Award-Winning Sweet and Spicy Chili

Award-winning Sweet and Spicy Chili - the BEST chili recipe ever!

4.8 from 5 reviews

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
  • 24 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
  • 12 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


  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Reserve the bacon grease for later.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Add chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper to taste.
  7. 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!

Keywords: chili, chilli, chilly,