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Cincinnati chili served over spaghetti with cheese and onions.

Cincinnati Chili

This Cincinnati chili recipe features a hearty meat sauce that is flavored with tomatoes and spices, then simmered to perfection. Serve the chili in the classic style over spaghetti with a variety of toppings, then watch the rave reviews come in!
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 627kcal
Author Sara Welch


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white onion diced, divided use
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pounds ground beef 85% or 90% lean
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 12 ounces spaghetti cooked
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • oyster crackers for serving


  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add 1 cup of onion and cook for 4-5 minutes or until tender.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the chocolate, chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Next add the tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, brown sugar, bay leaf, ground beef and beef broth.
  • Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer. Use a spoon to break up the beef into small pieces.
  • Let the mixture simmer for one hour, or until it has thickened.
  • Serve the chili over the spaghetti and top with the reserved 1/2 cup of onion, cheddar cheese, kidney beans and oyster crackers.



  1. The type of beef that you use in this dish really matters because you won't get a chance to drain the grease, as the meat goes straight into the liquid without being browned first. I typically use 85% or 90% lean as it has plenty of flavor but is not overly greasy. 
  2. This chili will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, and can be frozen for 2 months.


Calories: 627kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 812mg | Potassium: 1188mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1918IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 357mg | Iron: 7mg