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Sweet Chili

by Laura

This new version on my mom’s homemade chili is perfect for Halloween.

When I was growing up, every year for Halloween my mom would make her homemade sweet chili. Since having my own children, I decided to carry on the tradition. Last year, I did decide to stray from the original recipe slightly. I wanted to make a quicker version. My mom’s original recipe required soaking the bean the night before.  I opted to utilize canned beans to make life easier.

Mom’s chili recipe also has a secret ingredient  – brown sugar. It adds the level of sweetness, but the classic chili powder still gives it that chili kick. This recipe makes a lot. I was able to feed my family and three of my son’s friends, plus have leftovers. You could always make half a recipe if you need to. Tomorrow, I’ll show you my favorite thing to do with the leftovers.

Sweet Chili | realmomkitchen.com

Here is what you need to make

My Mom’s Sweet Chili

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Mom's Sweet Chili | realmomkitchen.com

Sweet Chili




  1. In a stock pot, brown onion and ground beef until beef is no longer pink; drain.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 1 hour. Serves 8-10.
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Jennifer June 22, 2021 - 9:43 pm

Made this tonight. It was a hit with the family. I used turkey meat instead of beef…trying to get hubby a little bit healthier. I also added a can of corn and spiced it up a notch with some cayenne pepper. Was dellish! definitely will be a staple to the recipe book!

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Kearney T. December 8, 2014 - 2:20 pm

I have been trying to find a quick easy semi sweet chili recipe and this might be it! I WILL add a bit of spice or some red chili peppers.

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Samiam January 10, 2014 - 10:54 am

I try not to eat more than 20 meat dinners a month, and no meats for breakfast or lunch. That leaves 8-11 meatless dinners. Open on the menu. I try nt to eat too much animal fat for immunity reasons. I like the recipe, but will try microwaved carrots instead of meat. Cooked just to the point of chewy meat texture in bite size bits. I’ll cook the carrots in brown sugar in the vidila onion shaped for Microwave thingy. Thank you for sharing.

KH August 31, 2013 - 6:26 pm

Can you tell me how many cups of beans are used in the original recipe for those of us who would rather use dry beans? Thanks!

Flashback Friday – Mom’s Sweet Chili & Halloween Round Up | Real Mom Kitchen October 27, 2012 - 7:15 am

[…]  October has just flown by for me.  Growing up, each Halloween we would always get to eat my Mom’s Sweet Chili.  It was something we always looked forward to. So for today’s Flashback Friday I have […]

Jayme October 9, 2012 - 7:27 pm

So I made this tonight and absolutely delicisious! I made a few substitions… used tomato sauce vs. the soup and paste. I also made it with shredded chicken (bought a rotisserie chicken for ease) and added 2 cans of diced tomatoes with chiles and used McCormick’s chili seasoning (used 3 packages). The sweetness of the brown sugar is amazing. I will be making this as a staple for my family.

Dave Hames February 14, 2014 - 9:31 pm

Hello There,
Could you please tell me how much tomato sauce you used as a substation. I would really appreciate it. Thank you.

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Jenn October 18, 2009 - 6:56 am

My family wasn't in love with this chili on it's own. We thought a little more spiciness to counteract the sweetness would have been good.

However, this was so perfect for the topping on Navajo Tacos!

Julie October 7, 2009 - 7:46 pm

I will have to try this version! I have a similar recipe without the brown sugar and I like to do 1 can each of all different beans. it just makes the chili look really pretty, you should try it!

Norah December 17, 2008 - 9:28 am

I made this yesterday and really did like it. I changed a few things and added a few things but it was really good. Hopefully I’ll get it up on my blog in the next day or two. I made this specifically for navajo tacos and it turned out great.

Frieda November 4, 2008 - 9:13 pm

Laura, that looks good! You asked Melanie about scones…do you mean the fried bread kind? If so, check out my blog and find the recipe in the index…hope that’s what you’re looking for!

Stephanie November 4, 2008 - 11:09 am

That does sound delicious. I love changing things up by adding sugar – it usually works out great!

Jeni November 4, 2008 - 9:37 am

This sound PERFECT for a cold day like today! My mom’s recipe has brown sugar in it too! Yours varies slightly, so I will have to try it. Thanks.

Maria November 4, 2008 - 9:19 am

Sugar in chili? Never tried it…but sugar in anything is good right?? 🙂


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