Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for... Cincinnati-Style Chili

My husband is from Cincinnati, and one of the first things he wanted me to know about his great city is that Cincinnatians are incredibly proud of their food, especially their chili.  After my first trip to an original Skyline, I had to agree that there’s nothing like it. For someone like me, who grew up eating various concoctions of Two Alarm, the initial sensation when I took that first bite of Cincinnati-style chili was pleasant surprise.  It was like coming home on a cold day to a warm fire and a soft, cozy blanket.  Along with all of the spicy goodness that other kinds of chili have, Cincinnati-style has cinnamon, cloves, and allspice that give it a homey, autumn flavor.  There’s also another surprising ingredient – chocolate.  Perhaps this is what I love best about it.

It used to be that we only ate Cincinnati-style chili on special occasions, when a family member or friend would send us a package of Skyline Chili seasoning.  This all changed, however, when we discovered the recipe on the website, All Recipes. Now I bet we eat this chili at least once a month.  If we go longer than that, one of us starts to crave it!

I’ve included the Authentic Cincinnati Chili recipe from www.allrecipes.com, with a few changes of my own.

 Trish's Version of Authentic Cincinnati Chili

  • 2 pounds ground turkey (or you can use lean ground beef)
  • 1 quart water, or amount to cover
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (or if you like onions, you can add another)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate : )
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 5 whole allspice berries
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 can of kidney beans (optional)


  1. Place the ground turkey in a dutch oven, cover with about 1 quart of cold water, and simmer, stirring and breaking up the turkey with a fork to a fine texture until it separates.  Don't let the water boil, or cook the turkey through.  This process could take about 15 minutes on medium to low heat.
  2. After the ground turkey has been broken up into tiny pieces, place it and the rest of the ingredients in a crock pot.  Cook on low heat for approximately four hours.  '
  3. Thirty minutes to one hour, add the can of beans, if desired.
  4. Serve on a bed of spaghetti and cover with cheddar cheese.  
  5. Enjoy!


  1. This sounds amazing and I love you do it with turkey cause I don't eat beef! Totally going to nab this recipe.

  2. I am totally going to try adding chocolate, what a great idea! (came over from the A to Z Challenge) I didn't know about Cincinnati style chili, being from the South --it sounds cool!

    Came over from AtoZ challenge. My blog is http://www.pywacket.org/wordpress.

  3. Today is F, but -- yaay. I live in TN and I don't get to Kroger in Ohio very often (the only place I know to get CC envelopes).

    Thanks for posting this!

  4. This chili is one of our favorite meals. If we're having guests over, it's usually our go to meal because it's so good and easy to make. Hope you enjoy!