Cincinnati Chili

    Posted by  ·  November 9, 2011

    One of my favorite meals to serve for a fall dinner party is Cincinnati chili. It is an easy meal that can be made ahead and it always gets rave reviews!

    This picture doesn’t do it justice. There is a nice broth that coats the noodles and we load the top with shredded cheese. You can even add a little crunch with corn chips and spice it up with chopped onions on top!

    Cincinnati Chili Recipe

    4 medium onions, finely chipped

    8 cloves garlic (optional), finely minced

    4 pounds lean ground beef

    8 cups beef broth

    2 – 15 ounce cans tomato sauce

    1 teaspoon ground allspice

    2 bay leaves

    4 Tablespoons cider vinegar

    1 ounce unsweetened chocolate

    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

    2 boxes rotini pasta or spaghetti noodles

    Chili Spice Mix

    Mix the following together to make a paste

    3 Tablespoons chili powder

    1/2 teaspoon cayenne

    1 teaspoon ground cumin

    1 teaspoon flour

    2 Tablespoons water


    In large pot brown hamburger, add in onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent. Drain any fat. Add the beef broth, tomato sauce and allspice. Cook over low heat for about 1/2 hour. Stir in the chili paste mixture.  Add bay leaves, ground cloves, vinegar, chocolate and salt, to taste.

    Cover and cook over low heat for about an hour. I like to let it simmer for about 3 hours. Don’t let it get too thick. More broth can be added.

    This amount will feed about 15 (or more)

    If you have a large crowd to feed we are huge fans of the walking taco!

    Filed Under: Recipes

    Leave a Comment


    1. Virginia
      Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
      we love chili but my husband wants to try some different recipes...I am going to try this. And we have always had our chili over spg. Thanks
    2. Tara
      Sunday, October 27th, 2013
      I am a Cincinnati native. This dish requires tons of finely shredded cheddar....but then you would not see the chili so I understand why that is not in the picture. Spaghetti noodles area must. I like it as an onion 4 way. Diced raw onion on top with oyster crackers. I never make it. We have Skyline, and Goldstar every where. Not to mention I work in Blue Ash which has Blue Ash chili. For 5 bucks in about 2 minutes I can have a plate full of more then I can eat.
    3. Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
      Heya i'm for any key time here. I discovered this panel and I in finding This process useful & them reduced the problem out there a great deal. I am hoping to give one thing back again and guide others just like you made it easier for myself.
    4. Lori
      Sunday, November 13th, 2011
      To all you commenters who question Cincinnati Chili. Born and raise west coaster here who lived in Cincinnati (the 'natti) for a summer, interning at P & G. I shook my head at the thought of this chili on spaghetti thing- but TRY IT. It's DANG good! Put away prejudices and call it something other than "chili" if you have to (that's what I did!). It's like a crazy-good hearty non-tomato marinara.

      To cindylouh- I can't wait to try this recipe. It seems like each one is just a tiny bit different.
    5. Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
      Oh my goodness! I LOVE cincy chili! Unfortunately, many of the people around here don’t have the proper respect for its goodness. (I still make it anyway; hello Coney Dog!)
    6. Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
      Oh my gosh, I love Cincinnati Chil!!! I am pinning this on Pinterest for you!
    7. Becky Fletcher
      Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
      What have y'all been smokin? lol Chocolate in Chili??? Sounds like someone was pregnant when they came up with this. It is so different I have to try it. I don't think I will tell anyone what is in it until after they eat it. We have pot luck at church once a month, this will be something different.
    8. Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
      I'm from Cincinnati too, and it always cracks me up to hear people talk about how strange this chili seems to them. It is as normal as meat and potatoes around here! I prefer Gold Star to Skyline, but it's all good! I've actually never made it myself though, so I'll have to try it.
    9. Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
      I just made Cincinnati Chili last week.....very similar recipe. It is my favorite chili......alone or over pasta or rice.
    10. Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
      Mmmm looks good! This is going on the menu plan for next week!

      I think this would be a great one to freeze too! As we have a baby on the way, and I want to build up my freezer meal stash.
    11. Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
      I first saw the photo and thought, "Chili over pasta???" But from the other comments I read, I take it that it must be pretty darn good! :) I will have to give it a try! Thank you for sharing!
    12. Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
      Thank you for sharing this recipe! It sounds delicious, and that is what my children go for! I'll give it a try.
    13. Heather Wolper
      Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
      As a Cincinnati resident I feel compelled to post :) This chili is definitely not your standard "texas" chili. It does not have a strong tomato flavor. If you eat it expecting typical chili, you won't get what you are expecting. It has a very unique flavor. I grew up in the south and when I moved here it took me a little while to aquire a taste for Cincy style chili. Now I am HOOKED! Try it over spagetti noodles topped with lots of cheddar (3-way) or add beans (4-way) Some locals like it 5-way with onions, beans and cheese.
    14. Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
      Thank you! I think you have solved a huge problem for me!!! This looks like something my whole family might eat when they come from Christmas!! Yay!
    15. Tammy
      Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
      We've been to Cincinnati 4 times now for medical treatment for my son and we always see the signs for the chili restaurants. I just can't bring myself to try it. For some reason it grosses me out. The last time we were there my husband decided he was going to try it and he said it was pretty good. We go back next week for my son and maybe I'll give it a go this time.
    16. Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
      OMG! Thanks for sharing this recipe! I love Skyline Chili and I'm bettting this will taste exactly the same. I've been craving the stuff!!!!!
    17. TImmi
      Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
      does this taste similar to regular chili with beans? And how best would I scale this down? I have been looking for years for a beanless meat chili recipe, since my husband is allergic. And I miss chili so much I have been begging my dad to make a batch to share with me.