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Spicy Ground Bison Chili

What happens when you cook lean ground bison low and slow with tons of peppers and aromatics, beer, and fire roasted tomatoes? Allow me to introduce my spicy bean-free bison chili.

This chili is perfect for serving with tortilla chips and chili fixin’s, on chili dogs or chili cheese tots, corn chip pie, or in a big bowl with a grilled cheese.

And since this is a bison chili without beans, it’s also great for dishes like chili with rice or noodles. While that’s not my cup of tea, I get the appeal.

You really can’t go wrong.

However you end up serving your chili, I’d love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments or a recipe review. Those are always appreciated!

If you’d like to see this chili being made in video format, I recently featured it in a YouTube video with three other high protein soups. You can check it out below.

In the off chance you have a pellet smoker, you’ll want to take a look at my smoked bison chili and chili cheese smoked nachos.

And if you need something else to make with ground bison, check out my spicy bison tacosteriyaki ground bison and rice, or bison smash burgers next.

ground bison chili in a bowl with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips

Spicy Ground Bison Chili

Yield: 10 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Cook Time: 30 minutes
Simmer Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

A bean-free lean ground bison chili with a beaucoup of spicy peppers and veggies.


  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
  • 2.5 pounds Ground Bison
  • 2 Sweet Onions, finely diced
  • 2 Poblano or Bell Peppers, finely diced
  • 2 small Jalapeño Peppers, seeds removed and finely diced
  • 2 Fresno Chiles, seeds removed and finely diced
  • 1 Carrot, peeled and finely grated or diced
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 4 cloves Garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1/4 cup (66g) Tomato Paste
  • 12 oz Dark Beer**
  • 1 packet (1/4 cup) Chili Seasoning
  • 28 oz can Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes
  • 4 cups Low Sodium Beef Broth
  • 3 Bay Leaves

For Finishing

  • 1-2 Tablespoons Balsamic or Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1-2 handfuls Fresh Herbs
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste


  1. Heat a large (at least 5.5-quart) Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Once hot, add the bison and cook for 4-5 minutes to brown one side before breaking apart and fully cooking. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to transfer the cooked bison to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the remaining olive oil to the pot, followed by the onion, peppers, carrots, and 2 tsp salt. Cook until the veggies begin to soften, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add the cooked bison to the pot along with the beer. Deglaze and cook until very little liquid remains, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the chili seasoning, followed by the crushed tomatoes, broth, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil before reducing the heat to low, covering, and simmering for 2-3 hours (the longer, the better). Stir the chili every 30-45 minutes.
  5. Before serving, stir in some chopped herbs like chives, parsley, oregano, or dill and a splash of vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste.


*You can use all jalapeño peppers if you can't find Fresno chiles. Swapping jalapeño peppers for poblano or bell peppers will reduce the spice level. Alternatively, you can leave some seeds/membranes in the peppers to increase the heat.

**I used a stout, but any beer works. You can use non-alcoholic beer or broth with a bit of vinegar or Worcestershire sauce as substitutes.

You can buy 5-pound packs of Great Range ground bison at Costco or 1-pound packs at Whole Foods. This chili would work fine with just 2 pounds, if using the latter.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups (about 12 oz)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 295Total Fat: 16gCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 27g

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