• Yield 7 servings 1x
Author Elaine Magee, MPH, RD aka @therecipedoctor on Instagram

Registered Dietitian Recipe

Cincinnati Chili is not your traditional chili. It more resembles a sauce traditionally served on top of spaghetti or hot dogs. This recipe is a simpler take on the Midwest classic featuring The Blend®.

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  • 8 ounces mushrooms (cremini or white button), rinsed, patted dry, halved or sliced
  • 1 pound extra lean 96/4 ground beef
  • 3 cups water (vegetable or beef broth can be substituted)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chips (semi-sweet can be substituted)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder (increase to 2 tablespoons for stronger flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked salt (other salt can be used)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 small bay leaf


  1. Add mushroom to a large food processor and briefly pulse to finely chop (to resemble ground beef texture). Place the chopped mushrooms and ground beef in a large nonstick saucepan and cook over medium heat, breaking up the meat into small pieces while it begins to cook with a potato masher or similar.
  2. After the beef/mushroom mixture is in very small pieces (it doesn’t have to be fully cooked), pour in the water. Stir in the onions, tomato paste, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, chocolate, chili powder, salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cloves and bay leaf. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Add more water if necessary to prevent the chili from getting too thick or burning.


Serving Suggestion: Cincinnati Chili is traditionally served over pasta. Pour chili sauce over cooked whole wheat spaghetti and top with shredded cheddar cheese and chopped onions.

Freezing Suggestion: Cool chili then portion the mixture into freezer-safe containers and add a label with the date. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove or in microwave.


  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup
  • Calories: 148
  • Sodium: 304 mg
  • Fat: 5.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8.5 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 16 g
  • Cholesterol: 43 mg

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