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Cincinnati Chili

Submitted by:

Bonnie Crotty Nelson



Country of Origin:

United States

Cook time:

2 hours




5 cups water
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/2 ounce baking chocolate (unsweetened)
1/4 cup chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef
1 pound spaghetti

Cheddar cheese, shredded
White onions, chopped
Dark red kidney beans, heated
Oyster crackers (optional)


1. Add 5 cups of water to a large pot.
2. Add the tomato paste and chocolate.
3. Heat over medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring to combine ingredients.
4. Add chili powder, cinnamon, garlic powder, cumin, allspice, cloves, red pepper flakes, black pepper, salt, sugar, and vinegar.
5. Crumble the raw ground beef into the pot, then break up the meat into very fine pieces. Turn heat to high to bring to a boil.
6. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, at a low boil.
7. Stir occasionally until sauce has reduced and thickened.
8. Serve over spaghetti and top with your choice of toppings. Sometimes oyster crackers are served on the side.

What makes this recipe special?

I’m from the Midwest and have family in Ohio. This is a regional specialty that reminds me of my childhood, and I think it’s fun because no-one ever believes how good this chili is on spaghetti!

Additional notes:

Serve 2-way (spaghetti and chili), 3-way (add beans), 4-way (also add cheese), 5-way (also add onions). This is a copycat of Skyline Cincinnati Chili and modified from recipes on several websites.