Homemade Cincinnati Chili

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Homemade Cincinnati Chili is so easy to make. You will notice that this is not your traditional chili recipe. This is a Cincinnati style chili that is so unique in a good way.  Serve it over spaghetti or even as a cheese coney. 

Homemade Cincinnati Chili - so easy to make! Serve it over spaghetti or even as a cheese coney. 

Homemade Cincinnati Chili

My blog name reflects the fact that I live in Cincinnati. My husband grew up in Cincy and we relocated here together years ago.  I recall my husband introducing me to Cincinnati style chili. My first reaction was “no thanks”. I am a northern girl and we eat traditional chili like my Slow Cooker Chili Recipe. Cincinnati chili is so different. The chili has a very unique seasoning cooked with ground beef. I think it is sort of like a meat sauce that I ate on Texas Hots growing up. The flavor is definitely different but the same type of consistency.

Homemade Cincinnati Chili - so easy to make! Serve it over spaghetti or even as a cheese coney. 

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The first time my husband took me to a chili parlor, I was slightly confused. What the heck is a chili spaghetti? What is a 3 way? What is a 4 way? And… a cheese coney, what is that? It all seemed so confusing and so different. In Cincinnati, you will find Gold Star which is the first Cincy style chili I was introduced to. You will find Skyline and also small chili parlors around the city. If you are a Cincinnati native, you probably have a favorite and most likely really do not care for the other. You are either a Gold Star Chili, small chili parlor or a Skyline Chili fan.

Homemade Cincinnati Chili - so easy to make! Serve it over spaghetti or even as a cheese coney. 

If you have never had Cincinnati chili, you most likely are looking at my photos of this Homemade Cincinnati Chili wondering why you are seeing spaghetti noodles. Well, that is how Cincinnati peeps enjoy their chili.  You can order up a 2 Way which would be spaghetti and chili. A 3 way which will be spaghetti, chili and cheese. A 4 way (my favorite and what you can see in my pictures here in this blog post) which is spaghetti, chili, beans or onion and cheese. You can also order up a 5 way which is all of the above. Note that any variation that includes cheese will be topped with an overabundance of finally shredded cheese. Lots and lots of cheese is a must.

It gets a little bit more complicated here. You can also enjoy Cincinnati Chili Coneys. A standard Coney is a bun, hot dog, mustard, chili and onion. But, you can order it up with cheese (that’s how I order mine) or any variation of the above even without the hot dog.

Oh and let me share one more bit of info on these Cincinnati Chili lovers, they usually enjoy oyster crackers along side of their chili and also add on Frank’s hot sauce on top.

Homemade Cincinnati Chili - so easy to make! Serve it over spaghetti or even as a cheese coney. 

If you are still following along, you may be thinking it all sounds so confusing. Do not get confused. Do not hesitate to give this unique chili a try. Cincinnati Chili happens to be one of my favorite meals. It is so simple to prepare and very inexpensive.

Homemade Cincinnati Chili - so easy to make! Serve it over spaghetti or even as a cheese coney. 

If you are fan of Cincinnati Chili and no longer live local, you most likely realize that you can order seasoning packets and cans of chili online. I did this for years when I lived in Upstate NY. I would order in bunches of cans to make homemade Cincinnati chili. It became quite expensive having it shipped to us. I never thought to attempt making my own homemade chili.

Homemade Cincinnati Chili - so easy to make! Serve it over spaghetti or even as a cheese coney. 

We are currently saving for a new home and I am really watching our food budget. So last month, I set out to make my own CopyCat Cincinnati Chili. It took so many attempts to get the recipe to my liking. Finding the exact spices to make the flavor combination was not easy. But… I finally made this Homemade Cincinnati Chili to my liking. I thought it would be great to share here on my blog for those who are looking to try this unique chili or those who no longer live in the area that would like to make a copycat version to enjoy.

Homemade Cincinnati Chili - so easy to make! Serve it over spaghetti or even as a cheese coney. 

