Copycat Skyline Cincinnati Chili

Homemade copycat Skyline Cincinnati chili… unique and flavorful, this regional delicacy is easy to make at home for way less than the restaurant charges!

Have you ever had Cincinnati chili?  It’s totally unique, and NOT like a traditional chili, but it’s an absolutely delicacy here in the Midwest.  It’s also really easy to make at home, freezes wonderfully, and can be served in so many ways!

Copycat Skyline Cincinnati Chili | Unique and flavorful, this regional chili is rich, meaty, packed with spices, and can be served in so many ways!  Try Cincinnati's spin on chili! | | #dinner #cincinnati #chili #copycat #homemade #easyrecipe

It’s no secret that I adore hometown things… no matter where I live in this life, I will always be a Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Bengals, and University of Cincinnati fan.  I will always prefer the auto-mechanic in the small town I grew up in, Graeter’s Ice Cream is the BEST, Montgomery Inn has the BEST ribs, Larosas Pizza is divine, and Skyline Chili is the one chili that will truly always have a place in my heart.

In case you couldn’t tell… I grew up in the suburbs of Cincinnati!  For those of you who haven’t been here, or don’t have a clue what I mean when I say Cincinnati chili… let me tell you, it is NOTHING like any chili you’ve had before.  To most people, chili is something like this.  For us Cincinnatians… this is our chili:

Copycat Skyline Cincinnati Chili recipe three way

A meat sauce full of unique seasonings that is served on top of spaghetti and topped with cheese (which we call a 3 way… no, not THAT 3 way, you dirty one you!), and sometimes onions and/or beans will be added with the cheese (4 or 5 way).  Another classic way we enjoy this chili is on top of a hot dog, with some mustard and onions and a mound of cheese.

Copycat Skyline Chili Cheese Coney

That delicious looking dog is called a coney.  And they are heavenly… seriously.

Some of you are probably looking at your screen thinking, “woman, you are crazy.  Chili doesn’t go on noodles or a hot dog!”

I know, I know… the term chili is confusing, because this dish is completely different… but wonderful (as most Cincinnatians are as well!).  I urge you to try it, at least once.  Most people who try it, love it 🙂  If you don’t like it, then call me a crazy woman and go back to your usual chili.

Classic Skyline chili recipe three way with oyster crackers

Around here, you can buy Skyline (and Gold Star) chili in cans, packets, and frozen trays.  Which is convenient, but p-r-i-c-e-y!  So I wanted to find a recipe that starts from scratch… for a few reasons.

  1. The price.  I’m a cheap you know what, and refuse to pay that much for one can of chili.
  2. I don’t want the preservatives and whatever is in those packets.
  3. The most important reason… unless you live here, you probably won’t be able to find those cans, trays or packets in your grocery store.  Bummer huh?  Everyone should be able to enjoy this fabulous chili, no matter where you live!

It’s really simple to make too, just add water, tomato paste and chocolate to a large pot and cook over medium heat for a few minutes.  That’s right, you read that correctly… chocolate.  Not the milk chocolate we all love to snack on mind you, but unsweetened 100% cacao bakers chocolate.  My turkey chili uses this chocolate as well!


Add your spices, vinegar, and your beef.  Crumble it using your fingers, then use a potato masher, whisk, or mash the beef against the side of the pan.  Basically you want the meat all broken up into fine pieces.  I mainly used the fork and went to town with my whisk.  Get mad at it, break up that meat! 🙂

Now just bring it to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and let it cook, uncovered for 1 – 1 1/2 hours (you want a low boil).  It will thicken up and become a wonderful meat sauce.  And the smell that fills your house…. incredible!!

Big pot of Cincinnati chili simmering

It’s up to you how you would like to serve up your chili… do you want coneys?  A “way”?  Or just chili in a bowl with cheese and oyster crackers?  It’s your house, your rules!  I typically go for “ways” and coneys.  Remember, here’s the breakdown.


  • 2-way = spaghetti and chili
  • 3-way = spaghetti, chili, cheese
  • 4-way = spaghetti, chili, onions OR beans, cheese (my fav is with onions!)
  • 5-way = spaghetti, chili, onion AND beans, cheese


  • Bun, hot dog, chili
  • Bun, hot dog, chili, cheese
  • Bun, hot dog, chili, mustard OR onion, cheese
  • Bun, hot dog, chili, mustard AND onion, cheese (my fav!!)

Breakdown collage of Cincinnati chili 4 way

Traditionally, people top their “ways” with oyster crackers and hot sauce.  They’re great additions, I use them both 🙂  For your coneys, the traditional way is a hot dog with mustard, diced onion, chili and cheese… but you can omit either or both of the mustard and onions if you prefer.  Psssst… this chili is also fantastic over crispy french fries or even a baked potato!!  I’ve also got a great party dip recipe coming up that uses this chili… people go crazy over it!!

Twirl of Cincinnati Skyline chili on fork

This chili season, I hope you give this non-traditional Cincinnati chili a try!  Let me share this piece of my hometown with you all… I think you’ll LOVE it 🙂

Here are some other versions of chili to try too!

Cincinnati chili cheese coney on plate

Copycat Skyline Cincinnati Chili | Unique and flavorful, this regional chili is rich, meaty, packed with spices, and can be served in so many ways!  Try Cincinnati's spin on chili! | | #dinner #cincinnati #chili #copycat #homemade #easyrecipe

Copycat Skyline Cincinnati Chili

Homemade copycat Skyline Cincinnati chili... unique and flavorful, this regional delicacy is easy to make at home for way less than the restaurant charges!
4.8 from 89 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 171


  • 5 cups water
  • 6 oz can of Tomato paste
  • 1/2 oz baking chocolate (unsweetened - I use Baker's brand)
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, - or less, depending on your desired heat level
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 lb lean ground beef


  • Add the 5 cups of water in a large pot.  I like to use my dutch oven for this.
  • Add the tomato paste and chocolate and heat over medium heat stirring to combine for about 3 minutes. (I stir with a whisk to really break up the tomato paste)
  • Add chili powder, cinnamon, garlic powder, cumin, allspice, cloves, red pepper flakes, black pepper, salt, sugar and vinegar.
  • Next, crumble the raw ground beef into the pot with your fingers, then use a potato masher, whisk or fork to break up the meat into very fine pieces.
  • Turn heat to high to bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, turn the heat down to med-low.
  • Cook, uncovered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, at a low boil.. stirring occasionally until sauce has thickened quite a bit.
  • Serve over thin spaghetti or a hot dog.



Optional toppings include shredded cheddar cheese, diced white or yellow onion, kidney beans, oyster crackers and hot sauce.
Author The Chunky Chef
Tried this recipe?Mention @the_chunky_chef or tag #thechunkychef!

Copycat Skyline Cincinnati Chili | Unique and flavorful, this regional chili is rich, meaty, packed with spices, and can be served in so many ways!  Try Cincinnati's spin on chili! | | #dinner #cincinnati #chili #copycat #homemade #easyrecipe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

221 comments on “Copycat Skyline Cincinnati Chili”

  1. I’ve never had Cincinnati Chili, but i made it and it seems pretty good and quite interesting…lol. I I like to cook for my week on Sundays, so i made a batch and i’m gonna let it all co-mingle overnight and have it tomorrow. I did taste a spoon or 2 and it is only going to get better i’m sure!
    Thanks for the recipe.
    I did not have apple cider vinegar so i used white. I hope that is alright.

