Not Your Mother’s Meat Sauce

My husband is from Cincinnati, Ohio: home of Cincinnati-style chili, and whenever we go back, that's all he wants to eat. At this point, you're probably thinking one of three things: (1) "What in the world is Cincinnati-style chili?", (2) "Chili just doesn't go on spaghetti", or (3) "YUMMMM!". So, for the sake of anyone who falls into the first two categories, I'm just going to call this "meat sauce". There. Anyway, here's my version of meat sauce that pays homage to my husband's Cincinnati roots (but leaves you feeling much better afterward).

Not Your Mother's Meat Sauce

Serves: 6-8 | Prep Time: 5 min | Cook Time: 30 min


2 lbs ground beef

1 large can tomatoes

1 onion

3 garlic cloves

4 tsp cinnamon

4 tsp paprika

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder

1 tsp sea salt

ground pepper

  1. Finely chop onions and garlic

  2. Saute on medium with olive oil for 3-5 minutes

  3. Add meat and seasoning, and cook for about 5-10 minutes or until the meat is browned

  4. Blend tomatoes

  5. Add blended tomatoes and cocoa powder to the meat, and stir

  6. Cook 15 minutes, then reduce heat to med-low and continue to simmer until ready to eat

  7. Serve over spaghetti (or noodle of your choice) with cheddar cheese sprinkled on top (optional)

Print PDF here:

Meat Sauce
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Hi! I'm Felicia. I believe that food should be simple and the ingredients should be just that: ingredients. I also believe that balance and moderation are essential. So come to my kitchen, and let's make everyday family foods healthier. Or click here to learn more about me.