ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Food and Cooking»
  • Main Dish & Side Dish Recipes»
  • Stew Recipes

Homemade Cincinnati Chili Recipe

Updated on July 21, 2014
Traditionally served on top of spaghetti, then topped with onions, beans and copious amounts of cheese--this is Cincinnati Chili "5 Way"
Traditionally served on top of spaghetti, then topped with onions, beans and copious amounts of cheese--this is Cincinnati Chili "5 Way" | Source

Just What is Cincinnati Chili?

Cincinnati-style chili, a creation of Macedonian immigrants in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a unique type of chili that differs from other types in several ways. First, the meat is boiled rather than being sautéed. Next, the spice mixture used includes several unusual additions such as cinnamon, cocoa powder and Worcestershire sauce. Finally, and most notably, Cincinnati Chili is traditionally served over spaghetti. The resulting dish is a culinary masterpiece of Greek-American fusion, combining a traditional Greek stew with classic American flavors to create a new and unique dish. To folks who aren’t familiar with this dish, chili on top of spaghetti sounds pretty weird—but I would urge you to keep an open mind. Odd though it sounds, Cincinnati-style chili is absolutely delicious!

"The Coney"

Not crazy about the chili-spaghetti combo?  Try the Coney dog:  a hot dog topped with Cincinnati Chili, onions, mustard, and (optionally) cheese.
Not crazy about the chili-spaghetti combo? Try the Coney dog: a hot dog topped with Cincinnati Chili, onions, mustard, and (optionally) cheese. | Source

Cincinnati Chili Recipe

Despite the long list of ingredients and relatively long cook time, this recipe is deceptively simple to make. There are essentially only three steps: boil the meat, add the remaining ingredients and simmer. The resulting dish is extremely versatile and can be served in a number of different, and delicious, ways.

Cincinnati Chili

4.3 stars from 4 ratings of Cincinnati Chili

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 3 hours 30 min
Ready in: 3 hours 35 min
Yields: Serves 6 - 8

Instructions

  1. Place the water and ground beef into a large pot. Bring to a boil, stirring to break the ground beef into small pieces. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.
  2. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the pot and stir well to combine. Simmer the mixture on low heat, uncovered for about 3 hours. Stir periodically, and add more water if the chili becomes too thick.
  3. Once the cooking time is completed, remove from the heat and allow to cool. Place the chili in the refrigerator overnight (or at least for a couple hours). To serve the chili, skim the fat from the top and then reheat on the stove over medium heat.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 Tbs cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 whole bay leaf

Step-by-Step Preparation

Begin by boiling 2 pounds of ground beef in 4 cups of water for about 30 minutes.
Begin by boiling 2 pounds of ground beef in 4 cups of water for about 30 minutes. | Source
Meanwhile, prepare your remaining ingredients by chopping the onion and garlic, then pre-measuring all of the spices.
Meanwhile, prepare your remaining ingredients by chopping the onion and garlic, then pre-measuring all of the spices. | Source
Stir in all of the remaining ingredients, then simmer uncovered for about 3 hours.
Stir in all of the remaining ingredients, then simmer uncovered for about 3 hours. | Source
Once the cooking is complete, allow the chili to cool and place in the refrigerator overnight (or at least for a few hours).  This allows the fat to rise to the top so it can be easily removed the next day.
Once the cooking is complete, allow the chili to cool and place in the refrigerator overnight (or at least for a few hours). This allows the fat to rise to the top so it can be easily removed the next day. | Source

How to Serve Traditional Cincinnati Chili

Order:
Includes:
2 way
Spaghetti topped with chili
3 way
Spaghetti topped with chili & cheese
4 way
Spaghetti topped with chili, cheese & onions
5 way
Spaghetti topped with chili, cheese, onions & beans
Whether ordering Cincinnati chili in a restaurant, or serving it up at home, it helps to know the lingo for this traditional dish!

Traditional Cincinnati Chili: 5 Way

A base of spaghetti noodles is essential to traditional Cincinnati Chili
A base of spaghetti noodles is essential to traditional Cincinnati Chili | Source
Top with piping hot chili
Top with piping hot chili | Source
Add beans
Add beans | Source
A sprinkle of finely diced onion
A sprinkle of finely diced onion | Source
And top with plenty of shredded cheddar cheese!
And top with plenty of shredded cheddar cheese! | Source
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 200 g
Calories 254
Calories from Fat72
% Daily Value *
Fat 8 g12%
Saturated fat 3 g15%
Carbohydrates 9 g3%
Sugar 4 g
Fiber 3 g12%
Protein 36 g72%
Cholesterol 101 mg34%
Sodium 726 mg30%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Guess What?

Although Cincinnati Chili is not known for its health benefits (quite the opposite, in fact!), it is surprisingly high in vitamins and minerals, including: Iron, Selenium, B6, B12 and Zinc.

Furthermore, when eaten without the traditional additions of spaghetti and copious amounts of cheese, Cincinnati Chili is also low in calories (less that 300 calories per serving!), low in carbohydrates and high in protein. So even if you are dieting, you can feel free to eat up without feeling guilty!


Tip: Serve Cincinnati Chili with beans, onions, and a modest sprinkling of low-fat cheese, and you've got a healthy and satisfying meal!

The Cheese Coney

Hot chili, gooey cheese, who could ask for more?
Hot chili, gooey cheese, who could ask for more? | Source

The History of Cincinnati Chili

The Flavors of Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili features many spices that are common to the Mediterranean region, and its various cuisines, from Greece to the Middle East and North Africa.

