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Glenn’s Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Chili

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


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 - A uniquely delicious chili that starts out sweet, then delivers a spicy kick! Addictively delicious!


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.

Watch the video below to see how it is made:




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 - A uniquely delicious chili that starts out sweet, then delivers a spicy kick! Addictively delicious!

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!



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.

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

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    Leave a Comment


  1. 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!!)

    • 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! 😉

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

  3. Look great I’ll have to try it

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

  5. 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!

    • 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.

  6. 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!

  7. looking forward to trying chili tonight

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

    • 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!

  11. A bit underwhelming. Followed the recipe to a T, but with half the brown sugar. The chili consistency is like a sticky Sloppy Joe, probably makes a great sandwich. I plan to add a can of beef broth tomorrow, should have seen this given the ingredients. Solid sweet taste though if you are into sweet chili.

  12. we are not too spicey people but like a little should I get medium spicy sausage?

    • Hi April – Yes – you could even use a sweet Italian sausage instead of the hot. Also, you’ll probably want to cut back on the cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes – you can always add more to taste! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  13. My husband and I make this recipe at least 3 times a year. It is amazing. We always use Carol Shelby’s chili spice mix in it and it is perfect. Amazing amount of sweet and spicy.

  14. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS RECIPE! I did make a few adjustments to suite my personal taste, but this is a fantastic chili recipe!! I can’t wait to share with my family… my dad is a huge chili lover, and he’s so excited to try this. The brown sugar was what peaked my interest, I think that’s a interesting (and delicious) addition to a chili. I subbed the beef and bison for pulled pork I slowcooked a few days earlier, and for a little extra heat, sauteed a few Serrano peppers. THANK YOU for this recipe, 11/10 for sure.

  15. Hi.. Just wondering if I should drain the kidney beans before adding them?

  16. I won my neighborhoods chili cook off with this recipe! Although I did only use half the amounts of the spices in the recipe.

  17. I found this recipe to be a bit thick, so I added one can of diced tomatoes with the juice, and about a half a can of yuengling Black and Tan beer to get the consistency I wanted. I also let the meat really brown in the pan and deglazed it afterwards with bourbon.

  18. Absolutely delicious! I add a green bell pepper, an extra 8 oz can of tomato sauce and a large can of petite diced tomatoes. I cut the spices to 1/4 of what it calls for and it still has a little kick. I also use 2 lbs of ground beef as bison is hard to find, and mild sausage. I like hot food, but not TOO spicy.

  19. Heather Sands :

    Curious…I have a crock pot with four settings: high for either 4 or 6, and low for 8 or 10 hours. Your recipe says to cook on low for 5 hours. How would you recommend I cook this?

    • Hi Heather – We would still cook it for 5 hours on low. Sounds like we have the same slow cooker – we set it to cook on either of the low settings and then set a separate timer and turn the slow cooker off after 5 hours. I hope you enjoy the chili!