Trail Recipe: Cincinnati Chili
This Buckeye favorite has rich mole flavors without being especially hot. It’s thinner than normal chili, and usually served over hot dogs or spaghetti.
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Quick-and-easy trail food doesn’t have to be bland. Mix up some flavor-packed spice blends at home to kick your cooking to a new level of yum, like with this Cincinnati Chili recipe. Then make sure to check out the rest of our Spice is Right recipes.
(premix these at home in a baggie)
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp granulated onion
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- pinches of ground allspice, coriander, and clove
- 4 oz. spaghetti noodles, broken in half (note cooking time)
- 2 oz. chopped steak-style jerky (¼” pieces)
- 1 oz. packet Lipton Cup-A-Soup Tomato
- 13 oz. cooked kidney beans
- 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 sugar packet
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tsp vinegar (any will do, but we like cider or rice)
- salt & pepper
- cayenne (to taste)
On the trail
➞ At least three hours before you’ll prepare the chili, add jerky to a bottle with enough water to cover. Seal and keep in a cool area like your pack or bear can.
➞ Bring large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to directions; drain and set aside. Add oil and spice mixture to a second pot. Heat over a low flame, stirring continuously until spices are aromatic (less than a minute), then add jerky (include liquid), soup packet, vinegar, sugar, and beans. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until chili is fully heated. Add salt, pepper, cayenne, and additional water to taste. Divide pasta between two bowls. Top with chili and cheese.