Homemade Cincinnati Chili Recipe

Cincinnati Style Chili Copycat Recipe

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

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 and my husband was already a life-long fan so I worked on figuring out a healthier copycat recipe. 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 Chilli Recipe

In Cincinnati, this chili is served with 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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4 from 3 votes

Cincinnati Chili Recipe

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



  • Pour broth in to large stock pot and add ground beef.
  • Bring to boil and simmer for about half an hour.
  • Add diced onions, tomato sauce and spices and reduce to medium low heat.
  • Simmer for at least two hours until chili has thickened. Add water if needed during this time.
  • For best flavor, refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight and reheat.
  • Enjoy!


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."

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

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