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Southwestern Chili with Bison Meatballs – Guest Post

November 6, 2014

Southwestern Chili with Bison Meatballs -Simply Fresh Dinners

I am very excited to introduce you to my dear blogger friend, Robyn, from Simply Fresh Dinners.  You are just going to love her healthy, simple and fun recipes. Robyn's recipes uses fresh ingredients and are easy to prepare.  Her recipe photos are just awe-inspiring. When you can make healthy food look this delicious, you know her food and her photography are stupendous.

Robyn lives in Canada and I live essentially on the furthest plane trip away in Hong Kong, China. On a map, it seems like we are a world apart but our values are the same in that we want to be able to eat healthy delicious food that does not take forever to prepare. I love all of Robyn's recipes but some of my favorite are her Spring Vegetable Pasta, Tuscan Vegetable Soup and her Spicy Lime Shrimp with Drunken Grapes.  Please stop on by and give Robyn a visit and you can decide for yourself which recipes you like the best.

Robyn and I met, well in the virtual sense of the word, around 3 years ago when we both first started blogging. I guess I was one of the first persons to leave a comment on her blog and we have been blog buddies ever since. Please head on over and leave her a comment, join her on google +, twitter, Facebook or maybe try a smoke signal.

Without further ado, please join me on welcoming Robyn, from Simply Fresh Recipes, and her delicious recipe for Bison Chili.


Southwestern Chili with Bison Meatballs-Simply Fresh Dinners

Hello there! I'm Robyn from Simply Fresh Dinners and thrilled to be here for my first guest post for Bam's Kitchen. I have been a fan of Bobbi's cooking magic for quite some time now so I jumped at the chance to join her here on the blog today.

First of all, I have a confession to make - I am a chili addict. A happily addicted chili enthusiast who will try almost any kind I come across. I've been pondering a new chili recipe since late summer but nothing original came to mind until I visited a local farm where I came across some bison meat and this dish was born.

Now if you're a little shy of trying bison, no worries, you can easily substitute beef or turkey. Actually, I mixed a little ground turkey with the bison as well but I thought it would make the title even scarier to some!

Southwestern Chili with Bison Meatballs -Simply Fresh Dinners

I've been reading so much about bison meat lately and I was long overdue from giving it a try. Bison meat is a nutritionally superior red meat. It is natural without growth hormones, steroids, drugs or chemical residue. It is also extremely low in fat with 1/3 less fat than beef. A single serving of bison provides much of your daily protein, iron and zinc requirements, plus most of the antioxidant selenium your body needs each day.

Bison are raised and processed without additives, preservation, steroids, growth hormones or drug residues. Bison spend the majority of their life grazing on forage and some producers finish their bison on grass while others finish on grains.   It tastes much like beef but slightly sweeter and richer.

Have I made my case yet? Many grocery stores are carrying it now but, depending on where you live, you may have to search a little to find it.

Southwestern Chili with Bison Meatballs -Simply Fresh Dinners

The meatballs are packed with loads of flavor and baking them makes for a healthier dish.   I had some meatballs left over that went into the freezer so now it`s time to think up another recipe where I can use them. I welcome any suggestions. After all, it took me 3 months to come up with this one so I need all the help I can get!

If you are vegetarian or vegan, just omit the meatballs. The chili has a little bit of heat and lip-smacking deliciousness of the Southwest and I added some chipotle peppers in adobe sauce for good measure.

The readers on my blog will tell you that I insist on fresh herbs in my dishes and this is no exception. The fresh oregano in the meatballs made such a difference and you wouldn`t want to miss out on that extra bit of flavor.

Southwestern Chili with Bison Meatballs -Simply Fresh Dinners

I hope you enjoyed my Southwestern spin on chili today. It`s been such a pleasure to bring you one of my dishes. Thanks, Bobbi!



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Healthy World Cuisine (HWC) Magazine is committed to provide a lifestyle traveling culinary experience featuring fresh ingredients, easy recipe preparation and culinary enjoyment. READ MORE...

