Cincinnati Chili starts with a great chili recipe. The first step is to make it with trusted, salt-free spices that are not past their prime. January is the perfect month for cleaning out and starting fresh. Test spices by taking a small amount and rubbing it into your palm. Fresh spices will be gloriously fragrant. Dried spices over 3 years old are past their prime, and don’t smell like much. For Cincinnati Chili, you’ll want Cayenne pepper, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, and of course, your favorite chili powder. Fresh ingredients include garlic, onion, green pepper, canned or fresh tomatoes, and the meat of your choice. We used bison, but lean ground beef, ground poultry, or a vegetarian or vegan protein like lentils or sietan would also work well.
Cincinnati Chili is served “two, three, four or five-way.” Two-way chili is served over spaghetti. Zucchini zoodles make a great swap for pasta. Make your own, or purchase them pre-sliced.
Which spiralizer to buy?
We love the KitchenAid spiralizer attachment. It makes quick work of the tedious job when using a hand spiralizer. We used a hand spiralizer years ago, but cheap plastic doesn’t last, and ours went into the trash and was replaced with this one. KitchenAid’s is all metal, and will last a lifetime.
Three-way chili is served over spaghetti, with grated cheese. We used Jarlsberg, for it’s creamy texture and low salt content.
Four-way Cincinnati chili is served over spaghetti, with grated cheese, and the addition of either kidney beans or chopped raw onion. (We chose onion.) Five-way includes spaghetti, chili, cheese, kidney beans and onion. (We stopped at four-way.) I have to say, we didn’t miss the spaghetti one bit! The chili was flavored just right, and the zucchini made it low-carb and higher fiber. Winner, winner, chili dinner!
- vegetable spiralizer
- 2 lbs ground bison
- 56 oz canned crushed tomatoes
- 30 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 1 cup white or yellow onion
- 1 cup bell pepper
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp course ground black pepper
- 28 oz water
- 4 medium zucchini
- 8 Tbsp Jarlsberg cheese
- ½ cup white or yellow onion
- Brown the ground bison in a hot skillet.
- Drain cooked meat in a sieve and dispose of fat.
- Add the bison and the next 10 ingredients in a dutch oven, bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a low simmer. Cook for at least 30 minutes (and up to 90 minutes,) covered.
- In a separate saucepan, bring a quart of water to a low boil. Add spiralized zucchini, and cook. (1-2 minutes.) Remove from heat and drain.
- Plate zucchini in a bowl, top with a 1.5 cups of chili, and top with chopped onion and cheese, if desired.