Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili from

If I had know (or bother to have done a we bit of research before making this recipe) that Cincinnati style chili was commonly served as a sauce for hot dogs – this post would be very different. And 10 times more epic. Anything over a hot dog in my book is winning. But sadly, I just recently discovered that this was a hot dog topping and that such things as ‘chili parlors.’ Where has this information been my whole life? And what other amazing hot dog toppings am I unaware of.

See, this post now has nothing to do with chili, or Cincinnati or anything relevant, but damned if I don’t want a hot dog.

I did break some traditional Cincinnati-style rules and add some green peppers to this just for texture and bumped up the chili powder a bit more. It’s chili. Make it how you like it. Then put it on top of a hot dog. Forget the noodles.

Cincinnati Chili from GirlCarnivore.comCincinnati Chili from
Cincinnati Chili


  • 12 oz dried spaghetti
  • 1 lbs ground beef
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1/4 teas red pepper flakes
  • 1 – 2 tbs chili powder
  • 1/4 teas ground cinnamon
  • 1 15-oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14oz can jar marinara sauce
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/3 cup water
  • salt and pepper
  • shredded cheddar cheese


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti according to directions on package.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef and onion until meat is cooked through and onion is tender. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the red pepper flakes, chili powder, cinnamon. Cook for two minutes. Add the beans, marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and let cook for a few minutes longer to allow the flavors to mingle. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Serve over cooked spaghetti with a hefty portion of cheese on top.


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Cincinnati Chili from


  1. We LOVE Cincinnati Chili! Your recipe looks delish!

  2. If you mean Cincinnatti Skyline Chilli – this is nothing near that. Would never have marinara sauce, just tomatoes.

  3. Grew up on Cincy Chili. Agree with Betsy above. Hard to improve over original recipe, which is what my family uses. Biggest secret of this is boiling the meat, not sauteeing. If you don’t do that first, it’s not Cincy Cili. Then no Italian marinara. This is a Greek dish. Where is the cumin???? This is definitely not Cincinnati chili.

  4. I agree. Not Cincinnati chili. Our chili also has cinnamon and cocoa powder.

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