Cincinnati Chili

This recipe for Cincinnati-Style Chili is an adaptation from an old cooking light recipe. This spicy-sweet chili is flavored with a little cinnamon and chocolate to make it special. Serve it over hot spaghetti noodles (or spaghetti squash if you are watching your carbs!) and top it off with onions and cheese. Super easy and super delicious!

Cincinnati Chili

Trying Cincinnati Chili

The first time I made Cincinnati Chili was back in 2009 when I was exploring all kinds of recipes to blog about. I was always a foodie, but never much of an enthusiastic foodie until I started food blogging. Chili Dogs have always been a favorite food of mine and upon reading about different ways to make chili, I found out that the Coney Dog (which I have never officially had one of) is basically a Mediterranean spiced meat sauce over a hot dog. In the next sentence I read that Cincinnati Chili is basically the same thing, only served on top of spaghetti instead!

Cincinnati Chili

Before I made this recipe, I had never put chocolate or cinnamon in my chili. This is the conversation I had with Grumpy the first time we ever ate this:

Grumpy: What is so special about Cincinnati Chili?

Me: Nothing, I just like the ingredients so I thought we would try it. (note chocolate and cinnamon)

Grumpy: Yeah, there is chocolate in there, that is why you liked it.

Me: Not necessarily…..ummm, yeah. Not really. (Secretly making this smug face because that was a big part of the reason I wanted to try this!)

Grumpy: What is with the spaghetti?

Me: It’s Cincinnati style.

Grumpy: Well, we live in NY.

Ha ha ha. I told him to try it. If he didn’t like it I wouldn’t have to make it again.

Cincinnati Chili

Pretty basic ingredients until you get to the spices. The original recipe does call for allspice. I didn’t have any, so I didn’t use it. However, I did have this fantastic chocolate I received in my complimentary Roost Crate package!

The Chocolate

Cincinnati Chili

This chocolate is ah-mazing! I have been storing it in my refrigerator and nibbling it a little bit at a time to savor the smooth, salty chocolate deliciousness! When making my Cincinnati Chili, I knew this would be an excellent addition for the chocolate part of the recipe!

The essentials

You will need red kidney beans, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, onions, bell pepper, garlic, tomato paste and chili spices.

Cincinnati Chili

Easy Stove-top Cooking!

This is an easy recipe made right on your stove-top all in one pot!

Cincinnati Chili

The final look in the pot!

I love how rich and delicious this chili turned out. Not too spicy, with the warming cinnamon and comforting chocolate. Pure satisfaction.

Cincinnati Chili

Having fun with your food!

Be sure if you’re eating spaghetti, that you twirl your fork to wrap the spaghetti around it and always attempt to get some of the delicious toppings with it!

Cincinnati-Style Chili

Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati-Style Chili in New York

This spicy-sweet chili is flavored with a little cinnamon and chocolate to make it special. Serve it over hot spaghetti noodles or spaghetti squash!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chili, chocolate, Cincinnatti Style, Cinnamon, Pasta, Stew
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 482kcal


  • 4 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 12 ounces ground beef
  • 3/4 cups onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 3 large cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1-15- ounce can kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1-14.5- ounce) can diced tomatoes undrained
  • 2 ounces chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup 3 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro if desired


  • Cook spaghetti according to package instructions.
  • In a hot dutch oven, cook ground beef, onions, garlic, and green peppers until meat is browned. Drain any fat from meat. Place pot back on stove and stir in spices. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add broth, beans, brown sugar, and tomatoes. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Serve chili over spaghetti. Top with cheese, onions, and cilantro (if desired).


The serving size indicated for nutritional information is for 4 people with about 1/2 cup spaghetti, 1-1/2 cups chili, 2 tablespoons onion, and 3 tablespoons cheese.
Cilantro use is optional and used by my preference. This was not a listed ingredient in the original recipe.
Nutrition information calculated using myfitnesspal is provided as a courtesy, but will vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients you use. Please consult with your doctor regarding specific health needs.


Serving: 1/4 recipe | Calories: 482kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 752mg | Potassium: 808mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1822IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 255mg | Iron: 5mg


About the Author: Shelby Law Ruttan

Shelby is the author/owner of Grumpy's Honeybunch. Established in 2007, she shares and preserves family recipes as well as recipes for cooking light and keto. She is an experienced, self-taught home cook who loves to share recipes with others. You can see her work on websites such as Veal Made Easy, Parade, Community Table, SoFab Food, Yummly, and FoodGawker.


  1. Nicole @ Crazed Mom September 11, 2016 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    Mmm I remembered you mentioned a recipe going up today and I am SO GLAD I came to check it out. This looks and sounds amazing!

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Shelby Welcome! I'm Shelby, author of Grumpy's Honeybunch. I have been sharing family favorite recipes since 2007. I started the Keto Diet in October 2017 and since then I have been creating Keto ... read more

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