Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati is known for its chili and it’s a meaty one at that.  Cincinnati chili usually combines sweet and fairly hot spices and is served atop a bed of spaghetti. 

The chili is then topped with cheese, beans, onions, or all of the above.  (All of the above is also known as “Five-Way Chili”).


  • 1 large yellow onion, diced

  • 1 1/2 pounds grass-fed ground chuck (hamburger meat)

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce (preferably organic)

  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tbsp. chili powder

  • 2 tbsp. of cocoa or 1/2 ounce grated unsweetened chocolate

  • 1 tsp. sea salt (or more to taste)

  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 2 tsp. dried oregano

  • 1 tsp. ground allspice

  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

  • 2 tsp. brown sugar

  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin

  • Cooked pasta, preferably spaghetti (amounts will vary based on how much pasta you want below your chili)

  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • Red kidney beans, drained and warmed

  • Chopped onions

    *Some people also add oyster crackers


  1. Combine the onions, beef, garlic, and chili powder in a skillet and sauté over medium to medium-high heat, stirring so nothing burns.*

  2. Add in all your spices, your cocoa or chocolate, the Worcestershire sauce, water, tomato sauce and vinegar. (If your skillet isn’t large enough, move everything into a pot).

  3. Lower heat and simmer for 60 minutes, uncovered. (If you transferred everything to a pot, add another 10 minutes cook time).

  4. Cook spaghetti according to the directions on the package.

  5. To serve, the spaghetti goes on the bottom, topped with a nice hearty spoonful of chili, then the cheese, beans, and onions.

  6. Serve the oyster crackers in a separate bowl on the side (else they may get soggy atop the chili if it sits too long).

  7. *You shouldn’t need oil to sauté because the fat in the ground chuck should do that trick.

  8. If you find that it’s not doing enough, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and continue to sauté.