The History Of Cincinnati Chili  —  Dorm Approved

It is credited to Tom and John Kiradjieff who created "Cincinnati style Chili" chili in 1922.  They owned a small Greek restaurant called the Empress. The restaurant did well after he mixed a typical chili recipe with Middle Eastern spices and concocted a new menu based on a variety of toppings. 

Note: Steak and shake offers a modified version of this. They called it chili three ways which is incorrect. They dump chili and ketchup on spaghetti. Edible but tastes like chili and ketchup dumped on spaghetti.  We made a similar version you can make in ten minutes using RAMEN noodles on the bottom of the page and eliminate those Chef BOY-AR-DEE cans of stuff on your pantry shelves.

Original Cincinnati Chili 

  • 1 large onion chopped 
  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa 
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce , or I used stewed tomatoes in a blender (sweet)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, I used basaltic, richer
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 1/4 teaspoon red (cayenne) pepper   Note: •  1/4 tsp/Hot  1/2 tsp/Hotter  3/4 tsp/ Death

In a large frying pan or 5 quart saucier, medium heat, add the onion, ground beef, garlic, and chili powder until ground beef is slightly cooked. Add allspice, cinnamon, cumin, more salt to taste, unsweetened cocoa, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, and water.  

Add the cayenne pepper and it is hot, very hot and small amounts go a long way. You can add heat to a dish but you can't remove it, so no hero's are needed here. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 1 1/2 hours. Remove from heat and serve over spaghetti or rice.

Official Toppings - Plan A

  1. No-Way Chili:         Dropped in your lap
  2. One-Way Chili:       Straight over Rice 
  3. Two-Way Chili:       Chili served on Spaghetti
  4. Three-Way Chili:    Additionally topped with shredded Cheddar cheese
  5. Four-Way Chili:      Additionally topped with chopped onions
  6. Five-Way Chili:       Additionally topped with kidney beans
  7. Six-Way Chili:         All of the above with Extra Cayenne Pepper and a side of TUM's

Chili - Plan B  (Leftovers)

So we had a Original Chili-Taco party and all ate till we dropped. Two days later I discovered the leftovers in the fridge. I knew I had to do something with that great Cincinnati Chili flavor that had melded even better after 48 hours.   Instinctively I decided to create something for the forthcoming  Avoid Death College Dorm “‘leftovers” section of my book.

  • I found three medium size red potatoes which I cut and sautéed into 1/4 inch pieces using the standard three cut culinary method.
  • In my favorite skillet,  I added a touch of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth to reconstitute sautéd the onions and the leftover chili after the potatoes had cooked for about 15 minutes. 
  • A small half can of stewed tomatoes, prevented it from drying out. I let it marry for about twenty more minutes.  
  • Then we took soft taco shells and filled them.  Put them in my Panini press for a few seconds and my partners and I ate the whole damn thing for lunch.
  • Hmm, carrying this one step further, I am going to do it again with the potatoes, put it in a piecrust and finally melt cheese on top and create a Tomato Cincinnati Shepard's Pie type dish.

Chili Plan C (Fast Cooking Chili For Dorms)


  • 4 Bags of Ramen Noodles
  • 1- 16oz. HUNTS Diced Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Can HUNTS Tomato Paste
  • 1 16oz. HORMEL Chili
  • 1 Vidalia Onion
  • 4 Cups Water
  • Pepper 
  • Olive oil for sauté 
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon 
  • Optional:  Sliced Jalopena` with seeds and white pith removed.
  • Enough salt in the Ramen broth but Pepper to taste. 


  • In small pan sauté onions, optional Jalopeno or other Peppers you like.  Turn heat to Low-Medium.
  • Add Tomatoes, Tomato Paste and Hormel Chile, marry on low temp.
  • In larger pot boil the four bags of Ramen Noodles with four cups of water and add the powdered flavoring from the packages.  I don’t use their powder, I pitch it, I use Knorrs Pollo Broth
  • I use its half the water the 4 packages calls for because we are not making soup, we are literally making Chinese Spaghetti.