Cincinnati Chili

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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1 tablespoon olive oil

2 white onions, chopped 

2 pounds ground beef (85% lean) 

5 cups beef stock 

Two 8-ounce cans tomato sauce 

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped 

2 tablespoons chili powder 

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1 teaspoon ground cumin 

1 teaspoon salt 

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 

Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 

2 cloves garlic, minced 

1 bay leaf 

Toppings and Combinations: (optional)

Spaghetti, cooked

Cheddar cheese, very finely shredded

White onion, chopped 

Canned kidney beans, warmed

Hot dogs

Hot dog buns

Yellow mustard


  1. Heat a large pot over a medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and onions and stir. Add the ground beef and cook until well caramelized. Deglaze the pot with 1 cup of the beef stock. Add the remaining 4 cups stock and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato sauce, chocolate, chili powder, vinegar, Worcestershire, cinnamon, cumin, salt, cayenne, allspice, cloves, garlic and bay leaf. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.
  3. To create your own Cincinnati chili experience, try serving the chili in any of these combinations:
  4. Classic 2-Way: chili and spaghetti
  5. Classic 3-Way: chili and cheese
  6. Classic 4-Way: add onions or kidney beans
  7. Classic 5-Way: add onions and kidney beans
  8. Cheese Coney: on a hot dog with yellow mustard and cheddar (onions, optional!)