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Sweet and Spicy Chili in a Bowl

Sweet and Spicy Chili

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  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 Minutes
  • Total Time: 14 Minutes (+Rest Time)
  • Yield: 4 - 5 Servings 1x
  • Category: Stew
  • Method: Instant Pot/Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Healthy, aromatic, and comforting, this oil-free, low-fat Sweet and Spicy Chili is loaded with bean and veggie goodness.



Base Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, fine dice
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth *
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 – [ 15 oz. can ] tomato sauce
  • 1 – [ 15 oz. can ] black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 – [ 15 oz. can ] pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 – [ 15 oz. can ] kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda (optional) * 

Spice/Herb Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 Tablespoons dried minced onions
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder *
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (+/-)
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *

Optional Ingredients:

  • 1 – [ 15 oz. can ] corn, drained *

Optional Toppings:


Instant Pot Instructions

  1. Place the Spice/Herb Ingredients in a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
  2. Add all the Base Ingredients and Spice/Herb Mix, (and corn if adding). Stir well to try to dissolve as much of the tomato paste as possible. Set the Instant Pot to Manual Pressure High for 4 minutes. When finished, press Cancel and allow to sit for 2 minutes, then do a Quick Release.  Unplug the Instant Pot.
  3. Once all the pressure is released, carefully remove the lid, stir.
  4. Allow to sit for 5 minutes for the flavors to marry. Serve and Enjoy!

Stove Top Instructions

  1. Place the Spice/Herb Ingredients in a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
  2. In a large ceramic/enamel-lined pot or similar stock pot, add the diced onions and bell peppers, sauté over medium-high heat until the veggies begin to soften, approximately 7 to 9 minutes, stirring periodically. Add a tablespoon or so of water or broth if they start to stick and/or to prevent burning.
  3. Add the minced garlic and tomato paste, sauté for 30 seconds, then add the Spice/Herb Mix, sauté for 30 seconds, just to allow the spices to release their fragrance.
  4. Next add all the remaining Base Ingredients (and corn), stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower to a low-boiling simmer. Cover with a tight-fitting lid.  Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove the cover, stir, and allow to sit for 5 minutes for the flavors to marry. Serve and Enjoy!


*For recipe Tips for Success, Pantry Products, Kitchen Products Used, and Storage, please reference the blog post for details.

*Sea Salt:  Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.

*Serving:  4 to 5 (makes 9 ½ to 10 cups)