An unusual chili, with cinnamon, cloves, and even chocolate!

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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 6 minutes.

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  • Add beef, in batches if necessary, and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned.

  • Add chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, cloves, bay leaf, chocolate, beef broth, tomato sauce, cider vinegar, and red pepper. Stir to mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

  • It is the best if you now refrigerate overnight.

  • Remove the bay leaf. Reheat gently over medium heat. Serve over hot, drained spaghetti. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.

Nutrition Facts

427.4 calories; 22.2 g protein; 7 g carbohydrates; 100.2 mg cholesterol; 659.1 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (367)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
10/20/2006
While the flavor of this chili is close to Skyline (not quite there though) the texture is all wrong. You do NOT brown the beef in a Cincinnati chili recipe, there are no "chunks" or bits of meat. You have to boil the raw beef in the broth first then add the rest of the ingredients once the meat has cooked down into a pasty-type consistency. Also the onions are meant to stay raw and be put on top of the finished dish. Read More
(585)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
03/15/2011
This must be an acquired taste. We did not care for the blend of spices. I am from the west coast and like spicy sauces. My hubby is from N.Dakota and likes bland sauces. Neither of us could eat this. It was just weird. Read More
(18)
479 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 310
  • 4 star values: 110
  • 3 star values: 33
  • 2 star values: 10
  • 1 star values: 16
Rating: 4 stars
10/19/2006
While the flavor of this chili is close to Skyline (not quite there though) the texture is all wrong. You do NOT brown the beef in a Cincinnati chili recipe, there are no "chunks" or bits of meat. You have to boil the raw beef in the broth first then add the rest of the ingredients once the meat has cooked down into a pasty-type consistency. Also the onions are meant to stay raw and be put on top of the finished dish. Read More
(585)
Rating: 5 stars
03/22/2008
I have been using this site since 2003 and this is the first time I've felt compelled to post. I traveled to Cincinnati for business for several years and always enjoyed Skyline Chili. Now I will intentionally get schedule layovers in Ohio to get my 4-way fix. This is the closest recipe I've ever been able to make - it was just delicious! I did boil my hamburger in the broth as other posters suggested - but I did continue to add 2 cups of broth as it boiled down. We boiled the meat for 2 hours and it had a pretty fine consistency at that point. We upped the cinnamon by 50% like others suggested and also shorted the chili powder by 1/4 (we ran out). Heavenly on spaghettini with finely shredded mild cheddar!! Can't wait to bring this to work for lunch. YUM! Read More
(241)
Rating: 5 stars
11/15/2003
Very very good! This recipe is very true to what you will find in the Cincinnati Chili parlors. I reccomend you use 50% more cinnamon than in the recipe and a litle more chili powder. This is not the recipe to try if you are looking for a twist on a "traditional" chili it is more of what most people would consider a "spaghetti sauce". It is best served over a plate of thin spaghetti topped with finely chopped white onions ans mounded finely shredded mild cheddar cheese. The chili should be VERY hot when served this way so as to melt the cheese as you eat it. Traditionally it is served with oyster crackers used to soak up the left over juice after the spaghetti is gone. Enjoy! Read More
(197)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/09/2007
This is without a doubt one of my all time favorite recipes from this site. I have adapted it to our tastes - no chopped onion while cooking (use onion powder for the smooth texture) and I cook the ground beef in an additional cup or two of broth then drain to remove the extra fat - I also have added more broth and just simmered until it all reduces and gets beautiful and smooth and thick. Also I add just a touch of molasses (maybe a tsp or two). Freezes beautifully if you ever have any left - we never seem to. This has been a big hit at family gatherings and we also like to serve it on hot dogs as a change from serving over spaghetti (sacrilege I know but it's GOOD! LOL). Read More
(125)
Rating: 4 stars
09/11/2005
This is very close to Skyline Chili (what I think of when I think of Cincinnati), except that Skyline chili doesn't have onions in it. Diced raw onion, beans, shredded cheddar are the traditional accompaniments, when the basic chili is served over hot spaghetti. You can use cocoa (3T) instead of the unsweetened chocolate in this recipe, you don't need the oil if you are serving the onions raw on top. My family prefers it with the chili powder halved, no cayenne, and all the other spices bumped up a bit -- including 1/4 t of ground cardamom. Read More
(110)
Rating: 5 stars
09/24/2006
Of all the Cincinnati Chili recipes I've tried (incl. the ones you get from the Airport in Cincinnati w/the "authentic" recipe this is by far the most authentic. If you're looking for the taste of Skyline outside of Cinci this is the recipe to try. It is not your traditional chili recipe if that's what you're looking for. This one is Greek in origin & is really meant to be more of a sauce to be served "3-way" (on spaghetti w/shredded cheddar cheese 4-way (same as 3-way chopped onions or red beans) or "5-way" (3-way onions & red beans). It's the chocolate that gives it its richness & unique taste. Read More
(89)
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Rating: 4 stars
09/26/2005
My grandma lived just outside of Cincinnati and had a chili recipe with nearly 100 ingredients that was AWESOME! This is pretty close to that and obviously a lot easier. I prefer to "boil the beef" in the beef broth with chopped onions or onion salt before adding the other ingredients. I also leave out the cayenne and bay leaf, use more chili powder, cumin, allspice, and add some sugar and worchestershire sauce. Read More
(67)
Rating: 5 stars
10/18/2003
I just moved from Cincinnati and wanted to represent my native city at my company's chili cookoff. This recipe was perfect very authentic it got rave reviews from everyone! Read More
(43)
Rating: 5 stars
10/18/2003
This is an excellent recipe indistinguishable from Skyline chili. Lovely spices great texture. I added the beef broth while cooking the burger and the texture was smooth like the restaurant variety. Fortunately I made a double recipe and froze half for later! Read More
(42)
Rating: 1 stars
03/15/2011
This must be an acquired taste. We did not care for the blend of spices. I am from the west coast and like spicy sauces. My hubby is from N.Dakota and likes bland sauces. Neither of us could eat this. It was just weird. Read More
(18)