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Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili is a soupier version compared to traditional chili and has Mediterranean/Greek seasonings such as cinnamon, allspice and paprika. It is also made without beans and is served over spaghetti topped with diced white onion and lots of shredded Cheddar. A dish originating by immigrants to Cincinnati, it is often used to top hot dogs (as Coney dogs) and can be served with oyster crackers.

MAKES 6 Servings - PREP TIME 15 min - COOK TIME 1 hr - TOTAL TIME 1hr 15 min



  • 1 sweet green pepper, seeded and quartered

  • 1 stalk celery, cut into chunks

  • 1 onion, quartered

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil

  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) chili powder

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) EACH ground cinnamon and cumin

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) EACH smoked sweet paprika and unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ½ tsp (2 mL) EACH salt and ground cayenne and allspice

  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) ground cloves and pepper

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 can (796 mL) crushed tomatoes

  • 4 cups (1 L) beef stock

  • 2 lb (1 kg) Lean Ground Beef

  • 10 oz (300 g) dry spaghetti


  • 2 cups (500 mL) shredded Cheddar cheese

  • 1 cup (250 mL) minced white onion

1. Combine green pepper, celery, onion and garlic in a food processor; pulse until finely minced.

2. Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add minced vegetable mixture and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened and translucent. Add chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, smoked paprika, cocoa powder, salt, cayenne, allspice, cloves, pepper and bay leaves; cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

3. Stir in crushed tomatoes and beef stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Add ground beef and return to a simmer, using back of spoon to break up meat into small chunks.

4. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chili is thickened and flavours are blended. Discard bay leaves.

5. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions until al dente. Drain well.

6. Divide spaghetti among shallow warmed serving bowls and top with chili. Garnish with cheese and white onions.

For the original recipe, click here.


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