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Robert Irvine's Cincinnati-Style Spaghetti Chili

Cincinnati-Style Spaghetti Chili
Robert Irvine
Cook Time:
10 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

I travel a lot and I'm a sucker for dishes that you can only get in a specific region. This one in particular I love because it takes two humble, ordinary dishes and combines them to become something really unique and special.

Technique tip: In Cincinnati, you can find a variety of topping options such as "3-Way" with fine shredded cheddar cheese on top of the spaghetti and chili, "4-Way" with diced raw onions and shredded cheddar on top of the spaghetti and chili, "5-Way" with warm canned kidney beans on top of the pasta and under the chili, then diced raw onions and shredded cheddar on top, or "6-Way" which is the "5-Way" with pickled jalapeños on top.

Swap option: If ground beef isn't available, ground turkey or ground chicken can easily be swapped.


  • 1/2 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef or 1 can beef chili with beans
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeds removed and diced or 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 4 ounces tomato paste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/3 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon all spice
  • Desired toppings such as diced onions and shredded cheddar cheese



In a pot with a strainer ready, add salt to water and bring it to a boil for the pasta, add pasta and cook according to package directions. This can be done while the chili is being made.


In a large sauce pot, add the oil over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add the ground beef or canned chili, break it apart with a wooden spoon and continue cooking for about 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, fresh or canned, tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste, chili powder, paprika, cumin and all-spice. Allow to simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.


Drain pasta and portion pasta into bowls, top with chili and finish with desired toppings.