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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:




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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  • Wendy Smith wrote:

    I absolutely love this chili!! It’s so scrumptious and filling. I’ve cooked in my crock pot several times and have recently jumped on the InstaPot bandwagon. Any suggestions on how long in the pressure cooker or any modifications (if you’ve tried it in a pressure cooker or one of your other readers has tried it). Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Wendy – I’ll leave your question here in case someone else has tried making this in a pressure cooker. (We haven’t ourselves.) So glad you are enjoying the recipe!

  • Crystal wrote:

    I was really hopeful from the reviews, but it was way too sweet. I didn’t alter a thing, my boyfriend could hardly eat it 🙁 now we have a ton of leftovers in our fridge. I realize most liked it and I’m not a picky person. But just be advised it’s not what I was expecting in a chili. Very unique for sure.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for your feedback Crystal – I agree, this is a unique chili! If you are up for it, give it a try now that it has been in the refrigerator for a day…we found that the flavors mellow quite a bit over time. Having said that, it will still have that sweet/spicy kick, but sometimes, recipes are better the next day. Sorry you were disappointed!

  • Kelly Null wrote:

    This is by far, hands down, the absolute best chili recipe I have ever tried. WOW!! I tweaked it a bit, only used ground beef as that was all I had. I added a little cumin and some beef broth. I thought the full cup of sugar was going to be too sweet but followed the recipe according to the spices. I’m eating it now and the sweet with the kick of heat is fabulous. Thank you for a fantastic recipe!!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Kelly – glad you liked it!

  • Rebecca wrote:

    I have made many types of chili but, THIS was the BEST chili I ever made!!! I made it for a chili cook off at a picnic and won first prize. I did use an extra spice in ther3 and Dion Mexican chili powder. ( it made it extra smoky and sweet heat. Love this and definitely will make it agai.

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you enjoyed it Rebecca…we will be sure to pass the news along to our friend Glenn!

  • Rebecca Becker wrote:

    This is now the only chili I will make! It is amazing!

    • Martha wrote:

      Glad you like it Rebecca!

  • Will wrote:

    I decided to enter my company chili cook off this week. I had never made chili before so I searched the web for a unique recipe. I am so pleased with how this turned out, not only did I win 1st place, but also won the People’s Choice Award. I wish I could take all the credit, but this recipe really does impress! Thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re welcome Will! We will be sure to pass along the news to our friend Glenn! Congrats!

  • Kristine McGoldrick wrote:

    Have made this chili 3x – fantastic, but we reduced the brown sugar, and the red flakes – use 2 lbs of beef – no buffalo.

    • Martha wrote:

      Glad you enjoyed the recipe Kristine!

  • Heather wrote:

    I entered this in a Chili Cookoff and it won 1st place

    • Martha wrote:

      Congrats Heather! We’ll be sure to let Glenn know!!

  • Kathleen Murley wrote:

    I just used this recipe for my work chili cook off and won Best Overall Flavor! I did make a few adjustments (substituted ground turkey for ground bison, used 1/2 cup brown sugar instead of 1 cup, and added 3 ground up red fresno peppers for a little extra heat), but everyone really loved the sweet and spicy flavor! Highly recommend!

    • Martha wrote:

      Congrats Kathleen! Glad you all enjoyed the chili!

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