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With just a hint of sweetness to counter the heat, this spicy homemade chili recipe is bursting with flavor. It's thick and hearty, too, packed with beans, tomatoes, peppers, onions, beef and ground sausage. Great comfort food on cold days or for football watching. Serve the leftovers over baked potatoes, nachos or macaroni noodles.

Sweet & Spicy Homemade Chili

A hearty homemade chili made with sausage, ground beef and packed with vegetables. It has a touch of sweetness to balance out the spicy heat.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 servings


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb Italian sausage hot, mild or sweet, your choice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 14-ounce cans light red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 yellow pepper chopped
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 bunch fresh green onions sliced


  1. Combine the ground beef and Italian sausage into a bowl. Add minced garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder, 2 Tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and a dash of freshly ground pepper and salt.

  2. Using your clean hands or a wooden spoon, mix the spices into the meat until fully incorporated. Brown the spiced hamburger and sausage over medium heat in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot.

  3. Once meat is browned, add the drained kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, peppers, yellow onion and  remaining spices. 

  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer covered for at least 30 minutes, but preferably longer to let the flavor develop. 

  5. Just before serving, add 1/2 teaspoon vinegar, and stir.

  6. Garnish with green onions, sour cream, shredded cheese and jalapeno peppers, if preferred. Serve with tortilla chips.

Recipe Notes

You can prepare this homemade chili recipe in a slow cooker. After browning the meat in the stove, transfer to a slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients. Cook on LOW for 6 hours.