Red Meat and Pork/ Soups and Stews

Simple Bison Chili

With colder weather finally here, warm up with a bowl of this simple bison chili!

So there was a disagreement over dinner the other night, as Bry referred to this recipe as a “really delicious stew.” While I was glad to hear that he liked the taste, I got (overly) defensive that this is a chili and not a stew. To settle the argument, we went to the trusty internet to figure out the differences between soups, chilis, and stews. The results?  Most cooking websites say that chili can be either a type of soup or stew depending on how large the chunks of meat and veggies are (with stews having the larger chunks) and how much liquid there is. Apparently, soups have enough liquid that you must eat it with a spoon whereas stews are usually served over rice or mashed potatoes and can be successfully eaten with a fork. This alone blew my mind as I’ve never used a fork to eat a stew. Anyways. . .What sets chili apart is the use of chili powder. That’s it. As there is chili powder in this chili, I guess that means I won the argument 😉

If I had to categorize this chili between soup vs stew, I would say it is more of a soup as there is enough liquid that you definitely need a spoon to eat it. However, if you like your chili thick enough to scoop up with tortilla chips, then I recommend either using an extra can of beans or reducing the beef broth by a quarter cup at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.

As I’ve mentioned with other bison recipes on the blog, I grew up in a household where bison was the go-to meat for burgers and chili. While you could use lean ground beef instead, I recommend using bison as it is a lean meat that, in my opinion, is more flavorful than beef.

Bry and I are heading up to the cabin this weekend, where is will actually feel like Fall with temps in the 30’s and 40’s. I’m so excited to wear sweaters, go on a hike with a thermos of hot chocolate, and end the night with a fire and s’mores! 

So here’s a toast to sweater-weather and the comfort foods that come along with it!

Simple Bison Chili

Print Recipe
Serves: 8 Cooking Time: 30 min


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground bison
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup corn kernels (canned, fresh or frozen)
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 quart fat-free beef broth
  • Optional shredded cheese to top



Place olive oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat. One hot, add bison and garlic. Cook until bison is browned.


Add spices, diced peppers, sliced carrots, and corn. Allow to cook until spice fragrant, about 2 minutes.


Pour remaining ingredients into pot. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low and simmer with lid on for 25 minutes, or until carrots have softened.


Taste and adjust seasonings, then serve!


Nutrition for 1/8 of recipe: 230 calories, 2 g saturated fat, 22 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 20 g protein

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