Homemade Slow Cooker Bison Chili Recipe - Dr. Axe

Slow Cooker Bison Chili Recipe

Slow cooker bison chili recipe - Dr. Axe

One of the most valuable tools in my kitchen is a slow cooker. Whether you like cooking batches of meals on the weekends for the busy days to come or you prefer prepping the morning of, nothing else makes it quite so easy to prepare delicious and nutritious homemade meals with little hands-on time, such as this bison chili recipe.

This bison chili is a slow cooker favorite in my house. Making chili this way allows all the ingredients to meld together throughout the day, resulting in tender vegetables and a rich, flavorful sauce.

Using grass-fed bison meat keeps this low in fat and adds extra protein, while two varieties of beans provide extra nutritional punch and texture. Throw in some veggies, sauce and seasonings, and you’re left with a bison chili that will have your family drooling.

Why Bison Meat?

When it comes to meat, few are as high in protein as bison. Throw in the fact that it’s typically lower in calories and fat than ground beef, and bison is the go-to if you’re looking for a lean protein source that isn’t poultry.

Plus, it’s lower in cholesterol than many cuts of meat, including beef, pork, turkey, chicken and even some fish.


Other perks include its high content of vitamin B12, zinc, selenium, niacin and iron. All this results in some tremendous benefits of bison, including:

  • More likely to be grass-fed than beef
  • Combats inflammation
  • Supports immunity
  • Helps prevent anemia

Simply put, bison meat is one of the healthiest red meat options around. When you combine the variety of herbs, spices and vegetables in this bison chili slow cooker recipe, you get a hearty, healthy meal good for any time of year — especially those cold-weather months.

Best of all, it’s so easy to make! Let’s get started on this potluck-worthy dish.

Chopping carrots - Dr. Axe

How to Make Bison Chili

Begin by chopping up your vegetables. Onions, garlic cloves, bell peppers, carrots, celery and jalapeno add nutrients to your chili and keep things tasting zesty. You can also prep these overnight and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the bison chili, too.

Hint: Using a food processor can make this step go even faster. The good news? This is the most difficult part of the recipe.

Ground bison cooking - Dr. Axe

When you’re ready to get the bison chili going, brown the ground bison, garlic and chopped onions in a large sauté pan until there’s no more pink, and add to the slow cooker. Don’t overdo it — the meat will continue cooking in the slow cooker.

Tomato bison chili - Dr. Axe

Next, add in the remaining ingredients. You can get creative here.

If you prefer black beans more than kidney beans, use two cans of the stuff and skip the kidney.

Don’t like bell peppers? Try adding mushrooms instead.

Customize it to your family’s preferences or make as is. It’s delicious either way.

Spices bison chili - Dr. Axe

Don’t forget your spices! This bison chili is mild to medium spicy, so if you like things hotter, add in extra cayenne, crushed red pepper or hot sauce.

Cover it all up, and cook on low for 8–10 hours. You’ll want to add black pepper and sea salt to taste before serving. I like doing this halfway through and using it as an excuse to sneak in a bite!

Finally, ladle into bowls and enjoy.

This hearty bison chili is great for any time of year, including game days or busy days. Just assemble in the morning, and come back to a hot dinner.

Similar Recipes

If you’re looking for more ground bison recipes or other chili recipes, here are some to try:


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Slow cooker bison chili recipe - Dr. Axe

Slow Cooker Bison Chili Recipe

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  • Author: Dr. Josh Axe
  • Total Time: 9 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This slow cooker bison chili recipe is a favorite in my house. The ingredients meld together all day, resulting in a rich, flavorful chili.


  • 2 pounds ground bison
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded and chopped
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Saute onions, garlic and bison in a saucepan over medium heat. Once meat is no longer pink, add to slow cooker.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker and mix.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 8–10 hours.


  • If you prefer black beans over kidney beans, you can use two cans of those instead or vice versa. You can swap out any of the for beans of your choosing as well.
  • Don’t care for peppers? You can use another veggie, such as mushrooms, instead.
  • Customize the recipe with the vegetables, spices and sauces you enjoy most. If you want it spicy, throw in extra cayenne, hot sauce or red pepper.
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 9 hours
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 353
  • Sugar: 12.7g
  • Sodium: 1,191mg
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6.5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 35.6g
  • Fiber: 9.9g
  • Protein: 31.5g
  • Cholesterol: 62mg

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  1. Jason Kassis on

    Chili is one of my favorite things to make and on occasion I like veering away from my personal recipe (which in fact has several iterations of it’s own) to try others. This is a good one. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Steve on

    The recipe is great but to cook this the same in about 40 minutes use a pressure cooker no taste loss no nutrient loss works for busy people

  3. Lindsey Urquiza on

    I just started cooking this chilli. Did anyone speed up the process in the slow clooker and turn it to high for hours versus low for 8 hours?

    • Lindsey Urquiza on

      I found a can of adobe sauce at whole foods. It wasnt easy, i had an employee locate it for me. How dod yours turn out?

  4. susan on

    This is very close to my chili but I use venison and also some fresh tomatoes. Its very good! Its nice to see it in a recipe. I just dump so it would be hard to write it down.


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