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It’s Halloween!!

Healthier One-Pot Cincinnati Chicken Chili |

And I am showing you pasta for the second time this week.

Sorry, but not really.

Promise it was not planned, but life just kind of sped up and chili happened.

Healthier One-Pot Cincinnati Chicken Chili |

Plus, we always have chili on Halloween.

And it is COLD here.


Both outside and inside. It’s snowing outside, and just way too cold for comfort inside, since our lame as ever furnace decided to go out on us. Again. It seriously happens way too often. You would think that just maybe since we live in Colorado, in a small ski town where it is snowing nine to ten months out of the year, that we would have a good heating system.

Well we totally don’t and I am totally freezing my butt off right now.

Like totally!

Healthier One-Pot Cincinnati Chicken Chili |

Ok, so Halloween, what are you guys dressing up as this year?

What about your kids? Anything fun?

Healthier One-Pot Cincinnati Chicken Chili |

I cannot remember the last time I actually got dressed up for Halloween, meaning the actual day has never been that much of a big deal to me. I am much more of a Christmas and Thanksgiving girl, but I do love the month of October and all the fun decorations. Especially decorations like these (gorgeous! I would love to have had decorations like this growing up. Wait, I still want them!) and cookies like this!!

Healthier One-Pot Cincinnati Chicken Chili |

Since there is probably going to be mass amounts of candy consumed today, I thought would go with a healthier comfort food.

Well a comfort food made healthier.

Healthier One-Pot Cincinnati Chicken Chili |

Basically, all I did was swap out beef for chicken in my all time favorite Cincinnati chili recipe. You could also use ground turkey or even keep the beef in if you want.

This is the only way my family will eat chili. Served over pasta. It’s how we ate it growing up and it is how we eat it now.

Healthier One-Pot Cincinnati Chicken Chili |

Over the years I have made a few tweaks to my mom’s recipe making it my own, but even though they are small tweaks (like cocoa powder – can’t believe my mom didn’t figure that one out!), they make all the difference.

So much good flavor.

And you can make it even healthier by using whole wheat pasta. I obviously did not, but that is only because my family is picky and does not like whole grain pastas. I guess whole grain pasta is just too healthy for them or something. Who knows.

Healthier One-Pot Cincinnati Chicken Chili |

Traditionally, Cincinnati chili has five optional toppings. Pasta, chopped onions, kidney beans, cheese and oyster cracks. My boring family just likes pasta, cheese and chili, but I am all about the beans!

Oh, and we all love the oyster crackers!

This is so easy and perfect for busy days. Everything is made in one pot and the prep time is SO simple. Then just let it simmer all day long and start dreaming about your dinner. Your house is going to smell amazing all day! If you prefer using the crockpot you can totally do that too! I include that version in the directions.

So get your chili going earlier in the day and by dark you’ll have a hauntingly delicious dinner! (I know – so cheesy!)

Healthier One-Pot Cincinnati Chicken Chili |

Healthier Cincinnati Chili

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 590 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


To serve

  • 1 package whole wheat whole grain or regular angel hair pasta (or spaghetti squash!)
  • 6 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • chopped onions for serving (optional)
  • oyster crackers for serving (optional)
  • 1 can kidney beans drained and rinsed, for serving (optional)


  • Heat a large heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and saute about 10 minutes or until it begins to caramelize around the edges. Use your hand to crumble in the ground chicken (or turkey). Brown the chicken, breaking up the meat as you go. Once the chicken is browned add the red pepper. Next add in the chili powder, cumin, allspice, salt, cayenne, cinnamon, chipotle chile powder, smoked paprika and garlic powder. Give it a good stir and let this cook about a minute or 2 to season the chicken.
  • Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and cocoa powder. Give it a good stir, making sure everything is combined.
  • Simmer for at least 3 hours or up to all day on the lowest setting your stove will go. The longer the better.
  • Before you are ready to eat, boil and drain your pasta according to package directions.
  • Serve the chili on top of a bed of hot pasta or spaghetti squash and top with 1, 2, 3 or 4 of these toppings: cheddar cheese, kidney beans, diced onions, oyster crackers.
  • To make this in the crockpot follow the directions through step 1. Then transfer the browned chicken to the bowl of a crockpot and add all of the remaining ingredients (minus the toppings!). Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 5-6. Serve as directed.
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Healthier One-Pot Cincinnati Chicken Chili |

Happy Halloween!

