• Active Time 20m
  • Total Time 1h 20m
  • Rating ****

Makes 6 servings

The Cincinnatian Hotel in Cincinnati is well known for its excellent food, which is prepared by Executive Chef Anita Cunningham. Her specialty is the development of recipes that keep the flavor and leave out as much of the fat and calories as possible. An example is her recipe for Lean Chili. Anita reduces the fat content by putting the meat into a strainer to let some of the fat drain out. That's a good technique for most ground beef recipes. After the meat has been browned, put it into a colander for a few minutes and press out the excess fat. Fewer calories from fat, healthier recipes.


  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds very lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups V-8 juice or tomato juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

  • For Serving
  • Cooked spaghetti
  • Chopped raw onions
  • Cooked red beans
  • Shredded cheddar cheese


Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Cook the ground beef until the meat is brown, about 15 minutes. Place the meat in a colander and let drain out. Set the meat aside.

In the same pan add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and cook the onion until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the dry seasonings, and cook for 2 to 3 additional minutes.

Add the cooked meat to the pan and pour in the V-8 or tomato juice, along with the Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces. Continue to simmer for 1 hour.

Adjust seasoning to taste.

Traditionally, Cincinnati chili is served over spaghetti and topped with chopped onions, red beans and cheddar cheese.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Doubleday. All rights reserved.

RecID 3422

nutrition information per serving

535 calories; 30g total fat; 83mg cholesterol; 1859mg sodium; 16g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 48g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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