I recall really liking Cincinnati chili when I was a kid, and remember first trying it when I was in elementary school — probably third or fourth grade. My mom went through a phase of making it for a while, but then it kind of fizzled out and we stuck with standard spaghetti and standard chili. I think part of why I liked it as a kid was because it involved two specific foods (that kids often love): 1. noodles and 2. cheddar cheese.
As you can guess, this version doesn’t include either of those things, though traditionally, both foods are involved in Cincinnati-style chili. Instead, I used spiralized zucchini as noodles (it’s delicious with spaghetti squash too) and omitted the cheddar cheese. If you do tolerate some dairy/cheese, feel free to garnish with some good quality cheddar, preferably raw/grass-fed. Fresh grated Parmesan would work well too.
- 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
- 1 tsp grass-fed butter, ghee or coconut oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1.5 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1.5 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup beef or chicken bone broth
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (I like this brand with the mother culture)
- 1/2 tsp raw honey, optional but recommended
- 15 oz can of no salt added tomato sauce
- Julienned/spiralized zucchini or roasted spaghetti squash scraped into noodles, for serving
- Melt butter, ghee or coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef, onion and garlic. Break up the meat with a spatula or wooden spoon and cook until the most of the meat is browned, about 7 minutes.
- Stir in the sea salt, spices and cocoa powder, and cook about 1-2 minutes more.
- Next, add the apple cider vinegar, tomato sauce, bone broth and raw honey, if using. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until sauce has thickened up a bit.
- Once chili is done, serve atop of zucchini noodles or roasted spaghetti squash. Garnish with raw/grass-fed cheddar cheese if desired and tolerated.
Yields: 3-4 servings