Homemade Bison Chili

When it comes to comfort food that warms your soul and tantalizes your taste buds, few dishes can compete with a hearty bowl of homemade chili. And if you’re looking to take your chili experience up a notch, why not embrace the rich and robust flavor of bison chili?

Bison chili offers a unique and delectable twist on the classic recipe, delivering a memorable culinary experience that’s both delicious and nutritious. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the captivating flavor of bison chili, explore what complements it best, and uncover the numerous benefits of incorporating bison meat into your diet.

The Flavorful Symphony of Bison Chili

Bison chili boasts a distinct and enticing flavor that sets it apart from its more conventional beef counterpart. The meat’s natural sweetness pairs harmoniously with the spices and seasonings, resulting in a symphony of flavors that dance across your taste buds.

The lean yet tender nature of bison meat ensures that each bite is an explosion of succulent goodness. The meat’s slightly richer taste, often described as a cross between beef and venison, provides a delightful complexity that elevates the overall chili experience.

The Benefits of Eating Bison Meat

Bison meat isn’t just a delicious alternative to beef; it also offers a range of nutritional benefits that make it a smart choice for health-conscious individuals:

Lean Protein: Bison meat is exceptionally lean, meaning it’s lower in fat and calories compared to traditional beef. This makes it a great source of high-quality protein without the extra saturated fat.

Rich in Nutrients: Bison meat is packed with essential nutrients, including iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and selenium. These nutrients play crucial roles in maintaining energy levels, supporting immune function, and promoting overall well-being.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Grass-fed bison is known to have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids compared to conventionally raised beef. Omega-3s are beneficial for heart health, brain function, and inflammation reduction.

No Antibiotics or Hormones: Bison are typically raised without the use of antibiotics and hormones, making their meat a cleaner option for those concerned about potential additives in their diet.


  • 1 pound ground bison
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili seasoning (adjust to taste)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 can (15 oz) mild chili beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make Bison Chilli

Bison Burger

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground bison and cook, breaking it apart with a spoon, until it’s browned and cooked through. Remove the bison from the pot and set aside.

In the same pot, add a bit more oil if needed and sauté the chopped onion until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute, until fragrant.

Sprinkle the chili seasoning over the onion and garlic mixture. Stir well to coat the onions and garlic with the seasoning, and let it cook for about 1-2 minutes to bloom the flavors.

Add the diced tomatoes with green chilies (undrained), fire-roasted tomatoes (undrained), and tomato paste to the pot. Stir to combine everything and let it cook for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.

Return the cooked ground bison to the pot. Pour in the beef broth and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.

Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the chili simmer for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. This allows the flavors to develop and the chili to thicken.

After the chili has simmered for a while, add the drained and rinsed mild chili beans to the pot. Stir them in and let the chili continue to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Taste the chili and season with salt and pepper as needed. Adjust the chili seasoning if you prefer more heat or flavor. If the chili is too thick, you can add a bit more beef broth to achieve your desired consistency.

Ladle the bison chili into bowls and serve with your choice of optional toppings, such as shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions, and chopped cilantro.

Serve your delicious bison chili with some cornbread or crusty bread on the side. Enjoy the warm and comforting flavors!

Remember, cooking times may vary, so keep an eye on the chili as it simmers to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Feel free to adjust the seasoning and ingredients according to your personal preferences.

Perfect Pairings: What to Serve with Bison Chili

While bison chili can undoubtedly stand on its own, serving it with complementary sides and toppings can take your meal to new heights. Here are some delectable options to consider:

Cornbread: The slightly sweet and crumbly texture of cornbread is an ideal partner for the hearty flavors of bison chili. Whether served as a side or crumbled on top, cornbread adds a delightful contrast in both taste and texture. Try my honey cornbread.

Avocado and Lime: The creamy richness of avocado and the zesty brightness of lime can cut through the richness of the chili, creating a balanced and refreshing bite.

Shredded Cheese: A sprinkle of shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese can add a creamy, indulgent element that complements the savory notes of the chili.

Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt: A dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt provides a cooling contrast to the chili’s spiciness, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.

Chopped Fresh Cilantro: The herbal freshness of cilantro adds a burst of flavor that brightens up the dish and enhances its overall complexity.

Have leftover bison chili? Turn the leftovers into chili mac for a great way to make the leftover chili go further.

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