  2. Had Skyline 1 time really enjoyed it.  Brought some home to my son in Indiana he really liked it.  Out of the blue he said he wished we had some.  This recipe was about spot on.  Loved it we still had the bottle of hot sauce from skyline so that came in handy.  Thanks so much!!

  3. FYI. Skyline
    Chili, to alert people with allergies, has disclosed that original recipe has no chocolate in it and never did. Food scientists who have rigorously deconstructed the chili to determine contents (though not exact amounts) detected mace. Other wise you recipe is darn close.

  4. I found this recipe to be delicious I found the cinnamon to be a little strong. Moving forward, I will use half as much next time.

  5. Looks so good! Do you think I could do it all the same way except rather than put it in a pot, put it in the crock pot for a few hours? 

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! 

  6. I have not even made this recipe yet, but I KNOW it is the BEST! I first tried Skyline Chili about 30 years ago, while living with a friend from Indiana who would make this chili about every other week for us. As I watched her make it the first time, I knew for sure that it would be the worst thing I had ever eaten (cinnamon, chocolate and vinegar?!?! And over spaghetti???). Needless to say, I moved away and have been searching for the EXACT recipe ( they are NOT all the same!). I am thrilled to have found yours, as being from Cincinnati, you truly know what Skyline is all about! Thank you for sharing this! I am so excited to make this tonight!!

  7. 38 years ago (almost to the day) I arrived in Cincinnati to begin studies at [email protected] I think Graeter’s & Skyline on Ludlow were part of orientation. Worst chili / best meal ever! (If that makes sense). Ate Skyline at least twice a week.
    Graduation = Skyline lost… Until 12 years ago when I moved to Fort Lauderdale! There’s a Skyline a few blocks away… Then, I went vegetarian. Tried Sky’s black bean chili… Just not the same.. vegetarian = Skyline lost.
    Until… Every week I get a pint (and it’s still a pint) of Graeter’s-any-chip-works from either Walmart or Whole Foods. And every week I miss my Cincy chili. Never thought to look for the recipe online lol.
    A quick search and not only did I find the recipe, I found your awesome words attached to it! Made a big batch of chili using plant derived meatless crumble. As wonderful as I remembered!
    So to sum things up: great words / amazing recipe / still the worst chili / still one of my favorite meals.
    Tonight it’s gonna be a 4 way with Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Graeter’s for dessert… (That last sentence is nicely double entendred).
    Thank you again!!!

  8. Great recipe. Can be made with 1 lb of beef if water is lowered to 4 cups and salt / chili powder is decreased slightly. I kept all the other spice measurements the same and it tastes fantastic. I also made it in an instant pot and with beyond beef. Started by browning the beef a bit with the spices and a little coconut oil, added water, tomato paste, and chocolate and did a 1 minute low pressure cook. Used an immersion blender to finely grind up meat, then added sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper. 10 minutes on saute to reduce some of the liquid and I have myself some great Cincinatti chili!!! Thank you!

  9. I have had this recipe bookmarked for some time now and I finally decided to try it. It is phenomenal!!! 15 years ago, a friend in college made Cincinnnatti chili for dinner (using a spice packet). I had never had anything like it before. Since I am from Texas, this was a whole new experience, but I was hooked. From that time, I have ordered the spice packets online since I cannot find it anywhere in the grocery stores. Today I tried this recipe and I will never need the packets again! Thank you SO SO SO much for this!

  10. Absolutely delicious!!!   Thank you. 

  11. Absolutely delicious!!!

  12. This is by far the best chili recipe I have ever made, even with no tweaking! We had a soup Christmas and I made a pot of spaghetti and this, it was the only one to get completely eaten! This is my kids’ favorite treat meal, and is even delicious over zoodles! Make it and make it again!

  13. We moved to Maine from Ohio about two years ago and cannot find Skyline even in the grocery store. My wife just made this recipe and it was spot on. Everything that I was missing. Thank you for sharing this, it will be used as long as we are on the East Coast!

  14. FYI to the person saying this has Middle Eastern flavors, they’re wrong. The Middle East uses only a few spices; they keep it simple: salt, pepper, and garlic. Indians are the ones who throw in everything but the kitchen sink.

    Either way, Cincinnati chili is Greek, like Papa John’s.

  15. At first I thought this chilli sucked. Weird flavors and not what I’m used to. But I made it again at the families request. Not sure what I did different but the 2nd time I really enjoyed it. Maybe it was an aquired taste or just serving the next day but it was aay better the 2nd time. Now I find myself craving that flavor, vinegar chocolate, just everything about it. Once you get the taste for it, it’s over. You will crave it! Reminds me of when I got hooked on crack in the ’80s. Thanks for the recipe and good memories!

  16. I noticed that paprika was an ingredient before I opened your post but did not see it listed in the ingredients for Copycat Skyline Cincinnati Chili after I opened your post. Paprika is or is not an ingredient in your version of Cincy Chili?

  17. I followed the recipe to the tee. The chili was fantastic. Interesting flavor, I could taste all of those mid-eastern flavors coming through. The only change I plan to make in the future is to double the recipe!

    Being from VA, I have never had chili over pasta, so this was a first for me. I’ll be making this again. Now, I’ll have to actually try the Skyline Chili since we do have those here in Indy and see how it compares.

    Thanks for sharing!

  18. I grew up in Williamsburg in Clermont County. My dad would take me to Empress Chili which in the late forties and early fifties was one of the most established Cincinnati chili parlors, yes parlors. It was located downtown across from the Greyhound station and Columbia Olds which has long since moved. I moved to Cincinnati in the late sixties and went to UC. I lived on Skyline and took dates there often. I have lived in Atlanta for the last 45 years. My wife and I get to Cincinnati a couple of times a year and I will have three ways at least a couple of times every time I go. Thank you for the recipe and the memories.

  19. BTW: my husband was a young man who experienced the ‘original’ Camp Washington chili – this is SOOO similar, and he was VERY happy that I was able to replicate the flavor for him! IF you want to replicate the original, this recipe is VERY close…

  20. OK; This recipe is very similar to the recipe I found in the Cinci Enquirer, listed as the ” Original Skyline” for Cinci recipe -and my husband, who was part of the clientele for the original Camp Washington Greek chili in the forties. It is close enough that I see know reason to object…please, if ANYONE wants the iconic recipe, please do nor be flummoxed into believing some of the Ciniti chili recipes posted on the net – NO, they are not!! For my husband, the only change I made in the original Cinci recipe was too replace the waiter with the water with tomato sauce, probably tomato juice would be acceptable…personal choice; also wanted to cut the lengthy simmer time. BUT, as a Cinci chili “connoisseur” eve n this change was acceptable to him – he hated the ‘watery’ sauce the commercial vendors offered.. The replacement was greatly appreciated! BTW, be sure to Skyline products if you decide that it take too much time or effort, or if the qty is greater than you need!!!

  21. Alternative recipe: 6 cups water 1.3 lbs. 80/20 chuck. 4 oz tomato paste. 4tbsp gebhardt 3 tbsp paprika 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder. 1 tsp each onion powder garlic powder cumin salt cayenne pepper. 1/2 tsp each all spice cinnamon clove coriander nutmeg. 1 bay leaf. Grinding black pepper. Bring water to boil. Add all ingredients. Boil 3 minutes beating with fork. Reduce heat to medium. Partially cover and cook for at least 35 minutes.

