Cincinnati-Style Chili

Alright guys, it’s been a minute since I posted a recipe for you, and I’ve got a great one today! In fact, I had it for dinner last night, and will probably gorge myself on it for lunch today as well! This is a GREAT comfort food that I should have probably waited until the fall to share, but, since I had it last night, I didn’t want to be stingy!

Cincinnati’s famous chili is prepared with an unusual blend of cinnamon and chocolate or cocoa. It is often enjoyed spooned over pasta and topped with a combination of chopped onions, shredded Cheddar cheese, and kidney beans. In this version, the chili is cooked with the beans, rather than topped with them.

So how good can you really be with a decent chili? Well, this one weighs in at only 539 calories per serving, and a serving is around a cup and a half, so get ready to feel full! Macro-speaking, we’re looking at 12.7 grams of fat with only 3.3g coming from saturated fat. You’re getting a KILLER 44.5 grams of protein – great if you need to make up some missed protein! The only demon in the mix are the carbs – this hits you with 67.5 g of carbs, about 25% of your RDA, but most of these are complex carbs, so they’re slow release sugars. Enough of the geek speak though, let’s get to the recipe!

Cincinnati-Style Chili

Makes 6 servings
(Serving = about ¾ cup pasta, about ¾ cup chili, and 1 tablespoon cheese)

11 ounces uncooked whole wheat spaghetti
Cooking spray
1 pound ground turkey
3/4 cup pre-chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup pre-chopped onion
1 (1.25-ounce) package less-sodium chili seasoning mix (such as McCormick)
1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion
1 (15-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
6 tablespoons reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
Chopped green onions (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

While pasta cooks, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef, pepper, and onion to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble beef. Stir in chili seasoning and next 6 ingredients. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spoon the chili over pasta.

Sprinkle each serving with cheese and, if desired, green onions.

Cincinnati-Style Chili

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