There was a 30º temperature drop today. Good times. It was in the 80s yesterday and today we’re pulling out the winter coats! Texas weather is so strange. Cold weather = chili for dinner and I have THE best chili recipe to share with you today. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and spicy, with a velvety consistency that will change your life. I’m not even exaggerating. I’ve been cooking and tweaking this recipe for several years now and have even won several chili cook-offs with this recipe! And it makes a ton, so if you have a crowd to feed (and impress!), this Award-Winning Sweet and Spicy Chili will be your ride or die chili dish. Mark my words.
It’s the perfect time for a hot bowl of chili and this recipe will not disappoint. The ingredients list is a mile long, but it’s totally worth it. After all, we live in Texas, the land of the most discerning chili eaters and if I can win over hard-to-please Texans and win 1st place in chili cook-offs, then you know it’s gotta to be good. I adapted this recipe from this amazing 6-Time Award-Winning Chili Recipe by Kelly of Wildflour’s Cottage Kitchen. I streamlined and tweaked the recipe to my preference, but if you want the OG recipe, I encourage you to give Kelly’s recipe a go. Have I convinced you yet? Grab your ingredients and get cooking!
This is an award-winning chili recipe! It does require a bit of prep work and the ingredients list is a mile long, but it’s TOTALLY worth it! Sweet and spicy, this chili dish will soon become your go-to chili recipe for those cold, wintery nights.
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 1 large bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, small diced
- 2–4 jalapeno peppers, ribs and seeds removed, small diced
- 1 sweet onion, small diced
- 3 cups V-8 Spicy Hot Vegetable Juice
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- 1 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon molasses
- 1–2 teaspoons sriracha, to taste
- 1/2 pound of bacon, chopped and fried
- kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, chili powder, ground cumin, and garlic powder, to taste
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Reserve the bacon grease for later.
- In a large Dutch oven, brown the beef and sausage over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Drain the grease and set the meat aside.
- In the same pot, drizzle about a tablespoon of the reserved bacon grease and sauté the diced peppers and onion. Season with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder and cook until translucent and tender, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add the beef and sausage back to the pot, then add the remaining ingredients: V-8, ketchup, tomatoes, kidney beans, brown sugar, lemon juice, worcestershire, vinegar, mustard, molasses, and sriracha. Mix well.
- Cover and simmer over low heat for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add the bacon in the last 30 minutes of cooking.
- Add chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with bread or crackers and top with sour cream, cheese, or any of your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
- I didn’t include the measurements of the seasonings, but I recommend starting off with 1 teaspoon of each and add more if desired.
- You can use however many jalapeno peppers as you’d like, depending on the spice level you want. Adding more sriracha will also raise the heat level.
- I’ve cooked this recipe in a slow cooker as well and it turned out delicious! Just sauté the meat and veggies before throwing everything into a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours.
- This dish is even more delicious the next day! Cover and refrigerate for up to a week. Leftovers freeze well too!