Homemade Cincinnati Chili

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. Cook: 5 hours


10 servings (2-1/2 quarts)

Updated: Apr. 20, 2023
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
Homemade Cincinnati Chili Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 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


  1. In a Dutch oven, cook beef and onions over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain.
  2. 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.
  3. Serve with spaghetti. If desired, serve with cheese and green onions.

Can you freeze Homemade Cincinnati Chili?

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.