Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chili Spaghetti - Homemade Stovetop Beef Chili with Beans

My homemade beef and bean stovetop chili, served "Cincinnati Style" on a bed of spaghetti noodles and topped with cheese. If you've turned your nose up at this and never tried it, you must try it at least once. I got hooked first bite.

Chili Spaghetti

Oh Chili Spaghetti, Chili Spaghetti (or is it Spaghetti Chili?), where oh where have you been all of my life? ♥

I'm gonna tell y'all straight up front before y'all get all over me, that yes, this is a dish stolen straight away from above the Mason-Dixon line. Yep, sure is.

Well, at least the way it's served is. But, it is not, nor is it intended to be, cast as anything close to being an authentic "Cincinnati or Skyline Chili." It's still my chili, made my way, but... the manner of serving it over spaghetti noodles, with cheese, and often a variety of other things like raw onion and raw garlic, is apparently a classic Ohio dish - or more specifically, Cincinnati Chili or Skyline Chili. Now. That said... in order to earn one of those names, it's also got to be a specific type of chili, of which I really know nothing about, which is why I am just calling my version plain ole Chili Spaghetti, served Cincinnati "style."

I first learned about Skyline Chili from a friend of mine Brandi, who lives in, well, where else, but Ohio? She literally had to explain to me what this thing called Skyline Chili was! I had never heard of eating chili on pasta before - and while I was intrigued, chili on spaghetti is just not something that we do down south. Thanks Brandi. I have no idea why I waited so long to try this, because first bite, I was sold.

When I placed this platter of goodness in front of The Cajun and he observed that the chili he knew I was making, and the chili he was expecting, was being served to him on a plate of spaghetti noodles and piled with cheese, I noted the skepticism in his voice as he questioned my sanity!  I smirked and waited for that next comment, which came I might add, after consuming nearly the entire dish... "this is really delicious!"  'Nuff said.

Now, from what I understand, Cincinnati Chili or Skyline Chili, uses things like cocoa and allspice and no chili powder, but I'm not ready to move in that direction with my chili just yet, so I just used my basic chili with beans and the spices and seasonings I usually use. I do use a little bit of cinnamon but that's is about as adventurous as I'm willing to go with mine! By the way, don't feel overwhelmed at the ingredient list. Remember, this is a homemade chili and that's all chili seasonings - or flavor - that you would usually find in a packet, only we're making it fresh! And my apologies to Texas for the tomatoes and beans - I do know how y'all feel about those in your chili.

I also used the new McCormick brand roasted cumin and roasted cinnamon that came in our BlogHer Food swag bag we got at the closing party. It was a very nice addition and perfect for chili.  Check them out sometime!

For more of my favorite chili recipes, pop over and check out my Pinterest page!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!

Recipe: Chili Spaghetti with Homemade Beef Chili with Beans

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 20 min |Cook time: 1 hour | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons of sliced jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), optional
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Kitchen Bouquet
  • 1 teaspoon of hot sauce
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 can of Rotel tomatoes or regular diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups beef stock or broth
  • 2 medium bay leaves
  • 2 cans of pinto or light kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • Cooked thin spaghetti noodles
  • Finely shredded cheddar cheese

Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapenos; saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook for about 10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Drain off excess fat.

Mix together the cumin, oregano, chili powder, cinnamon, Cajun seasoning, and sugar; add to the beef and continue to cook about 5 minutes longer.

Mix together the Worcestershire, Kitchen Bouquet, hot sauce and tomato sauce; add to beef mixture, cooking for about 4 minutes longer. Add the diced tomatoes, beef stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about 40 minutes or until liquid is significantly reduced. Add the rinsed and drained beans, season with salt and pepper and continue cooking on a low simmer, about 20 minutes longer. Stir, taste and adjust as needed.

To each serving plate or bowl, add a layer of cooked spaghetti noodles, top with the chili, and sprinkle with finely shredded cheddar cheese.

Cook's Notes: Omit the beans if you like. Can also substitute 1 pound ground beef and 1 pound of Italian sausage or Mexican chorizo sausage, if desired. Can also use ground turkey.

Other serving suggestions: Serve chili alone, with grated cheese, or a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of sliced green onion, raw yellow or sweet chopped onion, raw chopped garlic, or other toppings as desired. Also good served over hot, cooked rice or cornbread.

Tip: Did you know that my layered nachos recipe is a great way to use leftover chili?

