Sweet Heat Chili Con Carne 🌶

It's chili week! Better yet, it's chili month and we have a recipe(s) treat coming to you from our blog this month. Every week throughout the month of October, we'll be posting one of our favorite chili recipes.

I'm a big chili fan and so is my family. And while I'm no food historian, per se, I do enjoy reading about food origin stories that permeate cultures around the world. While I'm certain there is much debate on the origins of the chili dish, writings have dated it as early as the 18th century. Below is a 20th century take that provides some helpful context to the celebration of this great cuisine.

Named for the spicy peppers that are its key ingredient, this simple, hearty, and delicious Southwestern staple has achieved cult status in the United States.

First prepared somewhere in Southern Texas or Northern Mexico, chili started out as a simple preparation of meat and spices. Working-class women stewed beef pieces, chilis, and other vegetables and spices to make a hearty dish that would feed a whole family.

In San Antonio, women known as “chili queens” made and sold chili by the bowlful in the city’s markets. Soon “chili parlors” began popping up, and the practice spread throughout Texas and other states, with each chili parlor claiming its own special, secret recipe. In the days before widespread home refrigeration you could purchase “brick chili,” a dehydrated version of the stew that kept longer and could be cooked with some water.

We leave you this week with our first of four favorite chili recipes coming to our blog in October. It's my family's Sweet Heat Chili Con Carne. With great humility, I will tell you that this recipe has won a couple of chili cook-offs! 😉  It brings me great joy to share food creations with others. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

RECIPE: Sweet Heat Chili Con Carne

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes plus cooking time (2 hrs slow cooker)
Yield: 8-10 servings

1 3/4 lbs ground beef (80% lean)
3 cans (14 oz) stewed tomatoes
3 cans (14 oz) kidney beans (strained)
3 cans (14 oz) pinto beans (strained)
1 yellow onion (diced)
1 bell pepper (diced)
1 jalapeño or serrano pepper (diced) *Optional to your spicy preference!
4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cups beef broth (I like the organic broths for best taste.)

Seasoning Mix

  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar (1 cup agave nectar or honey make for delicious substitutes.)

Toppings (Optional)

  • Queso fresco or cotija cheese (grated)
  • Green onion (diced)
  • Fritos
  • Sour cream


  • Mix the seasoning mix ingredients in a separate bowl and leave to side.
  • Brown the ground beef in a skillet and season lightly with salt, pepper and garlic powder then strain fat.
  • Cover ground beef and leave in refrigerator until ready to be added to slow cooker for last 30 minutes of cooking before serving (This prevents the beef from over cooking.)
  • In your slow cooker add all ingredients and your bowl of seasoning mix.
  • Cook on medium high 2-4 hours allowing all ingredients to simmer and infuse together (Reduce slow cooker to low if cooking longer than 4 hours).
  • Add your cooked ground beef to the slow cooker for final 30 minutes of cooking before serving.
  • Serve in soup bowls with our favorite slow cooker spoon from Spoon Spot!
  • Top with grated queso fresco or cotija cheese, diced green onion, Fritos, and a dollop of sour cream if your taste buds desire!


  • Adjust the type and quantity of peppers to your spicy preference. Chili is fantastic with a great pepper variety. 🌶 🔥
  • The secret to delicious chili is slow cooking all the ingredients.
  • Chili also makes an incredible leftover dish. 😉

Cheers to you and to National Chili Month! ☀️