Dr. Axe > Recipes > Gluten-Free

Slow Cooker Bison Chili Recipe

Bison chili recipe - Dr. Axe

Total Time

8-10 hours



Diet Type


  • 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 jalepeno, 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.

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.

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.

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

Bison chili step 1 - Dr. Axe
Begin by chopping up your vegetables. Onions, garlic cloves, bell peppers, carrots, celery and jalapeno will 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 will be the most difficult part of the recipe.
Bison chili step 2 - 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.
Bison chili step 3 - 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.
Bison chili step 4 - 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.

Josh Axe

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  1. 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.

    • 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?

  2. 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?

  3. 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

  4. 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.


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