Cincinnati Chili

I’ll be honest.  I’m a born and bred Southern girl, and never had I heard of putting chili on spaghetti.  You put spaghetti sauce on spaghetti.  Or, if you are feeling fancy, maybe some white sauce, but not chili.  So, when Biz from started talking about ‘‘, I was intrigued.  When she said, chili with no beans, I was sold.  I wanted to give her Cincinnati Chili a try.  And yes, Biz, I went and put green onions all over it 😉

Cincinnati Chili 

adapted from  and
  • 1.5 pounds ground turkey (or ground beef)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat and cook onions until softened. 
  2. Add garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, salt and pepper, cooking until fragrant (just a minute or two). Add ground turkey, breaking it up into small pieces. *I cooked my turkey until almost done before adding in #3, however, for traditional Cincinnati chili, ground beef (or in my case, turkey) is supposed to cook in the boiling broth.
  3. Stir in chicken broth, tomato sauce, and vinegar.
  4. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chili is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
To serve – Can be served over spaghetti, with toppings of choice.  
According to ‘‘….
Cincinnati chili lovers order their chili by number. Two, Three, Four, or Five Way.”

Two-Way Chili:   Chili served on spaghetti
Three-Way Chili:   Additionally topped with shredded Cheddar cheese
Four-Way Chili:   Additionally topped with chopped onions
Five-Way Chili:   Additionally topped with kidney beans

Verdict? This was delicious.  A little different than what I am used to, but delicious all the same.  This is why I love reading food blogs! You learn so much about how others view food, what their traditions are, and about how different regions have their own ‘specialties’. I don’t think about foods varying very much just from state to state, but they do.  Plus, I wasn’t exposed to much more than meat and potatoes growing up! I guess Eastern NC is known for their BBQ (pork, of course).  Not sure what else?!
What foods are most popular where you live?  Feel free to leave links, recipes, etc!
I’m linking up today with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ., ,

10 thoughts on “Cincinnati Chili

  1. I grew up in ky and we always had our chili on spaghetti. Sky line and gold star are like our version of bojangles!

  2. Cincinnati style chili is a huge fave of mine. I'll have to try this recipe – looks simpler than some others I've seen!

  3. YUM – this looks good! There's nothing wrong with adding some extra carbs to chili! I'm from the Philly area, where we love our cheese steaks!

  4. I'm going to love this, I love pasta with anything. I am a new follower and would love for you to visit me, I am hosting my 1st link party and would love for you to link your Cincinnati Style Chili at
    See you there.
    Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile

  5. Wowie that looks delicious! I have made Cinn Chili once in the past but it was too fussy for me. I like your recipe much better 🙂 Thank you and I'm pinning this. Have a great week!

  6. Glad you liked this Kim!!

    Yep, my grandpa was from Eastern N.C. – no barbecue sauce on the pork – its cooked with vinegar, crushed red pepper and Tabasco. The first time I made it for my husband he was like "where's the bbq sauce?!" And then proceeded to ruin it by putting K.C. Masterpiece on top. 🙁 And we always but coleslaw on the pork sandwich too. 😀

  7. Oh yes, vinegar based sauce is a must! I like a vinegar-based cole slaw too. It's funny that you have eastern NC ties as well – it's a small world sometimes!

  8. Growing up in Northeastern Wisconsin, I never heard of chili NOT with spaghetti noodles until I went to college in Western Wisconsin and met peeps from Minnesota. I love it both ways now! I like the 2,3,4,and 5-way description of chili that you've posted here.

  9. Thanks for stopping by! We put chili (without beans) on hot dogs and hamburgers 🙂 Of course, my husband likes it on cheese toast…and that was a new one on me when we got married. I'm definitely digging the spaghetti noodle version!

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