Cincinnati Chili is one of those "try something new" kind of meals. It will quickly become a family favorite that you'll want to make over and over again. It's a super simple, totally delicious dish that you can add little changes to if you want to put your own spin on it.
What is Cincinnati Chili?
Cincinnati Chili is most definitely different from other, more traditional types of chili. The use of spices such as cinnamon and allspice give Cincinnati Chili a distinct flavor that your family will love! It also has a thinner a thinner consistency and the meat is cooked differently. In this recipe, we'll top it with cheese and serve it over spaghetti noodles, though there are other ways to eat it.
Which spices do I use when making Cincinnati Chili? Along with the expected chili powders, cumin, and onion powder, you'll add a few unexpected ingredients: cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. These non-traditional spices give Cincinnati Chili it's distinct and layered flavor.
Are beans added to Cincinnati Chili? NO! You do not add beans to the chili, but some people like to serve them on top of it.
Can I use pre-shredded cheese? You can, but the cheese doesn't taste as sharp and it won't melt as easily. I must stress the importance of shredding your own cheese from the block. I use my box grater for smaller amounts or my salad shooter to do a full 8 oz block at a time. Trust me--shred your own cheese one time and you'll never go back to the bagged variety.
Do I brown the meat when making Cincinnati Chili? Traditionally, no you don't. However, for this recipe, you do. This will prevent any large chunks of meat from being under-cooked. It will also help ensure there are no big pools of grease in your slow cooker.
How do I serve Cincinnati Chili? Serve Cincinnati Chili over spaghetti, alone in a bowl, or on a hot dog (called a "coney"). Suggested toppings for Cincinnati Chili include cheese (lots of it!), diced onions, beans (kidney or pinto), and oyster crackers.
Slow Cooker Cincinnati Chili
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon all-spice
- ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 12 oz spaghetti noodles
- 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 small yellow or white onion, diced
- Add ground turkey to skillet or multi-cooker and use a wooden spoon or spatula to break apart. Brown over medium high heat and continue to stir and break apart so that no large chunks remain
- Before turkey is fully cooked, add all dried spices and mix together well as turkey continues to cook
- Transfer to slow cooker and add tomato sauce and diced bell pepper
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8
- Cook spaghetti according to package directions
- Serve spaghetti topped with chili then add desired toppings such as cheese and chopped onions