Sweet Chili Freezer Meal Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes
The Best Chili You Ever Had!
Gluten Free

Are you ready to add a little sweetness and spice to your mealtime routine? If you’re a busy parent or someone who simply craves easy, delicious dinners, then you’re in for a treat with our Sweet Chili freezer meal recipe! Say goodbye to the daily dinner dilemma and hello to a solution that’s both convenient and bursting with flavor.

In today’s fast-paced world, finding time to prepare a homemade meal every evening can be a challenge. It can be stressful. It can bring you a lot of guilt, as if this is what taking care of your children is all about. And when you can’t make it happen, or there is more screaming than peace, you can often feel a lot of shame as a parent. As if you failed. 

 That’s where make-ahead freezer meals come to the rescue. Our Sweet Chili recipe combines the best of both worlds: it’s incredibly tasty and can be made ahead of time. Whether you’re juggling work, parenting duties, or just looking for a hassle-free dinner option, this recipe has got you covered.

With its perfect balance of sweet and spicy flavors, our Sweet Chili will have your taste buds dancing with delight. Plus, you’ll love the freedom of having a satisfying meal ready in no time, thanks to the magic of freezer cooking. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your apron, and let’s dive into the world of deliciously easy, make-ahead dinners with our Sweet Chili recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Chili Freezer Meal

  • Filling and Satisfying
  • You can make it in advance
  • Stays fresh longer
  • Budget-Friendly
  • Kid-friendly
Sweet Chili
Hannah Stewart
The Best Chili You Ever Had!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 581 kcal
  • Slow Cooker / Crockpot
  • 1 gallon freezer bag
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 lb bacon cooked and diced
  • 1 cup onions diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes can
  • 6 oz tomato paste can
  • 14.5 oz black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
Freezer Prep Directions:
  • Prepare a gallon freezer bag, labeling according to your preferred method.
  • Add all ingredients, except diced tomatoes, to the freezer bag. 
  • Seal bag, removing as much air as possible, and freeze for up to three months.
Slow Cooker Directions:
  • Thaw freezer bag in fridge 12-24 hours before cooking.
  • Dump contents of the freezer bag, plus 28 oz can diced tomatoes, to a slow cooker. (DO NOT STIR).
  • Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  • After cooking break up and crumble beef, stir to combine everything, serve, and enjoy!
Instant Pot Directions
  1. Dump the contents of the freezer bag into the Instant Pot, add 28 oz can diced tomatoes, to a slow cooker. (DO NOT STIR).
  2. Set to High Pressure for 25 minutes, then allow a 10-minute natural release followed by a quick release. 
  3. After cooking break up and crumble beef, stir to combine everything, serve, and enjoy!
Dietary Adjustments
Make it Gluten-Free:
  • This recipe is naturally gluten-free.
Make it Dairy-Free:
  • This recipe is naturally dairy-free.


Serving: 1gCalories: 581kcalCarbohydrates: 42.7gProtein: 47.2gFat: 24.7gSaturated Fat: 7.6gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 1111mgPotassium: 1707mgFiber: 10.6gSugar: 12.1g
Keyword The Best Chili
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Equipment Needed To Make Homemade Chili Freezer Meal

  • Slow Cooker / Crockpot
  • Gallon Freezer Bag

Ingredients For Your Sweet Chili Recipe

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 lb ground beef
  • 2 lb bacon, cooked
  • 4 x 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 x 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 16 oz bag frozen corn
  • 4 cup black beans
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 5 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground coriander

How To Make A Sweet Chili Fresh (Not Frozen)

  • Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large stovetop pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 3-5 min, or until onion begins to soften.
  • Add minced garlic and sauté for one minute.
  • Add in ground beef and brown. Once brown, drain beef, then add back into the Dutch oven.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer for 30-45 minutes. (THIS CHILI IS SERIOUSLY SO GOOD!)
  • Stir and serve! If freezing, then go to freezer directions.
  • Freezer Directions:
  • Label Freezer bag with recipe name, cooking directions below and expiration date (today’s date plus three months)
  • Be sure to let chili cool before freezing in gallon ziplock bags…IF you have leftovers.
  • Seal bag, removing as much air as possible and freeze for up to three months

What to Serve/Pair with Your Quick and Easy Chili Meal Prep




Popular Substitutions & Additions

Substitutions for Sweet Chili:

  • Ground Turkey: You can substitute ground beef with lean ground turkey for a healthier option. It will still provide a hearty and savory base for your Sweet Chili.
  • Vegetarian Protein: For a meatless version, replace the ground beef with crumbled firm tofu or cooked lentils. This option is great for vegetarians and adds a protein-packed element to the chili.
  • Turkey Bacon: If you’d like to reduce the bacon’s fat content, consider using turkey bacon instead of regular bacon. It will provide a similar smoky flavor without as much saturated fat.