Southwestern Chili with Bison Meatballs – Guest Post

By HWC Magazine  , , , , ,   

November 6, 2014

  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yields: 8 Adults or 1 Hungry Teenager



ground bison - 10 ounces

ground turkey - 6 ounces extra lean

olive oil - 2 tablespoons, extra virgin

onion - 1 Spanish diced

garlic - 3 cloves, minced

tomato paste - 1 teaspoon

cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon

oregano - 1.5 tablespoons fresh, chopped

chili powder - 1/2 teaspoon

orange zest - from half of an orange

hot sauce - 2 dashes

panko bread crumbs - 1/4 cup

red pepper flakes - pinch

salt and pepper - to taste


olive oil - 1 tablespoon, extra virgin

onion - 1/2 chopped

garlic - 2 cloves, minced

red bell pepper - 1/2 diced

chili powder - 2 tablespoons

paprika - 2 tablespoons smoked

cumin powder - 1 teaspoon

salt and pepper - to taste

tomatoes - 2 cups, cherry, halved

chipolte in adobo - 1 canned plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce

tomatoes canned - 28 ounce can (organic if you can get it)

black beans - 1 can, drained and rinsed well

kidney beans - 1 can, drained and rinsed well

corn - 10 ounce bag frozen corn or can use fresh



2Preheat oven to 400 F

3Heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in small pan and saute onion, garlic, tomato paste, salt and pepper; about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.

4Mix bison and turkey together well and then add remaining ingredients including cooled onion mixture. Mix well and form meatballs. Do not over-handle the meat. I make golf sized balls but the size is your choice.

5Place meatballs on parchment paper on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.


7Heat olive oil in large pan and saute onion and garlic until soft. About 3 minutes. Add red pepper and cook for 2 minutes.

8Add chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and salt and pepper - cook for 1 minute.

9Add tomatoes, adobe sauce, canned tomatoes, beans and corn; mixing well. Bring to a boil, cover partially and simmer for 30 minutes.

10Add meatballs and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

11Options for topping: fresh cilantro, cherry tomatoes, cheddar cheese, spring onions, sour cream.

12Prep Time: 30 minutes     Cook Time: 45 minutes   Yield: 6-8 persons

  • No bison meat in Australia but I really like it as I’ve eaten it in the states many times. Your meatball chili looks fantastic! Lovely to meet you Robyn!

    • Thanks so much, Maureen. Yes, I guess the bison meat is only in the US but you could definitely use the same recipe with beef. A pleasure to meet you as well!

      • In Australia you have kangaroo meat – high in protein, low in fat (especially saturated fats) and free range. That would be an interesting substitution.

  • Hey Robyn, great to meet you. 🙂 Not sure I know what bison meat is? Although, I see Maureen says we cannot get it here in Oz. Meatballs are the business, paired with chili… Yep, I’m in. 😀 Looks like a wonderful share meal, might make this for my next family dinner.

    • Lovely to meet you too, Anna! Bison is the American version of Buffalo. The two often get confused but true buffalo is only found in Africa and Southeast Asia. As I mentioned to Maureen, you can substitute beef quite easily in this recipe.
      This is the first time I`ve made meatball with my chili but I definitely will be doing it again and again. Thanks for your kind words 🙂

  • Pingback: Southwestern Chili with Bison Meatballs - simply fresh dinners()

  • Hmmm..don’t know where my avatar went. Trying to get it back but WordPress won’t give it to me, lol.
    Thanks so much for featuring me, Bobbi! Your kind words have made my day! The foodie community is so fabulous and I feel fortunate to meet up with such talented people as yourself. Such a treat today!

  • shashi @

    I have never eaten bison before – but have heard wonderful things about it – Robyn – love your idea of a bison meatball chili – so unique and so perfect for this season!

    • Thanks so much, Shashi. It was my first time for bison too and I’m sold 🙂

  • Robin, this recipe is so beautiful! It’s a pity that I cannot find bison meat in China. But I’ll definitely try this recipe with beef or chicken. I love the idea of using fresh herbs. I love fresh herbs and I usually use them as long as I can find them in local market. It a big difficult to get fresh oregano here, but I’ll try, since you insisted 🙂

  • kitchenriffs

    I’ve never had a bison meatball! Bison burgers, yes (and they’re wonderful!). This is such a fun dish — love the idea of this. Great guest post — thanks.

