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I grew up in Cleveland, but we still had “access” to Cincinnati Chili via Skyline.  When I was younger, I didn’t care for the chili and would get buttered spaghetti when we went although I really did like that, their greek salad, and the oyster crackers. 😉  Later, I evolved enough to order a 3-way (spaghetti, chili, and a big lucious mound of cheese), but I still ask for the chili on the side, because it is a very strong flavor, so I like it in smaller quantities then what they give you.

However, I decided I wanted to try a homemade version, and this ended up very well and fairly authentic tasting.  One thing that I would recommend is to make sure you use regular paprika and not smoked.  I didn’t think it would have a huge impact (it was all we had on hand), but I realize I’m just not the world’s biggest smoked paprika fan!

Cincinnati Chili

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 cups water
  • 12 oz tomato paste
  • 1 ¾ tsp onion powder
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mild paprika
  • ½ tsp hot or Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp all-spice
  • ¾ tsp celery seed
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ½ tsp ground clove
  • 1 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • Pasta
  • Cheddar Cheese
Brown ground beef in olive oil, then add water, spices and tomato paste. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally and replacing water as needed. Add chocolate and continue simmering for 1 hour, stirring occasionally and replacing water as needed.
Serve over pasta and top with cheese, beans, and/or onions depending on your preferences!

Recipe found at: and a cookie for dessert