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+ servings
4 from 8 votes

Cincinnati Chili

Meaty, meaty, meaty! Cincinnati Chili is definitely hearty (and not vegetarian) fare. While the ingredients may sound odd, they're quite traditional and yield incredibly flavourful chili.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8
Author Rebecca Lindamood


Ingredients for the chili:

  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds lean ground beef or venison
  • 1 quart cold water
  • 2 large onions peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic peeled and minced or crushed
  • 1 can tomato paste 6 ounce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder preferably Dutch processed
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper reduce if you don't like spicy foods
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg preferably fresh
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for serving:

  • Cooked spaghetti rinsed with hot water
  • Grated Cheddar cheese
  • Diced onions
  • Chili beans heated
  • Optional: Oyster crackers to soak up liquid.


  • Heat the oil in a heavy pot and brown beef, breaking up into very small pieces.
  • Add onions and water and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer and add all other ingredients and let simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until it is as thick as desired. We like ours quite thick.
  • Adjust with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove bay leaves before serving.
  • Serve over spaghetti with finely shredded cheddar cheese, chopped onions and kidney beans on top.