Bison Chili: A Flavorful Journey Across the Plains

The Bison vs. Buffalo Dilemma

Life is filled with mysteries, both profound and mundane. Among them was my quest to perfect bison chili after realizing the difference between a buffalo and a bison. While we often associate buffalo with the vast American plains, it’s actually the American Bison that holds this image. Those we typically call ‘buffalo’ are more native to Africa and Asia. This newfound knowledge not only quenched a culinary curiosity but also helped me appreciate a significant distinction.

Rediscovering Bison: A Meaty Marvel

With the regrettable hunting history that nearly led them to extinction, the American Bison has not just survived but thrived. These animals have even interbred with cattle, giving birth to the “Beefalo.” But today, our spotlight is on the pure bison meat, also referred to as the American Buffalo. If you’ve ever doubted its culinary value, rest assured, bison meat is a gastronomic delight. Possessing a unique richness that surpasses regular beef, it’s a game-changer. On a memorable family trip, my parents were introduced to the mouthwatering bison steak, which led to the purchase of ground bison meat – setting the stage for a nostalgic culinary adventure.

Childhood Memories: The Bison Chili Journey

My childhood was scented with memories of chili pots bubbling away. There’s something magical about chili – it speaks of home, comfort, and a sense of adventure all in one. Recollecting those days when I took pride in whipping up large pots of this spicy delicacy, I felt inspired to recreate that magic using the ground bison.

Bison Chili Recipe: A Hearty Delight


  • 1 pound ground bison (450g)
  • 2 onions
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 2 finely chopped and de-seeded jalapeno peppers
  • 3 finely chopped chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 6 ounces tomato paste (170g)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 can kidney beans (around 250g rehydrated)
  • 1 can pinto or pink beans (around 250g rehydrated)
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes (800g)
  • 3 cups chicken stock (700 ml)


  1. Over medium-high heat, brown the ground bison in a large soup pot. If needed, add some oil to prevent sticking. Once browned, introduce the onions and garlic and cook until onions turn translucent.
  2. Incorporate the bell and jalapeno peppers and let them cook for about 5 minutes. Mix in the chilis in adobo sauce, tomato paste, and all the seasonings. Add beans, crushed tomatoes, and chicken stock.
  3. Let the mixture boil, then simmer for about two hours. Adjust salt as per your taste. Serve with cheddar cheese, avocado slices, and tortilla chips for an authentic experience.

Additional Notes:

Caloric information provided pertains to the chili without the suggested toppings.

Concluding Thoughts

Bison chili is more than just a dish; it’s a journey through flavors and history. It’s a testament to how something so rooted in tradition can be reinvented. This recipe isn’t just about filling your belly but about experiencing a tale of resilience, history, and culinary evolution in every bite. Every spoonful is a delightful adventure, waiting to be explored. So, here’s to childhood memories, rich flavors, and the joy of discovery!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

Related Posts

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive updates, promotions, and sneak peaks of upcoming products. Plus 20% off your next order.

Promotion nulla vitae elit libero a pharetra augue