Recipe Of The Week: Spicy Bison Chili

Compared to its counterparts (beef, chicken, turkey, salmon), bison is lowest in fat and highest in iron and essential fatty acids.

Loaded with chiles, this recipe brings on the heat and lives up to its name. Bison is gaining popularity as a protein source and for good reason. Compared to its counterparts (beef, chicken, turkey, salmon), bison is lowest in fat and highest in iron and essential fatty acids. Try dressing it up with some low-fat cheese or sour cream, fresh cilantro or stone-ground tortilla chips.


16 oz ground bison
1 onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 pasilla peppers*, seeds removed and diced
1 serrano pepper*, finely diced with seeds
1 ½ cups pale ale
3- 14 oz cans stewed Mexican style tomatoes
2- 4oz cans mild or medium green chili peppers
1-14 oz can chili beans, drained and rinsed
1- 14 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp whole wheat or brown rice flour
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 ½ Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tsp agave or honey
1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

* These peppers are found in all major grocery stores and are as easy to work with as bell peppers

RELATED – Recipe Of The Week: Vegetarian Chili


1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pot, or French/Dutch oven, over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot, pasilla and serrano peppers, salt and pepper and sauté for 8-10 minutes, until soft and browning.

2. Add the chili powder and cumin and let toast in the pot for another minute.

3. Toss the veggies, in the pot, with the other tablespoon of olive oil and the flour. Let cook another minute, so the raw flour flavor cooks off.

4. Lower the heat to medium.  Pour in the pale ale and combine with the ingredients in the pot. Let bubble for 2-3 minutes.

5. Stir in the bison and let cook in the mixture for about 8 minutes, until cooked through.

6. Add the green chili peppers, stewed tomatoes, beans, agave, and balsamic vinegar and stir until all the ingredients are well combined.  Lower heat to medium- low.  Cover and let simmer (low bubble) for 30 minutes.

7. Turn heat off, uncover and let sit another 15-20 minutes before serving.

More recipes from Jessica Cerra.

Jess Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif. Jess recently launched Harmony Bar, and all natural gluten-and soy free bar designed to tasted like a soft baked cookie. She is an ex-professional XTERRA triathlete and mountain biker, and current elite amateur road cyclist for the SPY GIANT RIDE p/b MRI Endurance team. Follow Jess’ recipes on her “Fit Food by Jess” Facebook page, as well as the “Harmony Bar” Facebook page. Also on twitter @fitfoodbyjess and @harmonybars.