Polar Vortex Bison Chili

Polar Vortex Bison Chili | cookeatbehealthy.com

Is there anything more delicious than a steaming hot spicy bowl of chili?!?  I sure don’t think so!  This past weekend we were in the grips of some of the coldest and nastiest weather of the year so far.  The weather folks call it the Polar Vortex.  I think they just call it that because the FCC frowns on cursing on live television and vortex could, if enunciated properly, almost sound like a curse word!  The wind was howling, snow was falling heavily, and the air temps were plunging to the teens below zero…which meant the windchill factor was around a vortexing negative 40 degrees. There’s really no way to deal with weather like that except to stay inside if possible, watch Netflix, and spend time in the kitchen!

Polar Vortex Bison Chili | cookeatbehealthy.com

My daughter is home from college for the holidays and she loves chili!  I like to think that it’s MY chili she especially loves, so even if I’m being delusional I’m going to keep on believing it’s the truth!  Anyway…knowing Anna would be home, and having heard the forecast, I picked up some ground bison and all the other ingredients to make a huge pot of Polar Vortex Bison Chili in the slow cooker.

I feel like chili is one of those recipes that is very personal, and everybody already has their favorite version, but I always like to tweak mine just a little here or there so we don’t get bored with the same old-same old chili!  To this pot I chose to use ground bison instead of beef because I really just prefer the bison for it’s flavor and healthfulness.  I used a large can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, a minced jalapeño, a couple chopped up chipotles in adobo, spicy V8 juice, and chili powder for different levels and intensities of spiciness.  Aside from those ingredients, I also included a large diced onion, a big ‘ol can of chili beans, a little extra cumin to enhance the smokiness of the chipotles and chili powder, and a generous portion of chopped garlic!  Throw in a little salt and pepper to taste, simmer it slow and low all day long, and 8 hours later…your patience is  rewarded with the best bowl of  chili you’ve ever tasted!  

Polar Vortex Bison Chili | cookeatbehealthy.com

Polar Vortex Bison Chili | cookeatbehealthy.com

I suggest serving the chili with some kind of bread – I made cornbread muffins shaped like mini bundt cakes.  That little depression in the center is perfect for corralling the honey I drizzle on mine.  Biscuits are another family favorite to accompany chili!  Toppings for the chili might include shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped jalapeños, crackers or tortilla chips ~ this is completely a personal preference!

Polar Vortex Bison Chili | cookeatbehealthy.com

Next time you make a pot of chili try mixing it up a little with a few different ingredients – starting with this recipe and taking it from there!  Go ahead…make your family the best vortexing pot of chili to ever come from your kitchen! 😉

Polar Vortex Bison Chili
Serves 8
Take your chili game to the next level with this recipe for Polar Vortex Bison Chili!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr 15 min
352 calories
26 g
78 g
15 g
30 g
6 g
449 g
1354 g
9 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 352
Calories from Fat 136
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g
Saturated Fat 6g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 78mg
Sodium 1354mg
Total Carbohydrates 26g
Dietary Fiber 8g
Sugars 9g
Protein 30g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1.5 pounds ground bison
  2. 1 tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  4. 1 30 oz. can chili beans
  5. 1 46 oz. bottle of low sodium Spicy Hot V8 juice
  6. 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
  7. 1 large onion, chopped
  8. 6 cloves garlic, minced
  9. 1 jalapeño, diced
  10. 3 tbsp chili powder
  11. 1 tsp cumin
  12. 1 tsp salt
  13. 1/2 tsp pepper
  14. Additional salt to taste
  1. Brown the ground bison and chopped onions, seasoned with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper, in large skillet drizzled with olive oil.
  2. Transfer to slow cooker, add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. Simmer on low 6-8 hours, until soup has thickened and flavors are developed. Adjust seasoning to taste by adding additional salt as desired.
  1. Store leftovers in the refrigerator and enjoy reheated within 3-5 days.
  2. Freezes well.
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/

12 Comment

  1. This sounds like a great chili. We love using bison too….but have never tried it in chili. Perfect comfort food for these cold winter days.

    1. Thanks! It was super delicious with the bison! 😀

  2. I agree with you- nothing is as good a chili to warm up after being out in the cold, cold weather. Never tried bison in chili. Sounds interesting.

    1. Thanks! It was really tasty!

  3. I felt a chill just reading your weather description. As someone who lives in sunny Southern California, I can’t even imagine weather that cold!! I’ve never made chili with bison before. It sounds delish, and I love all the other flavors in there, especially the chipotle peppers!

    1. Thank you! For your sake, let’s just hope you never have to experience weather this cold! It’s brutal!

  4. Ok so first this chili looks really good. Second, I am LOVING that cornbread made in a mini bundt pan! I’ve got one store away that I don’t use that often, and now I’m going to put it to better use!

    1. Thanks! The cornbread in the mini bundt pan is just fun!

  5. Such a great comfort food for when it is cold outside. Sounds like quite the storm! We still haven’t gotten snow this year. My son hopes we get some soon.

    1. For your son’s sake, I hope you get snow soon!!! I’d be okay with the snow if it just didn’t get soooo incredibly cold and windy!

  6. Polar Vortex type weather = reason I moved to CA from MI!
    I really don’t make chili often enough, probably only once a year, but then again, our weather isn’t that cold that I think about making it! Good luck with your storm! Yikes!

    1. I can’t think of a better reason to move to California! The older we get, the more we hate the cold! As soon as my husband retires we’re headed to North Carolina…only 10 more winters to go! 🙃

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