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Fourth of July Recipes: Cincinnati Skyline Chili-getti

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If you have ever been to the Cincinnati, you must have encountered Skyline Chili.  It’s a staple there.  Consequently, I grew up eating a lot of this stuff too!  It’s a really delicious chili recipe which can just be served in the typical way but if you want to be really authentic, you must serve it as chili-getti – chili served over spaghetti noodles in place of the meat sauce or as my Mom always did, chili with pieces of spaghetti broken up and cooked in it almost reminiscent of a soup with noodles in it.  I guess more appropriately, in Rachael Ray terminology, it should more precisely be called a “stoup” (cross between a soup and a stew because it’s thicker than a soup but not quite as thick as a stew).


2 lbs. lean ground beef

1 onion, chopped (Note: for convenience, you can do what my Mom did and use a packet or partial packet according to taste of onion soup mix.  I found that the extra boost of “beefy” flavour coming from the beef stock powder in it quite delicious.  However, I prefer real onions so I would use a real onion but then added a teaspoon or two of powdered beef broth such as Oxo.)

2 – 16 oz. tomato sauce (or use 2 or 3 cans of tomato paste and add some water)

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons chili powder

salt and pepper to taste

1 lb. dry spaghetti noodles, broken in half

2  lg. cans of kidney beans

(Note:  The above are the ingredients I learned to use for making my mom’s version of Chili-getti.  To make a more authentic Skyline chili version, I add:  2 tsp. allspice, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 2 tsp. cumin, 3 T. cocoa powder, 2 T. Worcestershire, 2 T. cider vinegar)

Note:  You can use more or fewer beans if you prefer (some people don’t put any beans in their chili at all) or you can use a mixture of beans like I do.  My mom always made it strictly with red kidney beans but I will often add in something like black beans as well.  You can also adjust the quantities of the seasonings you use according to taste.


Saute onion and garlic in a little bit of oil in a frying pan until tender and translucent.  Add the ground beef and cook until browned.  Stir in the remaining ingredients except for the spaghetti noodles.  Now normally what I do is just let this simmer on the stove or put it in the crockpot all day.  Near dinner time, I turn the heat up to medium high and bring the chili to a boil.  Once at a rolling boil, drop the noodles into the chili.  I find it cooks more thoroughly and faster if you put the lid on the pot as this helps to further cook them through steam.  The pasta usually takes 10-15 minutes to be cooked al dente.


2 responses »

  1. Thanks for this recipe in particular. I love Cincinnati chili, especially with a dash on cinnamon.

  2. Pingback: National Spaghetti Day « Little Red Apple Tearoom

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