My friend, Karen Calanchini of Redding, CA originally tested this delicious version of Cincinnati Chili for my cookbook. Karen says, “This is truly a fantastic recipe and I have shared it with so many people who gave it to their kids, all with great reviews.”
Learn about the History of Cincinnati Chili and check out another version of Cincinnati Chili.
Learn about the history and legends of Chili, Chili Con Carne.
- 1 quart beef stock or broth
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 2 medium onions, finely-chopped
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon chile powder
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa or 1/2 ounce grated unsweetened chocolate
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and coarsely-ground black pepper to taste
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 (16-ounce) package spaghetti pasta, uncooked, dried
- 1 to 2 (16-ounce) cans Kidney Beans (or to your taste)
- Oyster Crackers
- Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- Onion, chopped
In a large pot over medium-high heat, add beef broth. Crumble raw ground beef in to the broth, breaking up the pieces of meat as it starts to cook; simmer for 30 minutes.
Add onion, garlic, chile powder, allspice, cinnamon, cumin, cloves cayenne pepper, cocoa or chocolate, salt, pepper, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and cider vinegar. Reduce heat to low, and let simmer, uncovered, approximately 2 hours and the sauce thickens. During the last 30 minutes, add the kidney beans.
NOTE: I like to make the chili mixture one day ahead of time. When ready to use, remove the fat that has risen to the top; discard fat. Reheat chili mixture over low heat.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions and transfer onto individual serving plates (small oval plates are traditional).
Ladle chili mixture over spaghetti and serve with toppings of your choice. Oyster crackers are served in a separate container on the side.
Cincinnati chili lovers order their chili by number in the Chili Parlors – Two, Three, Four, or Five Way. Let your guest create their own final product:
Two-Way Chili: Chili served on spaghetti
Three-Way Chili: Additionally topped with shredded Cheddar cheese
Four-Way Chili: Additionally topped with chopped onions
Five-Way Chili: Additionally topped with kidney beans
Source: Recipe adapted and used with permission from the book The Great Big Book of Chili by Tom Bailie, published by America House LLC.