Cincinnati-Style Chili

  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
  • Total: 3 hr
  • Active: 30 min



16 ounces tomato sauce

12 ounces tomato paste 

1 yellow onion, grated 

2 tablespoons chili powder 

2 tablespoons cocoa powder 

2 tablespoons sugar 

2 teaspoons kosher salt 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1 teaspoon ground cumin 

1 teaspoon garlic salt 

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 

2 bay leaves 

2 pounds ground beef (I use chuck) 

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 

For Serving:

1 pound spaghetti, cooked according to package directions and tossed in olive oil to prevent sticking

One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained 

1 white onion, diced 

Two 8-ounce blocks Cheddar, grated 

Hot sauce, optional 

Oyster crackers, for serving 


  1. For the chili: In a stockpot or Dutch oven, combine the tomato sauce, tomato paste, onions, chili powder, cocoa powder, sugar, kosher salt, cinnamon, cumin, garlic salt, allspice, pepper, cayenne, cloves, bay leaves, beef (do not brown first) and 2 cups water. Mix until combined. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for approximately 2 hours. Stir in the vinegar and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  2. To serve: Serve on a bed of spaghetti and top with the beans, onions and a mound of cheese (or any preferred combination). Add hot sauce, if desired, and eat with oyster crackers.

Cook’s Note

This chili can also be served on hot dogs and used for burritos.

Let's Get Cooking!

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77 Reviews

Tara G.

Delicious, saw this episode of the kitchen and knew I had to make it

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