Signature spicy, smoky, sweet chili (crock pot and freezer-friendly) – iowa girl eats

Signature Spicy, Smoky, Sweet Chili is my signature chili recipe. Homemade sauce and meatballs Slightly spicy, smoky, and sweet, it’s crock pot and freezer-friendly, too!

Happy second day of fall, y’all! Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

Mother Nature hasn’t gotten the memo that it’s no longer summer and will be cranking out mid 70s for the forseeable future according to the weatherman. Baking homemade meatballs I’m not complaining but after experiencing the frigid 50s a few weeks ago I’ve made the mental shift and no longer feel right about wearing anything with short sleeves.

Homemade spaghetti meatballs recipe Thus I have been LIV-ING in jeans and this lightweight sweatshirt from Old Navy, which is the most comfortable thing I own AND Ben, who normally has no opinion on women’s casual wear, told me it was “dope” the other day. Homemade beef meatballs recipe #winning

Anyway, my taste buds are also craving a cozy yet casual experience so, despite the summery temps, I broke out my go-to Signature Spicy, Smoky, Sweet Chili recipe last weekend and gave it an updated twist to share with you in this Way Back Wednesday post!

Growing up I never really liked chili. Homemade meatballs and spaghetti It was always too…I don’t know, tomato-y? My Dad, the chief chili cooker in my house, always made it with huge hunks of tomato which, gagsville. Homemade meatballs oven Totally not knocking my Dad’s cooking, he’s the best hash brown, gumbo, and french toast maker this side of the Mississippi (always wanted to say that,) but he likes chunks and, well, I don’t.

It wasn’t until my early 20s that I fell in love with chili. Delicious homemade meatballs I was living in the frigid tundra otherwise known as Minneapolis in the wintertime when one of my best girlfriends, who was living right down the street at the time, made a big pot for us to warm up with one dark and freezing night. Homemade baked meatballs recipe The chili immediately won me over and I wrote the recipe down as soon as I scraped up the last bits from my bowl.

What was so great about Lindsey’s recipe that could erase 20+ years of chili avoidance? Surprise, surprise, it’s a tad sweet, plus it’s got some heat. Homemade meatballs and pasta Normally I’m not a huge spicy foods-lover, but with the touch of sweet it totally works.

Over the years I’ve fine-tuned her recipe to fit our tastes to a T and it’s become my go-to signature chili. Homemade meatballs and sauce recipe I have the recipe memorized and make it over and over again in the fall and wintertime. Baked homemade meatballs It’s awesome for making on a Sunday afternoon then eating for lunch all week long. Homemade pork meatballs recipe I never get sick of it!

I actually posted the recipe back in 2011 with cornbread baked on top. Homemade meatballs baked I didn’t include measurements for the spices though, and recently added smoked paprika to give the chili an awesome smokiness, so I decided to feature it again with an updated ingredient list.

I also tested my Signature Spicy, Smoky, Sweet Chili recipe in the crock pot and here are my thoughts: this chili can be ready to eat in less than 45 minutes – we’re talking from raw ingredients to scooped into a bowl and topped with freshly grated cheese – in a soup pot or Dutch Oven on the stove. Best homemade meatballs BUT, if you want to be able to throw a bunch of ingredients in a crock pot and walk away for 4-6 hours then it works perfectly that way too. Homemade meatballs italian Either way, you’re going to love it!

Start by browning 1lb ground beef with 1 large chopped shallot or 1 small onion, 2 cloves garlic, salt, and pepper in a large soup pot or Dutch Oven. Homemade beef meatballs for spaghetti If you’re going the crock pot route then brown the beef mixture in a skillet and then add it to a 5-6 quart crock pot.

Next add a 29oz can tomato sauce, 15oz can baked beans, and 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed. Spaghetti and homemade meatballs For whatever reason I’ve always used Bush’s Vegetarian Baked Beans in my signature chili, but you can use whatever kind you like best. How do you make homemade meatballs I just love how the baked beans add a touch of sweetness!

Now add all the spices that turn tomato sauce and beans into Signature Spicy, Smoky, Sweet Chili. You’ll need 3 Tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon each salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon (or more or less) cayenne pepper.

The smoked paprika gives this chili a totally unique flavor and plays well off the smoky/spicy chili and cayenne powders. Homemade meatballs in oven Mmm!

Now for the piece de resistance: 1-2 heaping Tablespoons brown sugar. The chili tastes completely different without the brown sugar so if you like a subtle sweetness in your chili then you’ve just got to go for it! Trust me, it will not make your chili taste like candy. Homemade ground beef meatballs It’s all about balance between spicy, smoky, and sweet.

