Heather’s Cincinnati Chili Recipe

 Heather’s Cincinnati Chili

I moved to Ohio 17 years ago, and my first taste of Cincinnati chili did not go well. But now I’m addicted to it!

Cincinnati chili is one of the most interesting dishes you’ll ever taste. It’s not like any chili you’ve ever had it incorporates cinnamon, cocoa powder, and tons of other spices, and it’s served on spaghetti with a whole lotta cheese! I love it.


  • 3 ½ cups of water
  • 1 pound of lean hamburger
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 onion, minced
  • ½ teaspoon of onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons of chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ¾ teaspoon of allspice
  • One 3-ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon of liquid smoke
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • Garnish and serve with: see options in directions


Crumble the raw hamburger into the water (do not brown it beforehand) in a large pot. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 2 hours, stirring and mashing with a potato masher every 30 minutes.

After the chili has finished simmering, remove the bay leaves.

Now it’s time to serve! For a three-way, serve over spaghetti and top with shredded mild cheddar cheese. 

For a four-way, add drained kidney beans or diced onions. For a five-way, add all of the above! This chili can also be served over hot dogs and buns to make a Cincinnati Coney!


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