Exotic spice combinations such as cumin, allspice, cinnamon and cocoa powder may seem like a strange addition to chili--a traditionally Tex-Mex dish. However, the seasoning palates of Mexico and the Mediterranean are actually surprisingly similar due to the influence of early explorers from throughout Europe and the Mediterranean region in Mexico. These early cross-cultural experiences influenced the cuisines of both areas of the world, thus making the recombination of these flavors a perfect match in this dish!

Chili-Cheese Fries

Although Cincinnati Chili is traditionally served over spaghetti, it also makes a delicious topping for hot dogs, french fries, nachos, and a variety of other savory dishes!
Although Cincinnati Chili is traditionally served over spaghetti, it also makes a delicious topping for hot dogs, french fries, nachos, and a variety of other savory dishes! | Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      I wish I had a pot of this nectar for dinner tonight. It is like fall where I live and that is two things that are meant for each other: Chili and fall weather.

    • Bobby Jay profile image

      Bobby Jay 3 years ago from New jersey

      This looks very good and I cannot wait to try it! My family loves chili and I'm sure they'll love this one.

    • NiaLee profile image

      NiaLee 3 years ago from BIG APPLE

      Hello, I started salivating at the picture...then you explained the different ingredients and spices in it, I just got very interested...Now, I am on a diet, but eating and decent amount of it should be ok, no???

      Thank you for sharing the origins and the details about this recipe. It is always great to discover something new to do, my kids just love that, my husband too!

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 3 years ago from United States

      I had this chili at a friend's house when visiting that area, and then also went to the Skyline restaurant to check out their version. I'll have to try your recipe!

    • mkjohnston81 profile image
      Author

      M.K. Bodo 3 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks all!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Congrats on HOTD! This looks great. I may have to try it!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      Congratulations on the Hub Of The Day! Very well done. It´s easy to make and sound a very hot and savory meal. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • profile image

      darkprinceofjazz 3 years ago

      Might have to hit Gold Star later today! Cheese Coneys with mustard and extra onions, love it.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Great hub and so well presented!

      It does sound delicious and your combination of ingredients are interesting.

      Thanks for sharing the details and congratulations for HOTD!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Being from the Midwest, I had this yummy recipe quite often. Great post covering the details Bs history of this unique chili.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Cincinnati Chili is my all time favorite so I am saving this recipe big time. Thanks for this and congrats on your Hub of the Day! Great recipe!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      It's good to learn about Cincinnati chili. New to me, and it sounds great. Congratulations!

    • profile image

      Shabbir 3 years ago

      I will eat.....

    • mkjohnston81 profile image
      Author

      M.K. Bodo 3 years ago from Virginia

      Heeheehee.

      Oh, pecan pie...yum. I wish I had a slice right now too!

      Maybe I will have to work on a pie hub next. I love them all, but I think my favorite breakfast pie is sour cream & raisin, accompanied by a big ol' mug of steaming hot black coffee, of course.

      Thank you for the inspiration, Sir, I see some pie baking in my future!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      mkjohnston81 . . .

      Are you serious? Pie for breakfast? Me too! Pecan and even the Oreo/Whipped cream you freeze and serve . . .oh how I wish I had a slice now. Oh thank you, thank you, thank you for liking what I like to eat.

      You are not only a very talented writer, but a very good friend and follower.

      I will always hold you in high regards.

      Kenneth

    • mkjohnston81 profile image
      Author

      M.K. Bodo 3 years ago from Virginia

      Lol, I'm a big fan of chili too. This is my first chili recipe that has made it to hubpages, but I have many different types of chili recipes that I use on the regular. It's one of my stand-by dinner favorites! I haven't tried it for breakfast yet, but I certainly can't judge--I'm a big fan of pie for breakfast.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      @ mkjohnston81,

      I meant every word I told you. Actually, I am a "chili freak," and by every standard, I shall live this way until I pass.

      I love HOT chili with iced tea on the side and sometimes, HOT chili left overnight in the refrigerator (that FYI, makes it hotter) and have it for breakfast with fresh black coffee.

      Do not judge me as strange or stupid. Hot chili is my thing. Not dope, drinking, dipping, smoking, gambling, or treating women like dirt.

      I am an old fashioned man.

      And very happy.

    • mkjohnston81 profile image
      Author

      M.K. Bodo 3 years ago from Virginia

      Wow, thank you, I'm glad you liked it!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      This is an excellent piece of writing. Amazing, to be perfectly-honest.

      I loved every word--and the lay-out was superb. Interesting, in-depth,

      helpful, and very informative. Great job.

      Voted up and all the choices because you deserve it.

      You have such a gift for writing.

      Sincerely,

      Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, Alabama

    • mkjohnston81 profile image
      Author

      M.K. Bodo 3 years ago from Virginia

      I hope you like it!

    • basicallyme profile image

      Vicki 3 years ago from Tennessee

      My Dad grew up in Cincinnati, and I have fond memories of going to visit relatives. We'd always stop at Skyline(and White Castle). I have a homemade recipe very similar to this one. Mine doesn't include cocoa. I'll have to try that!

    • mkjohnston81 profile image
      Author

      M.K. Bodo 3 years ago from Virginia

      It's weird, but amazingly delicious!

    • Tanya Aldridge profile image

      Tanya Aldridge 3 years ago from Naples, Florida

      This looks really good. I have never thought to put chili on spaghetti, might just give it a try.

    • mkjohnston81 profile image
      Author

      M.K. Bodo 3 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks!

    • swilliams profile image

      Emunah La Paz 3 years ago from Arizona

      I'm hungry, and this looks good! Great presentation.