Bison and Bean Chili with Polenta

Last Updated on September 17, 2023

ButcherBox’s Ground Bison gets the chili treatment here with all the beans as they are stewed together with onion, tomato, spices like cumin, coriander, ancho chili, and ladled over soft, creamy polenta. Crumbles of salty cheese and chopped herbs lift this up as garnishes. It’s hearty, but light so seconds and thirds are definitely OK. 

A bowl of ButcherBox's hearty bison and bean chili topped with cheese and garnished with green onions.

Bison and Bean Chili with Polenta

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Servings: 4


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ButcherBox Ground Bison or or ButcherBox Ground Turkey
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped 
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground chili flakes 
  • 2 tsp black pepper 
  • 1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef or chicken stock
  • 2 15 oz. canswhite beans, drained
  • 12 oz green beans, stems trimmed and chopped


  • 4 cups warm polenta, for serving
  • 1/2 cup crumbled salty cheese such as feta or cotija
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions


  • Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium. Lift the pot from side to side to coat the bottom evenly with oil; once hot, add the ground bison and sauté, making sure to break up the bison into small pieces, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate to rest. 
  • Add the onion and garlic; and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Then stir in the sugar and spices and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato, stock and bison back to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. 
  • Stir in the white beans and green beans and cook, covered for about 15–20 minutes longer. 
  • Serve with the *optional* warm polenta in a wide bowl with the bison and bean chili spooned over the top. Garnish with the crumbled cheese and scallions.
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