  22. I was really skeptical about Cincinnati Chili but I’m totally sold on it now! Now make it at least every other month by popular demand – with the addition of Goldfish instead of oyster crackers! Thanks CC! 

  23. I added the vinegar but not the sugar. I felt that the Baker’s Chocolate added a creamy texture to it, definitely superior to the packaged stuff. Added a bit extra salt using garlic salt.

  24. There is Skyline Chili and there is Cincinnati Chili. And they taste very different. Which one is this for? I love Skyline but the cinnamon taste in Cincinnati chili is overpowering.

  25. I enjoyed this recipe, the spices were right on, but the salt is nowhere near what it needs to be. I must have ended up adding close to a tbs before I got the flavor I was looking for.

  26. I made this for my husband who grew up in Cincinnati.  The recipe is great because it is so easy and nicely complex.  The only major thing I would change Next time is to lessen or remove the cider vinegar.  The end result was tarter than I remember Skyline to be.  The minor tweaks I made  were that I used 1 tsp cocoa because I didn’t have unsweetened chocolate, I added 2 tsp onion powder because the canned version does have onion and a bay leaf because I couldn’t help it!  In the end, I added more  salt than the recipe calls for, partially to cut the acidity of the vinegar.   I tried using a potato masher with the ground beef, but it was too chunky for me, so I gave it a few blasts of an immersion blender which worked perfectly to get that unique superfine beef texture.  It cooks down to a perfect consistency.  Wonderful recipe.  Thank you!  

  27. Hey thanks! I’m from central KY living abroad and was trying to descríbe this to my significant other. I usually skip to the direct recipe but I loved your #3. I spend a lot of time trying to recreate my home favorites. He’s excited to try this now!

  28. We love this recipe for Skyline chili!  Best one we’ve tried yet. I’m trying to figure out what one serving would be though, now that I’m on a diet… one cup?

    • So happy you love this recipe! I honestly haven’t measured it, as the servings are a rough estimate. I would say probably between a cup – cup and a half 🙂

    • Sooooooo… It depends on the diet. I was surprised to find that it’s pretty keto friendly. I regularly would stop and get three keto coney’s (mustard, onions, chilli, and hot dogs) and it usually ended up being about 2 cups of chilli. 

      Also this recipe is close enough that you can use the serving sizes in Carb Manager or My Fitness Pal and it’s close enough. 

  29. I have to leave you a review, this recipe is awesome!! I have made several skyline copycat recipes and i love yours the most. Even better than todd wilbur’s. This will be a staple from now on. My only change was to add a not-beef bullion because i cant have beef, i use bison and turkey. Thank you so much!!!

  30. My story about Cincinnati chili is different than most that you will read here. I am from Indianapolis, Indiana. I got out of the Navy in 1962 and got a job in Cincinnati. I worked there for about a year and a half. I didn’t have much money so I rented a room at the YMCA in downtown Cincinnati. rode a bus to work and ate a lot of cheap meals. I worked at a company called AVCO, located in the old Crosley factory. I went to a couple of Reds games at Crosley Field, which held 28,000 seats. I also attended a couple of Cincinnati Royals basketball games when Oscar Robertson played for them. And there was an amusement park in Cincinnati called Coney Island. Anyway, I worked there for a year and a half. was active in a good size church in Norwood. I ate at a lot of mom and pop little restaurants and sometimes ate chili there. But I never saw a Cincinnati chili restaurant like Skyline and nobody where I worked or went to church ever mentioned Cincinnati chili to me. Only years later I read a review of Skyline in Indianapolis in the Sunday paper that raved about how good this Cincinnati chili was. So my wife and I had to try it. Utterly disappointed. I grew up eating midwest chili and I thought this stuff was awful. I tried Skyline twice more over the years. The last time was when I was working in Dayton, Ohio. It was bad all three times. I gave up on Skyline. However, I understand that Cincinnati chili is popular with a lot of folks around Cincinnati. I like trying different dishes and decided I would try a homemade version of Cincinnati chili and see if that was better. After all, all those good folks in Cincinnati couldn’t be all wrong. That brought me here. I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I will and I’ll let you know how it turned out. By the way, my mom always served her chili over spaghetti and that was in the ’40s. We had not heard of Cincinnati chili, 3, 4, or 5 way.

    • You should give Gold Star a try. I was similar to you, the first few times I tried Skyline I was unimpressed. But the first time I tried Gold Star I was totally hooked. I’ll eat Skyline if it’s offered to me, but if I’m spending money I’m going Gold Star every time. It’s a different flavor and not as runny as Skyline.

      • I saw a video of this chiili being made on “Mandy in the Making’. The ingredients list intrigues me so much that I have to make it. Whether it’s Cincinnati or skyline doesn’t really matter to me, because I have nothing to compare it too except traditional be western or southwestern chili. I can’t wait to try these seasonings. Not to mention the chocolate!!! Thank you! I will let you know how it goes.

    • Love this recipe. I have made it several times! I sub the ground beef with split red lentils and it gives a ground beef like texture. I grew up on skyline chili but my kids grew up in Florida and never had it. Now they are hooked too! Thank you for this great recipe! It freezes really well too!

    • I grew up in Cincinnati, but we rarely went out to eat when I was young. My mom used to make a homemade chili that included kidney beans and onion and she served it over spaghetti. It wasn’t until I was in High School that I finally gave Skyline a try. I didn’t care much for it! Later, in College, I tried Gold Star and developed a taste for that, but still preferred my mom’s more traditional chili. Now, I have finally developed a liking for Skyline, but I always ask for it “dry”… which means they drain most of the liquid off when they serve it! I currently live in Pittsburgh, where no one knows what “Cincinnati Chili” is… so I’ve made it from a package a couple of times for my husband. Now maybe I’ll give this one a try too!

  31. Finneytown here 🙂 Skyline is the best. I,m near 75 years old and I started eating skyline Coney Dogs in Clifton & Ludlow ( across from the firehouse and next to Virginia Bakery) when I was 5 years old. My wife never had it, not there is no other!!!

  32. Originally from southwestern PA. Loved it!

    Question? Do you have a copycat for their Black Beans And Rice? Email me if you do. Thanks. Dave

  33. Me and the husband were both born in raised in Cincinnati, living in Chicago. We had such a good time making this, and the recipe is pretty spot on. DELICIOUS. One of those places we took for granted while we lived there. Many a late night shared at the clifton skyline, thanks for sharing!!

    • I grew up eating Skyline and always stop and get some when I go visit my parents. I have to say it was fun making it and I had high hopes, but something was off. I just can’t put my finger on it. I followed your recipe with no variations so maybe I will tweak it a bit and see what I can come up with. That being said it was still delicious and I am very full right now 🙂 Thanks!

  34. From the description you gave about Cincinnati it sounds like you’re from College Hill. Same here from a long time ago. I went to Aiken back in the 70’s. Thank for the recipe and looking forward to trying it. Trying to find “Skyline” style chill in Florida is not easy.

    • Where do you live in Florida, Publix carries it in cans and in the freezer section. I lived in Fort Myers and they have a skyline chili restaurant as does Naples

  35. I’m from the Cincinnati area and recently moved to Florida. I LOVE Skyline chili and would eat it about once a week back home. We live about an hour from a Skyline so we’re not totally out of luck but we used to live a half mile from one back home. Big difference!
     I have tried a few copycat Skyline recipes but this one is BY FAR the best one. Very very close to the real thing! Thanks for sharing and making our relocation a bit more tolerable without our love of Skyline! 

