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Homemade Cincinnati Chili

The chocolate in this recipe threw me off at first, but now it's the only way I make chili. You'll find layers of delicious flavor in this heartwarming dish. It's well worth the time it takes! —Joyce Alm, Thorp, Washington
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Cook: 5 hours
  • Makes
    10 servings (2-1/2 quarts)


  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Hot cooked spaghetti
  • Optional: Shredded cheddar cheese and sliced green onions


  • In a Dutch oven, cook beef and onions over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain.
  • In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the beans, tomato sauce, broth, chili powder, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chocolate, cinnamon, cumin, salt, oregano, pepper and cloves. Stir in beef mixture. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until heated through.
  • Serve with spaghetti. If desired, serve with cheese and green onions.
  • Freeze Option: Freeze cooled chili in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally; add broth or water if necessary. Serve with spaghetti. If desired, serve with cheese and green onions.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 358 calories, 14g fat (6g saturated fat), 67mg cholesterol, 1141mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 7g fiber), 33g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Rhonda
    Jan 2, 2020

    No comment left

  • pam
    Dec 8, 2019

    okay but way too much chili powder. all i taste is chili powder. next time i will start w 1 tablespoon and adjust. also cutting back on worcestershire sauce and vinegar.

  • flohel
    Nov 30, 2019

    No comment left

  • Sherrill
    Nov 27, 2019

    This was yummy! No changes were made; interesting flavor. Will make again

  • Steve
    Nov 26, 2019

    It looks good, it still not the real recipes.

  • kygal2009
    Nov 26, 2019

    My family gives it a 5 but I despise it! The cinnamon and cloves do it in for me. I'm a vegetarian and used to get Gold Star's vegetarian but they changed the recipe and it tastes like the regular chili so I don't eat it anymore. The chocolate gives it a pretty color.

  • Donna
    Nov 26, 2019

    I am a native Cincinnatian and I have made this chili and enjoyed it at several of our chili parlors for most of my life. While the spices are near to right there are a few things completely off about this recipe. First off you NEVER brown the meat first. It gets cooked in the sauce until tender. You don't add beans to the actual chili, it goes on top. If you want to try really good Cincinnati style chilli either come here or buy a Cincinnati chili seasoning packet and follow the directions. It's pretty close to the truth.

  • mazie400
    Nov 26, 2019

    This is not authentic Cincinnati Chili. Call it something else. There is no vinegar or Worcestershire sauce in the real deal. It may be good, but call it something else.

  • rebelwithoutaclue
    Nov 26, 2019

    Skyline is different than many versions of Cincy Chili. Skyline has no chili powder, meat is boiled, chilled and skimmed . Cocoa pwr or unsweet chocolate are both ok to use. Beans are a topping not an ingredient.

  • MilWife4Life
    Nov 26, 2019

    I have yet to make this recipe myself and will use beefless crumbles. (Vegetarian 'beef'.) As a gal that actually worked/managed a Skyline Chili restaurant from '96-'00, you cannot create an original but you may come close. I will be trying this and see how it comes out! (With the beans and onions AND if you add cheese, it's a 5 way!)