Chipotle Bison Chili - side angle

Chipotle Bison Chili

Chipotle Bison Chili - overhead view

This Chipotle Bison Chili is just what the cool days of fall and winter call for. With the smoky flavour of chipotles, the warmth of Mexican cinnamon and the tender but lean flavour of bison, it’s just the kind of fuel we need to see us through this narrow daylight time of year.

It’s also easy to omit the bison all together and turn this into a Meatless Monday meal. There’s lots of beans and vegetables. You could add a bit of cracked wheat, quinoa or tofu in the meat’s place.

But, I love lean Alberta bison. It’s low in fat, high in iron and loaded with flavour. I chop it quite small and by the time this recipe simmers on the stove or in the crock pot for a few hours, you barely have to chew it.

Banana Pepper Cornbread makes a great side. I’ll share that recipe in the next post. Wash it all down with your favourite beer. I drink a lot of the new alcohol-free craft beers now and they go perfectly while allowing me to stay sharp!


Chipotle Bison Chili

Chipotle Bison Chili - close up

Smoky heat, tender meat – all you need is a great side salad and maybe a bite of cornbread for a great warm-you-up dinner.

  • Author: Karen Anderson
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 to 3 hours
  • Total Time: 21 minute
  • Yield: 6 litres 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican-Canadian



1 Tablespoon olive oil (and more as needed)

2 lbs of bison steak/roast cut into small pieces and/or extra lean ground bison (it’s nice to use a mixture and if you like a meaty chili by all means use a total of 3 lbs of meat)

4 carrots – peeled and diced 

2 cups peppers – seeded, diced (use green, yellow or orange) 

3 stalks celery – diced 

2 large yellow onions – diced 

2 chipotle peppers in adobo, diced (Tip: I tried 3 in my recipe testing but that quantity overpowered the dish. Stick with 2 for balanced flavour.)

2 Tablespoons garlic paste

2 heaping Tablespoons (TexMex) chili powder 

1 Tablespoons ground cumin 

1 teaspoon oregano 

1 teaspoon Mexican cinnamon (aka – True Sri Lankan Cinnamon)

2 ripe tomatoes – chopped 

1 can (19 ounces-540 ml) red kidney beans 

1 can (19 ounces-540 ml) pinto beans 

1 can (19 ounces-540 ml) black beans 

1 package frozen chopped spinach

2 cans (28 ounces-796 ml) whole tomatoes

¼ cup tomato paste 

1 cup fresh Italian parsley – chopped or 2 Tablespoons dried 

1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves – chopped 

½ cup fresh chopped basil – or 1 Tablespoon dried 

4 cups V8 juice – low sodium 

1½ teaspoons sea salt – or to taste 

1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper – or to taste 

¼ cup molasses, depending on sweetness desired 

1½ Tablespoons hot sauce 

¼ cup lime juice 

For the Toppings:

Sour cream


Grated cheese

Lime slices

Cilantro leaves




This recipe freezes very well.

Keywords: Chipotle Bison Chili

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