Bison Chili (Gluten free and Dairy free) with Vegetarian option

Making from-scratch chili is easier than you think!

Chili has a little something in it for everyone: warming spices, satisfying meat, comforting carbs… Add a little fat with sour cream or avocado and all Body-types are pleased.

I used sub-par, pre-mixed chili spices for years thinking it was too difficult to make my own. Then I found a recipe, tweaked it for our taste and have never gone back to season packets!

I keep a small glass jar with the ingredients pre-mixed for ease of preparation. Use within one month if you pre-mix! Enjoy!

Bison Chili

Free of Dairy (opt.), Gluten, Nuts, Corn, Eggs, Soy


6-8 large bowls

Preparation Time

25 minutes

Cook time

1 hour or more


1 lb. buffalo burger (thawed)

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can Kidney beans (or dry equivalent)

1 can Black beans (or dry equivalent)

1 can Pinto beans (or dry equivalent)

1 large can of whole tomatoes- or more if desired tomato juice-

if your family likes a “soupier” chili

2 T. olive or grapeseed oil


1/4 cup sweet paprika

1 T onion powder

1 T. dried oregano

1 T. Salt

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. cayenne pepper (perhaps depending on ‘hotness” of the cayenne)

*Use all organic and/or farm-raised ingredients.


Mix seasoning ingredients in small bowl.

Warm olive or grapeseed oil in heavy bottom dutch oven on medium heat on stovetop. Add burger and begin to brown burger. (Oil should not spatter or smoke.)

When burger is 1/3 cooked add onions.

When the burger is 2/3 done add the garlic–this allows the onions and garlic to get just done enough, not overdone.

When the burger is browned, turn off the burner, mix half of the seasoning you prepared in seasoning and let sit. (Add up to 3/4 of seasoning if desired. Keep the remaining seasoning in a glass jar with tight cover. Use within 1 month.)

Rinse beans in a colander until the water runs nearly clear.

Combine the burger mixture, beans and the seasoning in the pot/dutch oven.

Turn off burner and let sit for 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes and juice and simmer on low-medium for at least a couple of hours.

There should be at least enough juice from the tomatoes to cover all of the ingredients. If not, or if your family likes a soupier chili add more canned tomatoes or tomato juice.

**This recipe can easily be converted into a vegetarian dish. 

To do so, sauté the onions and garlic as indicated above.

Add the rinsed bean and add seasonings to onions and garlic, mix.**

Allowing the meat or beans to sit with the seasoning on them for 10 minutes or longer is a secret of mine. This gets the flavors into the meat or meat substitute, making your chili noticeably tastier. It’s not just the juice that has the flavor!

As an alternative, use chili to make a great taco salad. Simply crush organic corn chips and pile on lettuce, chili (hot or cold) sour cream or cheese (in moderation or not at all) guacamole (a nice creamy substitute for dairy) onions, peppers, salsa, and whatever else you may like? Olé!

Body-type and Wellness Insights

A warm bowl of chili on a cold and dreary day is perfect in so many ways. The warming spices arouse our bodies to naturally ward off colds and flus and clear excess moisture and congestion in the body. (Very helpful for phlegm-prone Earth-types!)

The dense meat of the carnivorous variation helps us to feel grounded- naturally balancing us during the cold months which is especially helpful for Air and Water-types.

The beans provide our body with blood-nourishing iron and the starches that convert into sugars in the body make this a unique comfort food (good for Fire and Air-types).

There is something for every body-type in a bowl of chili. Top with sour cream for added Earthiness and healthy probiotics; a couple of slices of avocado to help naturally cool the spices and for health-promoting fat from plants; or add a little zest with some sharp cheese- a Fire-type favorite.