Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr
Hands-on Time
40 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 50 Mins
Serves 8 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups chili, 1 tablespoon sour cream, and 1 tablespoon parsley)

Bison Chili with Chickpeas and Acorn Squash is a new take on the classic cold-weather, one-pot meal. Our chili is amped up with rich ground bison, that takes the place of ground beef, and chunks of sweet acorn squash.

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine chiles and stock in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 3 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove stems. Combine chile mixture and mushrooms in a blender; process until smooth.

Step 2

Heat a Dutch oven over high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add bison, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; cook 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove bison from pan. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add onion and bell pepper to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chili powder, oregano, coriander, and cumin; sauté 30 seconds. Return bison to pan. Stir in beer; cook 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in mushroom mixture and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes. Stir in squash and chickpeas; simmer 45 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Top with sour cream and parsley.

Ratings & Reviews

kpaquette's Review

February 01, 2015
The first time i made this, I thought it was missing something. I added more of the spices and after letting it sit for a few hours for the flavors to meld, it was delicious. I'm making it again for the Super Bowl - this time I added 3 dried chipotles to the anchos to give it a smoky spicy kick. I also added way more of the spices (didn't measure, just threw them in) and onion and garlic powder. The flavors are already amazing and it's still simmering. I garnish with red onion and diced avocado. I really like the chili/broth/mushroom step - it adds a flavorful layer and nutritious mushrooms without adding too many calories. Definitely a keeper for healthy chili.

Malenaalonzo's Review

October 17, 2013
I made this today it was delicious my family and I enjoyed it. I served it with crusty bread. Thanks for the recipe.

seaside725's Review

April 26, 2013
I thought this was a good dish. Instead of using bison, I used venison and I also couldn't find acorn squash, so I used butternut squash instead. Other then that I follow the recipe. I served it with white rice and green beans. Great meal.

Bernadette1's Review

February 28, 2013
I made this for dinner for my friends and my son who loves bison. It was great! Loved the addition of the squash. I thought is was easy to make and to shop for. Will definitely make again!

Shannon3222's Review

February 12, 2013

promogal's Review

January 30, 2013
Really good. Next time I'll leave the ground bison a little more chunky. Had to use Butternut Squash instead of Acorn but it tasted great. Also I will give the mushrooms a good chopping next time & not obliterate them in the food processor.

creamcheese's Review

January 28, 2013
Overall very happy with this. Great complex flavor and nice big serving for not too many calories. Shared with friends and they loved it. Made this with 1 lb bison, 1/2 lb ground beef, and substituted pumpkin for the squash. Did not have chili powder so I substituted extra oregano, added paprika, and more cayenne. Skipped the sour cream. Upon serving, added smoked chipolte peppers because it wasn't spicy enough for my tastes. Also added salt.

ChefChelz's Review

January 16, 2013

MrsDana's Review

January 14, 2013
When I started making this chili I thought it was going to be okay but not great. I was wrong. I thought this chili had depth to it and a complex taste that I believed was probably from the beef stock-mushroom-ancho broth. I did have to make a few tweaks to it due to not all ingredients being available in the store. Instead of bison, I used a lean ground beef. I also used white mushrooms instead of cremini and a squash medley that was pre-cut at the the store. I really enjoyed this chili and thought it was very, very delicious.

1hungeryferret's Review

January 09, 2013
This was good but not awesome. It seemed to be missing something. I just noticed that its pictured with lime wedges so maybe I'll try that with the tons of leftovers! I served it with naan, which went well. Also, if I make it again, I will cut the cubes of squash smaller.