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  • Writer's pictureJanine Faber

5-Way Cincinnati Chili: Our Super Bowl Dinner

If you are not from Cincinnati, have you every tried Cincinnati Chili? And if you are from Cincinnati, have you ever made your own Cincinnati Chili or do yo always get Skyline or Gold Star Chili?

I'm not originally from Cincinnati, so when I first moved to the area, my boyfriend (now husband) took me to Skyline Chili to experience this local favorite. Chili with cinnamon and allspice served over spaghetti? It was different, but I enjoyed it. Then, my mother-in-law shared with me her homemade recipe (below) and I love it. I always make it for Super Bowl Sunday and then create a Cincinnati Chili bar where we can add our own toppings: cheddar cheese, kidney beans, diced onions and oyster crackers - the typical toppings. Adding all of these topping makes it a "5-Way Chili".

Making this dinner brings back great memories. We adopted our son 5 years ago. He was born on January 27th and we were right there at the hospital with his birthmother. We brought him home on January 30th. My parents were in town to help and I remember our son sleeping in his bouncy seat next to me while we all ate this Cincinnati Chili while watching the Super Bowl - Seahawks vs. Broncos.

And now I have my California-born-and-raised brother-in-law requesting this recipe every time he visits, so it must be good!

5 Way Cincinnati Chili

2 large onions, diced

1 ½ lb. of lean ground beef

1 garlic clove, minced

1 T. chili powder

1 t. ground allspice

1 t. ground cinnamon

1 t. cumin

1 t. ground red pepper, optional

½ t. salt

15 oz. can low-sodium tomato sauce

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

1 T. vinegar

16 oz. package whole wheat spaghetti

15 ¼ oz. can no salt added kidney beans, rinse and drained, heated through

¼ lb. sharp cheddar cheese

Oyster crackers


  1. About 1 ½ hours before serving: Reserve half of the diced onion for serving with chili later. In a 12-inch skillet, cook ground beef, garlic and remaining onion over medium-high heat until cooked through, stirring often. Drain fat.

  2. Stir in chili powder, allspice, cinnamon, cumin, ground red pepper, and salt and cook 1 minute. Add in tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and ½ cup water; stir. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally.

  3. Closer to serving time, cook and drain pasta.

  4. Serve by placing pasta on a plate, adding chili and then topping with onions, kidney beans and/or cheddar cheese. Serve with a side of oyster crackers.

Source: Adapted from the recipe my Mother-In-Law shared with me from Better Homes and Gardens

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