Skip to main content

Cincinnati chili over pasta

This Cincinnati chili is prepared with Mediterranean herbs and spices such as oregano, cumin, and cloves, and served over pasta, topped with mountains of gratted cheese.


4 T cooking oil (olive oil or other cooking oil)
1 onion (medium sized, chopped)
3⁄4 c celery (chopped, about 2 stalks)
2 clv garlic (peeled and sliced)
1 lb beef (ground meat)
1⁄2 c broth (beef broth)
1 T chili powder (or to taste)
2 T honey
1 t cumin (ground)
1⁄4 t clove (ground, or 2-3 dried cloves)
1⁄2 t oregano (dried or ground)
1 cn beans (red kidney beans, drained, 15 oz can)
8 oz pasta (long thin pasta, cooked and drained)
1 c cheese (shredded Cheddar cheese)


Preheat a large saucepan on medium heat for 2 minutes. Heat up the oil. Add the beef, onions, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring until the beef is brown and the vegetables are tender. Drain the fat from.

Stir in the tomato sauce, beef broth, chili powder, honey, cumin, cloves, and oregano and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add the kidney beans and cook 15 minutes more.

Divide the spaghetti among 6 bowls. Top with the chili and shredded cheese. Serve immediately.

Total time
1 hour, 5 minutes
Cooking time
Preparation time
4 servings


Although chili has been recognized is as a Texan dish, Cincinnati has a reputation for it. Only Some Greek cook adapted the traditional Texan recipe adding flavors from the Mediterranean region. The chili is traditionally served over pasta or over a hot dog.

It has become the local fast food and there are restaurant chains in the area specializing in this kind of chili. You'll hear talk of one, two, three or more ways meaning a bowl of chili only, chili over pasta, chili over pasta topped with cheese, and sliced onions, extra beans, and others for four, five or six-way.


Ohio, USA

meat, beans & pulses, main course
Ohio food recipes
Food in USA, Midwest

Cincinnati chili ways

One-way: chili on its own, which nobody orders as its consistency is better as pouring sauce.

Two-way: chili over pasta.

Three-way: chili over pasta, topped with gratted cheddar cheese. "Inverted" if the cheese is placed under the chili sauce so it melts.

Four-way: add either red kidney beans or chopped whit onions to the three-way.

Five-way: With both, red kidney beans and chopped onions.

There is usually a vegetarian option with rice and beans instead of beef and beans.