Place a lid on top then simmer for 30 minutes, stirring two or three times. Homemade meatballs with bread crumbs Alternatively, stir everything together in the crock pot then cook on low for 4-6 hours. How to cook homemade meatballs If you’re around you can give it a stir a few times, but it’ll be ok in there if you can’t stir it. How to make homemade italian meatballs I tried letting the chili slow cook for 8 hours but it reduced down a bit too much and some of the flavors got lost. How to make homemade meatballs for spaghetti Stick with 4-6 and you’ll be set.

This chili also freezes PERFECTLY. Homemade spaghetti with meatballs Let it cool completely then scoop into a freezer bag and freeze flat. Simple homemade meatballs To reheat, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat on the stove.

When it’s time to eat, scoop the chili into bowls (these little crocks are from Ben’s Chili Bowl in D.C.!) then top with melted cheese, chopped green onions, and tortilla chips for crunch!

• Toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, tortilla chips, sour cream

• Brown ground beef, shallot or onion, and garlic in a large skillet over medium high heat, seasoning with salt and pepper. Easy homemade meatballs for spaghetti Add the remaining ingredients then simmer for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.

• Crock Pot Cooking Instructions: Transfer ground beef mixture to a 5 or 6 quart crock pot then add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine (can be done ahead of time. Recipe for homemade italian meatballs Store in the refrigerator until ready to start cooking.) Place a lid on top then cook on low for 4-6 hours.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

I could not love this chili more – well I guess I do with the addition of that smoked paprika! Me + Signature Spicy, Smoky, Sweet Chili = always and forever.

Oh, don’t forget the cornbread! I made a gluten-free batch then topped it with Cinnamon-Honey Butter. Making homemade meatballs That’s just 1/4 cup softened butter mixed with 2 Tablespoons honey and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Best homemade italian meatballs recipe Reeeeeediculous!

I’ve been making this chili since you first posted it with the cornbread on top. The best homemade meatballs It is our go-to chili! It converted me from having noodles in my chili! Plus it’s allergy friendly which is a plus in our house!

Love your chili recipe – it’s the only one we make now (other than my own white chili)! The only change we make is adding an extra can of black beans because we like it a little thicker, and sometimes we use ground turkey instead of beef. Easy homemade italian meatballs Thanks for adding the spice measurements, I bought the smoked paprika a few weeks ago based on your recommendation and can’t wait to try it!

I am with you about the weather. How to make easy homemade meatballs Here in Utah, we were in the low 60’s or 50’s and then it warmed back. Recipe homemade meatballs We’re due to hit 90 on Thursday same on Friday then a storm comes in and by Sunday snow in the mountains. How do i make homemade meatballs Mother Nature gives me whiplash sometimes. How long do you bake homemade meatballs I do admit though all the leaves changing on the mountains is a sight and every year it’s one of my favorite things. Homemade meatballs in the oven My fall/winter wardrobe is also a lot cuter IMO. How to make homemade meatballs in the oven LOL!

I love chili and I will be trying this. How to make homemade spaghetti and meatballs I ALWAYS make chili for Halloween so as everyone comes and goes, there is something warm and this chili sounds yummy. How long to cook homemade meatballs I think it will be a great change from the boring one I always make.

I love making this chili recipe too! I’m glad that you finally added spice measurements so I have an exact idea of how you originally intended this recipe to turn out. Best homemade italian meatballs One twist that we like to do is sub the hamburger with chicken instead. Ingredients for homemade meatballs Yum!

Question: It says to brown the ground beef with onion and garlic then add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes – what are the remaining ingredients at this point in the process? Because in the next step, it says to transfer the ground beef mixture into the crock pot and add the remaining ingredients before cooking for 4-6 hours. How to make homemade meatballs easy This looks amazing and I just want to make sure I get it right on round #1! Thanks for your help!

This is still my absolute favorite chili recipe to date! Ever since you first posted the recipe I have made this chili a gazillion times in winter and fall, and baked beans are now a staple in my pantry, when I never used to buy them. Best homemade meatballs for spaghetti I still never did get around to trying the cornbread on top, but maybe I’ll tackle that this year!

Hi Kristin. How long to bake homemade meatballs I’m a huge fan of your blog and your recipes! You are an inspiration. Homemade italian meatballs in oven I’m in the planning stages to create my own travel themed blog. Quick homemade meatballs I couldn’t find your post about blogging – I remember you did one a while back. Best way to cook homemade meatballs Can you recommend a web hosting site and a site for WordPress themes? How do you decide on a theme based on little thumbnails? Ugh it’s so daunting!

