Four-way Cincinnati chili

SmartPoints® value per serving
Total Time
46 min
15 min
31 min
In Cincinnati, chili is usually made without beans, ordered by the number (see note), and served over spaghetti. The city's signature chili features spiced, saucy meat, and the chili's defining ingredient is cinnamon. This well-loved Ohioan dish, which sometimes smothers hot dogs, too, originated shortly after the turn of the 20th century with immigrants from Macedonia who served "chili mac" in their modest restaurants. This is a great recipe to make ahead and have on hand for an easy weeknight dinner. Prepare the recipe, excluding the spaghetti, cheese and onion garnish. Let cool to room temperature and transfer to your freezer for up to three months.


Canola oil

2 tsp

Uncooked extra lean ground turkey breast

1 pound(s)

Uncooked onion(s)

2 medium, chopped

Garlic clove(s)

2 medium clove(s), minced

Chili powder

1 Tbsp

Ground cinnamon

½ tsp

Canned diced tomatoes

14½ oz, with jalapeno peppers


¼ cup(s)

Semisweet chocolate

½ oz, chopped

Table salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp, freshly ground

Cooked spaghetti

3 cup(s), hot

Weight Watchers Reduced-fat Mexican style shredded cheese

½ cup(s), sharp


  1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until the meat browns, 3–4 minutes. Add 1 1⁄2 onions, the garlic, chili powder, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and the onions begin to soften slightly, about 2 minutes.
  2. Stir the tomatoes and water into the Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, then stir in the chocolate, salt, and pepper until the chocolate melts.
  3. Divide the spaghetti among 6 plates. Spoon the chili (about 2⁄3 cup) over each plate of spaghetti. Sprinkle each with a generous tablespoon of the cheese and the remaining chopped onion. Yields 1 plate per serving.


Basic chili is called one-way chili, and four-way chili is basic chili served with three garnishes—over spaghetti, with shredded cheese, and with chopped onion. Five-way chili is four-way chili plus a foundation of kidney beans and sometimes with sour cream. Sweet spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, or cloves, and sometimes chocolate are added to Cincinnati chili. You’ll need about 6 ounces dry spaghetti to get 3 cups cooked.