  • Great recipe Robyn! I cannot wait to try this out. It looks so flavorful and hearty!

  • Hi Robyn, never have tried bison, but after reading through your ingredient list, I know that this chili is something very special.

  • Chili is always good, but I really love all the southwest spices in this!

  • Eha

    Huge smile on my face ’cause here is another Aussie stating the obvious: know what bison is but don’t think we can get [well, one never knows what an on line search would show 🙂 !] Am glad to be on latish as I think kangaroo would be a good substitution [available at every supermarket] or even emu or camel which are more difficult to access and expensive to boot!! Nice chilli recipe which I just have to try soonest . . . and have been to your blog and do like it: my kind of tucker !! [Aussie for food 🙂 !] [Amused about geographical differences – just come off a British/French blog where absolutely everyone slammed pumpkin as food but every single Australian sang its praises!!!!!

    • LOL, Eha, isn’t it funny how we all think we know best about food! I do an international dish once a month and I love learning about other culinary customs and cultures. I never thought of emu or camel – I’d probably have to change up the ingredients but I have no idea what either tastes like!
      Thanks so much for your visit to my blog. I follow quite a few Aussie foodies and I think we share a lot of similar tastes. Must be our British background 🙂

      • Eha

        OK: did some homework!! This is to all the Australians commenting!! Go on line: because we can buy buffalo on line if your purse is fat enough 🙂 ! Together with kangaroo [even kanga mettwurst, kanga curries etc], emu, camel, wallaby, wild rabbit etc etc – grilling meat, stewing meat, dozens of different kinds of sausages etc – available frozen and sent to all over Australia . . . yep, expensive: about $12 per kilo on sausages and often twice as much for the better steak cuts . . .but you may be interested. they also have about a dozen kinds of bush foods which are not al all expensive!!!!!! Methinks shall go for those as a Christmas gift to self 🙂 !

  • Thanks so much, Kitchenriffs, Cheri, and Nancy! I pondered on these ingredients for quite awhile and I’m really thrilled with the resulting flavors. I appreciate your kind words! 🙂

  • hotlyspiced

    I don’t think bison meat is available here in Oz as I’ve never seen it. This is a great chilli meatball recipe that with all those spices must be full of flavour xx

    • Eha

      Charlie – look at my second comment above: if you do not know the firm, you’ll be delighted’ Sent the info to a number of my Oz files yesterday but did not know your email – ours is not strictly bison but buffalo but close enough methinks 🙂 !

      • Yes, you’re right Eha. The buffalo you will likely get is buffalo from Africa or Southeast Asia. Definitely different from the bison in North America but I don`t know how different the taste is. Definitely worth a try. From the reading I have done, the African buffalo is considered quite healthy as well. I appreciate al your hard work on finding alternatives! Thanks for the follow as well 🙂

        • Eha

          Robyn dearHeart – this butcher does not sell anything if not produced in South Australia and absolutely naturally . . . but I have just checked: the animal is grown in every state of Australia, most in the Northern Territory – there are a number of different types, but many were originally water buffaloes from India and SE Asia . . . so not like the bison but same family! Am only commenting further as many Australians are not aware and some may still be reading. Personally I am looking forwards to a Christmas of smoked crocodile for sandwiches and the kangaroo osso buco 🙂 ! Have a good weekend!!

  • I have a suggestion for those frozen meatballs… How about in a soup

    • Hi Christine,
      I thought about a soup, but I`ve decided to go for a pizza ,lol. Not sure about this one – should be interesting!

  • Meatballs in chili? I love, love this idea. It combines two of my favorite comfort foods!

  • It’s time I try Bison! I’ve seen it available at Whole Foods and wondered how it would taste. Sounds delicious in chili! Wonderful recipe, Robyn!

  • Lovely to meet you Robyn! This chilli looks so hearty and the bison meatballs must be very fulfilling 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

    • Thanks Foodie Affair and Choc Chip Uru. A pleasure to meet you both and I truly appreciate your kind words. I’m looking forward to exploring your blogs!

  • Now this looks like a dish I would really like. I’m a huge fan of chili, however I don’t think I’ve ever had bison before. Oh well, I guess there’s a first time for everything! This chili looks so good, Robyn!

