Add cinnamon and other spices and serve this ground beef and bean mixture over spaghetti and you've got Cincinnati chili. Either way, it's fast and hearty.




  • In a 3-quart saucepan cook and stir ground beef, sweet pepper, 1/2 cup chopped onion, and the garlic over medium heat until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat.

  • Stir in tomato sauce, undrained beans, undrained tomatoes, chili powder, salt, basil, and black pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. To serve, ladle chili into bowls. If desired, top each serving with cheese, chopped onion, and/or sour cream and pass crushed red pepper. Makes 4 main-dish servings.

Chili for Two:

Prepare as above, except divide all ingredients in half.

Cincinnati-Style Chili:

Prepare as above, except omit sweet pepper, basil, and optional garnishes. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper with the tomato sauce. To serve, place 1/2 cup hot cooked spaghetti on each of 4 serving plates; make an indentation in center of each portion. Top each serving with some of the chili, 1 to 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese, 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped onion, and/or 1/4 cup additional kidney beans.

Nutrition Facts

381 calories, (6 g saturated fat, 71 mg cholesterol, 1265 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 32 g protein.

Reviews (5)

140 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 76
  • 4 star values: 24
  • 3 star values: 18
  • 2 star values: 9
  • 1 star values: 13
Rating: 4 stars
The original chili is good. The recipe you are using for Cincinnati chili is not like Cincy chili. We do not use chili powder, the meat must be slowly boiled and broken into fine pieces, and add a bay leaf. Use super finely grated cheddar cheese, I mean lots of cheese for it. Also oyster crackers are our traditional choice. Simply the best chili anywhere here in CIncy.
Rating: Unrated
I loved it! It was so easy to make! I doubled the beans and tomatoes, and added oregano. I will definitely make it again. :P
Rating: Unrated
3 stars, I'll make again, a good, easy, basic "tomatoey" chili. Nice & thick! I used 4 teaspoons chili powder because we like it with a little more heat. We like beans so next time may add a 2nd can---there's plenty of meat. I thought it was much better with cheddar & sour cream added.
Rating: Unrated
Great recipe! Easy to make and love it even better in the slow cooker! I add ground cumin to the recipe for that "chili" taste. :-) I also add a can of the mild Rotel tomatoes to it, for a little kick.
Rating: Unrated
We are having a chili cook off in a couple of weeks I was just looking to see if anyone made chili the way I do so thanks for Sharing This Great Recipe !! :)