Cincinnati Chili in Northern NY

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I had been looking my latest Cooking Light issue over quite a bit over the weekend. Bookmarking recipes that I wanted to try. Looking for quick and easy meals to fix on the weeknights to make my night easier when I get home from work.
As soon as I saw the Cincinnati Turkey Chili recipe I knew I was going to make it. I loved the spice ingredients listed – chili powder, cumin, allspice, cinnamon and semi-sweet chocolate. Yup, chocolate. Sounded like there would be some sweet heat in there.

I cooked up the chili yesterday morning so when I got home last night all I would need to do would be boil the spaghetti. I had left the magazine open on the kitchen table and when I got home from work the questioning began:

Grumpy: What is so special about Cincinnati Chili?

HoneyB: Nothing, I just like the ingredients so I thought we would try it.

Grumpy: Yeah, there is chocolate in there, that is why you liked it.

HoneyB: Not necessarily…..ummm, yeah. Not really. (I’m secretly making this smug face because that was a big part of the reason I wanted to try this!)

Grumpy: What is with the spaghetti?

HoneyB: It’s Cincinnati style.

Grumpy: Well, we live in NY.

Ha ha ha. I told him to try it. If he didn’t like it I wouldn’t have to make it again.


Grumpy had two big bowls of this chili. Huh. I guess spaghetti under chocolate seasoned chili wasn’t so bad after all. πŸ˜‰

This is my submission for Presto Pasta Nights. This weeks roundup will be held this Friday by Sara of I’m a Food Blog.

If you would like the recipe for the Cincinnati Turkey Chili CLICK HERE. I did sub ground venison for the ground turkey. Still a lean meat so still a light dish!


  1. says

    I've heard of Cincinnati style chili and I have always wondered what the results were. Sounds like it is really tasty! Grumpy cracks me up, he judges the dish before eating it and then he ends up enjoying it hehehe

  2. says

    LOL, Jessie – that isn't always the case…but last night when I said "well, how is it" I got an immediate GOOD. Then he got up a little later and said "so good I'm having more." πŸ˜‰

  3. says

    I love Cincinnati style chili and it is one of our fall/winter favorites…. it is time to get it together again – YEAH! It may even be time for a quick trip to Steak & Shake for their version which is almost as good….. almost!

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. says

    Great photos. I started subscribing to Cooking Light….I'm going to look up this recipe. I didn't notice it in my magazine this month. I love the five way version with all of the toppings!

  5. says

    Oh wow, I fell in love with Cincinnati Chili (about 10 yrs ago) when I made it from a recipe card I had. I lovved it so much I swear to you I made it 3 times in 2 weeks! I don't make it as often now, lol. Yes it's been blogged too, but I don't make mine with turkey. It's also doesn't have chocolate in it (but my regular chili recipe does)…and you gotta have tone of onions and sharo cheddar on top! Mmm! =)

  6. Maryellen Olson says

    I love Cincinnati chili. I grew up in illinois, and had an aunt and uncle in Cincinnati who would bring us the packets/cans of it. I became veggie about 2 years ago, and my mom actually made me vegetarian Cincinnati chili for the first time a few weeks ago when I was home! I was thrilled.
    Yours looks amazing! :)

  7. says

    I am from Cincinnati. I have made these from scratch recipes before and the chili is not the same but it is still delicious. You can buy packets of the spice mix which make the chili far more authentic. I use tvp when I make it. And lots more cheese than is pictured here. You want to pile it up high like a little cheese wig on top of your chili. Then you cut through the layers with your fork -no twirling like you would normally eat spaghetti. This is also good over a hotdog with mustard and onion – known as a cheese coney.

  8. says

    Thanks everyone! Grumpy loved it so much he ate it a 2nd night.

    Lnwn – this is a Cooking Light recipe so it is made for those who will be watching the amount of calories one will consume. However, if I wasn't dieting – I wouldn't be adverse to having way more cheese on top! I would love to use TVP but that won't go over well w/ Grumpy. πŸ˜‰

  9. says

    haha I had to laugh when I read your conversation. I could imagine the same exact thing happening between my husband and I.

    I have always wanted to try this and have seen it popping up in various places lately so I think it's about time I do. And Lnwn suggestions totally made my mouth water. Yum!

  10. says

    don't you love this month's edition, the recipes are great! i really want to try this chili, i have never made a dinner with chocolate in it before, it looks amazing!

  11. says

    Very nice photos.

    I've heard about chile served this way but I've never had it.

    Not sure when I'll be able to make it but it's on my list of "things to cook soon"!

  12. says

    Well, you'll have to come visit and we'll take you out for Cincinnati chili here in Cincinnati! Although yours looks pretty darn good too, and a wee bit healthier.

    Just a fun fact for you, don't know if the recipe mentioned it but what you have there is called a "5-way", meaning 5 ingredients… chili, cheese, onions, beans, and spaghetti. A 4-way is spaghetti with chili and cheese and your choice of onions or beans and a 3-way is just spag with chili and cheese. If you go to one of the chili joints here and say you want a 3-way, they'll know just what you mean.

    So anyway, I'm rambling here but I got excited seeing your chili. It looks fantastic!

  13. says

    Seeing as how NY doesn't HAVE it's own chili, I suppose this will have to do. What a great dish! I love all of the spices in here, especially the chocolate. That would make it a must-have for me as well.

  14. Heather says

    My Husband first introduced me to Cincinnati style spaghetti and I must say…I love IT! It's even better the next day (=^-^=)

  15. says

    Yumm! you just made me want some chili! I just discovered the joy of chocolate in chili too. I can't believe what it does to the flavor!

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