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November 09, 2015


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4 Bean Bison Chili

If you are looking for a great chili to bring to your next chili cook-off or football game, then try this recipe and let the compliments roll in. Even better the second (or third) day - if there’s leftovers. (Makes 10 servings)

4-bean bison chili


  • 2  1 lbs. Premium Ground Buffalo
  • 2  tablespoons olive oil
  • 1  onion, chopped
  • 2  tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped
  • 2  tablespoons cumin
  • 2½  tablespoons chili powder
  • ½  tablespoon oregano
  • ½  tablespoon thyme
  • 2  teaspoons coriander
  • ½  teaspoon each smoked paprika and cayenne
  • 1  tablespoon black pepper
  • 2  teaspoons salt
  • 1  Quart stewed tomatoes
  • 1  Quart tomato sauce
  • 8  golden pepperoncini, diced + juices
  • 1  15oz can each: butter beans, black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans, (drained - but not rinsed)
  • 1  lemon, juiced
  • 2   cups water


1)  Mix all dry spices together.
2)  In heavy stew pot, over medium high heat, heat olive oil.
3)  Add Wild Idea bison meat, crumbling into small pieces.  Lightly brown, stirring constantly for 4 minutes.
4)  Add onion, garlic and seasonings. Continue to brown, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
5)  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a full boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for ½ to 1 hour, or until desired thickness is achieved.

Adjust seasoning to taste. Garnish with fresh lime or lemon wedges, fresh chopped cilantro, sour cream, or grated cheddar cheese. Serve with Cheesy Jalapeño Corn Bread, recipe included with purchase, upon request.



February 26, 2016

I made this Chili and it is fantastic. The best chili I have ever had. I would highly recommend giving this recipe a try!

Jill O'Brien

February 27, 2016

Steve – Thank you for the comment and feed back. May I use your comment in my cookbook? You can reach me at . Thanks again!


March 06, 2016

Making this chili for the second time. Comments from family and friends were the best chili they have ever tasted


March 31, 2016

What Chili Powder do you recommend? The one I have is more the Indian chili powder so sweeter not spicy – any suggestions?


April 01, 2016

Emily, A favorite of mine is Ancho chili powder, although others will work fine too.

Pamela Downs

September 23, 2016



Timothy Sixby

September 29, 2016

I have to say i make a great Chili, but this recipe is far better then mine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVED IT :)


March 16, 2017

Can this be frozen? Sounds delicious

Brooke Mackie-Ketcham

September 18, 2017

I made this exactly as it is written. The flavor of this chili is complex and enjoyable~! Thank you for this recipe! Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the Butter Beans in our New England area grocery store, so I had to add an extra can of black beans or dark red kidney beans, but that substitution seemed to be fine. I froze the cooked chili ( don’t scorch or over-cook it )and took it with us a few days later when we went camping in the mountains of northeastern Vermont. It is honestly the best chili recipe I’ve ever used,( aside from my Mom’s chili recipe, of course )!


November 12, 2017

I agree, this is the best chili recipe ever! Made it several times last year, and am happy it’s the time for chili once again!

Connemara McDonough

March 22, 2018

I’ve made this twice – it’s fantastic. Ancho chili powder is perfect. I used only one cup of water, and subbed 1/2 cup of coffee and 1/2 cup of beer for the other. It’s become my go-to chili recipe. My only wish is for nutrition information – is it available (as-written, of course)?

Nancy Spoolman

January 09, 2019

Made this chili this week and it also was delicious. Many of the ingredients are in my chili recipe, so I was delighted with this one. Excellent flavor!


Roger Weinreb

July 22, 2019

Can the Chile be done in a crock pot?

Penny Gray

October 03, 2019

This is the umpteenth time I’ve made this chili recipe, comes out fantastic every time. Making it tonight with ground moose meat. ’Tis the season here in Maine. Thank you, Jill!


October 09, 2019

I have never, ever made Chili, from a recipe, in my life! However, I am going to give this one a go. Whittling it down to 1/2 of the recipe, I will use only kidney and pinto beans and may substitute beer, for the water. I’ll let you know how it turns out.


October 11, 2019

First snow! Temps in teens! Good day to make a hearty chili! I halved the recipe and had to adjust to the pantry’s offerings but it worked. I did it in my old cast iron on the stovetop too. And my lifelong habit is to saute the garlic and onion before the meat. I LOVE the idea of combining all the spices together first and then adding them to the pot. It’s a lovely spice combination (though I have to forego cayenne so mine is milder).
Since I’m on Weight Watchers, I figured out the points afterward. The beans are mostly zero points, as are the tomatoes. It’s just the meat and oil that adds up. If you’re careful which white bean you use (no great northern), this will be 3-4 points per cup! GREAT!
Thanks, Jill!


November 22, 2019

This was so delicious! Since I prepared my spice combination ahead of time, this recipe was quick to put together for dinner. This was the first recipe I have used from Wild Idea so I wanted to give you kudos for such a wonderful combo of spices in this great chili.

Alisha Ross

January 22, 2020

Came across this recipe in Pinterest and been in love with your blog ever since.. I tried it today with whatever I could get a hold of and it was super yummy!!! Thank you

Ross Alisha

Rose Martine

January 30, 2020

Thanks for sharing such a healthy recipe! Have a great day!
rose martine

Gerald King

June 06, 2020

JUST defrosted the packaged 4 Bean Chili I bought probably 2 years or so ago. All I have to say is WOW!!! Tastes like it was made FRESH. I look forward to my next purchase, maybe a Quarter . . .

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