Hi Kristin! Is this the post you’re talking about? Also these two posts are awesome resources for new bloggers!

Food Bloggers: 150+ Links to Everything You Need to Know

This looks like the perfect comfort food! Using 2 kinds of beans and just a tad bit of brown sugar to balance out the heat is the perfect idea. How to cook homemade meatballs in the oven I wish it was warm enough to slide into some of my comfortable jeans and sweatshirts but it was 95 degrees here in Hong Kong today. How to bake homemade meatballs Have a super day! Take care

This was really delicious and particularly appropriate for the cooler-than-normal weather we are having in NC this week. Make homemade spaghetti meatballs I’ve always been a fan of traditional chili but this had a different combination of flavors that worked so well together. How long to cook homemade meatballs in oven Oh well, the more chili recipes the merrier!

I just made this for dinner tonight. How do u make homemade meatballs Yum! It’s such a different flavor for chili. Best homemade spaghetti and meatballs recipe My husband and I both really enjoyed it. Best homemade spaghetti and meatballs It’ll definitely stay in my regular rotation of soups. How long do you cook homemade meatballs in the oven I knew it would be too spicy for the kids, but they could still eat the cornbread I made along with slices of ham.

I felt the same way about chili for the longest time, but it wasn’t just the tomatoes that got me, it was also the beans. Homemade bread crumbs for meatballs There is something about a red bean that turns off my taste buds completely! I’ve fallen for black bean and white bean varieties and ones with no beans all together. How long do you cook homemade meatballs I’m not sure about using baked beans though….

This was sooooo good. Spaghetti and meatballs homemade I usually make my chili with the Carroll Shelby seasoning mix, so this was a great switcheroo. Homemade italian meatballs for spaghetti The smoked paprika makes all the difference and I loved the baked bean addition. Homemade italian meatballs and sauce Thanks for sharing!

Delish!!!!!! Made this last night for dinner. Homemade meatballs cooked in sauce And loved it. Simple homemade meatball recipe Different take on the usual chili I make. Simple homemade meatballs for spaghetti I used your recommendation and made it with the cornbread to go along the side. The best homemade meatball recipe I think my husband devoured half the loaf dipping it into the delicous Chili. How to make homemade meatballs for subs I actually made my Chili with 99% lean ground turkey to lighten it up. How to make homemade meatballs and gravy Thank you for the great recipes, and all the great recipes you post. How to make homemade meatballs in crock pot Every single one has been great, keep them coming!!!!!!!

this chili was amazing! I found this recipe earlier this month and have already made it 3 more times! great for entertaining or weeknight dinners. How to make homemade meatballs and sauce Love love love and such great flavor, no nonsense and easy to throw together!

I like your style and I want to stick with One person for a while on my quest to become an amazing home cook.

I’ll cook your chilli then I’ll cook the Pioneer Women’s, who’s site I also visited while looking for personable web-sites/ recipes.

I will be using chicken instead of beef and im a huge heat lover so I will be added habanero peppers. Easy homemade spaghetti and meatballs Im really afraid of the sweetness but I’ll give it a shot. Homemade spaghetti and meatballs Will report back in a week.

I’ve been looking for a chili recipe that both my husband and I like and this was it! Just the right balance of sweet and spice for us both. Homemade spaghetti sauce and meatballs recipe I topped mine with avocado and he sliced up some fresh jalapenos for extra heat. Recipe for homemade meatballs for spaghetti This will be a “go to” in our house – thanks!

Hi! I am not really a fan of chili, but the idea of sweet and heat caught my eye, well more like my taste buds, hehe! I am cooking this for a group today in my crockpot, super excited to try it! Only changes were, since I doubled the recipe I used 1lb ground beef and 1lb of spicy pork sausage, per another commenters suggestion – I also used a generic chili spice packet to save on cost, since I didn’t have the spices recommended. How to make homemade spaghetti meatballs Thanks for the recipe!

I made this chili a few weeks ago, when my husband had spent the day out in the cold and I knew he’d love to come home to something warming. Homemade meatballs and sauce in crock pot My hungry fisherman ate probably half the pot of chili. Homemade pasta sauce and meatballs The next night he asked me to make another batch. Homemade pasta and meatballs Then the following weekend he asked for it again. Spaghetti and homemade meatballs recipe Lately, anytime I ask for input on what to cook he requests this chili! Good thing I love it, too!

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