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Cincinnati Chili Recipe

Cincinnati Chili Recipe

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For the spice blend, mix chili powder, sugar, cinnamon, garlic powder, and salt in small bowl. Set aside.

Cook ground beef and 1 cup of the onions in large saucepan on medium-high heat until beef is no longer pink; drain fat. Add spice blend, water, and tomato sauce; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve chili over spaghetti. Top with kidney beans, cheese, and remaining 1/2 cup onions, as desired.

Easy Cincinnati Chili

Published on August 28, 2020 - Updated on May 16, 2021 by Chef Rodney - Leave a Comment - This post may contain affiliate links.

This Classic Cincinnati Chili goes great on Hot Dogs or Pasta. Easy to make and ready in a little under 3 hours.

It's no secret I love making Chili. Heck my Signature Chili Recipe is what really got me hooked on cooking. This Cincinnati Chili recipe is not only easy to make, but it also tastes delicious!

This chili is a little different than my other Chili Recipes. This particular chili was originally made to go on Hot Dogs or Spaghetti. The consistency of this chili is much thinner than my other chili recipes.

Don't let that fool you though, this Cincinnati Chili is packed full of flavor. The cinnamon really stands out which I love. One of the things I like about this chili is that it's not spicy at all. Which means you can serve it to those that don't like spicy food.

Unlike many of my other Chili recipes, this one does not have any beans in it. Only ground beef, onion, tomato sauce and some seasonings. I recommend using the leanest ground beef you can find otherwise you might have a little too much grease in the chili juice.

For more great recipes like this one, I suggest you check these recipes out:

Cincinnati Chili Recipe – Version 2

This Cincinnati Chili Recipe is from one of the self-proclaimed true chili capital, Cincinnati. It is a flavorful, favorite version of chili that is rich and delicious. Try making this Cincinnati Chili Recipe for your family!

My friend, Karen Calanchini of Redding, CA originally tested this delicious version of Cincinnati Chili for my cookbook. Karen says, “This is truly a fantastic recipe and I have shared it with so many people who gave it to their kids, all with great reviews.”

Learn about the History of Cincinnati Chili and check out another version of Cincinnati Chili.

Learn about the history and legends of Chili, Chili Con Carne.

  • 1 quart beef stock or broth
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, finely-chopped
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa or 1/2 ounce grated unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and coarsely-ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 (16-ounce) package spaghetti pasta, uncooked, dried
  • 1 to 2 (16-ounce) cans Kidney Beans (or to your taste)

In a large pot over medium-high heat, add beef broth. Crumble raw ground beef in to the broth, breaking up the pieces of meat as it starts to cook simmer for 30 minutes.

Add onion, garlic, chile powder, allspice, cinnamon, cumin, cloves cayenne pepper, cocoa or chocolate, salt, pepper, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and cider vinegar. Reduce heat to low, and let simmer, uncovered, approximately 2 hours and the sauce thickens. During the last 30 minutes, add the kidney beans.

NOTE: I like to make the chili mixture one day ahead of time. When ready to use, remove the fat that has risen to the top discard fat. Reheat chili mixture over low heat.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions and transfer onto individual serving plates (small oval plates are traditional).

Ladle chili mixture over spaghetti and serve with toppings of your choice. Oyster crackers are served in a separate container on the side.

Cincinnati chili lovers order their chili by number in the Chili Parlors – Two, Three, Four, or Five Way. Let your guest create their own final product:

Two-Way Chili: Chili served on spaghetti

Three-Way Chili: Additionally topped with shredded Cheddar cheese

Four-Way Chili: Additionally topped with chopped onions

Five-Way Chili: Additionally topped with kidney beans

Source: Recipe adapted and used with permission from the book The Great Big Book of Chili by Tom Bailie, published by America House LLC.

Recipe Summary

  • Cooking spray
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 ½ pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 ½ cups plus 3 tablespoons chopped onion, divided
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and beef to pan cook 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Transfer beef to a small bowl keep warm.

Reduce heat to medium recoat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 1/2 cups onion to pan cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic to pan cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, oil, and the next 4 ingredients (through nutmeg) to pan cook 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste cook 1 minute. Add 1 cup water, vinegar, and tomatoes to pan bring to a boil. Reserve 1/2 cup dark red kidney beans. Add beef, remaining dark red kidney beans, and light red kidney beans to pan cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Ladle 1 1/4 cups chili into each of 8 bowls. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon remaining dark red kidney beans, about 1 teaspoon remaining chopped onion, and 1 tablespoon parsley.


Add olive oil to a large (4-6 quart) pot over medium high heat. Add ground beef and the next 8 ingredients. Stir while cooking until meat is lightly browned. Add the tomato paste and tomato sauce along with the water, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and chocolate. For more "fire", add the ground cayenne (careful).

Bring to boil then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Stir, occasionally to prevent sticking. Serves six to eight with listed accompaniments.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons bottled minced garlic
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ cup halved green olives
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir onion and garlic until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in pork and sirloin cook and stir until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain excess grease from the pot.

Crush tomatoes by hand and add them to the pot with their juices. Pour in beef broth. Stir in black beans, raisins, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt, allspice, and cloves. Bring to a boil reduce heat and simmer, covered, until raisins are soft, about 30 minutes.

Stir green olives and almonds into the pot. Simmer until flavors combine, about 30 minutes.


For the Spice Blend, mix chili powder, sugar, cinnamon, garlic powder and salt in small bowl. Set aside.

Cook ground beef and 1 cup of the onions in large saucepan on medium-high heat until beef is no longer pink drain fat. Add Spice Blend, water and tomato sauce bring to boil. Reduce heat to low simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve chili over spaghetti. Top with kidney beans, and remaining 1/2 cup onions. Sprinkle with shredded Cheddar cheese, if desired.


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What Makes Cincinnati Chili Different?

Cincinnati Chili is a recipe developed in the 1920s thanks to Greek immigrants who settled in the Midwest. It’s a combination of a soupy Midwestern stew and traditional Mediterranean spices. It was created as a hot dog topping, and was originally served at a stand outside a theater called Empress.

Later the owners of the hot dog stand expanded into a restaurant which they named Empress and started serving the chili over noodles also. As the idea spread other restaurants and chili parlors opened, adopting the same style of chili. Today some of the most popular chili parlors serving this dish are Empress, Skyline, and Gold Star Chili. Today Cincinnati Chili is known as an iconic American dish, and is enjoyed by many people visiting the Midwest.


Step 1

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large deep skillet over medium heat. Add onions sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic stir 1 minute. Add lamb cook until browned, breaking into pieces, about 15 minutes. Add cocoa and next 4 ingredients stir 3 minutes. Stir in 4 cups broth and next 6 ingredients. Bring to boil reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered until thickened, stirring often, about 1 hour. Spoon fat from top of chili. Season with salt and pepper. Thin with broth by 1/3 cupfuls. Stir in 2 tablespoons parsley.

Step 2

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Transfer to large bowl. Toss with beans and 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Divide spaghetti among bowls. Top with chili. Garnish with cheese, onions, and parsley.

Watch the video: Cincinnati-Style Chili - Food Wishes (July 2022).


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