Cincinnati Style Chili – homemade imitation Skyline Chili

Well, one of my favorite foods is Skyline Chili. Given that I don’t like processed foods and am trying (hard) to move further and further away from them, and given the price of Skyline Chili in cans at the store (we don’t live in Ohio), I made this to satisfy a craving a week ago.

I made a small batch because I was unsure how it would go over. I plan on doubling it next time. I compiled this from exploring many recipes online and combining them.

I used:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pound ground meat (used turkey, but beef is traditional)
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp Worcester Sauce
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2T chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder (this makes a decently hot chili – if you like mild, I would cut back on this).
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1T cider vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp cloves ( I use freshly ground with mortar and pestle).
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

I put everything in the pot and stirred. You do not precook the meat. Just set everything on medium and let it simmer for a few hours. Easy.


A couple hours later, I stirred it and blended with a stick blender.

IMG_2138 IMG_2139

And a couple hours later it was going dry, so I took a stick blender to it in the pan to get a great texture.

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You can see I didn’t clean up while I was cooking – all my spices are still out.

First I layered it on some cooked spaghetti:



Then I smothered it in cheese!

IMG_2143Such an amazing comfort food! (Technically it traditionally uses a much finer grated cheese, but this is what I had in my fridge already.) Many people will also add cooked beans, or raw onion, or both as a topping (but not cooked into the chili).

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