Cincinnati Skyline Chili Recipe -
Cincinnati Skyline Chili Recipe
  • READY IN ABOUT 2 hrs

Cincinnati Skyline Chili

Recipe by  

"I was served this dish at a friend's home when we lived in West Virginia. She was from Ohio. I love this dish and serve it often. Note: End result should have consistency of spaghetti sauce."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr 30 mins

    1 hr 50 mins


  1. Brown beef and onion in a large skillet over medium high heat. Place browned mixture in a large pot and stir in the tomato sauce, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, cinnamon, vinegar, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 1 1/2 hours.
  2. When meat mixture has about 20 minutes cooking time left, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and set aside.
  3. Serve meat mixture over cooked spaghetti topped with cheese, beans, olives and chopped onion.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Sep 17, 2003

There are a couple problems with this recipe. First, the real Skyline chili doesn't have this much chili powder if any at all. Second and more serious is that it is way too dry, as a couple people here already mentioned. I have checked a dozen or more Skyline recipes on the internet and most of them mention adding 3 cups or 1 quart of water, which would make the consistancy more like that of Skyline's. As the recipe is here, there is not enough liquid, and it is more like a thick paste. Either this recipe has not been tried by the auther, or she left something out when she typed the recipe.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Mar 19, 2006

following this recipe will give you a basic chili. "Cincinnati Chili" (i.e. "Skyline") chili, is much juicier... I would suggest NOT browning the meat first; let it cook in the sauce, stirring constantly. (hint; use a hand-held mixer to finely shred the meat in early cooking stage). Some folks have suggested adding beans to the sauce during cooking - that's not how we do it in Cincy. the basic chili is "garnished" with the addition of beans, finely chopped onions, & finely shredded cheddar cheese. Adding all of these garnishes yields a "4-Way", adding any two = a "3-way", etc. I have never seen olives used as a garnish with this dish, but I suppose that could work - just not authentic! use plenty of cocoa powder for that Cincinnati-caffeine kick.

Jan 25, 2004

This is a great recipe but the meat should not be browned. You should mix the dry ingredents with the the liquids and mix in the meat also instead of 2 cans of tomato sause use 1 can of sause and i can of paste, bring to a rolling boil the reduce and simmer for about and hour to hour and a half. the meat will melt in you mouth. Try it like this i promise it's wonderful.

Sep 06, 2006

My family loved it. We recently visited (ok 6 times while on a 3 week vacation) the Hard Times Cafe is Old Town Alexandria Va. My kids loved the Cincinnati Chili Mac and were amazed it had Cinnamon in it. I followed some of the recommendations in the comments like adding Cocoa powder. I added petite diced tomatoes (1/2 a 28oz can), 1/2 a 28 oz can of tomatoe sauce, 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon, 2 galic cloves, and 1/1/2 tsp cocoa. I served this with cheese and sour cream. Yumm! This kids loved it!!

Jan 25, 2004

This is one of my all time favorite recipes. I grew up in the midwest and this was a staple in our home. My husband is from Southern California and had never heard of this type of chili. He wasn't too crazy about it at first, but now he LOVES it. We have this once a week in winter. This recipes also freezes well (without the noodles) I pile my chili high with cheddar cheese and oyester crackers. In fact, I'm making this tonight for dinner. YUM!!!!!!!

Jan 25, 2004

My husband absolutely loves this dish and says it tastes just like he remembers Skyline Chili tasting! However, getting that consistency right perplexes me. I've made it twice and it seems to come out more like meaty tomato paste rather than like spaghetti sauce. I even tried cutting the meat portion in half, but it's still very thick and pasty. Flavorful though! Thanks!

Jan 25, 2004

I couldn't taste anything but chili powder!

Jan 25, 2004

This isn't really my favorite kind of food, but my husband absolutely loved it! He mentioned that this chili would also be good used as a sloppy joe type of sandwich filling. We may try that!


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  • Calories
  • 579 kcal
  • 29%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 57.7 g
  • 19%
  • Cholesterol
  • 82 mg
  • 27%
  • Fat
  • 23 g
  • 35%
  • Fiber
  • 5.8 g
  • 23%
  • Protein
  • 34.5 g
  • 69%
  • Sodium
  • 669 mg
  • 27%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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