Bison Chili


Yes, it is the middle of summer. But I am always in the mood for healthy, filling meals. This Bison Chili recipe is always a pleaser, and is packed with healthy ingredients. This recipe looks long – which is dissuading to some – but you should think of it as: a lean meat, a few produce items, a few spices, and a few canned items. That does not sound at all intimidating, does it? Didn’t think so.

I will go so far as to classify this as “in-stock” – while I may not always have a bell pepper on hand, I do usually have the remaining ingredients, and that pepper can certainly be optional.

{your lean meat … }
– 1 lb ground bison

{next up: produce items … }
– 1 sweet onion, diced
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 bell pepper, any color, diced

{delicious spices follow … }
– 2 – 3 T chili powder (I used 1 T light and 1 T dark)
– 2 t cocoa powder
– 1 t kosher salt
– 1 t dried oregano (crush with your hand)
– 1 t cinnamon
– 1 t ground cumin
– 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
– 1/4 t allspice

{and finally, your canned items … }
– 3 oz tomato paste
– 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
– 2 cans beans, rinsed (I used 1 can kidney, and 1 can black beans)
– 7 oz hot diced green chiles

How do I make it?

  • I recommend prepping all of the ingredients beforehand – chopping the produce, measuring the spices into one small bowl, and opening the cans.
  • Heat a medium to large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bison, and cook for a few minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. You should not need oil, because the bison should produce (just enough) grease.
  • When the bison is almost all browned, add the onion and garlic, and cook for a few minutes. Then add half the bell pepper and cook for another few minutes.
  • When the veggies look softened a bit, add the rest of the bell pepper. Then add the spices – all 7 of them, cocoa powder through allspice. Cook for 1-2 minutes until you can smell the spices blooming – not too long though because you don’t want it to burn on the pan.
  • Add the tomato paste, and stir and cook for about a minute.
  • Then add the canned diced tomatoes, beans, and chiles. If it looks pretty thick – which I am betting it might – add about a cup of water.
  • Simmer for as long as you can – I usually can’t wait more than about 5 minutes to try a bowl (there is a POT of CHILI on my stove – how am I not supposed to eat it asap?), but I do try to leave the rest simmering for 30-45 min.

Bison Chili

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  1. Katy Hubbell says

    Becky – I just made this on a 10 degree Minnesota night and it’s delightful!! Thanks for sharing and can’t wait to eat leftovers all week!

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