Delicious Sweet Baked Bean Chili Recipe

Welcome to my kitchen! Today, I’m excited to share with you my recipe for Sweet Baked Bean Chili. This recipe is a family favorite that I’ve been perfecting for years. It’s a delicious combination of smoky and sweet flavors that will have you coming back for seconds and even thirds.

If you’re a fan of traditional chili recipes, then you’re in for a treat. This Sweet Baked Bean Chili recipe takes the classic chili up a notch with the addition of baked beans and a touch of sweetness from brown sugar. The result is a hearty, comforting bowl of chili that will warm you up on any cold day.

But don’t just take my word for it. This recipe has been tested and approved by my family and friends, who can’t get enough of it. And I’m confident that once you try it, you’ll be hooked too.

So, let’s get started and make some Sweet Baked Bean Chili that will have everyone asking for the recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Sweet Baked Bean Chili
Sweet Baked Bean Chili

Are you craving something hearty, flavorful, and easy to make? Look no further than this Sweet Baked Bean Chili recipe! Packed with protein and fiber, this dish is perfect for any time of year – whether you’re cozying up on a chilly night or hosting a summer barbecue.

What sets this chili apart is the combination of smoky and sweet flavors, achieved through a blend of chili powder, ground cumin, and brown sugar. The addition of baked beans adds a rich, creamy texture that is sure to satisfy your taste buds. And don’t forget the ground beef – it brings a savory depth to the dish that complements the sweetness of the beans and spices.

Not only is this recipe delicious, but it’s also incredibly versatile. You can easily swap out the ground beef for turkey or even make it vegetarian by omitting the meat altogether. If you like things spicy, add some banana peppers or a dash of hot sauce. And if you’re a fan of BBQ, you can even mix in some BBQ sauce for a Southern twist.

Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just looking for a comforting meal, this Sweet Baked Bean Chili is sure to be a hit. So grab a bowl, dig in, and enjoy the smoky-sweet goodness that is this chili recipe.

Ingredient List

 A spoonful of sweetness in every bite!
A spoonful of sweetness in every bite!

Before we start cooking this sweet baked bean chili, let’s gather all the necessary ingredients. This recipe calls for a combination of ground beef, baked beans, and a variety of spices that will give it a smoky and sweet flavor. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to prepare this delicious meal:

Ingredients (2 pounds ground beef):

  • 28 ounces baked beans
  • 14.5 ounces canned tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup catsup
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water

Ingredients (1 can of baked beans):

  • 28 ounces baked beans
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup catsup
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water

You can find most of these ingredients in your pantry or local grocery store. Make sure to check if you have all the necessary spices and canned goods, and if not, add them to your shopping list.

The Recipe How-To

Step 1: Brown the Ground Beef

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, I brown the 2 pounds of ground beef until it is no longer pink. I then drain the excess fat and set it aside.

Step 2: Sauté Onion and Garlic

In the same skillet, I sauté 1 large chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves until the onion is translucent.

Step 3: Combine Ingredients

In a large bowl, I combine the cooked ground beef, sautéed onion and garlic, 28 ounces of canned baked beans, 14.5 ounces of canned tomatoes, 1/2 cup of catsup, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of tomato paste, 1/4 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 1/4 cup of banana peppers, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Step 4: Slow Cooker or Stove Top

For a slow cooker chili, I transfer the mixture into the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. For a stove top chili, I simmer the mixture in the skillet for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 5: Serve and Enjoy

Once the chili is cooked, I serve it with my favorite toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream, and chopped green onions. It’s perfect to enjoy on a chilly night or to serve at a party. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 This chili will warm your soul and satisfy your sweet tooth.
This chili will warm your soul and satisfy your sweet tooth.

There are many ways to customize this sweet baked bean chili recipe to fit your taste preferences or dietary needs. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try:

– Ground Turkey Chili: If you prefer a leaner protein, swap the ground beef for ground turkey. The turkey will still provide plenty of flavor and texture, and you can season it with the same spices.

– Spicy Chili: If you like your chili with a kick, add some diced jalapeños or serrano peppers to the mix. You can also increase the amount of chili powder and cumin for more heat.

– Southern Baked Bean Chili: For a Southern twist, use a can of barbecue baked beans instead of regular baked beans. The smoky-sweet flavor will add depth to the chili.

