When we visited Cedar Point, Josh made it clear that we had to stop at Skyline Chili! I’d never been, and he’d only eaten it from a can, so it was an adventure for both of us. Trying any new recipe can ignite my travel anxiety, but I’m glad I pushed through my hesitation. We made our way to a location in Cleveland as we drove to Canada’s Wonderland and it was amazing! Now, I’ve made a homemade version a couple times, and it’s pretty close! Interested? Check out our Skyline Chili copycat recipe with ground turkey!
What is Skyline Chili?
Born and raised in Greece, Nicolas Lambrinides watched his mother blend unique flavors in the kitchen. It inspired him to come up with his own culinary masterpiece. When the family moved to the United States, they settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, he made the most of the opportunity.
Having created a truly delicious — but unusual — recipe for chili, Lambrinides opened his first restaurant in 1949. Perched atop Price Hill with a view of the downtown cityscape, Skyline Chili was born and the rest is history!
Travel Anxiety Triggered
It was close to closing time when we arrived at the location outside Cleveland and I’ll be honest — if it wasn’t for Josh, I would have left. The place was a mess (dirty tables, carpet covered in cheese, etc…) and I don’t like eating at restaurants near closing time. I’m afraid that the food is old and the workers are resentful of having to new tables when it’s almost time to go home. It really sparks my travel anxiety about getting sick, also.
Fortunately, our server was genuinely friendly and they made the food fresh. Everything tasted delicious and they worked on cleaning up the place while we sat. Still, as I climbed into bed that night, I kept imagining that one of us would wake up with food poisoning. That’s what travel anxiety and travel OCD do. They add a layer of stress to almost every situation — but Skyline Chili didn’t let us down!
What Did We Order?
Look around any Skyline Chili and you’ll notice one thing — they love cheese! There’s mountains of it on everything. We weren’t sure what to expect, which is why it’s great that Skyline gives samples to first-timers. Our server also gave us a great rundown of the menu, and we had no trouble finding something to eat!
Having waited years to have some fresh eats at Skyline Chili, Josh already knew what he wanted. Ever since this day, he’s had a craving for these dishes at least twice a month (good thing I’ve got a recipe for Cincinnati chili!). Here’s what he ordered:
- Cheese Coney (without mustard)
- Chili Cheese Fries
I’m not a huge fan of hot dogs. I think I overdid them when I was a kid. While I did taste some of Josh’s Coney (it was delicious!), I kept it simple. This is what I ordered:
- 3-Way – Skyline’s signature dish of spaghetti covered with chili and a mound of shredded cheddar cheese.
We’d had a very long day of thrill-riding at Cedar Point, and we still had a couple hours of driving ahead. It was raining and part of me just wanted to keep driving and skip this place, but I’m glad we didn’t.
Despite the fact that my grandmother often ate chili that way, I’d never had it with spaghetti. It was absolutely delicious! We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals enough for me to want to try to replicate the recipe at home.
Skyline Chili Copycat Recipe!
There are several great recipes floating around the internet, and we were inspired by The Chunky Chef. While I’ll eat it, I don’t like to cook with ground beef and prefer ground poultry meat instead. With a few modifications, I think this Skyline Chili copycat recipe with ground turkey is fantastic!
One of the key changes I’ve made is to use beef bone broth instead of water. It gives it that rich, beefy flavor which is especially important if you’re using using ground turkey. As a result, I’ve reduced the salt to compensate for the sodium in the broth. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
- 4 cups Beef bone broth
- 1 cup Water
- 6 oz Tomato paste
- 1/2 oz Unsweetened baking chocolate
- 1/4 cup Chili powder
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1/4 tsp Allspice
- 1/4 tsp Ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes or less, depending on your desired heat level
- 1/8 tsp Black pepper
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/4 lb Ground turkey
Add the broth and water to a large pot.
Add the tomato paste and chocolate over medium heat stirring (whisking is best!) to combine for about 3 minutes.
Add chili powder, cinnamon, garlic powder, cumin, allspice, cloves, red pepper flakes, black pepper, salt, sugar and vinegar.
Next, crumble the raw ground turkey into the pot with your fingers, then use a potato masher to mash up the meat.
Turn heat to high to bring to a boil.
Once boiling, turn the heat down to med-low.
Cook, uncovered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, at a low boil. Stir occasionally until sauce has thickened.
Serve over thin spaghetti (we use gluten free!) or a hot dog.
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