Cheesy Cincinnati Chili

"I love this, if you haven't tried it you need to. In Cincinnati the true enthusiasts have their Chili 1 to 5 ways: 1. Plain 2."Two Way" - Spaghetti & Chili 3."Three Way" - Chili, Spaghetti, and Cheddar Cheese 4."Four Way" - Chili, Spaghetti, Cheddar Cheese, and Onions 5."Five Way" - Chili, Spaghetti, Cheddar Cheese, Onions and Kidney Beans"
photo by Erin Justice photo by Erin Justice
photo by Erin Justice
Ready In:
2hrs 25mins




  • In a heavy gauge pot - heat oil, add beef until brown, add onions and water and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer and add tomato paste and all other ingredients and let simmer 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
  • Adjust with salt & pepper to taste.
  • Remove Bay Leaves before serving.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I grew up eating Skyline Chili, and this stuff is damn near close. For the first time in 3 years since I left the lower 48 states, I was able to enjoy a 3-way and a cheese coney, much like the ones I used to eat back in Cinci.
  2. I am so happy, I lived in Cincinnati and havent had this great chili in years!!!!!!!
  3. Excellent chili... but it's not cincinnati to me. Maybe it would be if you added some sugar and took the saute'd onions and cayenne out. We all loved it but it didn't satisfy my craving for skyline. Skyline chili is not spicy at ALL. Thanks for your recipe, though.
  4. Great aroma, great taste. Added 16oz. can of diced tomatoes to the recipe.
  5. We both thought this chili was bland with a medium kick. It definitely needed more spices for flavor. I did like the texture of the chili though.


  1. Fantastic and easy! And, yes, made an Ohio girl who lives in Asia feel all cozy and homey-like. One note: the "chili powder" in the recipe refers to American chili spice mix, not actual chili powder. I put real chili powder in, went hey that's a LOT and realized my mistake and scooped it out before stirring, thank goodness. A few minor tweaks: I added black beans (because I love them!), substituted anchovy paste for the Worcester sauce, and because I simmered it so long the liquid was all cooking off, added a small can of tomato sauce. Excellent results.



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