  36. Giving this a shot, but adding my favorite – Bob Evans Sausage. Also another Ohio company so it’s fitting 🙂 After trying their own sausage chili years ago I couldn’t eat chili any other way, save a few really, really good beef only and chickenrecipes (Skyline being one of them!)

  37. Not even close. Way to much chili powder. Skyline is a deep rich taste not a hot chili flavor

  38. I was raised in the east side of Cincinnati since I was 14 years old. Skyline has a place in my heart. I know we can buy it in a can here, but it just isn’t the same as sitting down in the chili parlor back home. 
      My wife and I moved away from Cincy in 1994 and moved to Florida. There a few Skyline chili parlors in Florida, one just happen to be south of we’re we lived in Ft. Myers . Now they have several at different locations across the state. 
      I served  in the Navy and was the ships cook, so cooking is a hobby with me, I found your recipe on Pinterest and so I made a pot of it, as any good cook knows, you always change things to your own taste, but this recipe is very close to Skyline. I prefer your recipe compared to other copy cat Cincy chili over the others. Thank you for sharing. Gene Nelson , Crossville Tn.

  39. An easy, authentic and excellent recipe. Even though there are 4 (count em’ four) chili parlors within a mile of me I made this last night (we are on lockdown due to COVID-19) using the small instant pot (it was a perfect fit!). I also used an immersion blender to get the beef consistency just about right. For the uninitiated this will seem like a rather runny chili – and it is – as it is supposed to be. All the better then to serve over decidedly not al dente spaghetti and top with grated cheddar, onion, kidney beans and crackers. And don’t forget the hot sauce.

    Thank you and good luck!

  40. My husband and I used to live in Cincinnati.  Recently, I was craving Skyline, but I can’t get it in my current area.  Tried this recipe and made 3 ways for myself and son.  My husband went for Chili Sandwiches.  My 3 way tasted just how I remembered them to taste, although it has been 16 years.  My son has never been to Cincinnati, but he liked it too.  6 thumbs up and I will be making again.  Easy to make.  You just need to have the time to let it simmer for a couple hours.

    For step 4, I used an immersion blender to really get the meat into small pieces.

    • I’m so happy you all loved this recipe! Great tip about the immersion blender 😉

      • Born and raised on Skyline, my husband and I traveled the world (he joined the military about 6 months after we graduated) and I NEEDED Skyline while we lived everywhere else- especially Germany!
        The copycat recipe I use is so freaking close to the original, and I’ve been making it for close to 7 years now. I use ground turkey because we don’t eat beef anymore here, and you cannot tell a difference.
        Your recipe is actually really close to mine I use! The biggest difference is that I use about 1 1/2tbs Of unsweetened cocoa powder. It’s so easy- I just mix it in with the other seasonings. 
        Also, my recipe adds in a half a diced onion to the meat and stock in the beginning. I was like what?? Onions? You never see them! But I’m about 95% sure that skyline blends their chili. I use a blender. About 4 pulses on the finished chili and the consistency is exactly the same as the real thing! 
        I would like to try yours as well to see if it tastes the same! Here’s mine if you’re curious: 

        1 lb. ground beef or turkey
        1/2 c. chopped onion
        2 c. beef stock
        1 (8oz.) can tomato sauce 
        1 tbs. apple cider vinegar
        1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 
        1 tsp. instant minced garlic

        Dry Ingredients:
        1 tbs. chili powder
        1 3/8 tbs. unsweetened cocoa 
        1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 
        1/2 tsp. ground cumin
        1/4 tsp. salt
        1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
        1/8 tsp. ground allspice
        1/8 tsp. ground cloves
        1 bay leaf

        Mix dry ingredients together and set aside
        ❖Cook ground beef (or turkey) and onion in beef stock on medium-high
        ❖Turn down heat to simmer and add dry ingredients, plus tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire, and garlic
        ❖Simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally
        ❖After first hour, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, then take off lid and simmer uncovered 30 more minutes
        *To serve traditional skyline, put the chili in a blender once finished and blend about 3 seconds until smoother consistency
        ❖Serve chili over cooked spaghetti noodles
        ❖Top with cheese and oyster crackers, plus onions, beans, and/or hot sauce

  41. This recipe doesn’t include onion. That’s what’s missing from the original, IMO.

  42. I’ve been meaning to post here for a long time. I’ve been making this exact recipe for my skyline fix for a long time and it’s obviously a hit! My child loves it and she’s never had it even though she was born in Ohio. I used to miss Skyline but thanks to you we have it all the time. I have my recipe on my fridge but I’ve made it so many times I have it memorized. Thank you for this. It’s going to be a staple in our home even after I’m gone I’m sure! My daughter won’t eat any other chili. Ok 

  43. Made it for a Chili Festival – no actual judging involved. Still, this was a huge hit. Thanks!

  44. I made this recipe for my family. Instead of using ground beef to make it I used ground turkey because my mom can’t eat beef. We put it over beef and turkey hotdogs and everyone LOVED it. It was a big hit for having 6 picky kids to feed! To complete the whole skyline thing I served it with oyster crackers! If a 14-year-old high schooler can pull this off so can you!

  45. The only thing missing is cinnamon. I would test at probably a 1/2 tsp. But there’s definitely cinnamon in Skyline chili.

  46. After moving away from the Cincinnati area a few months ago, I immediately started searching for a copycat Skyline recipe. After all, growing up on it made it a huge comfort food for me and one that I crave often. After finding this one and trying it out, it is safe to say that it taste delicious! However, not exactly like skyline. I can’t quite put a finger on what its missing, but it isn’t the same.  Besides, I will continue to make it as it tastes great and as close as I can get to regular Skyline. It is also quite cheap and very easy to make. The only change I made to it was replacing out normal beef with a vegan version, which still was delicious. And of course, I topped it with loads of cheese, hot sauce and oyster crackers over some spaghetti! 

  47. Can i make this in a instant pot and or pressure cooker.Thanks

  48. I have made this 3 times now and I improve on it every time. My guests think they are getting standard Chile and are most surprised to taste a completely different taste. Oh they love it and ask for the recipe, which is the best complement.
    Harley Wes

  49. Born and raised in Cinci. Refuse to eat the canned, bagged, and start out with the spice pack, just because it’s over priced and processed. That being said, I’m gonna give this recipe a go at it. I have one from a cook book called 1001 Chili Recipes that showed up in the Cincinnati Enquirer back in 80, I believe. They published it as the real deal, and not a knock off. Well, I made it a few times and tweaked the spices here and there, and got it pretty darn close. But I’m willing to give this one a shot too! Looks delicious, but I don know one thing… there is no substitute at all for the real Skyline Chili.

  50. This recipe is looks great! Also wanted to share a little tip for the noodles: Skyline actually flavors the noodles with a little tomato paste. That’s why they have a deeper rich color and stronger flavor 

  51. As a former Cincinnati girl who has lived in North Carolina for 14 years Skyline continues to be the food I miss the most. Followed the recipe exactly – looks and smells like the original but for me the taste was slightly off. I do appreciate the work you put in putting this together though and I don’t have the refined palate to pinpoint what would tip this over the edge into perfection. Thanks for sharing this.

