Buffalo and Black Bean Chili

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In this healthy buffalo and black bean chili recipe, the buffalo is cooked with sweet red bell peppers and spiced with two types of chili powder, cocoa powder and espresso powder, making this chili mouthwatering and memorable. Ground buffalo, also known as ground bison, is a healthy alternative to ground beef because it’s naturally lower in fat and has a rich, delectable flavor. After all the ingredients are added to the pot, we like to slowly simmer our chili for close to an hour to develop the best flavor, but if you’re in a hurry, reduce the liquid by half and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.

Buffalo and Black Bean Chili
photographer: Erica Allen
Nutritionist Tested & Approved

Time: 90 minutes (40 minutes prep)

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil

  • 1 pound ground buffalo

  • 1 large onion , diced

  • 4 cloves garlic , minced

  • 2 large red bell peppers , chopped (about 3 cups)

  • 1/2 cup bulgur

  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder (see Tip)

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 15-ounce cans no-salt-added black beans , rinsed

  • 1 14-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes

  • 4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ground buffalo, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes.

  2. Add bell peppers, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are starting to soften, 5 to 7 minutes.

  3. Add bulgur, ancho chile powder, cocoa powder, chili powder, instant espresso (or instant coffee), cayenne and salt and cook, stirring, until aromatic, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  4. Stir in beans and tomatoes.

  5. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced and thickened and the bulgur is tender, about 50 minutes.

Ancho chile powder, made from dried poblano peppers, has a mild, sweet spicy flavor. Look for it in the spice section of well-stocked supermarkets. Other mildly spicy chili powder can be used in its place.

Nutritional Facts

Serving Size
about 1 1/2 cups
40 g
15 g
Saturated Fat
4 g
27 g
45 mg
Dietary Fiber
12 g
1059 mg
731 mg
6 servings
about 1 1/2 cups each
Vitamin C
130% daily value
Vitamin A
60% dv
36% dv
34% dv
31% dv
30% dv

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