Slow Cooker Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili
Cincinnati Chili. Steven Mark Needham/Corbis/Getty Images
  • 6 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 6 hrs
  • Yield: 6 Servings

This popular chili is also known as "Skyline Chili," a Cincinnati specialty. The slow cooker makes it an easy preparation.

The chili is traditionally served on hot cooked spaghetti with toppings. This version includes beans in the chili mixture instead of topping. See the tips below the recipe for traditional toppings.  Serve with saltines or oyster crackers.

What You'll Need

  • Spice Mixture:
  • 5 whole allspice
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Chili:
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (6 ounces) can tomato paste
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoon  chili powder
  • 2 large  cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (crushed)
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa (unsweetened)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 pound thin spaghetti
  • Garnish: chopped onions
  • Garnish: shredded cheddar cheese

How to Make It

Combine the whole allspice, cloves, and bay leaf in a garni bag or make a cheesecloth bag to hold them.

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, stirring and turning until it is no longer pink. Transfer the ground beef to the slow cooker. Discard excess fat.

Add water to the slow cooker along with the tomato paste, chopped onion, chili powder, garlic, kosher salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, red pepper, cocoa, Worcestershire sauce, and the cheesecloth bag with spices.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours; add the drained kidney beans the last hour.

About 15 minutes before the chili is done, cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water following the package directions. Drain well.

Serve the chili over the hot drained spaghetti and top with chopped onions and shredded cheese.

The sauce may also be used as a chili dog sauce.

Makes about 6 servings.


Two-Way Chili - The chili mixure is served on spaghetti.

Three-Way Chili - The chili and spaghetti are topped with shredded cheddar cheese.

Four-Way Chili - Chopped onions are added to the topping.

Five-Way Chili - Kidney beans are added to the toppings. The above version includes kidney beans, but feel free to leave them out and add them to the toppings.

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