Homemade Cincinnati Chili Recipe

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Cincinnati Style Chili Copycat Recipe
Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » Beef Recipes » Homemade Cincinnati Chili 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

Cincinnati Chili Recipe

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


6 people



  • 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.


Nutrition Facts
Cincinnati Chili Recipe
Amount Per Serving (2 cups)
Calories 322 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 93mg31%
Sodium 981mg43%
Potassium 951mg27%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 41g82%
Vitamin A 365IU7%
Vitamin C 9.1mg11%
Calcium 64mg6%
Iron 6.9mg38%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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.”

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

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


32 responses to “Homemade Cincinnati Chili Recipe”

  1. Chris Brown Avatar
    Chris Brown

    I’m from Cincinnati and the battle between Gold Star and Skyline is real…just watch the UCincinnati vs XavierU Shootout (basketball). I’m going to try using bone broth in my next making of chili. I do add a couple of smidges of cayenne pepper powder above the dark, smoke chili powder I add (red pepper flakes works too). If you don’t have tomato sauce, 6oz of tomato paste works too. The unsweet chocolate and cinnamon are key ingredients in our chili…if you don’t add those, it’s not Cincinnati Chili. Thanks for sharing your recipe, I’ll need to look up your Texas Chili recipe.

  2. Taylor Avatar

    4 stars
    Ms. Lapatina’s comments are useless, hurtful, and unnecessary. She is not inspiring wellness in the heart, body, or spirit and she might consider taking an extra 20 seconds to think over whether or not her words promote the betterment of others. I might suggest perusing this website for advice on supplements aiding in emotional stability and positive attitude.

    This recipe looks delicious and I can’t wait to give it a spin! Also, keeping with tradition, I must say that Skyline beats Goldstar every time.

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