– Crockpot Chili: This recipe can easily be adapted for a slow cooker. Brown the ground beef and onion on the stove top, then transfer the mixture to a crockpot with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

– Homemade Baked Beans: If you have the time, you can make your own baked beans from scratch instead of using canned ones. Soak dried navy beans overnight, then simmer with onion, garlic, tomato sauce, brown sugar, and molasses until tender.

– Vegetarian Chili: To make this recipe vegetarian, omit the ground beef and add more beans instead. You can use a combination of kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas for protein.

– Gluten-Free Chili: This recipe is already gluten-free, but make sure to check the labels of any canned ingredients to ensure they are also gluten-free.

No matter how you choose to customize this sweet baked bean chili recipe, it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Experiment with different flavors and ingredients to make it your own!

Serving and Pairing

 The perfect balance of savory and sweet.
The perfect balance of savory and sweet.

This Sweet Baked Bean Chili Recipe is a delightful and hearty meal that can be enjoyed in many ways. Here are some serving and pairing suggestions to make the most of your sweet baked bean chili:

– Serve it hot with a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese on top. The coolness of the sour cream complements the smoky, sweet flavor of the chili, while the cheese adds a creamy and savory note.

– Pair it with some cornbread or crackers for a satisfying crunch. The sweetness of the cornbread or the saltiness of the crackers helps balance the flavors and textures of the chili.

– Add some fresh chopped cilantro or green onions for a burst of freshness and color. The herbaceous aroma and tangy taste of the cilantro, or the mild onion flavor and crunchy texture of the green onions, can enhance the overall taste and appearance of the chili.

– Top it with some sliced avocado or jalapenos for a creamy or spicy kick. The creaminess and mild flavor of the avocado can complement the sweetness of the chili, while the spiciness and crunch of the jalapenos can add a zesty and fiery touch.

– Serve it as a dip with some tortilla chips or vegetable sticks. The thick and chunky texture of the chili makes it a perfect dip for scooping with some crispy chips or crunchy veggies.

– Pair it with some cold beer or sweet tea. The effervescence and bitterness of the beer, or the sweetness and coolness of the tea, can refresh your palate and balance the richness and spiciness of the chili.

No matter how you choose to serve or pair your sweet baked bean chili, be sure to enjoy it with your loved ones and savor every spoonful of its smoky, sweet, and savory flavors.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Get ready to fall in love with this flavorful chili.
Get ready to fall in love with this flavorful chili.

This sweet baked bean chili recipe can be made ahead of time and stored for later use. In fact, it is recommended to make it a day or two in advance to allow the flavors to meld together. Once prepared, let it cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.

When reheating your sweet baked bean chili, you can do so on the stove or in the microwave. To reheat on the stove, simply transfer the chili to a pot and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. To reheat in the microwave, transfer the chili to a microwave-safe dish and cover with a lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until heated through, stirring halfway through.

If you have leftovers that you don’t plan on eating within the next few days, you can also freeze your sweet baked bean chili. Simply let it cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw the chili in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat using one of the above methods.

One thing to keep in mind when reheating sweet baked bean chili is that it may thicken as it sits in the refrigerator. If this happens, you can add a little bit of water or broth to thin it out to your desired consistency. Additionally, if you find that your chili is too spicy, you can add a little bit of sour cream or shredded cheese to help balance out the heat.

Tips for Perfect Results

 This dish is sure to impress at your next gathering.
This dish is sure to impress at your next gathering.

Now that you have the ingredients ready and the recipe instructions at your fingertips, it’s time to talk about some tips and tricks to ensure that your sweet baked bean chili turns out perfectly. Follow these tips for the best results:

1. Use high-quality ingredients: The quality of your ingredients can make or break your dish. To ensure the best flavor, use the freshest and highest quality ingredients you can find. This includes fresh garlic, onions, and ground beef.

2. Brown the ground beef properly: When browning the ground beef, be sure to break it up into small pieces and cook it until it is browned evenly. This will ensure that the beef is fully cooked and will also add flavor to your chili.

3. Drain the excess fat: After browning the ground beef, be sure to drain the excess fat. This will not only make your chili healthier, but it will also prevent your chili from becoming too greasy.

