Homemade Cincinnati Chili Recipe

Cincinnati Style Chili Copycat Recipe

If you aren’t familiar with Cincinnati Chili, you should be! I must admit, this is an unusual chili. I grew up in Texas where chili meant meat, beans and spicy, so I was a bit taken aback by this chili.

Cincinnati chili throws this idea on its head with the addition of cinnamon (yep, really), dark chocolate, and a hint of cloves for a unique (and delicious) chili. In Cincinnati, there is a (somewhat fierce) division when it comes to this style of chili as people typically like one of the two main restaurants that serve it: Skyline or Gold Star.

After a while, the taste of Cincinnati chili grew on me so I worked on figuring out a healthier copycat recipe. My husband, who was already a life-long fan, didn’t object at all. The flavors in Cincinnati style chili are healthy to begin with, as cinnamon, chili powder, and cloves all have health promoting properties. Of all the recipes I’ve tried to make a healthy version of, this has been one of the easiest!

Cincinnati Chili Recipe

In Cincinnati, this chili is served over spaghetti noodles (never understood that) and topped with a mountain of cheese, onions, and oyster crackers. We skip those additions and just top with chopped onions or a little raw cheese. Cincinnati chili is not naturally spicy and it has become a kid favorite in our house. It is also delicious as leftovers or as a topping for eggs for breakfast. If you’re brave enough to add cinnamon to to your chili, give this recipe a try!

Cincinnati Style Chili Copycat Recipe
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3.5 from 2 votes

Cincinnati Chili Recipe

A healthy copycat recipe of Cincinnati style chili with hints of cinnamon, cloves, and dark chocolate. Try it!
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 322kcal
Author Katie Wells



  • Pour the broth in to large stock pot.
  • Add the ground beef and bring to boil. 
  • Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for about 30 minutes.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients and reduce to medium low heat.
  • Simmer for at least two hours until chili has thickened. Add water if needed during this time.


This chili can be eaten immediately, but for best flavor, refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight and reheat.
Our favorite ways to serve are "1-way" with plain chili topped with onions or over eggs. This is also delicious over roasted cabbage "noodles."


Serving: 2cups | Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 981mg | Potassium: 951mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 7.3% | Vitamin C: 11% | Calcium: 6.4% | Iron: 38.6%

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Ever been to Cincinnati? Had the chili? Ready to try this recipe? Share below!

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