Buffalo Beans

Recently, a customer (thank you Suzanne) sent me a recipe for cowboy beans. It was a recipe that I was very familiar with as a kid – which we called “Hamburger Beans”. It was often dinner, or served as a side dish during outdoor cookouts.

I took her suggestions, along with notes from my mother’s recipe from years back and came up with Buffalo Beans. It’s good-ole-fashioned, stick to your ribs food. A good hunger remover after a big day. Approved by Wild Idea’s Harvest Crew!


  • 1 – pound Wild Idea Premium Ground Buffalo
  • 2 – tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 – onions, chopped
  • 4 – cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 – teaspoons salt
  • 1 – teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 – tablespoon cumin
  • 2 – teaspoons coriander
  • 2 – teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 – teaspoon oregano
  • ½ - teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 – 8 ounce can roasted and chopped green chilies
  • 1 – cup ketchup
  • ¼ - cup mustard
  • ½ - cup maple syrup
  • ½ - cup strong coffee
  • 2 – cans beans, rinsed
  • green onions or shredded cheddar cheese


    1. In a heavy pot over medium high heat, heat oil and crumble in ground buffalo meat and add the onions, garlic and dry seasonings. Push the meat around in the pan breaking up the meat pieces and incorporating the spices. Cook until the meat is browned, about 10 minutes.
    2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to incorporate. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer until desired consistency is reached.

      Garnish the beans with green onions or cheddar cheese and accompany with corn bread.

      Photo Credit: Jill O'Brien

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      • Thanks, Jill! I’ll probably use black & pinto beans. It sounds really yummy and a little different twist from traditional chili.
        We’re doing great. Bill and I have had both of our COVID vaccines and are breathing a bit easier. Hope you and Dan are staying healthy & strong. Hoping to make a trip to the Black Hills later this year. Maybe we’ll stop in and see you again. Warm regards, Kathy

        Kathy Day
      • This was a big hit with my family! Subbed water for the coffee and it worked fine. Thanks, Jill!

        Cindy Vincent
      • Hi Kathy! Not OCD at all… I used black and butter beans, but any would do. Hope you are doing well! Thanks bunches. jill

      • I’m probably being a wee bit OCD but……what kind of beans do you use? :-)

        Kathy Day
      • Cindy – I would use a dark beer or water for a coffee substitute. Enjoy! jill

      • This looks great. Any ideas for substitutions for the coffee? Or can I just leave it out?

        Cindy Vincent
      • I fixed this dish this evening and my wife exclaimed that is this best chili dish she has ever eaten. Thank you

      • Holy moly buffalo lovers! If you have not tried this recipe, you are missing out. Pork and beans is big in the South, but BUFFALO BEANS takes it to a whole new level. You will never go back again. We’ve made it twice and the only changes we made are doing only one onion and putting in TWO pounds of ground WIB bison…because we are crazy about absolutely delectable WIB buffalo!

        Chris and Kim
      • Sounds very yummy!! It is similar to something I make (lol- that I thought I made up!!!). I recently named it Cowboy Rice. It is a mixture of ground meat (usually buffalo, or beef if I have to ;), rice, and a can of beans (ranch beans, chili beans, or BBQ beans, etc).

        I am looking forward to trying your recipe! The addition of cornbread sounds fabulous, too!

        Thanks for all you are doing to bring good and healthy meat to America’s dinner table!!!

        Wendy 🌻

        Wendy Alston

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