Cincinnati Chili {Skyline CopyCat}

Happy Saturday!  Today is our most anticipated game of the year.  We geeked out last night (like we do every Friday night before this game) and watched “The Rivalry: Ohio State vs. Michigan”.  And I cried a little during the show, just like every time.  I have a slew of Buckeyes ready to take to our friend’s house, and everyone is in their colors.  So today I say unto you…O-H!


Mike’s whole family if from Cleveland, but he and his sisters were born in Arizona.  So to give him a little treat, and make up for the fact that I lived in Ohio for a bit and he’s never been, I made him some copycat Skyline Chili.  It’s almost spot on.  Mike was a little freaked out by the cocoa powder taste, but that’s how it is.  You’ve got to go big or go home with the traditional toppings on this recipe – just don’t forget the spaghetti!


Cincinnati Chili

One Year Ago: Tostada Pizza

Two Years Ago: Cake Batter Cookies & Chocolate Frosting


Cincinnati Chili

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 35 minutes
Servings 6
Author adapted from Skyline Chili


  • 4 cups cold water
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 2 yellow onions diced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt


  • Cooked spaghetti
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Oyster crackers


  1. Add beef and water to a large pot (4-quarts or more). Bring to a simmer, use a spoon to break the ground beef into little pieces. Continue cooking for 30 minutes. Add in remaining ingredients and mix well to combine.
  2. Cook uncovered on low heat for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add water as needed if chili becomes too thick.
  3. Serve chili over cooked spaghetti and top with cheddar cheese and oyster crackers.



  1. Carolyn says

    This is a really good recipe. Please note that true Cincinnati chili can be served many ways: bowl-chili in a bowl; 2 way-chili and spaghetti; 3 way -chili, spaghetti, cheese; 4 way- chili, spaghetti, cheese and either onions or beans; 5 way- chili, spaghetti, cheese, onions, beans. My personal favorite is the 5 way with some oyster crackers.

  2. Elsie says

    Authentic Cincinnati Chili uses Hershey’s chocolate bars not cocoa powder. Maybe that will take out the powder taste.

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