Cheesy Cincinnati Chili - A Plant-Based Midwest Delicacy
It’s no secret, we love “cheesifying” nostalgic hometown foods. Have you ever had Cincinnati chili? It's a totally unique dish prepared with an unusual blend of spices that includes cinnamon, cocoa, allspice, and Worcestershire. This is truly the unofficial grub of Cincinnati making it the perfect recipe to share this weekend as the Cincinnati Bengals have made it to the Big Game for the first time in over 30 years!
Cincinnati chili is traditionally made with a uniquely spiced meat sauce that is served on top of spaghetti and topped with cheese (which is what Cincinnati natives call a 3-way), and sometimes chopped onions and/or beans with the cheese (4- or 5-way). We made a cheesy plant-based version of this using bulgar as our “meat” and topping it with our classic Sharp & Tangy Cashew Cheesy Sauce.
This recipe makes enough to feed the whole team. So assemble your football watching buddies and enjoy this Midwest favorite while you cheer on your team!
- 1 chopped yellow onion (reserve a handful for garnish)
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- 6 oz can of tomato paste
- 2 tsp vegan worcestershire
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2.5 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 3 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 0.25 tsp black pepper
- 0.25 tsp allspice
- 0.25 tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup bulgur
- 15 oz can of kidney beans
- 1 package of your favorite spaghetti
- 1 jar of Core and Rind Sharp and Tangy Cashew Cheesy Sauce
- In a large pot, saute chopped onions until softened over medium heat. Add minced garlic and saute 1 minute.
- Add vegetable stock, water, tomato paste and worcestershire.
- Add maple syrup, cocoa powder and the rest of the spices to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Add in 1 cup of bulgur - stir to combine and lower heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
- While the bulgar is cooking, boil water and cook spaghetti noodles as the package directs.
- Stir beans into the bulgar chili mix.
- Assemble by topping spaghetti with a scoop of bulgur chili and a healthy helping of Core and Rind Sharp and Tangy Cashew Cheesy Sauce. Complete your 4-way by garnishing with chopped onions. Try it the true Cincinnati style by eating it with hot sauce and oyster crackers. Enjoy!