Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 50 mins

Using buffalo meat in chili reminds us that this is the quintessential food of the American West. Leaner than beef, buffalo provides a robust flavor that stands up well to the spices and chilies in this rustic chili. It is widely available now in grocery stores, and only a bit higher in cost, In Houston it is about $4.50 lb. vs $3.99 lb for its lean and naturally raised beef equivalent. If you're like me, you look for meat from animals that are free roaming, fed veggie diets, and are NEVER treated with hormones of any kind. This recipe is for those that like their chili HOT, but you can cut the heat by using either/or for the peppers. Also to cut prep time, I used a presliced tri color pepper and onion medley intended for fajitas found in my convenience/produce case. I also had the meat already cooked and thawed from my freezer.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large dutch oven with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat and add ground buffalo to brown, breaking large chunks into smaller ones. Cook for about 5 minutes or until all meat is browned. Remove meat and drain excess fat if any, but leave about 1 tablespoon of fat in the pot.
  2. Bring back to medium heat, add onions, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and Anaheim and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, scraping bottom from time to time to get all the browned bits of meat folded in with the vegetables. Add the jalapeno pepper, cook for another 3 minutes stirring from time to time. Add garlic, cook for another minute and then add cumin, oregano, coriander, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Let spices cook for another minute, stirring.
  3. Return the cooked meat. Stir in the tomatoes and beef broth, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, adobo sauce and bay leaf, stir and raise heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, taste sauce and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Lower heat to a slow simmer, cover with a lid and cook for about 30 mintues. Add beans, continue simmering, covered, for another 10 minutes or until the beans are warmed through. Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions.
  4. Recipe Variation: To add a smoky depth of flavor, you can roast the peppers before adding. Also, you can mix and match your favorite beans to enhance the appearance, or add another layer of flavor by substituting dark Mexican beer, such as Negra Modelo, for the beef stock.
  5. Ingredient Note: The canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce called for in this recipe is my latest grocery store gem! The smoky and almost sweet barbeque flavor compliments just about any dish. Let me know what you think as well!
Most Helpful

5 5

Wow! I'm surprised I am the first to review this recipe. Everyone (including myself to this point) has been missing out. This is a really flavorful chili. Even DH, who tends to be conservative in his opinions, said that he was really pleasantly surprised by how much he enjoyed it. A couple of things: the ingredient list calls for a red bell pepper, but then in the directions it says to saute the red bell pepper, green bell pepper and the anaheim pepper. So, we cut up a yellow bell pepper as that was what we had on hand besides the red one we had used. Also, the directions do not say where to put in the chili powder. We added it in with the other spices. I ended up having to use veal stock as I realized I ran out of beef stock. Otherwise, we made no modifications to the ingredients and thought it was perfect as is. We added a little shredded cheese to our individual servings because we like chili with cheese on top. I will definitely make this again. Thanks!

5 5

Perfect for spiciness. I used 1 inch of frozen chipotle and adobo, wish I could have eaten more it was so good.

5 5

Delicious! I lost my recipe from when I worked at Whole Foods (ptthh), but here it is!!! Best one out there!! Thanks for sharing!!