Thanks to the wonders of pressure cooking, this chili can be on your table in 20 minutes, and I promise you it will taste as complex as one that simmered on the stove for hours. I used ground bison because we love it and it’s always available in our grocery store, but of course you can use ground beef or a mixture of  beef and pork.  I don’t think turkey will work well without some major adjustments because the meat needs to have some fat to stand the high pressure cooking without drying up.  If you want to make this in a regular pan, simply increase the cooking time, use the method you normally do for chili.  I adapted this recipe from several sources, using tips from cookbooks such as Hip Pressure Cooking and Pressure Cooker Perfection. For those interested, this recipe is Paleo-friendly. Not exactly low-carb due to the amount of tomatoes, but I’d say not that heavy in the carb department either.

Bison Chili

(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 shallot, diced
salt and pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder (to taste)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 pound ground bison
1/4 pound Italian sausage, mild
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
1 cup water

Heat the oil in a large skillet, saute the shallots seasoned lightly with salt. When they pieces are translucent and fragrant, add the chili powder and cumin, mixing constantly for a minute or so. You can do this initial step in the pressure cooker itself, but I prefer to use a pan with a larger surface.

Add the ground bison and sausage, increasing the heat to high. Cook them until they are no longer pink, but do not let them get brown. Stir the tomatoes and water, transfer everything to the pressure cooker.

Close the pan, bring the pressure up and cook under pressure for 12 minutes. Release the pressure quickly by running the pan under cold water in the sink or using another method available for your pan.  Open the pan, if the chili is too liquid simmer for a few minutes until it reaches the consistency you like. If too thick, add a little more water.   Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.


to print the recipe, click here

Bison Chili served

Comments:  We both loved this recipe, but I decided I loved it more than Phil,  so leftovers were all mine, and enjoyed several days in a row for lunch. I don’t know about you, but we like to have variety at dinner time. We never repeat the same meal two days in a row. But I can have the exact same lunch for five consecutive days and see absolutely nothing wrong or boring with it.  Go figure…

Chili in general is quite  substantial, and this one is no different. I normally serve it with slices of avocado, a little grated cheese and call it a day. But of course, a piece or two of cornbread could go well too.  As usual with chili, you can make it furiously fiery by adding more chili, cayenne, maybe shake some Sriracha on top.  Particularly with meat as flavorful as bison, we prefer to use a lighter hand with the seasoning, and added only one tablespoon of chili powder. It does get better with each passing day, I can vouch for that!

ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen, December 2014

TWO YEARS AGO: Braised Fennel with Saffron and Tomato

THREE YEARS AGO: Revenge of the Two Derelicts

FOUR YEARS AGO: Grilling Ribbons

FIVE YEARS AGO: Peppery Cashew Crunch

SIX YEARS AGO: Baked Shrimp and Feta Pasta



    • Karen, I have a Fagor with very simple controls – nothing fancy.. I will post a picture for you on Facebook once I get it transferred from my iPhone (too convoluted with this computer, will do it later today). I think you will have fun with it!


  1. I do love a good bowl of chili and look forward to trying your bison version. We are very much alike in that I, too, rarely eat these same meal 2 nights in a row. Yet, I’ve no problem going back to that casserole or storage container for as many lunches as needed to finish it off. I’ve yet to purchase a pressure cooker but I keep coming upon more and better recipes using them. Could they all be a sign? Hmmm…


  2. Ha! “I decided I liked it more than Phil so the leftovers were mine.” That is my favorite line of this post bar none! It cracked me up Sally. This looks like an amazing chili. I have two chili lovers here and they would certainly go for this. We’ve never cooked with bison at home (at least I don’t think we have), but I know we’ve eaten it before. Very lean if I remember and I know we enjoyed it. Like the title too – pretty much describes my life these days. 😉


  3. I love bison chili and yours looks fabulous! I just started using a pressure cooker. But I bought the new kind that is digital and not so scary to use! lol Pressure cookers make life and dinner so much easier!


  4. That looks delicious. I don’t like the same thing every day for lunch OR dinner. John doesn’t like leftovers very much at all unless I turn it into new-overs. 🙂


    • New-overs…. great one! I am sure you are a pro turning new-overs! My lunch is usually leftover from the evening before, sometimes I might wait for one extra day, but I love leftovers.


  5. No bison anywhere in sight – but like the recipe and shall try it with kangaroo: no, ’tis not a fatty meat, but it does have a lovely gamey flavour 🙂 ! No pressure cooker either and no lottery ticket in hand at the moment, but working from home absolutely love the aromas wafting around the house from stovetop cooking promising wonderful tastes later . . .


    • There is something to be said for a looooong slow cooked meal – the aromas, the time spent, I think it is wonderful too. But, sometimes life is hectic – we’ve had a couple of four weeks lately… 😉


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