Bison Chili


California hasn’t given way to Fall temperatures but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying Fall recipes in my kitchen. What I enjoy about Fall and Winter is: they are seasons for making hearty and easy soups. This post is inspired by a gift – a lovely package of natural ground bison. To me, there is nothing better than being gifted with quality food. Thanks, mom! 

In the past, I’ve made chili with ground turkey or beef but when I made chili with bison I noticed that it cooked softer and gave my chili a heartier texture. In my recipe, I add carrots and red onion to lightly offset the spices and acidity of the tomatoes, zucchini so that it adds a little water content and kale at the end because of its nutritious value and deep color. Unsweetened dark chocolate is added at the end to enhance its flavor profile and depth. Chocolate is an amazing flavor enhancer for chili!

INGREDIENTS (makes approximate six to eight 12 oz bowls)

  • 1 pkg of lean natural ground bison (1.25lb) – purchased at Costco
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped

Chili Base:

  • 1 can (14oz) – organic canned diced tomatoes – low sodium preferred
  • 1 can (14oz) – organic canned tomato sauce – low sodium preferred
  • 1 tablespoon of: garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon of: smoked paprika, black pepper, cumin, oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of: cayenne – add more to increase preferred level of spiciness
  • *1 square of unsweetened dark chocolate – 70-80% dark cocoa preferred


  • 1/2 cup canned organic black beans – low sodium preferred
  • 1/2 cup canned organic sweet corn kernels
  • 2 organic carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 organic red onion, chopped
  • 1 organic zucchini, chopped
  • 1  1/2 cup kale, chopped

Toppings / Side

  • Organic green onions, chopped
  • Plain Greek yogurt – in lieu of sour cream because it taste just as good and has your dose of probiotics
  • Organic corn chip dippers – I get mine from Trader Joe’s


  • In a pan, on medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and brown the chopped garlic. Add bison, stir and break all clumps. Cook until bison is only slightly brown. Set aside. You will continue to cook the bison in the next step.

Simmer, Simmer, Simmer

  • In your pot, add all your ingredients (except for the kale and chocolate) and let simmer simmer simmer. ADD: 1 can of tomato sauce, 1 can of diced tomatoes and sauteed bison/ garlic (and all its juices), spices, carrots, red onions and zucchini.
  • Let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add in chocolate – add one square first then add more and adjust to your liking.
  • Let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Stir in kale briefly and turn off heat.

Serve immediately and top it off with some green onions, a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and a side of corn chips. Enjoy!




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