Cincinnati-Style Chili Recipe

Cincinnati-style Chili
Maryse Chevriere


  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup beer, such as Budweiser
  • One 16-ounce can tomato sauce
  • One 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded, for garnish

I liken this regional style of chili to an American version of bolognese. A deeply flavorful meat-tomato sauce with a complex spice profile, served over spaghetti and topped with shredded Cheddar and chopped onions. If you're thinking, chili...on spaghetti? Really? Believe it. Even this devout Texas chili fan has been made a convert.

And as a side note, let me also just say that from my experience, there are no hard and fast rules for chili — it's a constant game of tasting and adjusting, so trust your palate. 


Click here to see Recipe SWAT Team: Chili.


In a medium pot over medium heat, sauté 2/3 cup of the onion and garlic in the oil for about 3-5 minutes, until it starts to get soft. Add the ground beef, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, and cayenne, crumbling the beef as it cooks. 

Once the beef is cooked and no longer pink, add the water, beer, tomato sauce, and tomato paste and mix together. Add the chocolate and vinegar, then simmer the mixture uncovered over medium-low heat for about 15-20 minutes, until it has thickened but is still soupy.

While the chili is simmering, cook the spaghetti in a pot of boiling water, about 8 minutes, or until al dente, then drain.

When ready to serve, divide the pasta into bowls, cover with a heaping spoonful of chili, then top with shredded Cheddar cheese and a sprinkling of the remaining raw, chopped onions. 


Calories per serving:

909 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Balanced, High Fiber

Daily value:



  • Fat 147g 227%
  • Carbs 429g 143%
  • Saturated 45g 224%
  • Fiber 41g 163%
  • Trans 5g
  • Sugars 55g
  • Monounsaturated 73g
  • Polyunsaturated 11g
  • Protein 155g 310%
  • Cholesterol 322mg 107%
  • Sodium 3,857mg 161%
  • Calcium 525mg 52%
  • Magnesium 546mg 136%
  • Potassium 5,908mg 169%
  • Iron 30mg 169%
  • Zinc 29mg 194%
  • Phosphorus 1,969mg 281%
  • Vitamin A 362µg 40%
  • Vitamin C 86mg 143%
  • Thiamin (B1) 1mg 64%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 2mg 97%
  • Niacin (B3) 38mg 189%
  • Vitamin B6 3mg 169%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 210µg 52%
  • Vitamin B12 10µg 162%
  • Vitamin D 0µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 23mg 117%
  • Vitamin K 88µg 109%
Have a question about nutritional data? Let us know.
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