  52. Made this the lazy old guy way. Took a pound of beef out of the freezer last night, threw it in
    crockpot overnight on low. Mushed it this morning, added all the spices and a large can of
    tomato juice. Turned the crockpot to high, no luck there so I put in a large pan
    and let it simmer for a bit. i like beans so I added them directly to the chili. I threw a
    handful of spaghetti in the pot, when it was done I fished it out with the sauce and
    threw on onions and cheese.
    Voila, lazy mans cincinnati chili.
    Mind you, I have not eaten at a Skyline in over 30 years, but this tasted like I think it is
    supposed to.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  53. I made this last night. It’s a keeper. The chili was tasty and filling, and the aroma was wonderful. We will make this again.

  54. Made this tonight. Got the link from Mandy in the Making (youtube) last week. We told the toddler it was chocolate spaghetti. She isnt the best at eating (due to a heart surgery) so anyway..she devoured it. We really loved it too. Topped it with diced onion and cheese. Will make again for sure! Was delicious. Thank you.

  55. Made this for the first time tonight. It was a hit across a group of fussy eaters. Thank you! I’m definitely saving this recipe.

  56. I’m from Cincinnati, but moved a way long ago. I ate a lot of the chili when I was living there and I always seek it out when I go back to visit. It’s a cheap dish to prepare, so I think the chili parlors overcharge for it. Skyline and Gold Star have the same prices, so it seems as if there is some collusion going on.

    Recently, I’ve started preparing it at home from a seasoning pack that I buy from for about $1.70. It appears to be made by Skyline and definitely tastes like the real thing. The ingredients lists only “spices” but the aroma reminds me a bit of garam masala. After reading the ingredients in the recipe on this site, I’m surprised that it doesn’t share more spices used in garam masala.

    One final note, Skyline and Gold Star have both assured me that their chili does not contain chocolate.

    This is a great site and I may give this recipe a try, even though I’m very happy with the spice packets I’ve been buying.

  57. Haven’t tried this yet but I will be soon! Do you have a specific brand of chili powder that you reccomend?

  58. My husband is allergic to cocoa/chocolate. Would it drastically change the taste of the chili to leave this out of the original recipe?

  59. This is really close to Skyline chili, will make it again.  Have a good option now in Florida 

    • We have skyline chili restaurants in Clearwater and Bradenton. Idk where you live in FL but it might be worth a drive to eat there some time!

  60. Recipe then your gay ass story please

    • Feel free to buy a cookbook if the “go to recipe” button is too difficult for you to find.

    • How about your lazy ass figure out how to cook this without the recipe. If it’s too difficult for your simple mind to find a “go to” button then you need to rethink your life choices and maybe just stick to eating hot dogs in the microwave as cooking may be too difficult for you.

    • Imagine being so entitled that you leave a hateful comment like this on a recipe you’re receiving for free from someone who took the time to make it available to you. #okboomer

      • Nailed it!   This tastes just like the real thing.  I’ve been making my own spice mixes lately (like taco) from scratch.  All flavor, no preservatives.  This is a home run! 

        Robin from Cincinnati 

  61. I am going to try this recipe but to ryan’s comment about msg. it is not good for you I ended up in the hospital a few times with severe swelling of the tounge and throat untill i was tested for food alergies and msg was it there is no need for msg, just add a little salt or other seasonings to taste. I now restrict what i eat in resturants and at home. you will find MSG in soups sauces and graveys. I now carry an epi-pen with me to counter this condition if needed. MSG is crap…

    • You probably shouldn’t eat peanuts either since I’m allergic to them. They are super dangerous.

    • I can’t imagine having an MSG allergy and having to cut out Parmesan and blue cheese as well as tomatoes. So many great foods have high amounts naturally occurring, I’d imagine it must be nearly impossible to ever eat in a restaurant. Scallops, egg yolks, walnuts, peas, broccoli, and corn, too? Yikes.

      • Yes, MSG allergies are awful! But MSG is also awful for you and your brain 🙂 Nope, no restaurants for me either, but I am so thankful for the recipes and stories from all the wonderful folks worldwide that ensure that I can try a lovely taste of their lives!

    • There’s no such thing as an MSG allergy. MSG has been proven completely safe. It’s science. MSG only got a bad rep because a bunch of racist people made up that was bad because Chinese restaurants used it transparently. Most foods have MSG. Almost all processed foods have MSG. If you have ever eaten any snacks, deli meats, pepperoni, or soup you have eaten MSG.

      An MSG allergy is something ignorant, attention seeking people make up. You think it makes you more interesting but it only makes you sound stupid and pretentious. It’s like saying you’re allergic to water and can only drink Mountain Dew, whch is mostly water. Do you see how stupid that sounds? That’s you when you say you have an MSG allergy.

      • Re msg allergy; yes there can be a sensitivity to it (not the same as a true allergic response) but believe me there is. I got a burning tongue and other issues in Japan where it was used in very high concentration and my husband would always get a weakness from it (muscle weakness.) Turned out he had Lou Gehrig’s Disease and wouldn’t you know it, the protein that is involved in killing the neurons has something to do with glutamate, which is involved in neurotransmitters. So you definitely can have a sensitivity. Any food can be a problem, even rice and pears, the most un-allergic foods around.

  62. Haven’t tried your recipe yet, but it sounds one my mom had a zillion years ago.

    I grew up in Mt. Carmel, and now live in Batavia! I’ve spent all of my 60 years within 10-15 miles from where i was LITERALLY born (Our Lady of Mercy in Mariemont), here in Cincy! And i whole heartily agree with everything you said! ☺☺☺

  63. So much fun and definately 5 way for me!

  64. Love it, love it ! Thanks so much Amanda! You’re a Goddess.

  65. This recipe is awesome – the only thing I changed was added more (a significant amount more) salt and garlic powder. I also added 1/4 tsp baking soda at the very end to take away the slightly bitter taste from the tomato paste and metal pan (should have used my ceramic cast iron – but I tripled the recipe and it wouldn’t all fit.

  66. I’m from the Cincinnati area. This is it, folks. Make this one, make the recipe as-is, splurge on 80-20 beef, this chili is excellent. If you have the time, make the chili the day before and chill it in the fridge overnight, it allows everything to blend and lends an even better flavor.

  67. Awesome I’m a transplant from Upstate NY to Cincy as a kid. I love all things Cincy! Now I reside in FL and made this for pre hurricane comfort food. You rock! Much love!!

  68. Cincinnati chili is one of my families favorite. I’ve tried alot of different recipes and yours is by far the best one yet! I’ve done the skyline canned and chili seasoning mixes and this is spot on. Will definitely be using this recipe from now on. Thanks!

  69. Making it right now, a triple batch. It smells good.

  70.  I visited Cincinatti in April/ May 2019 (my first trip to the US) and after a very tiring day of sightseeing and walking for miles without food (long story) we arrived back in the city centre starving hungry.  I thought it would be the perfect time to try our first ever SKYLINE   So pleased we did.  We loved it!  We had the three-way 

    So, it’s now the end of July, on a thoroughly wet UK afternoon and I planned chilli,  but instead of the Mexican style one I usually do, I fancied having a go at a Skyline. I googled and ended up here 

    So pleased I did.  I made your recipe and it’s better than I expected   It really took me back to downtown Cincinatti. I’m feeling quite nostalgic now.  Sigh.  maybe I’ll return one day.  I will definitely keep making this recipe

    Thank you 

  71. Cheese- I learned that the trick for the shredded cheese is to sprinkle it lightly with corn or potato starch that is very fine, you can use a food processor.  Shake it up and this will keep the cheese you hand shredded from sticking Together and clumping.

