Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili by

The Real Deal


Serves 6-9


  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate square
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 5 whole allspice berries
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 quart water, or amount to cover
  • 1 lb. spaghetti noodles


  • diced onion
  • shredded cheddar
  • red kidney beans


  1. Place the ground beef in a large pan, cover with cold water, and bring to a low boil, stirring and breaking up beef to a fine texture. Slowly boil until the meat is thoroughly cooked, about 30 minutes.
  2. Add onions, tomato sauce, vinegar, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and chocolate. Stir in chili powder, salt, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper until well mixed. Add cloves, allspice berries, and bay leaf.
  3. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 hours. Add water if necessary to prevent chili from burning.
  4. When the chili is about done, cook noodles according to package directions and drain.
  5. Top a serving of noodles with chili sauce. See below for authentic options for topping chili.

The Different “Ways” to Serve Cincinnati Chili:
2-Way: Chili + spaghetti
3-Way: Chili + spaghetti + shredded Cheddar cheese
4-Way: Chili + spaghetti + diced onions + shredded Cheddar cheese
5-Way: Chili + spaghetti + red kidney beans + diced onions + shredded Cheddar cheese