Cincinnati Chili

Immerse yourself in the rich, aromatic world of Cincinnati Chili, a beloved regional dish known for its unique blend of spices and unexpected ingredients like chocolate and cinnamon. This recipe respects tradition while offering a straightforward approach, making it accessible for cooking enthusiasts of all levels. Indulge in this comforting, savory meal that promises to be a delightful experience for your taste buds.

Cooking Time

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Serving Size

  • Serves 6 people


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cooked spaghetti, for serving
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving
  • Kidney beans, cooked, for serving
  • Chopped onions, for serving
  • Oyster crackers, for serving (optional)


  1. Prepare the Base:
    • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  2. Cook the Meat:
    • Add the ground beef to the pot. Break the meat apart with a spatula and cook until browned, about 10 minutes.
  3. Combine Ingredients:
    • Pour in the beef broth, tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, and tomato paste. Stir well.
  4. Season:
    • Add the chili powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, cloves, and bay leaf. Stir until all the ingredients are well combined.
  5. Simmer:
    • Reduce the heat to low and let the chili simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Stir occasionally. If the chili becomes too thick, add a little more beef broth to reach your desired consistency.
  6. Season to Taste:
    • Remove the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve:
    • Serve the chili over cooked spaghetti. Top with shredded cheddar cheese, cooked kidney beans, chopped onions, and oyster crackers if desired.

Nutritional Info (per serving)

Calories360 kcal
Saturated Fat7g

Please note that nutritional values are approximate and can vary based on specific ingredient choices and portion sizes.

Indulge in this unique and hearty dish, a true testament to the rich culinary heritage of Cincinnati. Enjoy your meal!