  72. I am a California Girl, and didn’t know this dish. However, it’s comfort food for my partner. He had these packets with the magic ingredients plus some bad ones like MSG. I didn’t like the idea of eating chemicals.

    So, I found this recipe and he loved it!!! But, it takes a lot of futzing around to measure out the ingredients each time. To make it easier, I  multiplied by 6, sifted it all together, and then divided by 6 for one pot of Cinicinati chili.

    For your information,  I  used raw cacao powder instead of Baker’s chocolate with good results.

    First I would recommend you make there original recipe to see how you like the spiciness. Also, make sure you have enough ingredients to multiply by 6 after you try the recipe for the first time because there are different heat levels if chili powders and red pepper powder.

    I used cayenne powder instead of the red pepper flakes because I  wanted to sift all the lumps out (with a cake sifter). Even though I  used less than the recipe called for, my entire recipe was hotter than the times I had made it before. If I had it to do again, I would leave the red pepper out, and add it to the recipe if needed. You decide…

    After mixing it together and divided by 6, I put the amount to use on top of the can. I also put the recipe on the side of the can. I didn’t have an appropriate scale–which would work better–because of settling of ingredients…

    Something else that I did differently, is I roasted a spaghetti squash and used that instead of pasta or spaghetti noodles.

    • Glutamate is one of the most abundant amino acids on Earth it’s part of the mother. MSG is not bad for you.

      • Ryan, Apparently MSG is different than naturally occuring glutamate because MSG makes me have instant diarrhea, and I don’t suffer with it otherwise nor have to watch out for natural sources.

  73.  I made this recipe without alteration and it came out fantastic. It was just as I remembered all my trips to Cincinnati and enjoying skyline chili. I always wondered what was in that chili and now I found out.  You have nailed it perfectly. I can’t imagine tweaking the recipe since the whole intent was to “copy” the skyline chili taste.  I am also amazed at how economical it is to fix it yourself rather than to buy the ready-made skyline chili in the grocery store. I am born and raised in Texas and I think it’s inaccurate to try to compare skyline chili with Texas Red chili. They may be both called chilli but they’re different and both are delicious.

  74. I’m from Houston, TX.  We heard about this while watching the Astros play the Reds in Cincinnati. It was clear that our Houston reporter who tried it didn’t care for it, and by the sounds of the ingredients, I couldn’t imagine it being any good. However, my husband is a big fan of spaghetti, chili, and cheese and begged me to try this. I was skeptical that he would like it because he is not a big fan of an over abundance of chili powder so I did half that. Upon tasting it after mixing everything, I thought it was awful. But being an experienced cook, I knew it was unfair to judge it without letting it simmer for at least an hour. After I let it simmer for 2 hours, it had definitely improved but still overall weird combo of flavors. My husband did not like it because of the chili powder. I went ahead and added another 3 oz of tomato paste. After another half hour of simmering, I thought it was darn good. My husband thought it was better. I served it over spaghetti with a ton of cheese on top. My husband was won over with it served this way. However, a very rich dish. A small amount goes a long way. I have had a cup of the just the chili for the last couple of days, and I prefer it just plain. I do think the flavor improves when the spices are given a few days to meld. In the future, I will make it at least two days in advance of serving it. 

  75. So I’ve made this to the exact specifications and it comes out great!

    We’ve tweaked it a bit to our personal tastes as well. The cloves I have on hand are super strong so I just add a touch and go from there. We like ours a little sweeter and hotter, so of course more sugar and red pepper flakes. I also add a few beef cubes. After it simmers for an hour or so, I use my immersion blender to chop the meat up finer.

    My advice is, make it as the recipe says the first time, you won’t be disappointed, then change to taste after that!

  76. What type of cheese can I buy that will taste like the delicious cheese they serve at Skyline? Also how many does this serve? Thank you!!

  77. I’m from Cincinnat but moved away almost 13 years ago. Several times a year I make big batches of Cincinnati chili and keep them in my freezer. I lost the recipe I use to always use, it was a mash up of 4 different Cincinnati chili recipes and made this today. The only thing I did differently was cut out the red pepper flakes and the sugar, the replace beef broth for the water. The beef broth tends to give it the flavor that most copycat recipes are missing. I put everything in the slow cooker and beat the meat so it gets that fine crumb. It smells spot on, thank you!

  78. This is pretty close to the original. One of my favorites on Google. I like to add the water and beef first and break it up and get it cooking before adding anything else.

  79. I can’t wait to try Cinnicati chilli! That’s quite the list of ingredients. I bought the unsweetened chocolate and the spices I didn’t have in the cupboard and I am ready to make it on the weekend.

  80. Growing up in Southwestern Ohio I knew moving to Las Vegas would mean leaving behind my beloved chili spaghetti. Every time my mom asks if I want anything specific from home I ALWAYS request cans of Skyline or Goldstar chili. As I opened my last can I decided, “I’m going to have to find a recipe for this and make it myself!” So excited to try this and not be left craving a four-way with no means of making one myself!

  81. I had never heard of Cincinnati chili but I was intrigued by the chocolate and spices.  Made it last night and, oh my goodness, my kitchen smelled wonderful!  And it tasted just as wonderful.  I enjoyed it more than my regular chili or spaghetti.  Thank you so much.

  82. My husband grew up in Cincinnati and now we live  far away from there. He misses Skyline Chili a lot so I tried this recipe for our anniversary. It’s easy to cook and he enjoyed ! Thank you 😀

  83. I never had Cincinnati chili before, as I have never been to Ohio. However, it always looked good and intrigued me. I finally got adventurous enough to try it and…..WOW! I have no other experience with Cincinnati chili to compare this recipe to, but it is fantastic!! My husband and I are completely hooked, we have made this recipe 3 times in less than 3 months. Fabulous. I didn’t change a thing.

  84. I made this tonight. Followed your recipe fairly close. Added 1 tbsp. chili powder. l left out the sugar and pepper flakes, left out the salt, used 1 tsp chopped garlic, 2 lbs ground chuck. Mixed all the spices together and added them to the water, tomato paste and tomato sauce. Added the meat mashing it really good. 30 minutes in my Instant Pot and SUCCESS. Simmered till liquid cooked down. I could tell by the smell this nailed it. It has been 9 years since I have been to Cincinnati and had chili. This was great!!!!

  85. Thank you so much for this! I live in Texas now and haven’t been able to replicate the taste. This is spot on.

  86. I have to say, I lived in Louisville, Kentucky for a time and tried skyline chili a few times. It appears I am in the minority as I found it kind of disgusting. I love chili, I like cookies. I don’t think their flavors should meld. I do however like chili over spaghetti. So that is a positive. From what I remember your recipe would nail it though, so great job. 

  87. I’m from southern Ohio and this recipe was perfection. I used it to top hot dogs and it transported me back to my childhood.  Kudos. 

  88. Made this most interesting chili today. Never heard of it here in the South. Followed recipe, smelled wonderful, and thickened nicely. Served over spaghetti, with cheese & onions. Very distinct flavor. Lots of onions helped. Not what I’m used to; but not awful. Unsure if I’ll make it again. The recipe was easy to follow. Enjoyed the experience.

  89. Just put together the Cincinnati Chili. The spices smell so good. I did only use 3 cups of water as we like our chili to be thicker and I upped the amount of ground beef. So far so good. The kitchen smells so yummy!

