Bison Chili

Buffalo Chili | NY Food Journal

A few good friends of ours started BisonBison, purveyors of top quality grass fed American bison meat. Bison is leaner and gamier than beef, and works really well in a chili during these cold winter months. I made this recipe by modifying our ever-reliable vegetarian chili with tofu recipe.

Many people are very particular about what goes into their chili, particularly revolving around beans: beans, no beans, only beans, two kinds of beans, three kinds of beans, etc.  I’m not one of those people. I usually just throw in whatever vegetables I have (this time, no beans), and rely on good seasoning from plenty of garlic, cumin, fennel seeds, and a bit of pimentón for some smokiness.

This recipe is easy to double or triple and works especially well in large batches. Or it can work just as well for a weeknight dinner  when you don’t feel like simmering it forever, just add more tomato paste and less stock to keep the thick consistency.

Bison Chili

Delicious bison chili

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium garlic cloves peeled and diced
  • 1 large white onion chopped
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper seeds removed (if desired) and chopped
  • 1 pound BisonBison ground bison
  • Your choice of chopped veggies here I used 1 red bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper, 1 cup white mushrooms, and one small bunch of broccoli
  • 1 28 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1-2 cups chicken stock vegetable stock, or water
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican or other oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon pimentón
  • chili powder or cayenne to taste


  1. Heat half the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the ground buffalo and cook until cooked through and a bit crispy. Add the remaining oil, then the garlic, onions, serrano or jalapeño pepper, bell pepper, and broccoli and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, fennel seeds, oregano, cumin, pimentón, salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of stock or water and assess consistency, adding 1/2 cup-1 cup more if it's too thick or if you'd prefer to simmer it longer. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Taste and add chili powder or more seasoning for desired spiciness. Simmer for at least 10 minutes or up to an hour.
  3. Ladle the chili into bowls and top with chopped avocado, diced parsley or cilantro, cheese, and greek yogurt or sour cream.


  1. Add any toppings of your choice:  grated sharp cheddar cheese, chopped avocado, greek yogurt or sour cream, and chopped parsley or cilantro

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  • This looks fabulous! I mean really really delicious. My sister gave me a slow cooker for my birthday so this will be my first recipe. I'll look for the bison bison (random that your friend started this) and do it up right!

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