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5 way Cincinnati Chili Recipe

Cincinnati Chili Recipe

  • Author: Deborah
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


Beef chili is served over spaghetti and topped with beans, cheese and onion in this traditional Cincinnati Chili Recipe.



  • 2 teaspoons table salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds 80% lean ground chuck
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked, drained and then tossed with 2 tablespoons butter
  • 12 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained, rinsed and warmed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped


  1. Bring 2 quarts of water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the ground beef and stir vigorously, separating the beef into strands. Foam will rise from the beef to the top of the water (this takes about 30 seconds), and just before the water boils, drain the beef into a strainer and set aside.
  2. Rinse and dry the saucepan, and place the pan over medium heat. Add the oil, and when it is warm, add the onions. Cook until the onions are softened and slightly brown on the edges, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the chili powder, oregano, cocoa, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne, black pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Stirring constantly, stir for 1 minute, until very fragrant. Stir in the tomato sauce, broth, water, vinegar and brown sugar, scraping up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the ground beef and turn the heat to high. Bring to a bubble, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chili is bright red and slightly thickened. Season with salt and hot sauce to taste.
  4. To serve, divide the buttered spaghetti into individual bowls. Top with the chili, beans, cheese and onions. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes:

slightly adapted from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook

Nutrition information provided as an estimate only. Various brands and products can change the counts. Any nutritional information should only be used as a general guideline.


  • Calories: 745
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Sodium: 883 mg
  • Fat: 38 g
  • Saturated Fat: 18 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 5 g
  • Trans Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 61 g
  • Fiber: 11 g
  • Protein: 39 g
  • Cholesterol: 107 mg

Keywords: Cincinnati Chili