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  1. One of my closest friends when my kids were young was from Cincinnati and she introduced us to Cincinnati Chili and I’ve been a fan every since. Seriously…I’m fixing it for friends tonight! Wondering where your recipe came from; most go back in one way or another to Skyline Chili in Cincinnati; or do you know folks from there?

    It sounds so strange but it is just unbelievably good!

    1. It is my moms recipe! It is written on a card, but I am sure she got it from somewhere!! We used to live in Cleveland, OH so we love a good Cincinnati Chili!!

  2. Happy Halloween! I’m not really the dressing up kinda girl, but I’m excited to see all 5 trick-or-treaters that will stop by.
    I love chili and this is an awesome idea. I wouldn’t mind if you did 5 pasta recipes in a row. 🙂
    Gorgeous pics as always. 🙂

  3. Chili ON pasta? YES! Yes, I will do that any ol’ day! It’s been snowy and cold here too (let’s see who gets more snow this winter…Colorado or Tahoe? Colorado, Tahoe, Colorado, Tahoe…always a toss up. I hope it’s us, just sayin’ 😉 so I’d love a huge plate of chili pasta with a side of….chili!!

    1. Ha! My brother who lives in Tahoe is totally hoping for Tahoe, but the rest of us here all want Colorado to get dumped on! Hehe!

  4. Chili is one of my favorites on cold days. I love the cinnamon flavor in Cincinnati chili too!

  5. God girl, this looks amazing! And your photos just blow me away. I think you’re going to have to teach me your skills 😉 xo Happy Halloweeeeen!

  6. I loves me some Cincinnati-style chili (5 Way please!) and I love this recipe ever better as it’s a healthier version of it . . . all I need now are some coneys to put this on!


  7. Living in Ohio, and being a total pasta-holic (which means I think pasta is good with pretty much ANY topping!) – I totally adore Cincinnati Chili! Really, guys – anyone who hasn’t tried chili over pasta – you’ve gotta do it! And, you know me – I love a HEALTHIER version of a good recipe – that makes it a GREAT recipe! Awesome, as always, Tieghan! 😀 Oooooh – and also loving that fantastic wooden bowl in pic 3 – gorgeous!

    1. Thanks so much, Shelley!! We are from Ohio too, so we love a good Cincinnati Chili! 🙂 Oh and the bowl is from target!

  8. Don’t apologize for pasta twice! This is an amazing recipe, and you can’t go wrong with chili – ever!

  9. Yum! I think the first time I ever had chili on top of pasta was just a coincidence — I happened to have leftover pasta and chili and it just made sense. Then I realized it was a real, famous thing!

    I’m dressing up as a surgeon in scrubs–Connor happens to have all the gear and I figured it gave me an excuse to wear pajamas to work 🙂

  10. This looks awesome Tieghan! Love that bowl and you have my favorite seasonal ale which I can no longer find around me!!

  11. It sounds good!! I’ve never put cocoa in chile, but I’m considering it!
    You’ve got to try quinoa pasta. It’s higher fiber and hig her protein, and tastes much more like traditional pasta. We like it more than whole wheat pasta.
    Good luck with your furnace. I hate being cold. Drink lots of tea.

  12. I have never heard of eating chili over pasta. I put beans in my chili and some of the family put cheese in theirs. Never heard of the cocoa either. I couldn’t do that because a couple people in my family can’t have chocolate. We like ours with corn chips, tostitoes, or corn bread.

    1. You have to try chili over pasta! It is SO good and the chocolate can be left out. It is not normally added to Cincinnati chili anyway!
      Thanks so much, Charlotte!