Cincinnati Chicken Chili


Bring on Fall and Winter and all it's food glory. Tis' the season for soups, stews, hearty casseroles, heavy pasta dishes and chili.

I haven't been able to talk my Sister-in-law into sharing her award winning Texas style chili, but I promise I will do my best to wear her down. However, this Cincinnati chili is one recipe that is in heavy rotation during this time of year. In fact, I usually make double or triple the batch, divide and freeze for those crazy busy nights.

I came across this particular chili recipe many, many years ago after having my first child. I had joined Weight Watchers to rid my self of the 60+ pounds I gained. Even though this was a Weight Watcher's recipe, with a few minor adjustments, I wouldn't consider this chili diet food. You could use fat free cheese and sour cream for which I do not. Even when I am dieting, I would much rather forgo eating the sour cream and cheese than to eat fat free.

This recipe is full of flavor. When you read through the list of ingredients, don't shy away from giving this recipe a try. I scrunched my face up too when I saw this chili contained cinnamon and cocoa powder. When I fixed my face and decided to move forward with this recipe, I fell in love. Which made my husband jealous until he ate the chili.


2 tablespoons of vegetable, canola or olive oil

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

1 green pepper, seeded and chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 pound of ground chicken

2 tablespoons of chili powder, we like Penzey's Chili 9000

1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons of cumin

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, we like Penzey's Vietnamese Cinnamon

1 teaspoon of sugar

Salt and Pepper to taste

4 ounce can of green chillies

14 ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 cup of chunky HOT salsa

8 ounce can of tomato sauce

Spaghetti noodles, fresh or boxed or gluten free options cooked per instructions

Shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish

Sour cream, for garnish

Scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

PREPARATION TIP:Get all your veggies chopped, cans opened, seasonings measured and garnishes prepped before you start cooking. This is a helpful kitchen tip and promotes a stress free cooking environment. I believe the French refer to this as, "mise en place."

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft, 4-6 minutes. Dump in the garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Feel free to add up to 3 cloves of garlic, I react poorly to this particular Allium and keep it to a minimum when I cook.


Add the ground chicken to the pan, breaking it up into chunks. When the ground chicken is just about done, pour in the chili powder, cocoa powder, cumin, cinnamon, sugar, salt and pepper. Give it a good stir and cook for an addtional minute.


Pour in the diced tomatoes, salsa, tomato sauce and green chilies. Give it a good stir and bring the chili up to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the chili has thickened. While the chili is reducing, cook the pasta noodles to desired tenderness.


Give the chili a taste, adjust the seasonings if needed.



1 cup of spaghetti noodles

1 cup of Cincinatti Chili

As much shredded Cheddar as you like

As much sour cream as you desire

A ton of scallions, I love scallions!

Add each ingredient in the order it's listed to a bowl and dig in!