My Bison & Bean Chili Recipe

So I’ve got this old ledger book that I’ve been writing down recipes in for years. On page 271 you can find my Bison Bean Chili recipe.

Don’t be alarmed, you can find the rest of the recipe below!

Not sure exactly when I came up with the recipe, though I do remember going to a chili cook-off in Montana once where I had the pleasure of tasting quite a few different chilis. So the gears may have started turning after that.

It’s not by any means supposed to be an “authentic” Texas chili or anything like that, it’s just a simple recipe that my family enjoys. And it’s great for the cooler weather!

I decided to use ground bison meat for my recipe, but feel free to substitute ground beef or TVP (textured vegetable protein) in its place.

I also added a half a cup of coffee, but if you can’t do caffeine for whatever reason, I don’t think leaving it out would alter the taste too much. The chipotle peppers pack tons of flavor by themselves.

Finally, like many stews and such, letting the chili sit overnight will allow the flavors to deepen and mellow. But if you can’t wait (like us!) there’s always leftovers for the next day.

If you’d like to see some other chili recipes I’ve tried, you can check out my YouTube channel where I try Florence Weist’s Cinnamon Rolls & Chili, as well as some Cincinnati Chili Spaghetti.

Bison bean chili over a bed of rice topped with radishes, avocado, sour cream, and green onions.

My Bison & Bean Chili

A hearty beef and bean chili, spiced with chipotle peppers and rounded out with coffee and molasses.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Southwest, Texan
Servings 8 people
Calories 364 kcal


  • Large stewpot


  • 1 lb bison ground
  • 2 tbsp bacon fat or oil
  • 1 onion red, minced
  • 1/3 bell pepper or poblano, minced
  • 2 cans tomato sauce 8 oz
  • 2 cans black beans drained and rinsed
  • 4 chipotle peppers with sauce, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds whole
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coffee brewed


  • 4 radishes cut into wedges
  • 8 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup cabbage shredded
  • 1/4 cup green onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 lime cut into wedges


  • Toast cumin seeds in dry pot.
    toasting cumin seeds in cast iron pot
  • Once fragrant, add bacon fat (or oil) and sauté onions, pepper, and garlic on medium low until translucent.
    White onion, yellow bell pepper, and red chili pepper sautéing in cast iron pot.
  • Add coriander, paprika, and chipotle peppers.
    Chipotle peppers on cutting board with Embasa brand can behind.
  • Add bison. Cook until no longer pink.
    Bison meat in cast iron pot with onions, garlic, etc.
  • Add beans, tomato sauce, and coffee.
    Beans, tomato sauce, and coffee in the chili pot.
  • Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and cook for one hour.
  • Adjust salt and pepper to taste.


  • Serve in a bowl on a bed of white rice.
  • Place dollop of sour cream, cut cabbage, radishes, green onion, cilantro, and grated cheese on top.
    Lime wedges, cut radishes, cilantro, and green onion.


Calories: 364kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 21gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 995mgPotassium: 1083mgFiber: 10gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 1241IUVitamin C: 25mgCalcium: 129mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Fall/Winter, hearty
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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