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
For Cincinnati Style Chili

Omit the sweet and hot peppers. Omit the beans from the sauce but include them as a garnish on top (drain and rinse), if prepared as "five way." Omit the oil for browning the ground beef and boil it in 4 cups of water until cooked through. Add all of the remaining seasonings down to bay leaf and as indicated below; bring to a boil and let simmer for 2 to 2-1/2 hour or until reduced and thickened. Refrigerate overnight and scoop off the top layer of fat before reheating. Alternatively, boil the beef without the seasonings and then drain well before proceeding with the recipe.

For seasoning: Add or adjust the following ingredients in the chili, using "to taste" for those indicated as "up to." Up to 2 tablespoons of paprika, up to 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, up to 2 teaspoons of ground cumin, 10 peppercorns, ground, 8 whole allspice berries, ground, 8 whole cloves, ground, 1/2 ounce of unsweetened chocolate, grated, and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Leave the Cajun seasoning or substitute with plain cayenne. Many recipes suggest up to 1/4 cup of chili powder, others say there is no chili powder. You decide. To serve Cincinnati chili - "two way" is simply chili and spaghetti; "three way" adds cheese; "four way" adds chopped, raw onion and "five way" adds beans on top. Serve with oyster crackers and hot sauce at the table. It may not be completely authentic, but it'll get you a little closer than mine.
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Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

Crockpot Beef Chili with Beans
Mary's Favorite Hamburger Soup
Stovetop No Bean Beef Chili
Posted by on November 9, 2010

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  1. There is one restaurant here in my part of Ohio that calls it "Mexican Spaghetti"...LoL!

  2. Wow. I never thought of serving chili that way! Gotta' try it!

  3. I can't believe I haven't tried this. When I consider it's basically noodles with meat sauce, it makes sense to me and yours looks delicious.

  4. This is what I'm talkin' about! Good chili is good chili, serve it on thin spaghetti, sounds and looks delish!

    Will give it a try soon!

    Thank you.


  5. I love my chili over spaghetti!

  6. I don't know about the allspice addition but I always add a 1/2 block of unsweetened chocolate to my (this kinda) chili. It's so goooooooood. sorry, I love you but the spaghetti and chile thing has always just well.....sorry. The chili recipe sounds superb though. The Olde Bagg

  7. I LOVE Cincinnati style chili! Gotta have tons of sharp cheddar and onions on top though. I first tried it 12 yrs ago, and loved it so much I made it 3 times in 2 weeks! lol

  8. Oh this looks so good Mary...we used to have a diner in a nearby town that served Spagehetti Red, which was like your dish. Very tasty and filling-perfect comfort food!

  9. Oh so very Ohio!!! Not that I've actually had chili in Ohio, but I do watch a lot of Travel Channel. Yup, I'm cultured. :)

    I've never had a recipe for this and it's something I think I'd really dig. I'll give this a go and let you know how it turns out.

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

  10. This looks fantastic, I never heard of it and never thought to serve it over noodles, but why not?!? Thanks, Mary


  11. Oh that looks good. I always use kitchen bouquet. That is my favorite thing to add a little extra dimension to gravies and stew. I always do my chili with black beans.

  12. My mum would make this all the time and we're Malaysian! Chili and spaghetti, two great tastes that taste great together, mm mm m m.

    Mary, your blog always makes me ravenous.

  13. Oh I love fries smothered with chili so spaghetti has to be over the top awesome! Bravo Mary

  14. The first time I ever heard of Cincinnati spaghetti, I thought it was weird. But then I realized it wasn't much different than serving it on rice like my mom used to do.

    But I still have not tried BBQ spaghetti like Interstate BBQ makes.

  15. I did make Cincinnati Chili once and used the original recipe that had cinnamon. It was pretty darn good, but I've not made it since. Why didn't I think to take the flavor of chili I love best (like you) and turn it into our own version. Looks great!

  16. I'm from Ohio and have a Skyline Chili close by. It seems people either love it or hate it, there's not much in between.

  17. Mom is from Louisville, KY and they eat chili over spaghetti too. It is most delicious. Glad you posted this Mary = )

  18. Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

  19. Gotta say, once I set aside my pre-judgment about this dish, it really does rock!! Good stuff!

  20. Steak & Shake has chili & spaghetti, think it's called chili 3 way, anyway they do in MO. Really good!!!

  21. I never would have imagined I'd like chili this way, but it got me too!

  22. Here's a note shared by Jim Linton on my Facebook about authentic Cincinnati chili - which of course I explain above that I do not claim this to be. Since he is a self-proclaimed purist, I thought that I would share his comments here on the recipe for anybody who is interested in what makes an actual authentic version - which again, I do not claim this to be. I thought that was pretty clear by the title Chili Spaghetti, but maybe not.