Additions to Enhance Sweet Chili:

  • Bell Peppers: Add diced bell peppers (red, green, or yellow) for a burst of color and a mild, sweet flavor. They also provide extra vitamins and antioxidants to your chili.
  • Chopped Spinach: Stir in a handful of chopped spinach during the cooking process for added nutrition and a fresh green element. It will wilt into the chili and blend nicely with the other flavors.
  • Sliced Jalapeños: For some extra heat and a pop of spice, include sliced jalapeño peppers. Adjust the amount to your preferred level of spiciness.

These substitutions and additions allow you to customize your Sweet Chili to your dietary preferences and taste preferences, while still maintaining the delicious flavors of the dish.

How To Reheat & Store Sweet Chili After Cooking

Best Way To Store Chili Freezer Meal Recipe Leftover?

Your dinner is complete, and you have some delectable Sweet Chili leftovers to savor. No need to worry; we’re here with some clever storage suggestions to ensure your Sweet Chili remains just as scrumptious tomorrow or the day after. Start by allowing your Sweet Chili to cool down to room temperature after cooking, but be cautious not to leave it out for more than 2 hours to prevent any potential bacterial growth.

Once it has reached the ideal temperature, transfer your meal to an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag and pop it into the fridge. To preserve that mouthwatering flavor, make sure to eliminate as much air as possible. For easy freshness tracking, create a quick label with the preparation date on the container or bag. With these simple steps, your Sweet Chili leftovers will taste just as heavenly the second time around!

How Long Will Sweet Chili Last In the Fridge?

With proper cooling and container usage, your leftover Sweet Chili will remain fresh in the fridge for 4-5 days. Always make sure to check that your meal has not spoiled by doing some simple sniff tests. Spoiled food has a distinct smell. 

Can I Freeze Quick and Easy Chili Recipe After Cooking?

Interested in freezing your Chili leftovers? Absolutely, it’s possible, and here’s the correct method to ensure they remain just as delicious. Start by allowing your Chili to cool completely in the refrigerator after cooking. Once it’s cooled down, divide the leftovers into portion-sized servings that you plan to reheat later. This makes it easier to thaw and reheat only what you need.

You can either place each portion in individual freezer bags or use airtight containers. If you opt for freezer bags, ensure you remove excess air before sealing to prevent freezer burn. Don’t forget to label each bag with the date and a brief description for easy identification. Now, simply place those labeled bags or containers in the freezer. Your Chili leftovers will maintain their quality for a generous 2-3 months in the freezer.

How To Reheat Homemade Chili Freezer Recipe?

Reheating your Sweet Chili freezer meal is hassle-free. If your meal was stored in the freezer, start by allowing it to thaw completely. You can choose from three effective thawing methods: overnight in the fridge, submerging the freezer bag in cold water, or using the microwave’s defrost setting for a gradual thaw. Once your meal has thawed thoroughly, you can reheat it using any of these three approaches:

  • Stovetop Reheating: Heat up a skillet over medium heat, add the thawed Sweet Chili, and stir occasionally until it’s heated through.
  • Microwave Reheating: If you’re in a rush, the microwave is the quickest option. Place the thawed Sweet Chili on a microwave-safe plate and heat it in 30-second intervals until it’s warmed through.

Always ensure that the Sweet Chili is fully reheated by using a food thermometer to confirm an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. These reheating methods make enjoying your Sweet Chili meal quick and trouble-free.


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  5. 5 stars
    OOOOO that is a big secret. I usually use diced and crushed tomatoes and only a little tomato paste, but now I’m going to overhaul the whole plan!

    • YASSS!! It’s so good!! ????

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Hi! I'm Hannah

Thanks for stopping by, to learn more about freezer cooking and how to make healthy home-cooking easy.

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