Cincinnati Chili

Recipe for Cincinnati Chili
Becky Luigart-Stayner


2 pounds ground beef (chuck)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup thick barbecue sauce
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 pound spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, for garnish
1 cup finely chopped red onion, for garnish
1 can (15 ounces) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed, for garnish


Combine 5 cups of water with the ground beef in a large, enameled pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, skimming off the scum and fat that floats to the top.

Add the remaining ingredients, except the spaghetti and garnishes, and continue to simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring often, until the liquid is full-bodied and saucy. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if desired. Serve over spaghetti, passing the garnishes at the table.


Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Reader Comments

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Can not wait to make!

I have lived about an hour from Cincy my whole life. I can’t wait to try the recipe! I will update my comment as soon as I make it. It’s so strange though that that’s what we are having tonight for dinner too! Gold Star and Skyline Chili. On noodles with the chili and cheese that’s a three way, add beans that’s a four way and add onions to it all, well that’s a five way! I’m so excited to try this. The cans of chili are so expensive.


To amyone feom Cincinatti, hoe authentic is this to the area, out of curiosity? And which ingredients in the list do you leave out?

Cincinnati chili

I'm from Cincinnati, unfortunately this isn't c Cincinnati chili. There are several ingredients in here that we would never put in chili.