Go-To Healthy, Award-Winning Chili Recipe

Some things are just too good to keep to yourself. I’m going to share with you my chili recipe that has won 1st place in multiple Spring Hill chili cook-offs against professional chefs and grandmas alike.

I got the original idea from a local restaurant that specializes in bison (IYKYK…and I’ve since discovered that they stole it from someone else, so all’s fair in love and war, right?) and I’ve modified a few things to my taste.

Bonus: to borrow a food marketing buzz phrase – this recipe is “protein-packed!”… but really it is.

Joe’s Award-winning, Protein-packed, Simple to Make, All Natural, Real Ingredients, Low-glycemic [insert other marketing buzzwords], BISON CHILI


  • 3lbs Ground Bison (I use lean ground beef sometimes when I need to save a little coin, or half & half)
  • 1 Cup Diced Red Onion (I substitute onion powder due to a food allergy in my house)
  • 2 teaspoons Minced Garlic
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Beef Base (<— this is really important, get beef base, not bouillon or stock. If you don’t use beef base, I cannot guarantee results ;))
  • 1 Cup Tomato Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano Leaves
  • 1/4-1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Coconut Sugar (or regular sugar)
  • 3 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 1 Can Fire-roasted Diced Tomatoes, drained
  • 2 Cans Ranch Style Beans, not drained

(Disclaimer: I eyeball a lot of these ingredients and sometimes throw in random things like chicken broth instead of water or diced jalapeños. Scale as needed.)

In a large pot on high heat, brown the meat, breaking it up into small pieces. When meat is partially browned, add in garlic and onions. When meat is completely browned, add in water, beef base, and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Add all seasonings and reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add beans and stewed tomatoes. Once chili begins simmering again, it is ready.

Optional toppings: chopped cilantro, sliced jalapeños, diced fresh onions, plain greek yogurt or sour cream, sharp cheddar cheese.

Let me know how it turns out. If you win any awards, you’re welcome.

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