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Swing State Chili {Skyline Chili Inspired}

Swing State Chili {Cincinnati "Skyline" Chili Inspired}

Libby with Lemony Thyme
The main differences between Cincinnati Chili and a traditional Tex-Mex chili is that the meat and onions are very finely chopped (similar to hot dog chili) and the seasonings are certainly unique with unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, and clove shining through.
Course Chili


  • 1 quart cold water
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 Tbl. butter
  • 2 medium onions fine diced
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 Tbl. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbl. unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbl. cider vinegar
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt


  • Put your ground beef in a food processor and pulse several times.
  • Add butter and onion to a 4-quart pot, saute until translucent.
  • Add water and bring to a low boil, then add ground beef, return to a simmer while stirring until the ground beef is in very small pieces.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients. Simmer on low, uncovered, for 3 hours (longer is better, all day is best!). Add water as needed if the chili becomes to thick.
  • If you can make the day before, once cooled skim fat off top. If serving the same day, use a cold spoon to remove excess fat.


Let's not forget the Cincinnati 'Skyline' Chili Ordering Code:
1-Way: just the chili
2-Way: chili served over spaghetti
3-Way: chili, spaghetti, and grated cheddar cheese
4-Way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, and diced onion
5-Way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, onion, and red kidney beans
All “ways” are served with oyster crackers