  90. So, I’m from Louisiana and have always been hesitant to try Cincinnati chili. It always just seemed weird to me, and not something I thought I’d like. Well, a couple weeks ago I came across a frozen box of Skyline chili spaghetti and figured I might as well give it a shot. So I did. And then again the next week. And then again. Gotta say, I’ve developed a taste for it. So I went searching for a recipe, and now I’m fully hooked!

    I doubled the recipe and followed it “exactly” (though I’ll confess I’m not at all careful about exact measurements) and I’ve gotta say, this recipe is actually better than Skyline, in my humble opinion. That might have something to do with the fact that my only experience with Skyline is frozen. I’ve never actually been to a parlor. But I really do think this recipe is actually better, and I’m about to make another pot this evening. Thanks, from Cincinnati chili’s newest devotee!

  91. I know this will be sacrilege to some but I replace the beef with Gardein Crumbles (I’m vegan) and I followed the recipe all the way. It was delicious. I saw it Diners Dives and Drive ins and I had to try. Maybe some enterprising Ohian will open a restaurant in Florida. 

  92. I too am a Cincinnati native away from home and this is the closest copycat version I’ve ever had. I’ve made this three times now and it gets better every time. I leave out the red pepper flakes and use about 2-3 tsp’s of salt.

  93. This was delicious – however quite a bit spicier than Skyline’s – and I cut back the chili powder to a scant 3 Tbsp (instead of the 4 called for).  Next time I will use only 2 Tbsp and omit the red pepper flakes.   I cut back on the broth as others suggested (3c instead of 5) plus used a can of tomato sauce instead of paste, since I didn’t have it on hand.   Also, a different recipe called for oregano, so I  added about 1/2 tsp of that and used fresh minced garlic  (1 clove) instead of garlic powder.   Took about an hour to simmer down to the right consistency.  Well worth the wait!  

  94. Great recipe! I used beef stock instead of water. I think there was probably some sodium in the broth, so I could have cut back on the salt. I made this is in my dutch oven and, because I was sooo impatient to eat this chili, I couldn’t leave the kitchen and basically stirred/whisked/mashed the beef pretty constantly. The result was perfect in texture and the taste was excellent. I’m excited to try leftovers today to see if it is even better leftover as others suggest!

  95. Awesome recipe!!! I grew up in the St. Louis area, and this reminded me a lot of Steak ‘n Shake’s chili. Though I am surprised by all the respondents who took the spices down a notch. I kicked them UP! But I did make almost 2 pounds of ground beef instead of 1.25. Used 3.5 cups of water because 5 seemed like too much. And I added a tsp of sugar, based on another poster’s response. My family loved it!

  96. It took me awhile to find a taste for Cincy chili, but I’ve really come to like it. So much that I was ordering Gold Star chili online and having cans shipped to me. Anyway, I got tired of the expense, so I decided to make it myself. The last few years have been a lot of trial and error, and wasted time and money….until I found this recipe. This stuff is awesome!! I did tweak it a tad, such as swapping a can of beef broth in place of 2 of the cups of water, and i added a tablespoon of worcestershire sauce. I also cut the chocolate in half. I just prefer a beefier flavor. To get the consistency I like, I took a slotted spoon, scooped out all the meat, and pulsed it in my Ninja a few times. Thanks for this recipe!!

  97. I love your recipes and will subscribe for more! My 
    family thinks I’m such a great cook thanks for that!

  98. Outstanding!!! I have tried for 30 years to make a good copycat version- This one NAILED it!
    I made the following alterations:
    Only 3 cups of water. Crumble your burger into cold water and break it up before turning on the heat. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and skim the grease fat. 
    Add the tomato paste and stir in well and simmer. 
    Then add the spices, but use 1.5 tsp salt, and 2 tsp sugar. 
    Add 1/4 cup minced onion. 
    THANK YOU for posting your excellent recipe, Chunky Chef!!!

  99. In this recipe for sky line chili, you call for 1/4 CUP of chili powder…is that correct?  I’m making this for a bunch of family members who grew up in Cincinnati!!

  100. How do u make it with beans?

  101. What do you consider a serving size?

    • I don’t precisely measure… just 1/6 to 1/8th of the entire pot of chili.

    • Sorry if these are repeat questions. I’ve never had this before so I have nothing to compare it to…

      1-chopped RAW onions or cooked a specific way?

      2–do you do anything special to the kidney beans or just throw some rinsed uncooked canned beans on top?

      3-will any boxed spaghetti (San Georgia, etc) work or is there a specific type of pasta?

  102. Wow..really interesting flavor. It seems like an acquired taste but I’m happy I made it (I love Mexican mole sauce!) so I can say I tried it. We have Steak n Shake here in MO and so I was expecting that a little, just since they serve it 3, 4 or 5 way with your described toppings. But this is definitely much more spices-forward. A note on the red pepper flakes: we like spicy but for others who are used to mild (I’d call this a medium), you might start less than 1/4 tsp and add a little heat with hot sauce or something later if it’s not enough. 

  103. Looks delicious. I’ve had it numerous times, mostly from canned or frozen Skyline (or Gold Star or Empress) since I’m from out of town — but in November 2000 I flew to Cincinnati for a day for a tryout as copy editor at the now-defunct Cincinnati Post, and of course had lunch at a downtown Skyline (then bought a few cans at a nearby “Taste of Cincy” shop at a local department store. Alas, I didn’t get the job, but have purchased the stuff at Kroger. (I understand Walmart makes it via a house brand, but have never tried it.) Will try to make this sometime soon here in SoCal, where I’ve lived since moving from central Virginia in 2014.

  104. Once someone has Cincinnati chili there is no other chilli I love this stuff and yes I’m from Ohio but you can’t go wrong

  105. What’s the party dip recipe using this that you mentioned? I looked but didn’t see it!

  106. If I don’t have bakers chocolate, how much, maybe cocoa powder?, should I use?

  107. Thanks a million, I live in Richmond, Virginia, and with relatives in Columbus, Ohio. I discovered a love for this stuff when I went to the Skylind parlor in Kings Island whilst on the way to visit them.

    Skyline Chili was sold at my local Kroger in cans, and frozen until earlier this year, it was pricey but it was good, and now I don’t have any way to get my chili fix. Thank you so much kind sir.

  108. How long do you recommend this can be stored(frozen) for? 

  109. This was DELICIOUS!!! I would say pretty much a spot on clone of Skyline…added a little hot sauce because… well its Skyline! We love our Skykine here in the Midwest. 😍
    Thanks for this recipe!

  110. It’s a HOT, sticky summer night here in the Midwest, but for some reason I was hankering for chili. We have a place here in Milwaukee called “Real Chili” that is essentially Cincinnati style. (there is even some debate that ‘ours’ is the original version of this style.) Anyway, it has been a MKE staple for 75+ years now and the place to go for late night eats. Always excellent. BUT, what hasn’t been so excellent is how much they are charging for it nowadays. The last time my hubby and I went it cost us almost $40 for 1.5 servings each. I can’t justify that price for some greasy college food, but it’s so good!
    This morning I came upon your copycat recipe and decided to give it a try. I just finished eating a serving and it did not fail to satisfy my craving! It was delicious. Hubby is still on the fence.. he says it’s not exactly like R.C., but it’s pretty darn close. (sigh) He ate it all though and tomorrow after it sits overnight, I’m sure it will be even better for lunch. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’ll be making this again and again for sure!

  111. My kids are not huge fans of Skyline because they find it too spicy, so I toned down the red pepper flakes and my entire family loved it. Will be making this often!! As you noted, it is so much more cost-effective to make it ourselves than drive through the Skyline drive-thru!

