Cincinnati “Skyline” Chili

This recipe has been in my family for almost 30 years! This spiced meat sauce is cooked for at least 4 hours and then served over spaghetti. Traditional toppings include cheddar cheese, diced onions, oyster crackers, and beans (we skip the beans).


It is absolutely gorgeous in Kansas right now. I took a drive the other day and had to pull over to capture this rainbow on a sunny day. So perfect!


I just love these hills.  Deep breath.


Despite the beautiful, understated view, I have not been feeling very inspired to post recently.

There are a couple of reasons for this:

1. I’m dieting. Sort of. The baby’s half birthday came and passed. Along with that came the realization that I won’t have the metabolism of a breastfeeding mother forever. My goal is to reach the healthy BMI range, and I still have about 12% of my body weight to lose. Ug.

2. Flu season started early, and I was the only person healthy in my house. Let me tell you about how much leisurely free time I had to cook and write. None. Yup.

3. I haven’t felt inspired. My produce service was temporarily stopped. I tried some new foods, but I wasn’t happy with the results. I’m in a creative rut.


Finally, I had an idea. A non diet friendly idea, but that’s ok once in a while.


Instead of a new recipe, why not turn to one of the oldest recipes in my possession?

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I was born in Cincinnati. My parents lived there while my dad attended grad school and my mom taught inner city. Then they whisked me on a tour of the country that ended in a red brick house in Kansas.


But my story started in Cincinnati, and I LOVE this chili.

There’s nothing quite like Cincinnati’s Skyline Chili. Just take a look at the ingredient list, and that’s evident.

Just try it. You won’t be sorry!


  • 1 quart cold water
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp allspice
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 box spaghetti
  • Cheddar cheese, oyster crackers, diced onion for toppings


  1. In a large pot, crumble the  raw hammer into the water.
  2. Add everything else.
  3. Simmer for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Drain/scoop off excess  water and grease. Cook spaghetti per package instructions.
  5. Serve  over spaghetti with desired toppings.

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