Bison Chili

The flavor of chili improves with age but a long simmer or making it a day or 2 ahead isn’t always possible. We purée half of the ingredients together to produce the long-simmered depth of flavor, although it will still get better with time.
By / Photography By Brooke Allen | December 28, 2015


Purée half of the onion, red pepper, celery, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, tomatoes and chipotle in a blender. Reserve.

Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan or Dutch oven. Add the other half of the onion, red pepper, celery, chili powder and cumin to the hot oil. Stir occasionally for about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms (if using) and cook about 3 more minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the bison and brown completely. Add the other half of the tomatoes and the purée with a dash of salt and simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add hot sauce to taste. (We like a generous ¼ cup.)

About this recipe


Though chili can be a less-than-healthy food, we’ve seriously upped the health quotient by using lean local bison, lots of veggies including mushrooms and serving it over fresh greens and a sunny side up duck egg. We think serving it this way lends itself to brunch, lunch or dinner!

Related Stories & Recipes

Forecast: Chili Days Ahead

Cooler weather calls for kicked-up classics This winter issue ushers in not only chilly weather but also bowls of chili to our tables. Chili preferences, ingredients, styles and recipes are as va...

Chili Powder

Spice blends to stock your pantry Unless noted, combine all ingredients in a jar and store in a dark cool place for up to 6 months.

Chili-Cornbread Pie

I rarely serve chili without wedges of cornbread hot from the oven. This casserole combines the two and only makes use of 1 pan. Resist the urge to eat this straight from the oven, for the topping ben...


  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle paste (or tomato paste)
  • 2 tablespoons pecan oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 cup sliced J & M mushrooms
  • 2 pounds lean ground bison
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresno chili hot sauce (or your favorite hot sauce), to taste
Build your own subscription bundle.
Pick 3 regions for $60