Cincinnati Chili

Today is the the first official day of autumn — the weather is cooling off, leaves are falling, football is on — and that means it’s chili season!  I absolutely love chili, and I have a great recipe for a unique Cincinnati-style chili that you will love!  With the help of my husband’s keen taste-testing skills, we tweaked my mother’s chili recipe into the perfect blend of sweet and spicy.  This recipe even won an award at a local chili cookoff earlier this year!  (Ok, truth be told, we were the only ones in the “Service Members” category… but everyone raved about it!)

It’s sweet with a kick of heat — the perfect meal to warm you up on a cool fall evening!


  • 1 lb. ground beef, cooked
  • 15 oz. can kidney beans
  • 28 oz. can petite diced tomatoes (or frozen tomatoes from your garden if you have them!)
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 12 oz. can tomato paste
  • 11 oz. can tomato bisque
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. chili powder (I use half regular and half mexican style chili powder)
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. cayenne pepper



Cook the ground beef in a skillet.  While the meat is cooking, mix the rest of the ingredients in a large pot over medium heat.  Drain the ground beef and add to the tomato mixture.  Cover and let it simmer for 20 minutes, or until thoroughly heated, stirring often.  Serve over spaghetti or with crackers and top with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.  Enjoy!

I find it so interesting how chili recipes vary by geography.  There’s white chicken chili, green chili, and chili that can only be made with venison.  Some people eat it with cornbread, some with crackers, and some are like us — always served it over pasta.  It’s such a cultural thing, and I think everyone tends to prefer whatever variation they grew up with.

What’s your favorite kind of chili?  Have a great recipe you’d like to share?  Let us know!