Cincinnati Three-Way


If you want to know the way to a Cincinnatian’s heart, take them to a Bengals football game, and then give them a good old-fashioned three-way.  

This is how it goes down: Get them geared up in their finest Ochocinco jersey, and then sway them with a piping hot plate of spaghetti topped with chili, and a mountain of finely shredded cheddar.  Add onions for a 4-way, or onions and beans and you’ve got the ultimate 5-way. 

Cincinnati-style chili is an integral part of being a Ohian, and even more so when you’re straight from the nati’ – the chili captial of the world.   I’m not talking about the widespread Texas kind in which you find chunky ground beef with jalapenos and kidney beans.  This is a slowly cooked sauce-like chili that’s rich with spices, such as cloves and cinnamon, and deep in color from the hint of chocolate. 

The original recipe dates way back, and although has remained a tightly kept secret, many people have been able to replicate the chili to an almost perfect clone.  So, I gave it a shot!  The results?  Touchdown Cincinnati!

Cincinnati Chili   


  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp tabasco
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce


  • hot cooked spaghetti
  • finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • chopped onions and beans, optional

(This also can be cooked in a crock-pot on low all-day)

In large dutch oven, brown ground beef and then transfer to food processor.  Pulse for 30 seconds or just until the beef begins to become fine.  Transfer back to dutch oven and add garlic. Cook for about 1 minute.  Add water, tomato paste, chili powder, garlic, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, tabasco, cocoa, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 1 1/2-2 hours.

Pour chili over hot spaghetti and serve with cheddar cheese, onions, beans and tabasco sauce.





Filed under All Posts, Ohio, Pasta!, Recipes, Uncategorized

6 responses to “Cincinnati Three-Way

  1. Yum Yum Yum Yum Yum! I especially love the lil oyster crackers with a dab of hot sauce! crunch crunch yowza!

  2. I may have to make this tomorrow…perfect fall Sunday dish!

  3. Pingback: Cincinnati chili: there’s no such thing as a one-way | There There There

  4. Pingback: Cincinnati Chili: no such thing as a one-way | there there

  5. I’m from California, however my dad grew up in Ohio and I go to school there. Whenever my parents come to visit each year, my dad has to get a three-way at least two or three times over the weekend! I’ll definitely have to share this with him, he’ll love it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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