Sarah Anstett’s Cincinnati Chili Recipe

Serves: 6 to 8

2 lbs lean ground beef
4 onions, small diced, divided (some is for the chili, some for the topping)
2 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
3 cups water
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1½ tablespoon distilled vinegar
¼ cup chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
5 bay leaves
2-3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup kidney beans (optional)

Brown beef with onions (reserving one cup) and garlic in a large skillet over medium high heat, stirring to crumble, and drain excess fat. Place browned mixture in a large pot and stir in the tomato sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, salt, black pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, allspice, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. If using beans, add them now. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.

Serve over spaghetti with reserved onions, and finely shredded, mild cheddar cheese, or over hot dogs with mustard, onions and cheese. This chili is also great over French fries or baked potatoes.

To store: Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days, or freeze for up to two months.

“Ways” to order Cincinnati Chili
Two-way:     spaghetti and chili
Three-way:   spaghetti, chili, and cheese
Four-way:     spaghetti, chili, onions, and cheese

6 Responses

  1. Don

    My son and I would drive from Dayton Ohio to Cinci just so we could have skyline chilli for supper. Now live in Mi no skyline chilli

    1. Sarah Nasello

      Hi Don! My sister-in-law’s recipe is pretty spot-on and I hope you have success with it at home. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

    2. Anonymous

      Check your local grocery freezer section, maybe? They carry it here in South Carolina at our Publix . They gotta have enough Bucks in Michigan to get it for you, even though you are in Wolverine Country.

  2. TM

    Just saw this on North Dakota Today this morning – wife is a Dayton native so I’m very well familiar with the Cincinnati chili. 5-way semi-inverted, smothered in hot sauce is my fave! Sadly, her parents moved out of OH so we don’t get back there anymore. I miss that Skyline! Even the canned or frozen stuff doesn’t compare to dining in. Since I’ve dragged her up north, we’ve tried a few different recipes online, and all have been alright – will now have to give this one a shot! Thanks!

    1. Sarah Nasello

      Hi Trevour – I’m sorry we missed seeing your comment sooner, and thank you for posting it. We don’t have any direct family living in Cincinnati anymore, either, so I’m doubly glad that my sister-in-law lives here now. Every now and then she’ll go back to visit her family and always brings some Skyline home with her, but I think I like her made-from-scratch version even better. Hope you enjoy it, too! All our best and happy cooking, Sarah and Tony

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