Lauren's Cincinnati Chili

Lauren's Cincinnati Chili

Lauren 4

"I have searched far and wide for a recipe that compares to Goldstar or Skyline chili, to no avail. Finally, I took a number of decent recipes and blended them together with the help of a former Goldstar Chili employee. It's still not the same, but it feeds my cravings. The most important things about the chili is how you prepare the beef and the cinnamon and chocolate. I recommend refrigerating the chili overnight. It always tastes better the next day."

Ingredients 3 h 20 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 301 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 8 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 301 kcal
  • 15%
  • Fat:
  • 17.1 g
  • 26%
  • Carbs:
  • 11.1g
  • 4%
  • Protein:
  • 25.9 g
  • 52%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 78 mg
  • 26%
  • Sodium:
  • 808 mg
  • 32%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  1. Cook the beef and onion in a large skillet over medium high heat, breaking up beef into tiny pieces, just until meat is no longer pink. Drain and place in a large Dutch oven or slow cooker. Stir in the water, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, tomato sauce, and chocolate. Simmer over medium low heat for 3 to 5 hours.
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Reviews 22

  1. 29 Ratings


One of the best 'cincy-substitute" chili recipes I've seen. I know skyline uses a mild cheddar, but I've found if I use a bar of Kraft medium cheddar very finely shredded it somehow taste more like the real thing. Oyster crackers are a must, and I used a bit less chocolate. I like my chili 5-way so I used a lot of onions and kidney beans too. Yummy! I wish people would understand that it is meant to taste the way it does- it is based on a greek recipe. It is delicious, and to me I can't even make regular spicy chili without at least a dash of cinammon- it is not chili w/ out it. Skyline does serve hot sauce on the side so if you are into really hot chili, just add some tobasco and it is still counted as authentic. Also, true Cincy chili is meant to be served in your choice of 3,4 or 5-way. A basic 5-way is this: make the recipe. Heat some Kidney beans. Cook some spaghetti. Put spaghetti on plate and top with kidney beans, add "sauce" (this chili recipe), top with finely shredded mild or medium cheddar, and finely diced onions. Subtract toppings to arrive at a 3 or 4 way chili. Serve with oyster crackers and tobasco. That is how this recipe is meant to be used, and it is great as is. I guess you have to be a Cincy native or frequent visitor to get it... You can take the girl from the City but the cravings are always with you. So thanks for this recipe it will keep them at bay until my next visit :).

Tim Crawford

You should not brown the meat. Place raw ground meat directly into cold water. Use a whisk and blend the meat into the water so it's like soup. The chili is supposed to be watery, that's why it served with oyster crackers. So don't boil it down too much. Also the spaghetti is over cooked on purpose. Cook a good 20 minutes and do not rinse. Do not add oil or butter to the noodles. I know this seems wrong, but that's the way it's served.


I made this chili for a chili cookoff at work; thinking if I made something "different" I might actually win or place well. Boy, the only thing I was is sorry. This chili is terrible; the spices over power anything else. I was very disappointed as it smelled so good when it was cooking. The longer the chili cooks the more powerful all the spices become. I will not make this again.