Simple Bison Chili

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.

Simple bison chili with shredded cheese

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!

Simpel bison chili

Simple Bison Chili

With colder weather finally here, warm up with a bowl of this simple bison chili!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bison, Chili
Servings: 8
Calories: 230kcal
Author: Kelli


  • 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
Simple bison chili pinterest image

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About Kelli McGrane Headshot

I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

About Kelli McGrane Headshot

Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

Here you’ll find realistic healthy recipes designed by a registered dietitian with your busy lifestyle in mind.

Whether you’re a busy professional or new mom, the goal of The Healthy Toast is to provide you with the recipes and nutrition info you need to live your healthiest life, even when life gets crazy. As I’m a firm believer in a whole-foods, non-diet approach, I hope my website shows that good nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. 

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