  • Hi Robyn! What a yummy way to meet you! It’s refreshing to meet bloggers from other parts of the world, especially among Bam’s friends :). Love the recipe and I love this spicy! Yum!

    Gourmet Getaways xx

  • I imagine that bison makes a particularly tasty chili – I can’t wait to give this a try! And Robyn, it is very nice to meet you – I’m headed off to check out your blog now!

  • I had a huge brunch today. As soon as I finished eating I said “no more food for today”. Looking at your meatballs (I do love meatballs) I’m not sure… maybe just a little bite of something… The photos are amazing, they make your food even more scrumpitious!

  • Very nice to meet you Robyn! Your chili looks absolutely delicious and being a fellow bison lover, I’m very excited about giving this a try.

  • You know how to make an intro, Robyn. This chili looks fantastic and love that you’re using bison for the meatballs. I’ve enjoyed bison burgers but never thought to go further with the meat. I will now, though, thanks to you.

  • Hi Margherita, mjskit and ChgoJohn! Lovely to meet you all. I so appreciate your kind words. It’s so surprising to me that lots of people have tried bison. I think I’m late to the party! Bobbi has so many fun readers! Thanks, again 🙂

  • I love bison as a healthy and lean alternative to beef. It’s so nice to meet you here Robyn! I love chili as well, so I’m quite pleased to have a new recipe with bison to try!!

    • Nice to meet you too, Barbara. I’m so glad I finally tried bison because it is so much nicer than beef. Looking forward to visiting your blog 🙂

  • That is one hearty bowl of chili mmmm!

  • I love a good bowl of chilli with lots of beans, vegetables and a spicy sauce. This looks fantastic, though I have never had bison.

    • Thanks so much Natalie and Balvinder. Isn’t chili just the best food ever! I’m already plotting a new recipe, lol.

  • I love bison meat. I am so happy to see it used in a meatball! This chili looks phenomenal.

  • Great to meet you Robyn – anyone recommended by Bobbi is high on my list of must see blogs…after reading this you can bet that I’m heading over to check out that shrimp with drunken grapes. I have to admit that, at 63 years old i just made my first chili last week. My mother never made it when we were growing up & I had horrible experience with chili at one of those work parties where everyone brings a dish. There was a guy who brought his so called “world famous” chili and thought it was a riot watching people choke & gag because his idea of chili was just a ton of burn your mouth out peppers. I don’t mind flavor, but I’m not one to enjoy losing my taste buds so I’ve stayed away from it until reading some other bloggers who had recipes that sounded great.
    This bison meat is interesting & something I’ve been meaning to try but I just haven’t seen it in the markets around here (Massachusetts, suburbs outside of Boston). I sure specialty stores must carry it & will have to keep my eye out for it.

    • Hi Diane,
      A pleasure to meet you as well! Sorry I’m so long in getting back to you but this holiday business kind of takes over, doesn’t it?!
      I can only imagine that the chili experience was harrowing – I am not a fan of heat just for the sake of heat either! I’m all about wonderful explosions of complementary flavours.
      My mother was a terrible cook and made terrible chili but I made it when I grew up and I was sold. Hands down favorite!
      I don’t think it should be that hard to find it once your start looking. It’s been out there for awhile now but I think we bypass it most times assuming it’s just beef!
      Headed over to visit your blog. Thanks so much for your kind comments 🙂

      • My mother was a good cook but very basic, plain cooking so trying new spices and combinations is an adventure. I just have to tell you – I made the Spicy Lime Shrimp with drunken grapes last night as an appetizer and it was AWESOME!!! My husband wants me to make it as the full meal next time. I’ve got a little jar of drunken grapes left over and I think I’m going to try them tonight with goat cheese balls rolled in crushed pecans.

  • I have never tried bison meat, but I am certainly curious. It sounds like it would be great. Thanks for the enlightenment!

    • I am new to it as well, Adri, but I`ll definitely be cooking it again. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  • Chris

    This looks awesome! I’m making this today to serve at the tailgate party before the Hawks game tomorrow! It will be epic.

    • Robyn

      I hope you enjoyed it, Chris! It’s become my favourite chili.

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