Skylike Chili - Skyline Chili Copycat

Total Time
1hr 45mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins

A copycat of Skyline Chili, true Cincinnati chili, except it's less greasy! I combine all the dry spices times ten and keep the "Skyline Spice Mix" in a jar cannister. One batch of chili will use 3/8 cup of spice mix. The spice mix is also tasty as a meat rub for steak, pork and chicken.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Brown ground beef and onion.
  2. Drain.
  3. Add beef stock to beef mixture and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Add remaining 13 ingredients, simmer uncovered 1 hour.
  5. Remove bay leaf, skim off extra fat.
  6. Serve over hot spaghetti, or hot dogs in buns for chili dogs.
  7. Top with plenty of cheese and other optional toppings.


Most Helpful

I am a former Cinci resident now on the east coast. Like many people at first I wasn't that impressed with Skyline but as time went on I became a full out addict. After leaving Ohio I had to order by the case ($100 ) online to keep my supply steady and my hands from shaking from withdrawl. I've tried many different fake recipes and none come close to the real deal. This recipe is BY FAR the best I've tried. I would still like to think in a double blind taste test I could pick out the original but it might be close. I did take in some of the other reviewer suggestions and agree they are necessary. First the meat needs to boil in the broth. I put the raw 85% lean meat, water with beef bullion, and onions (I only used 1 cup finely chopped) in a pot to cook stovetop. I used a mashed potato masher to break up the meat. My end result meat was still a little coarse compared to the original so next time i will use a blender or food processor to break it up finer. I went with 3T chili powder which did give it a little kick, 2.5T might be closer to the original but I like the heat. I added a bit of paprika as well. With 85% lean meat there is no need to skim any fat, it is just about right. After 1 hour I couldn't wait and ate some. It was good. Plan ahead and simmer for 2 hours if possible, its even better. After 2 hours too much liquid was gone so I would consider covering the pot after 45min or so. Also for rookies or non Ohioans out there it is essential you get "fancy shredded mild cheddar cheese". Regular shredded cheese (as shown in the picture) is too coarse and will ruin the dish. When plating a 3-way first put down a bed of spaghetti (regular spaghetti not thin spaghetti), spoon on the chili covering all but the edges ensuring plenty of liquid flows down through the spaghetti, then add a generous portion of cheese to cover all chili. Make sure the chili is not too hot, you only want that small portion of the cheese that is in direct contact with the chili to melt. The top of the cheese should be cool and unmelted. When you eat it for God's sake don't stir it up. Add the optional tobasco then use a knife to cut down through the 3 layers and use a fork to lift it to your mouth like a piece of lasagna. The cool cheese will hit the roof of your mouth and the spaghetti will sit on your tongue. When you are finished carry your plate to the sink, make sure your wife is not looking and lick the plate clean like a dog. To the reviewer who gave it one star complaining its not chili, your right. Its way better and you just don't understand. I feel sorry for you because you are missing out on one of the finer things in life.

tgresla October 17, 2012

A good Cincinnati chili but not Skyline. I've been transplanted to the left coast from Cincinnati and lived on Skyline while there. I made a 3 lb batch using 93/7 ground beef and these are the changes I made. In a crock pot, 3 lbs of 93/7 ground beef, 5 cups beef stock, 3 cups grated onion, 3 (8 oz) cans of tomato sauce, 5 TBS chili powder, 5 TBS unsweetened cocoa, 1 TBS granulated garlic, 3 tsp seasoning salt, 4 TBS soy sauce, 4 bay leaves. The rest of the ingredients of Tornado Ali's recipe I followed for a 2 lb batch. I just threw it all together in the crock and cooked it for 4 hours stirring every half hour to keep the consistency of the ground beef grainy and soupy. That's the way Skyline is. Oh, and by the way, a family member came up from Cincy who lives off Skyline and rated the above adjusted recipe a 9 out of 10. Thanks, Tornado Ali, for posting this. There will be lots of Skyline Copy at my place.

Catfish Jimmy June 04, 2010

First of all, those of you who have no idea what Skyline is should not be rating this recipe. Secondly, you do not get the proper consistency in the chili if you brown and drain the beef. You have to cook it in the stock. Then you can remove the grease from the top with a ladel or cool the chili overnight and the grease will rise to the top and you can remove. If you brown and drain it first, you are not eating Skyline chili.

Bondem777 February 06, 2010

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