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UW Medical Center – Montlake Chef Greg Gerrard recommends this recipe because it reminds him of spice combinations used in North African regions.

Ordering Cincinnati chili is based on a specific ingredient series: chili, spaghetti, shredded cheddar cheese, diced onions and kidney beans. The number before the “way” of the chili determines which ingredients are included in each chili order. Customers order a:

  • Two-way: spaghetti topped with chili (also called “chili spaghetti”)
  • Three-way: spaghetti, chili and cheese
  • Four-way onion: spaghetti, chili, onions and cheese
  • Four-way bean: spaghetti, chili, beans and cheese
  • Five-way: spaghetti, chili, beans, onions and cheese

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 2 hours


4 cups fresh yellow onion, chopped

5 pounds ground beef, 20% fat, raw

2 tablespoons minced garlic

5 tablespoons chili powder

5 teaspoons ground allspice

5 teaspoons ground cinnamon

5 teaspoons ground cumin seeds

2 1/2 teaspoons ground, dried cayenne chili pepper

2 1/2 teaspoons course ground kosher salt

7 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened baking cocoa powder

10 cups diced, fire-roasted tomatoes

5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 1/2 cups water


Render down and brown the beef with the onions in a large rondeau pot.

Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer approximately 2 hours until spoon stands up in chili.

Recipe adapted by Greg Gerrard. Original recipe by Skyline Chili.

Photo Caption: The “way.” Partially eaten five-way from Skyline, garnished with oyster crackers.