You will need quite a few spices that you most likely have on hand. All that is needed is one pound of ground beef for this recipe. The meat really goes far. This one pan of chili along with spaghetti, onions, and finally, shredded cheese fed my family of 6 with some leftovers. I really stress the importance of shredding your own fresh mild cheddar cheese. Do not use store bought as it just does not taste as well. You can enjoy your chili after as little as 30 minutes but the longer the chili cooks, the better it becomes. I think it is best after it has cooked for around 2 hours.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE HOMEMADE CINCINNATI CHILI

2 tbsp Chili Powder
1 tbsp Onion Powder
1 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 tbsp Paprika
1 tbsp Cornstarch
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Allspice
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp Cloves
4 cups Water
4 oz Tomato Paste
1 lb Ground Beef

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CINCINNATI CHILI

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except water, tomato paste and ground beef.
Whisk until well blended. Set aside.
In a medium pan over medium heat, pour water and tomato paste and whisk until blended.
Add spice mixture and whisk until blended. Increase temperature to medium high.
Crumble ground beef into pan and stir frequently to break up ground beef into crumb sized pieces.
Allow to come to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 30-60 minutes.
For 3 way: Plate drained spaghetti, top with chili and finely shredded cheddar cheese.
For 4 way: Plate drained spaghetti, top with chili, diced onions and finely shredded cheddar cheese.
For 5 way: Plate drained spaghetti, top with chili, heated drained kidney beans, diced onions and finely shredded cheddar cheese.
For Cheese Coney: Steamed hot dog bun, beef hot dog, top with mustard, chili, diced onions and finely shredded cheddar cheese.

Homemade Cincinnati Chili - so easy to make! Serve it over spaghetti or even as a cheese coney. 

Have you ever tried Cincinnati style chili?

Homemade Cincinnati Chili - so easy to make! Serve it over spaghetti or even as a cheese coney. 

5 from 11 votes

Cincinnati Chili

By: Jen CIncyshopper
Homemade Cincinnati Chili is so easy to make. You will notice that this is not your traditional chili recipe. This is a Cincinnati style chili that is so unique in a good way. Serve it over spaghetti or even as a cheese coney.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 2 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves
  • 4 cups Water
  • 4 oz Tomato Paste
  • 1 lb Ground Beef

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except water, tomato paste and ground beef.
  • Whisk until well blended. Set aside.
  • In a medium pan over medium heat, pour water and tomato paste and whisk until blended.
  • Add spice mixture and whisk until blended. Increase temperature to medium high.
  • Crumble ground beef into pan and stir frequently to break up ground beef into crumb sized pieces.
  • Allow to come to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 30-60 minutes.
  • For 3 way: Plate drained spaghetti, top with chili and finely shredded cheddar cheese.
  • For 4 way: Plate drained spaghetti, top with chili, diced onions and finely shredded cheddar cheese.
  • For 5 way: Plate drained spaghetti, top with chili, heated drained kidney beans, diced onions and finely shredded cheddar cheese.
  • For Cheese Coney: Steamed hot dog bun, beef hot dog, top with mustard, chili, diced onions and finely shredded cheddar cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 353kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 81mg, Sodium: 1545mg, Potassium: 747mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1785IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 69mg, Iron: 5mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

 

About Jen Cincyshopper

A lover of food and frugal living. A wife to a wonderful hubby, momma to 5 fun kiddos. Welcome to my blog. You will find REAL TASTY RECIPES. Be sure to subscribe to my email list and follow me on social media, to never miss a recipe.

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23 Comments

    1. HI Jonathan! I have never tried cooking this chili with tofu. I would imagine you could give it a try. Be sure to let me know if you do and the results. -Have a great Day-Jen

  1. I have tried several recipes for Cincinnati Chili I have found, but this looks most like what I have been looking for.
    I plan to make it the regular way, and I thought about using it for a baked spaghetti recipe for Church luncheon.
    I think it will be a big hit.

    Kudos to you girl

  2. I grew up on Cincinnati Chili. You need more cheese. About double. This recipe looks right. I haven’t had a chance yet to try it, but I plan to soon. Gold Star is heads and shoulders above Skyline, but our local neighborhood chili shop closed. The owner passed away, had a heart attack (he was ancient, my parents have been going there since the 50’s) right behind the counter. That’s a good way to go.

  3. Hello…instead of cornstarch I suggest tapioca starch. You’ll be pleased with the results using it.

  4. Just made this with few additions and it was spot on to Skyline. Changes: use 15 oz of tomato sauce instead of paste. Add 1 tbsp each of apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Simmered for about 2 hours to get the right consistency. Left out the cornstarch. Cut allspice and clove amounts in half. Thank you Jen for such a great recipe that I could work off!

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe was amazing! Nailed it. I would love to make this in a Crock-Pot. Would I have to make any changes in order to do so?

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve made this twice, and it’s spot-on. I ran out of regular chili powder and had to mix my own, but other than being a little spicier (which it wouldn’t have been with store-bought chili powder), this was EXACTLY Skyline chili, which I grew up with and missed dearly. Thanks so much!