Cincinnati Chili

Deliciously hearty, this Cincinnati Chili is a unique chili recipe served over spaghetti and topped with cheese, onions or beans or a combination of the 5!
Cincinnati Chili

So lot’s of people have their preference on chili. I for one love my Sweet Heat Chili. I love the mixture of the heat and the sweetness and how it pays together and so does my husband. This is our number one go to chili whenever the weather gets brisk and we need our comfort food.

So Cincinnati Chili is a “chili” recipe that obviously originated out of Cincinnati. Now the chili part really messes people up on what it actually is. It’s not your normal type of chili recipe where you would just put it in a bowl and eat it, although I have debated this many times as we love this.

Cincinnati Chili is more or less a chili sauce similar to hot dog chili that is served over spaghetti noodles with various toppings. There is a well known place called Skyline Chili that is where it really originated from.

Cincinnati Chili Recipe

Like stated above, I have yet to eat it on it’s own and really wouldn’t be opposed to it. I’ve always either had it over spaghetti or served it over hot dogs (my kids fave way). Do people actually eat it as chili? I’m sure there are many many ways that people can enjoy this delectable dinner.

So you can have this Cincinnati Chili 5 different ways. You can have it chili…, chili with spaghetti, chili with spaghetti and cheddar, chili with spaghetti, cheddar and beans and chili with spaghetti, cheddar, beans and onions.

WOW…did I lose you there? I actually like it all ways, I’m a big chili with beans fan so usually I add the beans to mine regardless along with piles of cheese, because cheese makes all the things better.

Skyline Chili Cincinnati

 Now onion is a hit of miss with me. Usually I’m not a raw onion person and prefer it sautéed but it really works in here. But next time I think I’m going to have to grill up some onions and maybe give them a go on this Cincinnati Chili recipe.

The flavors play nicely together and it gives it a good crunch to set off all the textures and flavors. And a little crunch is something that I can handle, especially in this chili.

Best Cincinnati Chili Recipe

 Did I mention that this is a SUPER easy recipe? It may seem like it’s hard because it has a boat load of ingredients but seriously, easy. All you do is put everything in the pan and let it simmer for a few hours and your set. I mean who can’t handle that? Besides the smell alone is worth all those ingredients.

This recipe goes a long way too! It saves well in the refrigerator or freezer as well so if you don’t think that you can consume it all in one sitting, then you have the option of saving it for a later day.

We love being able to save the leftovers because I’m a big lover of chili cheese dogs and chili burgers and like I said this is fantastic for it! 

Cincinnati Style Chili Recipe

 So wait no longer, if you haven’t tried it before try it now. This Cincinnati Chili recipe has one of a kind flavor and has multiple options, quick, easy and lasts forever!


4.67 from 6 votes
Cincinnati Chili
Cincinnati Chili
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 40 mins

Deliciously hearty, this Cincinnati Chili is a unique chili recipe served over spaghetti and topped with cheese, onions or beans or a combination of the 5!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cincinnati chili, skyline chili
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 413 kcal
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 large onion diced small
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp all-spice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs cocoa powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  1. In large pot add your ground beef and water, bring to boil and stir your beef until it separates into little pieces, reduce heat a simmer for about 30 minutes.
  2. Once beef is cooked, add remaining ingredients and stir to combine
  3. Bring to boil and reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 2 1/2 hours or until thickened.
  4. Serve over spaghetti or hot dogs.
Recipe Notes

The last hour or so you can add a lid to let chili thicken more if desired.

Nutrition Facts
Cincinnati Chili
Amount Per Serving
Calories 413 Calories from Fat 279
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 48%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 107mg 36%
Sodium 178mg 7%
Potassium 547mg 16%
Total Carbohydrates 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 1g
Protein 27g 54%
Vitamin A 26.2%
Vitamin C 2.8%
Calcium 6.5%
Iron 22.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cincinnati Chili

Deliciously hearty, this Cincinnati Chili is a unique chili recipe served over spaghetti and topped with cheese, onions or beans or a combination of the 5! #chili #pasta #skylinechili #cinncinatichili #beef #cheese #spaghetti

46 thoughts on “Cincinnati Chili

  1. I was wondering if this chili can be cooked in the crockpot? Thank you for your time, happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, and I hope to hear from you soon.

  2. It is very simple to make in a crock pot. Just add everything, turn it on and go to work. When you come home – make the spaghetti, grate the cheddar and you’re ready.

  3. I live in Cincinnati and eat Skyline Chili (one of the locals) frequently. I’ve tried a few different recipes and they never quite have “it”, whatever “it” might be. I’m eager to try yours! I’ve never seen one with cider vinegar before. Where did you get your recipe from? Oh, and locals eat it in burritos with beans, cheese, lettuce, and tomato too…yum!

    1. Hi Anna! I hope this one you like. I’m a collector of old cookbooks and this one came from one of my old church cookbooks I’ve had for many years. They call it hot dog chili in there, I’ve adapted it over the years to a flavor I like and this is kinda what I stuck with, of my faves. Probably not the original since there is so much controversy over this recipe..whats right, what should or shouldnt be included. All I know is this has become my fave 🙂

  4. Taste is very similar and spot on …. followed the recipe to make it to a “T” and ate two plates with thick spaghetti and cheese… Awesome😉

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  6. I live in Alabama but my grandparents were raised in Cincinnati so this was a favorite growing up! I cannot find skyline chilli packets anywhere down here so I decided to try this recipe, it is on the stove now and I AM SO EXCITED!

  7. I won a chili cook off with this recipe! Thanks so much! My husband and I wanted to show our New England friends what Cincinnati chili was like and this was the perfect recipe. They loved it enough to give us first prize! So simple and so delicious.

  8. Hi! I made your recipe for a party I’m having this weekend and just tasted and its delicious! I had to triple the recipe though and now its still pretty thin and watery… any suggestions on what to do to thicken it? I’ve had it simmering for a while now… thanks!

  9. I’m from the Cincinnati area and this is about as authentic as you can get. I’m making it right now because we have some colder weather coming through and I want my family to have a great dinner tonight. Bon A petite!

  10. I plan on making this tomorrow. My husband is a picky eater, but he loves spaghetti and chili, so this seems like the perfect meal to try! If I want to add beans, cheese and onions – when do I add them and what kind of beans should I pick up? Thanks!

  11. Made this for dinner tonight and the family loved it. Will definitely be making again. Used less chili powder just because my fiance has a rather sensitive stomach, though really with all the other spices it didn’t need much to be tasty, though a little salt sprinkled on, in the end, made everything sing.

  12. I can’t wait to make it! I’ve made for years out of the package and it’s always been a huge family favorite! On the menu for tomorrow… I’ll be glad to report back after dinner. Thanks for sharing!

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