Alliance for a Healthier Generation Alliance Smart Foods Planner
Find a Recipe

Classic Cincinnati 3- Way Chili

Recipes Across the Nation!

Jessica Shelly, our Healthy Schools Program Ambassador in Cincinnati, OH, showcases her district’s “Cincinnati 3 way” recipe. For those of us not familiar with the dish she explains, “Cincinnati-style chili is a regional style of chili characterized by the use of seasonings such as cinnamon and chocolate. It is commonly served over spaghetti with cheese on top or as a hot dog sauce. Hands down, it is our most popular menu item. When the new school meal regulations went into place last year, we had to stop serving our 3-way dish at the elementary schools due to the grain maximums. The loss was palpable with students very upset and even writing classroom ‘persuasive letter’ assignments about bringing back the 3-way to the menu. With the grain maximums lifted, the 3-ways are coming back to elementary menus this school year.”



  1. Preheat convection oven to 375 degrees Fahrennheit.
  2. Pour contents of bag into pans and cover
  3. Heat approximately 60 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. Once product has reached internal tempaterature of 160 degrees ferenheit, remove and place on serving line.
  5. To avoid overcooking and product drying out, cook as close to serving as possible and use batch cooking best pratcies.



  1. Bring water to a boil in the kettle.
  2. Break spaghetti in half and slowly add to water.
  3. Continue to boil for 6 minutes.
  4. Drain and move to steam table.
  5. To avoid sticking, cook as close to serving as possible and use batch cooking best pratices.

Additional Serving Suggestions

  • Measure 3/4 cup spaghetti onto plate with spaghetti server.
  • Use 4 oz ladle to place chili over spaghetti.
  • Top chili with 1/2 ounce of cheese.
  • Offer with a package of oyster crackers.
  • With offer versus serve, offer plate of plain spaghetti, bowls of the chili, and soufflé cups of cheese for those students who don’t want the whole item.


1 serving = 2 M/MA and 2 grain/bread

You must Log In to post a comment.


Be the first to comment!


Makes 84 servings

  • Six 5 pound bags Beef Chili - Cincy Style
  • 12 Pounds WG Spaghetti Pasta
  • 42 ounces Reduced Fat Shredded Cheese
  • Oyster Crackers