Buffalo Chili

This buffalo chili recipe gets its tangy sweetness from the BBQ sauce and red pepper that play well with the lean ground buffalo and kidney beans.

What makes this buffalo chili stand out is how the ground buffalo absorbs all of these interesting flavors from the other ingredients while adding its own special touch. For the BBQ sauce in this recipe, you can use your favorite tomato-based sauce or Old No. 44 BBQ Sauce.

If you’re interested in learning more about cooking with buffalo read our story Thinking About Buffalo as an Ingredient.

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A great addition to this chili is some homemade Buttermilk Biscuits or Sourdough Bread.

Buffalo Chili

Buffalo Chili

5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 8 servings


  • 2 pounds ground bison
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 16 oz cans light red kidney beans
  • 1 4 oz can roasted green chilies
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 14 oz can stewed tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Chipotle Tabasco Sauce
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Spice Mixture

  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ancho chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 2 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper


  • Start by dicing the onion, celery, and red pepper. Mince the garlic.
  • In a large heavy bottomed pot sauté the onion and celery for three to four minutes. Add in the buffalo meat to brown, making sure to break the meat up as you stir everything together.
  • Once the meat has finished browning drain off any excess grease. Then put the pot back on the heat at a low simmer. Stir in the tomato paste and tomatoes making sure to break the tomatoes up as you add them in.
  • Mix in the kidney beans, roasted green chilis, red pepper, and garlic. Followed by the ketchup, BBQ sauce, lemon juice, Tabasco, liquid smoke, Worcestershire, and apple cider vinegar.
  • Make sure to mix everything up well, before adding in the Ancho chili, chipotle and regular chili powders, cumin, smoked Spanish paprika, salt, and pepper. Bring everything up to a boil, give it a couple of stirs and then lower the heat to a low simmer and let it cook for at least an hour.
  • Serve hot, with your choice of chili toppings; we like a good smoked cheddar and cornbread.
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