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Cincinnati Chili


I thought it was high time that the original recipe for Cincinnati chili take a little trip to Illinois and spend some time with me here in my Kudos Kitchen. 🙂

What can I say? If you don’t already know me, let me explain a little something to you. I, can’t, not, play around with a recipe and make it my own.

Cincinnati Chili Recipe

*Disclaimer – This recipe was originally published in 2014. I’m working hard to update all my older recipes with recipe cards and additional recipe information, but getting to all of them will take time. Please bear with me. In the meantime let me assure you that this recipe is still a winner and one I’m sure you’ll be well pleased with when you make it at home.

I adapted this recipe from a cookbook by Marlene Koch called “Eat More Of What You Love” and it’s almost completely changed from its original form. As always, to me, cookbooks are just a starting point.

After that, I let my creativity take over!  It’s what keeps cooking fun and exciting for me and so it never ever gets boring!

Cincinnati Chili Recipe

When reading through the ingredients, don’t let the unusual list of herbs and spices scare you away.

Some of them may seem strange to you when cooking a savory dish, but let me guarantee that they all work deliciously together.

There is an amazing depth of smoky-sweet flavor here that will wake up each and every one of your taste buds! I completely guarantee it!

Servings: 8              Prep time: 20 minutes              Bake time: 20 minutes

1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium red pepper, seeded and medium chopped
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 29 ounce can tomato puree
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
1  16 ounce box Rotini pasta that has been cooked and drained
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 – 5 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

-In a large Dutch oven, over medium/high heat, cook the bacon until just shy of crumbly. Drain off some (but not all) of the bacon grease.

-Add in the ground beef and cook until slightly browned, stirring occasionally.

-Add in the chopped onion, garlic and red pepper. Cook the mixture an additional 3-4 minutes and then reduce the heat to medium/low, stirring occasionally.

-Add the next 10 ingredients and stir well to combine.

-Carefully add the tomato puree, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and beef broth. Cover and stir occasionally. Simmer on low for 10 minutes.

-Prepare a 9×13 casserole dish by spraying with cooking spray and layer in the cooked Rotini pasta.

-Ladle the chili sauce evenly over the cooked pasta and top with the cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes and sprinkle the green onions over the top just before serving.


Thank you so much for visiting me here today in my Kudos Kitchen!

Should you have any questions or comments regarding this recipe or anything else you’ve seen on my site, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. It is always my distinct pleasure to get back with a reply just as soon as I possibly can!


Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!

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Hani Bacova

Thursday 10th of October 2013

Wow, this looks like it is packed with flavor, espresso powder? That sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing Renee.

Stephanie Parker

Wednesday 9th of October 2013

I've never had Cincinnati Chili - this looks delicious!