Texas BBQ Sweet-Hot Chili

"This stick-to-your-ribs chili recipe has a sweetness to it that offsets the hot-but-not-too-hot burn that follows. I started with my step mom's recipe and made it my own. The amounts below are really "guesstimates" which makes it a little different every time!"
photo by Chef shapeweaver photo by Chef shapeweaver
photo by Chef shapeweaver
photo by Darkhunter photo by Darkhunter
Ready In:
4 Quarts




  • Sauté onion in a little bit of oil. Add ground beef and minced garlic. Dust with dill, chili powder, cumin and red pepper flakes. Mix and cook covered over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is cooked through. Drain fat.
  • Add tomatoes, tomato paste and beans.
  • Add picante sauce, barbecue sauce, diced green chilies.
  • Add any additional chili powder and/or red pepper flakes.
  • Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or more. I have let this simmer for up to 2 hours and the longer it sits, the yummier it gets. It's great the next day, and the day after, too!
  • Serve with sour cream and shredded cheese on top. Eat with the Frito Scoops if you are feeling adventurous enough to dig in without a spoon.
  • Optional - Make a box of mac 'n cheese and ring your chili bowl with it before spooning in the chili. Delectable!

Questions & Replies

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  1. Anonymous
    Have made this several times. Followed directions as is and man oh man what a great taste. Love the sweet/spicy combination. Made this for a chili cookoff and came in second place out of 10. One of my favorites. Thanks KT for sharing
  2. Sydney Mike
    Pretty much made this recipe as given, then, except for 2 servings, I packaged the rest in 2-serving freezer containers & took care of it that way! Now we can look forward to having some of this wonderfully satisfying chili over the next month or so! You have a great recipe here! Thanks for sharing it! [Made & reviewed for one of my adoptees in this Spring's round of Pick A Chef]
  3. CJAY8248
    We were pleasantly surprised at how good this chili turned out. I was a little worried about the sweetness but it worked well with the other ingredients. It had just the right amount of heat for our taste. Thanks for sharing. Made for Spring PAC 2012.
  4. Chef shapeweaver
    This recipe was made on 4/9/12 for the Spring PAC 2012 Event. Due to what was on hand a few changes were made, but I don't think the changes affected the finished dish.First of all, I used 2 cans of chili seasoned diced tomatoes,then used garlic powder instead of the garlic. Also, since I didn't have picante sauce, the same amount of salsa was used. I didn't have any of the recommended BBQ Sauce, but I did have something similar and that was used. As for the amount of seasonings, about a teaspoon or so of each was used.After letting it simmer on low for about 45 minutes a " Quality Control Taste Test " was done to see if additional seasonings were needed, and I didn't need to add any. My SO and I did find it a bit too sweet for our tastes, but the heat factor was " Spot On ". Thanks for posting and, " Keep Smiling :) "
  5. Darkhunter
    This was some good chili. Had a nice touch of sweetness, which offset the heat that we like in our chili. This will be eaten again! Thnx for posting, KT. Adopted for Spring 2008 PAC.


I'm a full-time working mom of 3 and married to a great guy who also loves to help me cook, as long as I give him a recipe to do it! We're striving to serve healthy, yummy foods with a range of ingredients and flavors to our kids.
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