4. Use a variety of beans: While this recipe calls for baked beans, feel free to mix it up and use other types of beans such as kidney beans and black beans. This will add variety and texture to your chili.

5. Adjust the sweetness: This recipe calls for brown sugar to add sweetness to the chili. However, you can adjust the amount of sugar to your liking. If you prefer a sweeter chili, add more sugar. If you prefer a less sweet chili, use less sugar.

6. Let it simmer: The longer your chili simmers, the better the flavors will meld together. For the best results, let your chili simmer for at least 30 minutes, but preferably for an hour or more.

7. Add toppings: To take your sweet baked bean chili to the next level, add toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream, and green onions. These toppings will add texture and flavor to your chili.

By following these tips, you will be well on your way to making a delicious and flavorful sweet baked bean chili.


Now that you know how to cook this delicious sweet baked bean chili recipe, you might have some questions in mind. Don’t worry, in this section, I will address some of the frequently asked questions and give you some tips to help you make the most out of this recipe. Read on to learn more.

Can you use baked beans instead of kidney beans in chili?

Lately, I had to improvise with my Chilli recipe when I ran out of kidney beans. I asked my family to choose between chickpeas and baked beans, and they picked the latter. To my surprise, the baked beans added a unique sweetness and depth to the Chilli, making us fans of this new ingredient in our recipe.

What is the difference between baked beans and chili?

When it comes to legumes, there are a few varieties that stand out in the realm of bean-based dishes. Chili beans, for example, are commonly prepared using either red or black beans, and are typically cooked with a blend of tomatoes and flavorful spices. On the other hand, baked beans are typically crafted using navy beans or great northern beans, and are often baked with a mixture of molasses and other tasty spices.

What to add to canned baked beans to make them taste better?

For this recipe, we’ll need some savory bacon, diced onion, rich molasses, spicy brown mustard (or yellow mustard), tangy Worcestershire sauce, sweet brown sugar, and tangy ketchup. If desired, we can also add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar for an extra touch of tanginess. Let’s get started!

What does brown sugar do to chili?

When it comes to making delicious chili, there’s one ingredient that often goes overlooked but makes a world of difference: brown sugar. Adding brown sugar to your chili recipe can bring out a subtle sweetness that will enhance the overall flavor of your dish. This Sweet and Spicy Chili is a prime example of how brown sugar can elevate a classic recipe, giving it a perfect balance of sweetness and spice.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this sweet baked bean chili recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves a hearty and flavorful meal. With a combination of smoky, sweet, and spicy flavors, this chili is sure to satisfy your taste buds. Plus, it’s easy to make and can be customized to your liking with various substitutions and variations. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just for yourself, this dish is sure to be a hit. So, gather your ingredients and get cooking! I guarantee that this sweet baked bean chili recipe will become a regular in your meal rotation.

Sweet Baked Bean Chili Recipe

This very easy crock pot recipe is a yummy variation on Chili using baked beans and sweet peppers. This is my own creation, which has been fully tested and approved by my entire family, including my three year old.This will make a mild chili, but you can always add more "punch" at your own discretion.

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced (or chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar mt. olive sweet ‘n hot peppers banana peppers (minced or chopped)
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 4 ounces water
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar beef gravy
  • 1/2 cup catsup
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (may add more for spiciness)
  • 2 (16 1/2 ounce) cans baked beans (one can drained, one can UNdrained)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (may add more for spiceiness)
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  1. Note: If you like more meat, and less beans, replace the Drained can of beans with a second pound of meat.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat.
  3. Add garlic, onion, and peppers to oil, and sautee until onions are translucent and soft.
  4. Add ground beef to the sauteed onions, garlic and peppers, brown the meat, and drain.
  5. Add meat and veggie mixture to crock pot.
  6. Add the drained and undrained beans to the crock put, and mix with the meat.
  7. Add the tomato paste, water, beef gravy, katsup, hot sauce, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper to the crock pot.
  8. Stir all ingredients together until well blended.
  9. Cook in crok put on Low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4 hours.
  10. Serve over rice, with hot dogs, or just have a bowl o’ chili!
Main Course
Beans, Healthy, Kid-Friendly, Low Cholesterol, Meat, Savory, Spicy, Stove Top, Sweet, Toddler-Friendly

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