Skyline Chili Pizza – a Cincinnati Original

This Skyline Chili Pizza is seriously good. And, almost embarrassingly simple. If you’re from Cincinnati, answer me this. Do you want reasonably effortless or crazy easy? See, you could make your own chili. Even your own dough. That would complicate the recipe a smidge.

For the crust, I used Pillsbury but any brand would probably do. Since this pizza has a lot of toppings, I thought the thin crust would work best. Again, your choice. As I already mentioned, you may choose to make your own pizza dough if time is not a factor.

Pre-baking the crust is a good idea. Otherwise, it won’t be crispy.

There are several options for the chili layer. You can buy the Skyline Original Recipe Chili with or without beans. The sauce is thicker if you buy it with beans. That would save the step of having to buy another can of beans and adding them. We love Bush’s beans. For this recipe, I used Bush’s Red Chili Beans in mild sauce (affiliate link). But, I’ve also just used the Skyline Original Recipe Chili with Beans (affiliate link) and been very pleased with the outcome. Skyline Chili Original Recipe is also available in a frozen version if you prefer that to the cans. You’ll have to taste test for yourself to see if you notice a difference between the canned or frozen options.

Perhaps you’d like to try your hand at making the Skyline Chili from scratch. That’s an interesting proposition. The secret recipe is a well-guarded secret in Cincinnati and a subject of local debate. Is the undisclosed ingredient chocolate? Cinnamon? Or, nutmeg? Many clever cooks have tried to uncover the truth. Not sure the definitive answer has yet been found.

Once you have all the ingredients, it’s time to prep for assembly of the Skyline Chili Pizza. Slice the hot dogs and dice the onions into small bite-size pieces.

Skyline Chili is traditionally served over thin spaghetti noodles (3-Way: no onions or beans, 4-Way: onions or beans, or 5-Way: onions and beans) or hot dogs (Chili Cheese Coney: with or without mustard, although without cheese or chili is also available).

This Skyline Chili Pizza recipe represents what we love about all things Skyline. It has the scrumptious sauce, onions, and beans like a 5-Way minus the noodles. Yet, it’s also like a Coney, with hot dogs, a bun of sorts (the crust don’t ya know), and mustard. What’s not to love about all that!

Now that I think about it. Hmmm. Wonder how Skyline Chili Pizza with spaghetti would be? I sense a new experiment in the future!

Hang on, though. We’re not done with this baby yet! The next step is to add the cheese. Skyline Chili cheese is the lightest, fluffiest stuff on the face of the planet. It’s impossible to replicate it. You can now buy their brand in the grocery store (at least in Cincinnati). But, even the official “Skyline Chili” shredded cheese is different from what’s served in the restaurant. So, just know this going in and it’s all good.

Also, the cheese isn’t melted when it’s placed on the chili or Coneys. Any melting occurs on impact. With the pizza, I decided to add the cheese before putting it in the oven. You could just as easily add the cheese after cooking to get a more traditional Skyline experience.

Skyline Chili is always served with oyster crackers (affiliate link). Yes, they sell their own brand in stores, but I opted out of their name-brand cheese and oyster crackers this time around to save on the cost. I don’t think any taste was sacrificed.
Once you’ve added the cheese and oyster crackers, pop the Skyline Chili Pizza in the oven at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes. The cheese should be melted and the crust a golden brown.

After cutting the pizza into sixths (or eighths), plate and garnish it. Skyline’s Coneys are served with mustard (unless you specify to hold it), so we like to add a taste of the golden goodness. Some like hot sauce on their Skyline (affiliate link). If you love to add a little heat to your food, this would be the time. Toss a few extra oyster crackers on the plate and serve to your hungry family and friends. Since Skyline is an official sponsor of the Cincinnati Reds, I love to use my red plates and mini Reds ice cream dishes to present the pizza to the fans at my table.

Skyline Chili Pizza Recipe

Skyline Chili is a Cincinnati favorite. This Skyline Chili Pizza recipe is a creative twist on one of our city’s most popular specialty foods. It’s just another ‘way’ to love your Skyline Chili!

Servings: 6-8 depending on the size of each piece

Prep Time: 5 minutes + Cook Time: 20 minutes + Assembly Time: 5 minutes =

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 tube Pizza Crust (Pillsbury Thin Crust)
  • Olive Oil as desired
  • 1 15-oz. can Skyline Original Chili (or Skyline Original Chili with Beans)
  • 1 15-oz. can Bush’s Red Chili Beans in Mild Sauce (if you don’t use the Skyline Original Chili with Beans)
  • 1 14-oz. package Hillshire Farm Lit’l Wieners
  • 1 Onion (you’ll use about 1/4th of it)
  • 1 2-cup package Shredded Cheese
  • 1 box/package Oyster Crackers
  • Mustard as desired
  • Hot Sauce as desired


  1. Grease a large pizza pan (I used the Pampered Chef Large Bar Pan, 15½” x 10″ because I like that it has sides to contain pizza ingredients). Unroll the pizza crust and place in the pan, forming it to fit. Brush olive oil over the top of the crust, if desired, to achieve a golden-brown crust when baked. Pre-bake the crust according to package instructions or until it’s a golden brown (400˚ for about 7 mins). Pre-baking the crust will make it crispier.
  2. Spread the Skyline Chili original sauce on the baked pizza crust. Place the beans on the pizza as though they were olives or pepperoni using as many or few as you desire. Alternatively, you could buy the Skyline Chili Sauce with beans already in the can and then skip the Bush’s red chili beans.
  3. Cook the Lit’l Wieners in 2 cups water and 1 Tablespoon minced garlic for 10 minutes. This is not an absolutely necessary step, but we like to soften and flavor the wieners before adding them to the pizza.
  4. Chop the onion and slice the Lit’l Wieners. Place both of these on the pizza as additional toppings. You may not need to use the entire package of Lit’l Wieners. It’s your personal preference as to how many you’d like to add.
  5. Place the oyster crackers on the pizza as though an additional topping.
  6. Sprinkle the cheese over the entire pizza.
  7. Bake at 400˚for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
  8. Let it cool a couple of minutes and cut into sixths or eighths. Sprinkle with mustard or hot sauce as desired. Serve with extra oyster crackers on a plate suitable for the theme of the day.


Skyline is the official chili of the Cincinnati Reds and other local sports teams. Kind of seems like a no brainer to include it in your game day festivities, wouldn’t you say?!

Thing is, why do boring? This pizza takes a favorite and tweaks it just enough to keep life interesting. It’s a guaranteed home run, slam dunk, touch down. . .insert other cheesy sports analogy. . .all in one bite. Try it. You’ll see.

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