Cincinnati Chili

Growing up I was never a fan of chili…I think it might have been the beans. I actually like it now, beans and all, but when I went to college in Ohio I got my first taste of how Cincinnati does chili (beanless, topped with cheddar and served over spaghetti) and I was hooked. Now that I could get on board with! I had a roommate who used to make it, and even though I’ve since tried Skyline Chili, I will always think hers was the best.

When I found this recipe on the Weight Watchers site I was pretty excited to try my hand at making it myself and as soon as I tasted it I knew WW got it right. I ended up making it with lean ground beef instead of ground chicken like the recipe originally called for and I omitted adding water because I wanted it thick. I was a tiny bit worried about putting in 6 whole Tbsp of chili powder but it turned out perfect. It’s got just the right amount of heat to it and the flavors all come together really well. I already can’t wait to make this again!


Cincinnati Chili

Yield: 8 servings


  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 oz chopped green chilies, canned, mild
  • 6 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1 pound uncooked 95% lean ground beef
  • 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup salsa, mild, chunky
  • 8 oz canned tomato sauce
  • 4 cups cooked wheat spaghetti
  • 1/2 cups 2% shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes. Add in the chiles, chili powder, cocoa, cumin, cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Stir to combine and cook about 1 minute. Add ground beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes with their liquid, salsa and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the flavors blend and the chili thickens slightly, about 1 hour.
  3. Serve layered with ½ cup of spaghetti at the bottom, a scant cup of chili over it and 1T of shredded cheddar cheese on top for each serving.

MyWW SmartPoints per serving: (SP calculated using the recipe builder on
Green: 6 SmartPoints/ Blue: 6 SmartPoints/ Purple: 3 SmartPoints

Weight Watchers Points Plus:
6 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on

Slightly adapted from