Cincinnati Turkey Chili

I am not an expert on Cincinnati Chili.

For one, I’ve never been to Cincinnati.

For two, I’ve never even eaten Cincinnati Chili, until making this recipe.

So… there’s that.

After a little research on the interwebz (okay, Wikipedia, you caught me), I learned:

      • Cincinnati Chili is known for its use of warm spices such as cinnamon and allspice
      • Raw Onion and Shredded Cheddar are key toppings
      • One should serve Cincinnati Chili atop spaghetti noodles
      • People are really picky about the way in which their Cincinnati Chili is served


BEANS are certainly my favorite chili ingredient.

My love affair with beans began freshman year of college. I kind of thought dorm food was delicious, not going to lie. (I also worked in a dorm dining hall for four years during undergrad. Preceded by 2.5 years working at McDonald’s. Food has always kind of been my thang.)

The salad bar was my favorite part of the Dorm Dining Experience. Twice daily, without fail, I had a giant salad with tons of kidney beans on top! #bestsaladtoppingever

That’s why I rarely shy away from any recipe involving the addition of kidney beans.


This chili also included the addition of dark chocolate (there’s salt in that pinch bowl too).P1100793

After simmering, the Cincinnati Chili was served atop cooked spaghetti noodles.


Add cheddar cheese.P1100796

And raw onion.


And voila – Cincinnati Chili:P1100798

Good call, Cincinnati.


Cincinnati Turkey Chili

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light


      • 4 oz uncooked spaghetti
      • 8 oz lean ground turkey
      • 1.5 cups chopped onion
      • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
      • 1 T minced garlic
      • 1 T chili powder
      • 2 T tomato paste
      • 1 tsp cumin
      • 1 tsp oregano
      • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
      • 1/8 tsp allspice
      • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
      • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
      • 1 (14.5) can diced tomatoes, undrained
      • 1.5 T chopped semisweet chocolate
      • 1/4 tsp salt
      • 3 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese


1. Cook pasta per package instructions, omitting salt and fat. Drain, set aside.

2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add turkey; cook 3 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add 1 cup onion, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in chili powder and next 5 ingredients (through allspice); cook 1 minute. Add broth, beans, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate and salt. Serve chili over spaghetti; top with remaining 1/2 cup onion and cheese.

My rating: 8/10

3 thoughts on “Cincinnati Turkey Chili

  1. Pingback: National Chili Day Roundup! | ya gotta have a hobby...

  2. Pingback: Chili Recipe Round-Up | Meg.Goes.Nom.Nom.

  3. Pingback: Top Dinner Entrée Recipes of 2013–Part I | Meg.Goes.Nom.Nom.

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