Cincinnati Chili

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The Famous Cincinnati Chili from Skyline Chili

Cincinnati Chili, made famous by Skyline Chili in Ohio, is a one-of-a-kind dish that will have your taste buds dancing. This chili is full of secret ingredients that make it distinctively flavorful. Whether you like it on spaghetti, a hot dog, or on its own, this Chili is the ultimate comfort food. With an array of toppings to choose from, Skyline Chili’s version of Chili is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

This unique Chili is a unique style of chili developed in Cincinnati, Ohio by the restaurant chain Skyline Chili. It is unlike other chili recipes as it is seasoned with a blend of spices and ingredients, including cinnamon, allspice, unsweetened chocolate, and Worcestershire sauce. It is usually served on top of spaghetti and topped with a variety of garnishes, such as shredded cheese, diced onions, kidney beans, and oyster crackers.

Cincinnati Chili has become popular throughout the region and beyond, thanks to its unique flavor profile. Skyline Chili alone has over 130 restaurants in the Cincinnati area and beyond. People come from all over to experience their famous chili. The original Skyline Chili recipe has been closely guarded since 1949 when the restaurant first opened.

Though traditional Chili is served with spaghetti, there are several ways you can enjoy it. The most popular variations are the two-way (just chili and spaghetti), three-way (chili, spaghetti, and cheese), four-way (chili, spaghetti, cheese, and onions), and five-way (chili, spaghetti, cheese, onions, and beans). If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also order a six-way (chili, spaghetti, cheese, onions, beans, and oyster crackers).

Not quite what you are looking for? Try these other great recipes:


Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnatti Chili

Cincinnati Chili – Here’s the official guide to the ways Skyline serves their chili:

    • 2-Way: Spaghetti, Chili

    • 3-Way: Spaghetti, Chili, Cheddar Cheese

    • 4-Way: Spaghetti, Chili, Cheddar Cheese, Onions OR Beans

    • 5-Way aka the works: Spaghetti, Chili, Cheddar Cheese, Onions AND Beans

  • Author: Culinary Hill
  • Prep Time: :05
  • Cook Time: :25
  • Total Time: :30
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 onions finely chopped (plus more for topping)
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • cooked spaghetti for serving
  • shredded cheese dark red kidney beans, finely chopped onions, and oyster crackers, for serving


  • In a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Cook onions until softened, about 5 minutes. 
  • Stir in chocolate, garlic, chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth, tomato sauce, vinegar, tomato paste, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Stir in beef and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper).
  • Serve over cooked spaghetti with desired toppings such as cheese, beans, onions, and crackers.


  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer: Cool and portion into freezer-safe containers, label and date. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
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