Bold and flavorful Spicy Chili made with ground beef, diced veggies, spices, and a definite kick of heat. It’s the type of hot chili recipe you wont be able to stop eating!

A bowl of Spicy Chili garnished with jalapeños and shredded cheddar cheese.

This spicy chili recipe was shared by a close friend who continues to win the prize for “best chili” at our annual chili party. It’s packed with flavor and spicy but easy to adjust to make milder, depending on your spice preference. Serve it alongside buttermilk cornbread or on top of a cornbread waffle!

How to make Spicy Chili:

  1. Brown the meat: In a large saucepan, brown the ground beef and ground sausage, using a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces as it cooks. Drain most of the grease and remove meat to a plate.
  2. Sauté veggies: add onion, bell peppers, and jalapeño peppers to the pot and sauté on medium high heat for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients: spices, ketchup, lime juice, brown sugar, Worcestershire, vinegar, mustard, and V8. Stir well. Add beans, tomatoes, and salt and pepper.
  4. Simmer: Return the ground meat to the pot and bring the mixture to a low boil. Turn to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 1-2 hours.
Three process photos for making Spicy Chili in a pot.

Recipe Variations:

  • Slow Cooker: Follow steps 1 &2 and then add all ingredients to your slow cooker. Cook on low 2-3 hours.
  • Instant Pot: Use the sauté setting to brown the meat then sauté the veggies. Add remaining ingredients and select the chili/beans setting and cook for 20 minutes. Allow a natural release or use a quick release.
  • Sub meat: feel free to substitute ½ ground sausage or ground turkey.
  • Sub beans: you can substitute pinto or black beans instead of kidney beans if necessary.
  • Mild chili: for a more mild flavor, use regular V8, less jalapeño pepper, or regular diced tomatoes instead of fire roasted. Or, try my classic chili recipe.
  • Spicier chili: to make this chili even spicier, don’t remove the ribs or seeds from the jalapeño. You can also add hot sauce, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes or dice up another hot chili pepper. I recommend trying the recipe as stated and letting the flavors sit for a few hours before adding additional spice.
A pot full of cooked Spicy Chili, with a wooden spoon in it, ready to serve.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

Make ahead instructions: Make spicy chili up to 2 days ahead of time (depending on the freshness of your ingredients) and store in the refrigerator until ready to reheat and serve. Reheat on low on the stovetop.

Freezing instructions: Allow chili to cool completely and store in a freezer safe container or bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Recipe

A bowl of Spicy Chili garnished with jalapeños and shredded cheddar cheese.
Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
Total 1 hr 45 mins
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Ingredients
  

  • 3 lbs ground beef
  • 1 green pepper , diced
  • 1 red bell pepper , diced
  • 1 medium onion , diced
  • 3 small jalapeno peppers , diced (seeds and veins removed for less spice)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard
  • 3 cups spicy hot V8 , or regular
  • 16 oz can kidney beans
  • 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a large saucepan, brown the ground beef and ground sausage, using a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces as it cooks. Drain most of the grease and remove meat to a plate.
    A pot with cooked ground beef and a wooden spoon in it.
  • Add onion, bell peppers, and jalapeño peppers to the pot and sauté on medium high heat for 2-3 minutes.
    Browned ground beef, chopped onion and chopped bell peppers in a large pot.
  • Add spices, ketchup, lime juice, brown sugar, Worcestershire, vinegar, mustard, and V8. Stir well. Add beans, tomatoes, and salt and pepper.
    The ingredients for Spicy Chili in a large pot, ready to mix together.
  • Return the ground meat to the pot and bring the mixture to a low boil. Turn to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 1-2 hours.
    A pot full of cooked Spicy Chili, with a wooden spoon in it, ready to serve.

Notes

Slow Cooker Instructions: Follow steps 1 &2 and add all ingredients to your slow cooker. Cook on low 2-3 hours.
Instant Pot Instructions: Use the sauté setting to brown the meat then sauté the veggies. Add remaining ingredients and select the chili/beans setting and cook for 20 minutes. Allow a natural release or use a quick release.
Meat Substitute: feel free to substitute ½ ground sausage or ground turkey, or leave out the meat and add 2 more cans of beans, to make it vegetarian.
Beans: pinto or black beans would also work well.
Mild chili: for a more mild flavor, use regular V8, less jalapeño pepper, or regular diced tomatoes instead of fire roasted. Or try my classic chili recipe.
Spicier chili: to make chili even spicier, don’t remove the ribs or seeds from the jalapeño. You can also add hot sauce, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes or dice up another hot chili pepper. I recommend trying the recipe as stated and letting the flavors sit for a few hours before adding additional spice.
Make ahead instructions: Make spicy chili up to 2 days ahead of time (depending on the freshness of your ingredients) and store in the refrigerator until ready to reheat and serve. Reheat on low on the stovetop.
Freezing instructions: Allow chili to cool completely and store in a freezer safe container or bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 502kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 42gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 729mgPotassium: 1466mgFiber: 9gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 4161IUVitamin C: 60mgCalcium: 109mgIron: 9mg

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    I’m always down to try a new chili, but what caught my eye was that this was spicy. It was delicious! It was a big hit at my house and loved that you could adjust the spice level. I thought it was even better the second day. Will definitely be making again.

  2. 5 stars
    Ok so…WOW…I added crushed pepper, oregano and extra garlic and we crushed ritz crackers in after putting on top diced onion and cheese and a WOW this crazy awesome recipe goes in my special recipe book!