Spicy Slow Cooker Chili with Cornbread Waffles

Spicy Slow Cooker Chili: This chili is loaded with meat and packed full of flavor and spice. Coming together in about 20 minutes and cooked in the slow cooker, this a meal that will taste like you spent all day to put together! Perfect for life’s busy moments, the holiday rush, game days, and just because! If you love chili, meat, and spice, this just might become your new favorite chili. :)

Spicy Slow Cooker Chili & Cornbread Waffles | Sempre-Dolce.comHi there! First of all, I hope all is going well with your Christmas preparations and the stress levels are being kept at bay. Second, please pardon the rare break from sweets, but with it being that time of year where we could all stand a little ease and slow cookers in our lives, and with this chili being one of the best you’ll ever have (in my humble opinion), I just couldn’t keep this recipe to myself.

I knew you’d understand.

Spicy Slow Cooker Chili & Cornbread Waffles | Sempre-Dolce.comIf you’ve read my blog bio, you’ll see where, in my list of random facts about me (that I just know the whole world wants to see… not), I state my love for Mexican food. If you would have asked me a few years ago what my favorite cuisine was, I’m not sure that would have been on the list.

It was only in the last year or two, that I noticed my gravitation towards foods which included lime, cilantro, all the good spices, – cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper – jalapeno (yeah, baby!), avocado, etc. and thus decided that Mexican food had to be my favorite cuisine. Which, come to think of it, only makes sense as there is some Spanish blood flowing through my veins. :)

Lime & Cilantro | Sempre-Dolce.comMaybe it was because years ago I never ate at the right restaurants (uh, Chuy’s, Torchy’s? Where were you??) and didn’t eat a lot of it at home – who knows. But there it is!

OK, now about spice. The short and sweet of it is I love it. I’m the person who does not remove the insides of a jalapeno when using it. I’m also the person who was devastated at Pei Wei removing the “Blazing Noodles” from their menu – even though it was so spicy I could hardly eat it. However, while my spice tolerance is above most people’s (I’m surprised at what people consider spicy – I mean, Rotel is not spicy, in the least), I still like to enjoy my food and therefore try to keep things from being burning bites of fire.

Sometimes I fail, though. Like on Halloween. When making chili for a group I try to keep it from being spicy, especially when my nieces are involved. But the Halloween batch was still a bit too spicy and I felt so bad when my nieces were pushing it away for that purpose! They’ll probably refuse to eat it next time… ;P

Spicy Slow Cooker Chili & Cornbread Waffles | Sempre-Dolce.com

So, if you are the person who thinks that Rotel is spicy, this recipe is not for you. (But don’t turn away because I have a way you can make this NOT spicy!) This recipe is for those who can tolerate the spice from a jalapeno and like for their sinuses to be cleared.

Now that we’ve covered spice levels, I can tell you how wonderful this chili is. It’s the bomb. You might not think it looking at the ingredients involved – though, bacon! – but the flavors are stellar. And piled on top of the cornbread waffles? Oh. my. Myohmyohmy.

Cornbread Waffles | Sempre-Dolce.com Spicy Slow Cooker Chili & Cornbread Waffles | Sempre-Dolce.com

What I love most about this chili is how you can throw it in the slow cooker and have the results making you feel like you’re having a non-weeknight meal on a weeknight. Like, a really good chili shouldn’t be this easy! And if you choose to skip the cornbread waffles, that makes things even easier.

Also, if you’re into the game day thing, this is perfect for that as well. Not only do you have the slow cooker aspect, but it’s deliciously meaty and perfect for the guys in your life – I should know, I have three… #lifewithbrothers.

Spicy Slow Cooker Chili & Cornbread Waffles | Sempre-Dolce.com

Spicy Slow Cooker Chili & Cornbread Waffles | Sempre-Dolce.comNow that we’ve covered the chili, I have to tell you about this cornbread, which has been more appropriately dubbed around here as corn-cake. I’ve got to be honest, that’s what it tastes like (see? I couldn’t let you go without some measure of sugar)! It’s the best cornbread I’ve ever had and the only one I’ll make. It’s moist and can be eaten and thoroughly enjoyed on its own.

It can also be made three ways: in a pan, as muffins, annd as waffles!!

Spicy Slow Cooker Chili & Cornbread Waffles | Sempre-Dolce.comMy family loves to do the chili + cornbread waffle thing and it’s seriously one of the best ways to eat chili. The waffle comes out crisp but under the chili becomes soft and the perfect remedy to soothe the taste buds from the spice.

Now, go forth and make chili!

Spicy Slow Cooker Chili with Cornbread Waffles
Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 2 (16 oz) cans light kidney beans
  • 1 (16 oz) can dark kidney beans
  • 6 C. tomato sauce
  • ½ C. sriracha hot chili sauce
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1-2 (depending on your spice tolerance) jalapenos, diced (I leave the insides, but feel free to remove)
  • 2 (1.25 oz) packets hot chili seasoning mix
  • 1 (16 oz) jar salsa (spice level up to you!)
  • 3 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 (12 oz) package bacon (10-12 slices), chopped
  • 1 large (or 2 medium) yellow onion, chopped
  • Topping options:
  • sour cream
  • chives
  • red onion
  • cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • avocado
  • shredded cheese
  • corn chips
  • Cornbread Waffles:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 C. milk (I use whole)
  • ½ C. (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 C. baking mix (such as Bisquick)
  • ½ C. yellow cornmeal
  • ½ C. granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp. baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Drain 2 of the cans of beans but retain the liquid in the 3rd - I usually keep the liquid from one of the cans of light kidney beans.
  3. In a 6 qt. slow cooker, place beans and the next 7 ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Cover and turn your slow cooker on.
  5. Arrange chopped bacon and onion evenly on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until crispy.
  6. While bacon/onion is cooking, brown beef in a large skillet, breaking up any large clumps. Drain grease.
  7. When bacon/onion is done let cool slightly then transfer to a paper towel lined plate so that extra grease can drain.
  8. Add bacon/onion mixture to slow cooker, then beef.
  9. Stir until fully incorporated.
  10. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6.
  11. Serve over cornbread waffles (recipe below!) with desired toppings. This can be pretty filling - I recommend starting with ½ waffle and going from there. :)
  12. This recipe yields enough for 8 hungry people. :)
    Cornbread Waffles:
  13. Preheat waffle iron.
  14. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and melted butter.
  15. Sift sugar and baking powder into a small bowl.
  16. Add cornmeal, stirring to combine.
  17. Add the cornmeal mixture along with baking mix to milk mixture, whisking until just blended.
  18. Pour a little over ½ C. batter into waffle iron and cook according to manufacturer's instructions.
  19. Yields: 5-6 waffles


To make this not spicy, use regular chili seasoning mix instead of hot, a mild salsa, omit the jalapenos, and substitute 1/2 C. tomato sauce for the sriracha.

Recipe adapted from allrecipes & an old cookbook. ;)



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.