

    I have entered this recipe into a cook off and won 2nd place. (i believe it was due to my lack of creativeness in presentation) this chili was the best there.
    I’m going to do it again this year and i will ask for some help on my presentation this time.

    • Martha wrote:

      Congrats Chris! (I’ll be sure to let Glenn know his chili continues to win awards!)

  • peter wrote:

    looking forward to trying chili tonight

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you enjoy the recipe Peter!

  • David Cobos wrote:

    This recipe won me 3rd place in our City’s chili cook off 2016! Thank you I did make a few changes but for the most part it was loved!

    • Martha wrote:

      Congrats David! 🙂 We’ll be sure to let our friend Glenn know that you and everyone judging the chili cook off enjoyed his recipe!

      • David Cobos wrote:

        Update: This chili won 1st place in 2017, going for the repeat in two weeks.

        • Martha wrote:

          Congrats David! Fingers crossed for another win in 2018! 🙂

        • Fernanda wrote:

          What was the changes you made to win?????

  • Annie wrote:

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! We love chili 🙂
    My only concern is the Bison. I have never seen it for sale in our area, I would
    hate to make it and make any changes to it, especially the first time.
    Thank you for sharing!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Annie – I had never cooked with Bison before either and was surprised to easily find it at my local supermarket. But – if you aren’t sure about it – feel free to swap in the same amount of ground beef instead.

  • Molly wrote:

    I love this chili recipe and you should totally enter this chili contest! I think you have a good chance at winning!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Molly – or maybe our friend Glenn should enter it since it’s his recipe! 😉

      • Glenn wrote:

        I keep saying I will but never do. Maybe I will this year ! 🙂 I’ll let you know!

  • John wrote:

    Look great I’ll have to try it

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks John! Hope you like the chili!

  • Kimi Schowe wrote:

    Found this recipe on Pinterest. It’s in the crock pot! Smells delicious! Excited to have it today for Sunday football! 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you enjoy the recipe Kimi!

      • Kimi Schowe wrote:

        The chili was a hit! Absolutely delicious! I baked cornbread muffins with diced jalapeños to go with the chili. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

        • Martha wrote:

          Yay – so glad you enjoyed it Kimi!

  • Lee triplett wrote:

    Was a little hesitant in this recipe because of the sugar. But it works, only change i made was instead of the cayenne pepper i added hot red chili powder. From new mexico, so i always have lots on hand. Add a dollop of sour ceam, mmm heaven, and yes you have to serve with saltines.
    This was even better the next day according to my Husband when he ate the leftovers, how rude!
    This is a keeper (the recipe, not sure about the husband, if he keeps eating the leftovers!!)

    • Martha wrote:

      We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe Lee – and I agree – it does taste better the next day! I hope your husband saves some leftovers for you the next time you make it! 😉

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