  112. Amazing recipe!! It’s almost robbery what they charge for can or freezer chili. Another tip that I use with the ground beef is use your potato masher to stir it while it’s simmering. Breaks it apart more and more each time. Thank you for putting the recipe out.

  113. Good , really GOOD wish I could leave a picture … It was that GOOD

  114. Ridiculously good!
    Served 2 with pasta cheese and onions and coneys for me!  I did watch the temp and it thickened up quite a bit but just added some water and tomato paste to thin it back out.  I’d have a hard time telling them apart in a blind taste test.  🙂

  115. Ate at the Skyline when our daughter went to UC, her favorite place, and your recipe is spot on. Thanks for sharing. 

  116. Best Skyline recipe ever!

  117. Made it with ground turkey and couldn’t tell the difference… its so so so close… I think its a smell difference rather than a taste difference. My 10 year old helped me (this is his favorite thing ever on earth to eat)… and he couldn’t tell the difference! Great recipe.

  118. Love it!

  119. I am from Illinois and never knew that the Chili I grew up on was Cincinnati Chili. And never would have guesses I was a 3-way! But your recipe looked very interesting so I had to try it. Eureka!! Chili like I remember. Even my New York Italian husband thought it was great. It is now in my dinner rotation. Thanks

  120. I am born and raised an Ohioan…after 55 years my husband and I moved to TN last year. He has mentioned on more than 1 occasion how much he misses Skyline. After paying an obscene amount for the frozen skyline and him not being overly impressed I started searching Pinterest. After reading many of the reviews your recipe seemed like the perfect one to try and PERFECT it is. I can’t wait for my husband to get home tonight to try it. Only changes I made was I used 2 pounds of ground beef and added just a slightly more salt. Great Job

  121. A friend made this for yesterday’s Super Bowl party and I thought it tasted familiar. Now looking at the ingredients I see why. It’s got a lot of the same ingredients (chocolate, cinnamon, allspice) that are used in Mexican Mole sauce. Still good!!

  122. Thank you for the recipe! I made it with morning star meatless crumbles and it was delicious! We’re in California for work and there is no Cincinnati chili here. It was nice to have a taste of home. Thank you so much! ☺️

  123. This is very similar to what is called Chilli Mac in Illinois at Steak and Shake restaurants.Ingrediants are a little different,but it is servided over spagghetti the same.You can also order it in numbers 1-5 with same options.I make my own at home and everyone who tries it,loves it!!

  124. Pingback: Epic Dry-Rubbed Baked Chicken Wings - The Chunky Chef

  125. LOVE Skyline chili. A friend from the area introduced me to it when she moved to the Akron area. But you are so right…people either love it or hate it. I told my son to get some when he was working in Cincinnati, and he was NOT a fan!

  126. Really a 1/4 cup of chili powder I don’t think the jar comes close to a 1/4 cup?

  127. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Ohio in general but I’ve always loved Skyline chili.

    A couple of caveats though. Don’t worry about melting the chocolate first just put everything together the tomato paste, water, spices… Then add the hamburger breaking up with your hands. You can make it smaller that way. I always wear latex glove whenever I’m dealing with raw meat but that’s a personal thing you could use your bare hand if you want to LOL.

    Then go ahead and start heating it up add the chocolate and stir. Also replace one cup of water with a cup of beef stock it makes it … heartier.

    Great recipe though!

  128. Pingback: Here Are A Bunch Of Ultimate Comfort Foods From Around The World | TrendyTechToday

  129. Pingback: Here Are A Bunch Of Ultimate Comfort Foods From Around The World - Latests News

  130. Pingback: 32 Comfort Foods The World Needs To Know About | World Food Links

  131. Pingback: 32 consolation Foods The World Needs To Know approximately — What's Life

  132. Pingback: 32 Comfort Foods The World Needs To Know About » FBQuizzy

  133. Pingback: 32 Comfort Foods The World Needs To Know About - yowBuzz

  134. Pingback: 32 Comfort Foods The World Needs To Know About – Crazy Bite

  135. I made this chili last weekend and it was everything I thought it would be! I made corn bread to go with it and it totally hit the spot. This recipe will now have a permanent place in my recipe book. Thanks!

  136. I can’t wait to make this tonight. I used to drive a semi truck and I always looked forward to Skyline when I was driving through Ohio.

    Seeing as I am from Canada, I’d have to drive about 3 hours to find Skyline in a can…And coming out of a can does this chili no Justice! Now, just have to find oyster crackers somewhere around me and I’m set!( I can’t find them in Canada either. BOO!)

  137. Delicious. My family loves Skyline chili. I thought it was spot on. Will definitely be making this again.

  138. Thank you! I love Skyline. I miss it too! I’m introducing Alaskans to this chili and it’s a hit! My daughter was born in Ohio and of course has been eating this since she was small! This is great!!!

  139. Thank You Chuncky Chef we will Definitely try this version because I agree the store price is ridiculous. Just came back from visiting Cincy my hometown and Skyline is always on my “to do List” . Skyline is definitely a MID west thing, you would have had to grown up on this type of chilli to truly understand it and how much you would miss it once you realized you can’t just go to a Skyline drive thru and pick it up anytime you want.

  140. Ok, just had two bowls. It was a huge success with the family…. my 1 year old crushed it. The flavor was almost on point, seriously close. So close that it literally transported me to the first time I ate Skyline. I do think the salt needs to upped. I found myself salting each serving.

    Bravo. This is a great wintertime meal, and is incredibly flavorful for how simple it is.

  141. I haven’t had a chance to try this yet, but I will soon. Looks like a great recipe. I loves me some Skyline, and really just any Cincinnati chili. So yeah, I definitely look forward to this. Thanks! Your site has been bookmarked!

  142. I went to school out in Cincinnati area (Miami Univ) for two years coming from Boston. When I first heard about Cincy chili I was “what the heck? That’s not chili!” But after awhile and trying Skyline Chili, I loved it. My husband worked at Skyline for awhile while finishing grad school and would always bring leftovers home. I do miss it.

  143. This looks like Skyline, but does it truly taste like Skyline? I will be trying this recipe because I am an avid Skyline fan and can’t wait to try it.

  144. This looks so yummy! Need to try it!

  145. I haven’t heard of this before and it sounds awesome!

  146. This chili looks so good! I was sold when you said it was served over spaghetti!!

  147. I’ve always wanted to visit Cincinnati and try this chili! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to try it at home!

  148. This chili looks absolutely delicious!

  149. I LOVE Cincinnati Chili. It is so unique and tasty! Can’t wait to introduce my family.

  150. YESSS! This looks SO good- I think I could eat an entire batch in a single day. Okay, don’t tell anyone I said that. But it really looks THAT good!

  151. I’ll try anything once but I’m afraid my whole family didn’t like this chili. Guess we’re spoiled to the chili with beans and cornbread or in a frito pie. The spices were just to overwhelmingly different. Wish someone liked it so I didn’t have to waste it ..:(

  152. My mom suggested putting the ground beef in cold water for about 30-45 minutes, worked like a charm! Didn’t have to break up the beef at all. 🙂

  153. I LOVE Cincinnati Chili! I’m excited to now have a recipe to make it myself- looks amazing!

  154. Delicious! I love about any kind of chili and find it fascinating how it varies every where.

  155. When’s dinner, I’m there! Nothing better on a cold Winter’s Day!