Cincinnati Chili

I’ve been craving chili; warm, spicy, chili that is filling to the belly and soul.  I think I found this chili.

This recipe is a warm and full of bold flavors reminiscent of it’s Macedonian and Mediterranean roots.  The true Cincinnati chili recipe requires that the sauce is more watery than I made here, but I prefer a thicker sauce with my pasta.  I omitted the red kidney beans to keep the flavors from being diluted out once it was served over pasta.  This recipe could easily serve 8, but everyone loves a good chili, so don’t be surprised if it serves less!  This is a modified version of Saveur’s recipe.


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 2.5 lb. 85% lean ground beef
  • 4 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 lb. dried spaghetti
  • 4 cups finely grated cheddar cheese



  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5–7 minutes. Add chili powder, cayenne, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cumin, oregano, nutmeg, celery seed, bay leaf, and salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  2. Add beef stirring occasionally, until well browned and spices are mixed in, 6–8 minutes. Tilt skillet and spoon out and discard any accumulated fat.
  3. Add tomato sauce, cocoa powder, and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, until somewhat thick, about 25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, place 4 C of water into an Instant Pot and add 1 lb of spaghetti.  close the lid and, using the manual function, set the Instant Pot to High pressure for 1 minute.  Once the pasta is cooked, unplug the machine, manually release the pressure and drain the pasta. (Alternatively, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8–10 minutes; drain.)
  5. Serve chili over spaghetti in large bowls. Top with chili and cheddar cheese.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. mistimaan says:

    Nice recipe

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