Cincinnati chili over spaghetti noodles topped with shredded cheddar cheese and light red kidney beans

Mind Blowing & Easy Slow-Cooker Cincinnati Chili You Need to Try Now


When making this for my family recently, I discovered a few new tricks that make it EVEN EASIER! What?! Make sure you read on to see what I have changed!

If you are familiar with the Midwest, you are likely familiar with the state specific food novelties. Indiana is known for tenderloins; Kentucky for bourbon; Chicago, Illinois for it’s deep dish pizza and then there is Cincinnati, Ohio known for its chili. (To avoid any copyright infringements, the specific restaurant establishment shall remain unnamed.)

Midwestern Native

I am a born and raised Hoosier. Although, I’ve lived a few different places in my lifetime. Indiana has been the location of a majority of my living. My mom’s family is from the suburbs of Cincinnati Ohio so, we spent a decent amount of time traveling to our neighboring state to visit my grandparents. She grew up on the Cincinnati style chili. It became a tradition to visit the unnamed restaurant chain for her chili fix.

Try, Try….and Try Again

About 10 years or so ago, I noticed this restaurant chain beginning to pop-up in our area. Feeling slightly obligated, I visited one of these restaurants and decided that I could probably replicate this deliciousness in my own kitchen. So, the search began. I found a whole host of people seeking the same satisfaction from a homemade Cincinnati chili. Through my searching endeavors, I decided that I needed to use multiple recipes to create my own heavenly concoction. I present to you, Crockpot Cinicinnati-Style Chili a la Laranda. Ok, maybe that is a mouth full, but here is the result of my endless experiments!

Follow the recipe below

Slow Cooker Cincinnati-Style Chili
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
6 hrs 10 mins

This classic Midwestern chili favorite comes to life in your very own kitchen. Dump all of the ingredients into your slow cooker and let the magic happen!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Midwestern American
Servings: 6 people
Author: Laranda Colbert
  • 5 cloves garlic finely chopped*
  • 1 med yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef cooked
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1 bay leaf dried
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder unsweetened
  1. First, brown the ground beef. I found that browning the ground beef before adding to the slow cooker made draining the grease an easier task. 

    1.5 lbs of ground beef browning in a skillet
  2. Next, combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  

    *This was changed slightly to accommodate the already cooked ground beef. In order to get a truly soft texture that is key to this style of chili, you still need to cook it on low for a good period of time.

    Slow cooker vessel with all ingredients added
  3. Lastly, use an immersion blender OR puree the entire slow cooker of chili in smaller batches in a regular blender. DO NOT blend until smooth. Only pulse a few times to break the beef into smaller bits.

    Tip: I discovered that a hand mixer with the two beaters attached helped me to achieve the perfect texture I was looking for without risk of turning it into a paste-y, goopy mess. Just watch for splatter!

    Hand mixer breaking up the ground beef and blending the chili ingredients
  4. Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles or as the chili for chili-cheese dogs/baked potatoes.

    Cincinnati chili over spaghetti noodles topped with shredded cheddar cheese and light red kidney beans
Recipe Notes

*Instead of chopping 5 cloves of garlic, you can use 2 Tbsp of minced garlic from a jar.

Top with green onions, cheese and/or rinsed red kidney beans for extra flavor.

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