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Vegan Cincinnati “Chili Mac”

Cincinnati Chili Mac recipe

Cincinnati “Chili Mac” features hearty bean chili with varying ingredients and seasonings. The one standard factor is that it’s always served over spaghetti. A touch of sweet spices (such as cinnamon or allspice) are added as well. The result: a hybrid recipe that’s uniquely American. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky.

Vegan Cincinnati “Chili Mac”

Serves: 6 or more


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium green or red bell pepper, diced
  • 1–2 small fresh hot chile peppers, seeded and minced, or 1 (4 oz) can mild diced green chilis
  • 1 (14–16 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14–16 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (15–16 oz) cans red or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh (from 1 large ear) or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 tsp good-quality chili powder, to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice, optional
  • 8–10 oz whole-grain spaghetti
  • finely chopped cilantro or parsley, for garnish


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or steep-sided stir-fry pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent, then add the green and red bell peppers and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the spaghetti and garnishes and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain.
  4. For each serving, place a small amount of spaghetti in a wide shallow serving bowl and top with some of the chili. If desired, top with any or all of the suggested garnishes.

Nutrition Information:
Per Serving: 252 calories; 42g carbs; 6g Total fat; 9g protein; 528mg sodium

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  • Reply
    September 27, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight, so yummy! Thanks for an awesome recipe!

  • Reply
    December 15, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Added 2 t. of salt and a full T. of chili powder—otherwise, definitely a keeper! Hard to beat this for cold weather comfort food.

  • Reply
    February 10, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Sorry for the delayed response, but so glad you enjoyed this, Marina!

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