    Jim Linton said: "Not to be a purist (ok, maybe I am). True Cincinnati Chili is made with chocolate in the mix, does not have Cajun seasoning, and does not have hot peppers (as in the Rotel). Beans are not cooked in the chili, but separately, and added on top, depending on how you want to eat it. 5-Way. Spaghetti, Chili on top. Beans and diced sweet onions on top of that. Cheddar cheese on top of it all. Sorry, but I lived in Cincinnati for a long time, went to school at the University of Cincinnati, and ate at the original Sky-Line many times. As well as most other chili dives in the Queen City. Don't call it Cincinnati-Style Chili if it isn't. {I didn't Jim :) Sorry, but this is something I am passionate about. And serve hot sauce and oyster crackers on the side."

    Best Southern Recipes from the Deep South (that's me!!) said:

    LOL Jim - well, I don't call my chili "true" Cincinnati chili, so I think we're good! I address all of that within the body of this post in fact!

    So there you go. Just goes to show you, even scientists skim read. :)


  23. Here in southwest Missouri we call this Spaghetti Red. It's often eaten with raw onions and sometime pickles, the hamburger slice kind. Also, the chili is supposed to be really greasy. Fred and Red's in Joplin, MO served the best Spaghetti Red but closed their doors this years after having been in the greasy spoon business since the 1920's. I guess I will just have to make my own.

    1. Pickles! Now that is interesting!! Maybe you could contact the owners of that restaurant somehow & see if they'll give you the basics of their recipe?

    2. Why don't you try to buy the recipe from them?
      Since they aren't going to sell it anymore.

    3. Why don't you call them up and buy the recipe?

  24. We call this Spaghetti Red in southwest Missouri. Some of the best was made by Fred and Red's in Joplin, MO but they closed this year after having been in the greasy spoon business since the 1920's. Spaghetti Red doesn't have cinnamon in it but it does have grease. It's usually served with raw onions and pickles, the hamburger slice kind. I miss it but your recipe has gotten me to thinking that I just need to make my own.

    1. Why don't you call up the people who owned the restuarant and offer to buy the recipe, since they aren't going to make it anymore.

  25. If you live in Steak N'Shake country.... this is ChiliMac on their menu... yuuum!

    1. The closest Steak N'Shake to me is in Mobile Alabama - about an hour's drive. I've actually never been but now I have a reason to drive over that way sometime and give their Chili Mac chili a taste! Thanks David!!

  26. We make our chili with the spaghetti in it

  27. My family has always made our chili with the spaghetti IN it.

  28. This sounds absolutely delicious. Thanks for posting this recipe.


  29. Chili over spaghetti, chili over rice, chili over a baked potato.....JUST GIVE ME CHILI!!!!! Sounds delicious as do all your recipes!!!! Pinning it!!


  31. HAHA!!! Being born and raised in Ohio, I didn't know other people didn't know about eating chili on spaghetti HAHA!!! Glad you are introducing the South to it. I always eat my chili on rice tho. I actually almost never make Skyline chili. Most of us in northern Ohio prefer regular chili your way or I make Texas chili with only, uh, chilis and it's really more like beef braised in a mole and I eat that with (non sweet) skillet cornbread or tortillas.

    1. Funny isn't it?! Shoulda seen my hubby's face when I served it to him that first time. :)

  32. Living on a farm outside of Cleveland,Ohio I have eaten more than my fair share of Cincinnati Chile from Skyline and various local diners down in Cinci itself. Yours is the best yet though some of our friends (okay actually our Aunt Tonia who was born there) from "Porkopolis" insist it should have some cocoa added but not enough to taste chocolaty. That said your version could put Skyline out of business since we also loved yours on homemade Cinci Chili Dogs (we won't eat Skyline's Chili Dogs even if they are free but love them at their local Mom and Pop diners).

    I'll probably try playing around with spice and seasoning amounts a little in the future but won't stray to far as this recipe is outstanding as is. BTW - Try making a pizza out of this concept just for fun as we did it for Aunt Tonia and some others with great success.

    1. Thanks Brandon! I think it's a pretty good chili, but I wasn't brave enough to venture out into all the spices and cocoa - maybe one day I'll try to better authenticate it!

  33. It's even better over cornmeal waffles!


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