Authentic Chef John’s Cincinnati Chili Recipe by Chili John – Cook like a Pro

Get a Taste of Cincinnati: Try Chef John’s Savory and Spicy Chili Recipe by Chili John Today!

Chef John’s Cincinnati Chili Recipe by Chili John blends the bold aromas of cloves, cinnamon, and paprika with the savory essence of ground beef, providing a distinctive twist on traditional chili. Slow-cooked with tomato sauce, chopped onions, and kidney beans, this recipe delivers a mouth-watering combination of sweet and spicy flavors. Serve it over a bed of spaghetti topped with shredded cheese and diced onions, and savor a comforting, warm dish that is perfect for chilly evenings. Try your hands at Chef John’s Cincinnati Chili Recipe by Chili John, and relish a homemade dinner that your family and friends will love!

Chef John


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch white sugar
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the ground beef, breaking it up as it cooks and stirring occasionally, until browned and crumbly, about 10 minutes.
  2. Drain excess fat from the beef and return it to the pot.
  3. Add the water, tomato sauce, chopped onion, minced garlic, distilled white vinegar, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, paprika, hot pepper sauce, ground allspice, cayenne pepper, ground cloves, salt, ground black pepper, and a pinch of white sugar.
  4. Stir to combine everything well and add in 1 bay leaf.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low.
  6. Cover the pot and let the chili simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours. You can leave the lid slightly ajar, if needed, to let the steam escape.
  7. Remove the bay leaf and let the chili cool for a few minutes before serving it.
  8. Serve hot over spaghetti, and top with your desired toppings like grated cheese, chopped onions, sour cream, or hot sauce.

Number of Servings:

  • 10 Servings

Nutritional Information (per serving):

  • Calories: 323
  • Total Fat: 20g
    • Saturated Fat: 7.6g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 10.3g
    • Trans Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 81mg
  • Sodium: 1325mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 11g
    • Dietary Fiber: 3g
    • Total Sugars: 5g
    • Added Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 29g

Ask the Chef – Tips & Tricks

Browning the Beef: Browning the ground beef is an important step as it adds flavor to the chili and helps render any excess fat. Be sure to break up the meat into small pieces while cooking to ensure it cooks evenly.
Spice and Seasoning: This chili recipe uses a blend of spices and seasonings that give it a unique and complex flavor. Adjust the spices to your liking or spice tolerance, but don’t skip the cinnamon and allspice as it is an important ingredient for Cincinnati chili.
Cooking Time: This chili recipe requires 2 hours of simmering time to develop the best flavor. Do not rush the simmering process, as it allows the flavors to meld and deepen.
Serving: Cincinnati chili is typically served over spaghetti and topped with various toppings like grated cheese, chopped onions, or sour cream. You can garnish with your favorite toppings, but keep in mind that the traditional version is served with cheddar cheese and onions.
Storage: This recipe makes a large batch of chili, and leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat in a pot on the stove or in the microwave.

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