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Home » Cincinnati Chili: (Served in Homemade Bread Bowls)

Cincinnati Chili: (Served in Homemade Bread Bowls)

Try serving Cincinnati Chili in home-baked bread bowls. I’ve included directions for making the bread bowls using my Really Crusty Rolls recipe. The chili itself is mildly spicy with cinnamon and pork and beans. It’s a distinctive bowl of red.

Cincinnati chili in a homemade bread bowl

I love to get requests from my readers. They provide some of the best ideas for blog posts.

Developing the technique for making bread bowls:

Case in point, one of my readers recently inquired about a recipe for bread bowls. I took the challenge.

My first attempt involved upside-down ceramic soup bowls covered with rolled-out bread dough. The result was a gorgeous looking bread bowl. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all that great to eat because the soup couldn’t soak into the sides.

Since tearing and eating the soup-infused innards is supposed to be the best part of the whole experience, I went back to the drawing board.

The next attempt went much better. It involved the Really Crusty Rolls recipe I shared with you a couple of weeks ago. I divided the dough into four portions and formed each piece into a ball.

You can see the technique illustrated in the video below. Finally, the rolls were shaped and baked according to that recipe.

Please note the recipe for the rolls is written to be mixed and kneaded in a bread machine.

No bread machine? Check out the recipe notes for instructions on how to mix the bread dough by hand or in a stand mixer.

Preparing rolls to use as soup bowls:

Carving a hole in a crusty roll for the soup

After baking the rolls, a serrated knife proved to be the perfect tool. Carve a deep wedge out of the top of each roll as shown below.

Pulling bread out of the middle of the roll to make a "soup bowl."

After the initial cut, use your fingers to dig out the soft bread.

finished bread bowl

 When you are finished, the bowl should look something like this.

Fill each bowl with your favorite kind of soup. What you see in the top picture is Cincinnati Chili. My daughter-in-law makes it often. She got it from her aunt who lives in Ohio. 

What is Cincinnati Chili?

The addition of cinnamon means this is not traditional Texas chili. However, this recipe has a charm of its own. As a Texan, I felt the need to double the amount of chili powder. I might have tripled it.

If you want to follow the recipe, cook this chili in a slow cooker. However, you could easily use an Instant Pot or simmer on top of the stove for similar results.

I can’t explain why, but I love to pour this chili over a plate of spaghetti and top with Cheddar. It’s the bomb!

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    Yield: 10 servings

    Cincinnati Chili

    Cincinnati Chili

    This chili is mild with only a hint of spiciness. To see the recipe I used for the bread bowls, go to my recipe for Really Crusty Rolls.

    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 4 hours
    Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes


    • 2 pounds ground beef
    • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
    • 1-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1-1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
    • 1 16-ounce can tomato sauce
    • 1-1/2 cup water
    • 4 bay leaves
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 15-ounce cans pork and beans


    1. Brown ground beef and onions. Drain excess grease.
    2. Stir in chili powder and cinnamon. Add remaining ingredients.
    3. Simmer in a slow cooker on LOW for 4-8 hours.

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    Nutrition Information:


    10 servings

    Serving Size:

    1 serving

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 356Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 1106mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 6gSugar: 2gProtein: 30g

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Really Crusty Rolls
    Crazy Crusty Dinner Rolls from Your Bread Machine
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    Tuesday 13th of June 2017

    I looked at the recipe for the crusty rolls, it says directions for bread bowls coming soon but I can't seem to find the directions for it. Could you tell me how long to bake the bread bowls?


    Tuesday 13th of June 2017

    The directions for baking the rolls are on the "Crusty Roll" post. I copied the following from that post. "Bake in 375 degree pre-heated oven for 35 minutes until crust is crisp and brown. Hope they turned out well for you.


    Thursday 13th of February 2014

    Yes this recipe is a favorite in our meal rotation! If your eaters want more spicy chili taste, I agree it needs more chili powder. But for my small kiddos I keep the chili powder amount as specified in original recipe since they don't do spicy stuff yet. This is a favorite among everyone in my family! If 4 hours in crock pot sounds too long for a cooking time this recipe will also do well being cooked in the stove for 1-2 hours in large saucepan. I often made it this way when working full time with not much time to let it cook as long. It also freezes well, which is great to divide into small containers & pack in a lunch for work.


    Tuesday 11th of February 2014

    I couldn't wait so I made your crusty recipe and made it into 6 rolls cause none of us wanted a large bread bowl! I cheated and served Boudin's Clam chowder from Costco in each and it was such a hit and so many compliments from the family! It's a winner! Thank you for all you do!!!


    Sunday 9th of February 2014

    My husband likes to get his soup in bread bowls when we go out to certain eateries- he'd love it if he could get it at home! The chili looks good too- I've never used cinnamon in it before. :)