Cincinnati-Style Chili


Thinner than most chile con carne and redolent with sweet spices, this Ohio specialty put Cincinnati on the culinary map. Residents enjoy it many ways, including as a hot dog topping and mixed with pasta and topped with a mountain of cheddar cheese.

Cincinnati-Style Chili
Photo: Blaine Moats
Prep Time:
25 mins
Bake Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 25 mins


  • 2 pound lean ground beef

  • 2 cup chopped onion (2 large)

  • 1 26 ounce jar tomato and garlic pasta sauce

  • 1 15 ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

  • ½ cup water

  • 2 tablespoon chili powder

  • 2 tablespoon semisweet chocolate pieces

  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1 pound packaged dried cut ziti or gemelli pasta

  • Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

  • Chopped onion (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In an ovenproof 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven cook ground beef and the 2 cups onion until meat is brown and onion is tender, using a wooden spoon to break up meat as it cooks. Drain off fat. Return meat to Dutch oven.

  2. Combine pasta sauce, beans, water, chili powder, chocolate pieces, vinegar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and allspice into meat mixture in Dutch oven.

  3. Bake, covered, for 1 hour, stirring once halfway through baking.

  4. To serve, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Serve chili over cooked pasta. If desired, sprinkle with cheese and additional onion.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

257 Calories
7g Fat
33g Carbs
17g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 257
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 36mg 12%
Sodium 277mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 4.1mg 21%
Calcium 50.5mg 4%
Iron 2.9mg 16%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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