Chili, the sweet and spicy way (a crockpot recipe)

Source:  Jake Przespo

Source: Jake Przespo

On Monday, the staff of our office gathered for the ISDA chili cook-off.  Every year in the dead of winter, a handful of ISDA staff sign-up to bring a unique chili recipe to be tested by a panel of judges.  We assemble in our conference room, place chili in bowls to ensure anonymity, and let the judges begin testing.  This year, there were three prizes that were up for grabs:  Grand Prize, People’s Choice, and Most Indiana Sourced Products.

Although I didn’t take home the Grand Prize, my chili recipe did win People’s Choice and Most Indiana Sourced products.

I created this recipe from scratch.  Stopping by Wal-Mart on my way home from visiting my fiancé, I picked up a few things that sounded good to me (namely Red Gold’s Petite Diced Tomatoes with Chipotle).  When I arrived home, I took a pound of ground beef from the freezer and raided the pantry to find the ingredients I wanted to use.

Too my dismay, I couldn’t find any chili powder in my pantry!  So I modified this recipe I found on Pinterest.

In my opinion, chili is the perfect winter food: hearty and hot while offering endless possibilities in terms of taste and texture.

Here’s my prize-winning (never thought I’d ever be able to say that about my cooking 🙂 ) recipe for my Sweet & Spicy Chili.  (Indiana sourced ingredients are in italics)


  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 lb. of ground beef
  • 46 oz. of Red Gold Tomato Juice*
  • 14.5 oz of Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • 14.5 oz of Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with chipotle
  • 32 oz of Bush’s Chili Beans, medium sauce
  • 1 ½ T of sorghum
  • 2 T smoked paprika
  • 2 t oregano
  • 1 ¼ t cumin
  • 1 ¼ t garlic powder
  • 1 t cayenne pepper**
  • 3/4 t onion powder


  • Brown the ground beef with the diced onion.
  • Combine all ingredients in a crockpot, and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  • Serve over rice and topped with cheese and sour cream, if desired.

*Feel free to use any brand of tomato products you like.  Red Gold is my favorite, and what helped earn me my Indiana !

**One teaspoon of cayenne pepper was a bit too much for me.  When I make this recipe again, I’ll reduce the cayenne pepper to ½ – ¾ of a teaspoon.

Categories: From the Field to Your Fork | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Chili, the sweet and spicy way (a crockpot recipe)

  1. Pingback: Chili, the sweet and spicy way | This Midwestern Woman

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