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This Honey Habanero Chili is spicy, smokey, and slightly sweet and is made in the slow cooker! I love how the flavors from the spicy chipotle peppers are balanced by the sweet honey. You’ll love making this chili on crisp fall days and cold winter nights.
This Honey Habanero Chili recipe has evolved with Neal and I since we began dating back in 2013. The original recipe is from Slow Cooker Revolution by America’s Test Kitchen and has morphed over the years into something completely different.
About Honey Habanero Chili
It sounds weird to put honey in chili, but it really works here. There is a lot of spice and strong flavors in this chili from habanero peppers, chipotle peppers. The honey helps balance all the spicy flavors without being overly sweet and plays well with the fruity flavor of the habanero peppers. As written, the honey only adds a hint of sweetness, but feel free to increase the amount of honey to make it sweeter. The first time I added honey to the chili, Neal said it was the best batch of chili we’ve ever made at home!
Ingredients in Honey Habanero Chili
Here is what you need to make this Honey Habanero Chili recipe:
- Onions and Garlic.
- Ground Beef.
- Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce.
- Habanero Peppers.
- Tomatoes. In the form of tomato paste, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes. We need allll the tomatoes for this recipe.
- Kidney Beans.
- Gluten Free Soy Sauce/Tamari.
How to Make Honey Habanero Chili
This chili is a little heavy on the prep work, especially for a slow cooker meal, but it is so worth it. This is the best way to make Honey Habanero Chili:
- Cook the onions and peppers. You’ll cook the onions and habanero peppers in a large skillet until they’re lightly softened before adding tomato paste and spices.
- Brown the ground beef. Once the vegetables and tomato paste is cooked, add the ground beef and cook until its brown and no longer pink. This will add depth of flavor and prevent the meat from getting too clumpy.
- Add tomato sauce and transfer to the slow cooker. Stir in the tomato sauce and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. That is where all the flavor is at! Transfer everything to the slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients.
- Cook. This chili will take 4 – 6 on high or 6 – 8 hours on low to cook through.
- Serve with your favorite toppings. I love to serve Honey Habanero Chili with fresh avocado, shredded cheddar, creamy sour cream, or crispy tortilla chips!
make this chili vegetarian!
I haven’t personally tested this, but to make this vegetarian you can use a mixture of lentils and finely chopped mushrooms in place of the ground beef and double the amount of kidney beans. If you make this vegetarian, let me know how it goes in the comments below!
Honey Habanero Chili
This Honey Habanero Chili is spicy, smokey, and slightly sweet and is made in the slow cooker! I love how the flavors from the spicy chipotle peppers are balanced by the sweet honey. You'll love making this chili on crisp fall days and cold winter nights.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 white onions diced
- 2 - 3 habanero peppers seeds removed and minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
- 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 15-oz can kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce/tamari
- 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce minced
- 1/4 cup honey
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, habanero peppers, and salt and cook until lightly softened. Add tomato paste and cook until it becomes rust in color.
Add chili powder, garlic, cumin, oregano, and red pepper flakes, cooking until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
Add ground beef and cook, breaking up larger pieces as needed. Cook for about 5 minutes or until no longer pink.
Add the tomato sauce, scraping up any brown bits that have developed on the bottom of the skillet. Transfer mixture to the slow cooker. Once in the slow cooker, add the remaining diced tomatoes with juices, kidney beans, soy sauce, c
Add diced tomatoes, kidney beans, soy sauce, minced chipotle peppers, and honey.
Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 6-8 hours.
Serve with your favorite chili toppings.
- Habanero peppers are very spicy! Take care when handling them and use gloves or wash your hands immediately after chopping.
- If you're sensitive to heat, only use 1 or 2 habanero peppers.
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce can be found in the Mexican aisle of most grocery stores. This recipe only calls for two peppers, so reserve the remaining peppers and adobo sauce for another recipe like Chicken Tinga! They will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for about two weeks.
store it in the fridge
This will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
store it in the freezer
This will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Make This Vegetarian
I haven't personally tested this, but to make this vegetarian you can use a mixture of lentils and finely chopped mushrooms in place of the ground beef and double the amount of kidney beans. If you make this vegetarian, let me know how it goes in the comments below!
Make this Gluten Free
The recipe as written is gluten free! Just make sure you use gluten free soy sauce or tamari instead of traditional soy sauce which contains wheat.
DID YOU MAKE THis recipe for honey habanero chili?
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HELPFUL RECIPE INFORMATION
All recipes are tested and developed in my home kitchen. Unless otherwise stated, I always use extra virgin olive oil and this Himalayan pink salt in my recipes