Sunday, January 26, 2014

Cincinnati Chili with Spaghetti Squash

This chili recipe is all about a new cooking technique for me. Cincinnati chili has a very fine texture. The beef appears as if it has been finely ground. When it has actually been simmered from its raw state in water rather than browned first. This goes against everything I have ever been taught. Since I was very young and learning to cook, I was always told to brown the beef until almost all the liquid in the pan has evaporated. But to achieve the fine silky texture of Cincinnati chili you dissolve the raw beef in water before you subject it to heat. This is how you might make chili for hot dogs, chili fries, etc. Having this new knowledge opens up many new possibilities. What if I apply this technique to my other chili recipes or to an Italian meat sauce?

Another unique thing about Cincinnati chili is its flavor. It almost has Greek influences? Definitely not the Tex Mex chili I grew up eating. It is delicious with warm spices like allspice, cloves and cinnamon. You can adjust the seasoning to suit your taste. I researched a lot of recipes. All used different amounts of spices. I tried to use an average or the most common amount. It turned out great. I decided to break with tradition and serve it on spaghetti squash. But I went for broke on the toppings. I used all the traditional toppings. You could make a pot of this chili and satisfy any number of tastes. It would be wonderful on pasta, rice, hot dogs, potatoes as well as spaghetti squash. This one is a keeper.

Cincinnati Chili with Spaghetti Squash
Serves 8


2 lbs lean ground beef
3-1/2 cups water
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 bay leaves
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. kosher salt


Add beef and water to a Dutch oven, stir until the beef almost melts into the water. The beef will be in very small pieces. Place onion and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely diced. Add onion mixture to the pot. Turn the heat to medium and stir in all remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer and simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes. Stir often to prevent scorching, the meat tends to sink to the bottom of the pot. Remove bay leaves and taste for seasoning, adjust if necessary. Serve over spaghetti squash and top with any additional toppings you like.

To prepare spaghetti squash: Cut squash in half. Scoop out seeds and discard. Place cut side down in a microwave safe dish, add 1/4 cup of water and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 8 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper; then using a fork pull squash into strands.


In Cincinnati, they serve the chili over spaghetti. There are additional toppings you can use to finish off your chili. If you want to know how to order in Cincinnati, this is what you need to say:

Two-way: spaghetti and chili
Three-way: spaghetti, cheese and chili
Four-way: spaghetti, cheese, onions and chili
Five-way: spaghetti, cheese, onions, beans and chili 

In my kitchen, all the toppings appeal to me. So...

My-way: spaghetti squash, cheddar cheese, onions, kidney beans, chili and pickled jalapenos

Linking to:
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
Tumbleweed Contessa: 2014 Super Bowl and Chili Party
The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen: Show Me Your Plaid Mondays
It's Your Life: Tuesdays with a Twist
Anyonita Nibbles: Tasty Tuesdays
Family Home and Life: Wow Us Wednesday
Turnips 2 Tangerines: Four Seasons Blog Hop
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday
Get Him Fed Fridays
My Turn for Us: Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Texas Star Chili Cook Off 2014


  1. I laughed out loud when I read "This goes against everything I have ever been taught. " I was thinking the same thing! However, I can definitely see a texture difference in your pictures. I've been on a chili kick lately and will have to try this method. Thanks for sharing, Denise!

    1. I KNOW!!! I remember my Ma Ma watching over me saying, "No it is not brown enough yet." I really liked the texture. It is very smooth. Thanks for comment. I had a good laugh too!

  2. I love the interesting blend of spices! I have never tried chili on spaghetti squash or with extra toppings it would definitely add a new dimension! Thanks for posting on the Four Seasons Blog Hop! Sandra from Scrumptilicious 4 You!

    1. Thanks, Sandra for coming by! The spices are the best part, sort of Greek or a little mole' like. Very savory. Have a great evening!

  3. What a great idea to serve your Cincinnati Chili with Spaghetti Squash. Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen

  4. Hi! Stopping by via Let's Get Social Sunday! Following and would love if you followed back!

    1. Hi! Bel, So nice to meet you. I will be visiting your blog and following. Thanks so much for visiting me today. Have a wonderful week!

  5. Visiting from Let’s Get Social Sunday ... we love spaghetti squash and this looks very interesting :-) Joann @

    1. Hi! Joann, So nice to meet you. Thank you so much for following. Have a great day!

  6. Hi Denise,
    Thanks so much for sharing your Cincinnati Chili with The Texas Star Chili Cook Off 2014!
    You helped to make the Cook Off a great success and I really appreciate your entry, your chili looks so good. I just love Cincinnati Chili.
    Hope To See You Again Next Year!
    Miz Helen


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...