Venison Cincinnati Chili Recipe

I grew up in Oklahoma, and the version of chili we ate closely resembles what you’d find in Texas. When I first heard of the Cincinnati chili, I was immediately suspicious of the flavor complexities created by the various spices. In Southern chilis, you don’t often come across allspice, cloves, and chocolate as ingredients. And although the tomato-and-chili-powder bases are the same, Cincinnati chili is just flat out bolder and spicier. Now, here’s my confession: I actually like it better than traditional chili.

Cincinnati chili can be served a couple different ways. I choose to eat it over spaghetti noodles topped with cheese and diced onions. You can also just serve it in a bowl with oyster crackers or atop a hot dog. Either way you choose, you will love it and mostly likely go back for a second round.

ground venison recipe

Serving size


Time to make

6 hours


2 lbs. ground venison
3 cups wild game stock (or beef stock)
6 oz. tomato paste
15 oz. tomato sauce
1 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. ground allspice
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ oz. unsweetened chocolate, grated
4-6 servings cooked spaghetti
Diced onions and shredded cheese for garnish

Also works with

Any ground meat

Special equipment

Slow cooker


  1. Preheat your slow cooker on the high setting.
  2. Combine all ingredients into the slow cooker and cook for 3 hours with the lid on. Stir the mixture occasionally.
  3. After three hours, remove the lid and allow the chili to cook for an addition 3-4 hours until you get the desired thickness. Leaving the lid off allows the moisture to cook off from the chili, resulting in a thicker, chunkier stew.
  4. If you’re using a lean mixture of ground meat, you can serve immediately over spaghetti topped with cheese and diced onions.
  5. If you are using a ground meat mixture that contains fat, I recommend cooling the chili overnight in the refrigerator. Once cooled, remove the layer of fat off of the top and then reheat. Serve over spaghetti topped with cheese and diced onions.