Bison Chili: A Rustic and Satisfying Comfort Food

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bison chili in bowl

What’s Up, Hungry People!

If you can get your hands on some bison, you’re in for a treat! Bison is the freshest and most flavorful red meat out there, and it’s worth stocking up on. You can usually find it in specialty grocery stores or at your local farmers market. I absolutely love cooking with bison. Whether it’s bison in tacos or cowboy steaks, you can’t go wrong with this deliciously tender meat.

bison chili with corn bread

The Requested Favorite: Bison Chili

By far, one of Nick’s all-time favorite meals is bison chili. As soon as there’s a chill in the air, he asks me to whip up a batch. The best part about this chili is that it’s versatile, and every time I make it, it turns out a little bit different. In the past, I’ve added habaneros to give it an extra kick, but this time, I decided to take a milder route. Feel free to make it as spicy as you desire!

Here’s What You Need

  • Ground bison: The star ingredient, providing lean and flavorful meat for the chili.
  • Onions: Adds savory and aromatic notes to enhance the overall flavor.
  • Multi-colored sweet bell peppers: Provides a touch of sweetness and adds vibrant color to the chili.
  • Sweet corn: Offers a natural sweetness and a pleasant texture to the dish.
  • Kidney beans in tomato sauce: Adds a hearty and creamy element to the chili.
  • Diced tomatoes: Provides a tangy and juicy component, adding depth to the sauce.
  • Garlic: Infuses the chili with its distinct flavor and aroma.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: Enhances the richness and complexity of the chili with its subtle bitterness.
  • Chili powder: Contributes a mild heat and a well-rounded blend of spices.
  • Cumin: Adds a warm and earthy flavor to the chili.
  • Paprika: Introduces a smoky and slightly sweet taste, enhancing the overall profile.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Balances the flavors and adds a tangy note to the chili.
  • Brown sugar: Offers a touch of sweetness to complement the savory elements.
  • Habaneros: Adds heat and a spicy kick, if desired.

Let’s Cook!

To start, grab a large pot and heat it over medium-high heat. Brown the bison meat in the pot until it’s nice and cooked.

bison in pot

Next, add in your freshly chopped veggies, followed by the canned ones. I personally love my chili to have a thick and flavorful sauce, perfect for dipping cornbread. If you’re like me, make sure to keep the liquid from the canned tomatoes and corn and add it to the pot.

bison in pot with tomato and kidney beans

Simmer and Savor

Now, it’s time to bring all the flavors together! Stir everything in the pot, ensuring the ingredients are well combined. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 25 minutes. Oh, and let me warn you, your home will be filled with the most mouthwatering aroma during this time!

While the chili simmers, don’t forget to give it an occasional stir to prevent any sticking. After 25 minutes, add in the brown sugar and apple cider vinegar. Let the chili continue to simmer for another 25 to 30 minutes over medium-low heat. This will help the sauce thicken up and develop even more depth of flavor.

Time to Dig In!

Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Your bison chili is now ready to be served. I like to add a squirt of lime, a dollop of sour cream, and a generous amount of cheddar cheese to mine. It’s pure bliss.

But let me warn you, if you have a hungry boyfriend like Nick, you might need to be quick if you want to get a bowl for yourself. He can devour an entire pot of this chili single-handedly.

sour cream in bison chili

The great thing about this chili is that it keeps well for several days, as long as your boyfriend doesn’t eat it all in one go! It’s perfect for leftovers or meal prepping. Serve it with some warm cornbread or crackers for a complete and satisfying meal.

The combination of tender bison meat, vibrant vegetables, and a rich sauce makes each bite a delightful experience. Don’t be afraid to customize it to your taste by adding some heat or keeping it mild. It’s a versatile recipe that never fails to impress.

So go ahead, whip up a batch of bison chili, and let your taste buds dance with joy. Enjoy the delicious journey, Hungry People!


Bison Chili

The Starving Chef
Deliciously tender bison chili with a rich and flavorful sauce, featuring a blend of spices, sweet corn, and kidney beans, perfect for warming up on chilly days.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dinner, Fall
Cuisine American, Bison, Fall Foods
Servings 4



  • Brown the bison in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chopped onions and peppers, and cook until tender.
  • Add the drained sweet corn, kidney beans in tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes. Stir well.
  • Toss in the minced garlic, cocoa powder, chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Season with salt and pepper to your desired taste.
  • Let the chili simmer over medium heat, covered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour in the apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. Continue simmering over medium-low heat for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency.
  • Serve the bison chili right away with fresh cornbread. The flavors develop overnight for incredible leftoveres. Enjoy!


Keyword bison, chili
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