The Fall season is upon us which means soups and chilis have become regulars on the menu around here.

This chili is super simple and comes together on it's own in the crockpot. There's a little flavor work to do beforehand but you'll only need one pan and a few minutes before you can leave it to work it's magic without you.

Let's talk about bison for a second...

I never ate bison before meeting Montana Josh. I don't think I even knew it was an option from the grocery store. Ahh, us East coasters over here. So sheltered!

Bison is a much healthier choice than ground beef, and makes a super easy swap for any recipes calling for beef as it acts pretty similar when cooking. Bison is leaner AKA it has less fat content. It has more protein, less cholesterol, less calories and more iron.

Another perk? Bison is not manufactured like much of the beef in the food industry. All the bison I have come across from the store is free range, antibiotic-free and raised on private ranches across the US. No mystery meat here!

Some say it can dry out easier than beef since the fat content is lower but you won't have any problems with that in this chili.

mama-thomp-bison-chili-close

I like to cook the bison down with all of the chili seasonings in the pan before adding it to the crockpot. Both the seasoning and browning the meat will add lots of great flavor to your chili.

I drain the fat from the pan and add some red onion and green pepper. Once those have browned a bit, I add those to the crockpot, along with all my canned ingredients. From there, it's just a waiting game!

I like my chili to be mostly meat and tomatoes so I use 2 pounds of bison with 2 28oz cans of whole tomatoes. If you don't like large chunks of tomatoes, you can use diced or sauce instead. Adjust to your liking!

mama-thomp-bison-chili-social

What do you like to eat with your chili?

I love how personal it is for folks. I've seen it served with pasta, rice, chips and cornbread. Josh loves Ritz crackers with his. Leave a comment and tell me your favorites!

Plus, you gotta have the toppings. Alllllll the toppings!

mama-thomp-bison-chili-little-hands

mama-thomp-bison-chili-toppings-close

mama-thomp-bison-chili-helpers

These little girls we're waiting around like sharks while I tried to squeeze in some photos before they dove in to "style" it themselves. And Hadley said, "It's a little spicy but not bad!" as she chowed down on the goods.

mama-thomp-bison-chili-hadley-chowing-down


Bison Chili

Makes 6-8 servings


Ingredients

Chili

2 pounds ground bison
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 red onion, peeled, halved and diced
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
1 15oz can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 15oz can corn, drained
1 10oz can diced tomatoes and chiles
2 28oz cans whole peeled tomatoes

Topping Ideas

Shredded cheese
Sour cream
Avocado slices
Cilantro or chives
JalapeƱo slices
Diced red onion
Corn salsa
Serve with: tortilla chips, pasta, rice, cornbread or ritz crackers

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, brown the bison meat with all of the spices (chili powder, cumin, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper) over high heat until just about cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a crockpot and drain the liquid from the pan.
  2. Add the diced onion and green pepper to the skillet to brown. Add a bit of olive oil if the pan dries out. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until onion and pepper are browned and soft. When finished, add to the crock pot.
  3. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes and chiles and whole tomatoes to the crock pot. Stir well.
  4. Cook in the crockpot on low for 7-8 hours or high for 5-6 hours.
  5. Serve with the toppings and sides of your choice!

Happy Fall <3