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Cincinnati Chili Recipe

Cincinnati Chili Recipe

Cinnamon and cocoa give a rich brown color to this hearty chili shared by Edith Joyce of Parkman, Ohio. "This dish will warm you up on a cold day," she says.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 1-3/4 hours YIELD:6-8 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 4 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot cooked spaghetti
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped tomatoes and green onions


  • 1. In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, pork and onions over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Add the beans, tomatoes, vinegar, cocoa and seasonings; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours or until heated through.
  • 2. Discard bay leaves. Serve with spaghetti. Garnish with cheese, sour cream, tomatoes and onions. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 421 calories, 16g fat (6g saturated fat), 75mg cholesterol, 443mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 11g fiber), 32g protein.

Reviews for Cincinnati Chili

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puzzlemad User ID: 3329799 76299
Reviewed Sep. 14, 2014

"I just made the chili & did not use spaghetti. Since it was thick I added an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce & a can of water plus another tablespoon of chili powder. It was good but a little heavy on the cocoa so I will cut that back next time I make it & perhaps add a little more sugar."

hopeanjl User ID: 6844129 76341
Reviewed Sep. 12, 2013

"This is not supposed to be your typical "chili." In Cincinnati, Ohio, it is known as 5-way chili. Toppings are added on top of the sauce and can be eaten in any number of ways. Beans are a topping and not cooked in the meat sauce. It is served over spaghetti. Other optional toppings are chopped onion and shredded cheddar cheese. The sauce is great, even if you think the spices sound weird. You have to try this!"

Kressk User ID: 7122658 29495
Reviewed Feb. 4, 2013

"This traditional Cincinnati chili recipe won the 2000 chili cook-off at work. I've been using it ever since! It works particularly well with 2 pounds of venison. The spices work to complement the flavor of the meat and disguise any gaminess. Venison is a smart and healthy choice because it is so lean."

Lisateachs2 User ID: 1420750 31694
Reviewed Sep. 22, 2011

"This is a regular "fall" recipe in our household. Even the kids love it. It's different but very flavorful and makes a generous batch-ideal for having people over for dinner."

galinthewoods User ID: 3317961 76298
Reviewed Jul. 12, 2011

"a great way to eat chili. This recipe makes a big batch and is very filling with the noodles and toppings."

pettymama User ID: 1026286 22341
Reviewed Mar. 19, 2011

"The taste is different than regular chili because of the spices but it is definitely a keeper!!"

senzascusa User ID: 2756822 68916
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2010

"I don't feel I can fairly rate this dish, which is why I gave it 4 and not lower. You see, I think I used the wrong kind of chili powder which resulted in a chili that was SO hot we couldn't eat it. I added near 2 cups of yoghurt to tame the heat, but it still burned our mouths--and just so you know, my husband and i can handle heat typically as he was born and raised in India and I lived there for awhile and we cook spicy food all the time.

I know Mexican chili powder is a mix and much different from pure chili powder used in Indian cooking. Thus, I will make this dish again and either buy some Mexican/North American style chili powder, or cut the chili down a LOT. Would like to taste it better, and without yoghurt as the recipe sounds very interesting."

libertymama User ID: 5567215 76297
Reviewed Nov. 2, 2010

"After trying this recipe and then making chili the "old" way I will only use this recipe. Very very flavorful! I def recommend!"

LissaH. User ID: 5193585 29494
Reviewed Oct. 18, 2010

"Some of the ingredients seemed unusual, but the family loved it! My husband even won a competion @ work with it. Many have asked for the receipe... Thanks TOH cooks."

katlaydee3 User ID: 3741999 203481
Reviewed Mar. 15, 2010

"Very good chili with an interesting flavor. Very different from traditional chilis."

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