Lean grass-fed bison, a bold spice blend, and slow-cooked goodness combine in this bison chili from scratch. An adaptation of a web recipe that approximates the 'little-brown-bag' spice mix using all-natural ingredients.



Recipe Summary

20 mins
4 hrs 20 mins
8 hrs
12 hrs 40 mins
8 servings


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Rinse beans. Combine with 3 quarts of cold water in a large pot. Soak 8 hours to overnight.

  • Drain beans and return to the pot. Add 3 quarts fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until tender, 1 to 2 hours. Drain and set aside.

  • Heat vegetable oil in a 4-quart stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and stir until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, stir for a minute, then add bison and cook until browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir tomatoes and liquid into stockpot.

  • Combine red pepper flakes, cumin, oregano, chili powder, sea salt, white pepper, and paprika in a small container and stir to mix. Add to the stockpot and stir through. Add 1 cup water and stir gently while bringing water to a boil, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.

  • Taste bison mixture and adjust seasoning as desired. Add beans and mix through. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon masa flour on top and gently stir in to achieve a medium-thick consistency. Cover and simmer chili over low heat for 1 hour.

  • Uncover chili, stir, and add another tablespoon masa flour. Continue simmering, uncovered, over low heat to desired consistency, 60 to 90 minutes. Cover the pot or add a teaspoon of masa flour to control consistency.

Cook's Notes:

Do not salt the bean water; it will make the beans cook more slowly.

Use bison suet in place of vegetable oil, if you have it.

Cut the kernels from leftover corn on the cob and add about 1 cup when you add the beans.

Nutrition Facts

286 calories; protein 24g 48% DV; carbohydrates 28.3g 9% DV; fat 9.5g 15% DV; cholesterol 43.6mg 15% DV; sodium 271.3mg 11% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (1)

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3 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
We enjoyed this well enough. I knew from looking at the recipe beforehand that 2 tbsps of red pepper flakes would make this inedible--so only used 1 tsp and that was still plenty enough heat for us. I also made this in my pressure cooker to cut the time in half. I sauteed everything added the ingredients cooked it in the pressure cooker for about 30 minutes then uncovered it added in the masa harina and simmered until thickened. I think it's much faster and more straight-forward that way. It's a great chili and like most tastes better the next day. I served it topped with some chopped green onions and some cheddar cheese. I would make it again. But my advice is to make sure to adjust the seasonings to your taste and be aware of the heat-factor. Read More