Quick Cincinnati-Style Chili

I am posting this mostly because my daughter asked for the recipe. I haven’t made this for a long time, but it is a nice alternative to the spicy chilis. This is sweeter and the molasses gives it a rich sweetness. Make sure to get the robust version of molasses and if you can find it, sorghum molasses is even better.


2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1 medium onion diced
1 medium red bell pepper diced
1 medium green pepper diced
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 pound ground beef The leaner the better – this also works well with ground turkey)
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 Tablespoon molasses


Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat and sauté onion and peppers until softened. Add chili powder, cocoa, salt, cinnamon, and pepper. Cook for another minute.

Add the ground beef and cook until the meat is fully browned.

Add tomatoes (with juice) and molasses. Simmer over low heat uncovered for 20 minutes or so. The longer it simmers, the, more the flavors meld. If you simmer for longer than 20 minutes put a lid on the pot. You may also have to add a little broth if it gets too thick (I use vegetable broth).

I like to serve this with cornbread.

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