Sweet Potato Bison Chili

A black bowl filled with ground bison chili, peppers, chick peas, and large orange sweet potato bites.

Sweet Potato Bison Chili is a delicious spin on traditional chili, made with just the right amount of spice from harissa and sumac. #chili #bison #dinner #bisonchili

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A black bowl filled with ground bison chili, peppers, chick peas, and large orange sweet potato bites.

Seasonal Abundance on the Farm

I haven’t been ‘home’ in a good long while. I’m thinking of the place I grew up, a mixed farm in central Saskatchewan. Right now I can feel (and smell) the nip in the air and watch the leaves that are falling almost as if I were there. The tomatoes have been harvested (while still green) in anticipation of first frost and now lay in boxes beneath my mom’s bed. They ripen while she sleeps. Root veggies are always the last to be harvested because they can withstand a bit of frost.

I talked to my brother the other day. He was excited to tell me that he and his wife harvested their first crop of potatoes. The potato bin is filled and overflowing with more than enough to share around the community. The farmers are working night and day, except during the hours of dew fall, to get their crops off before snow fall.  The earth has given up its seasonal abundance and we are thankful.

A black bowl filled with ground bison chili, peppers, chick peas, and large orange sweet potato bites.

Home is Where the Bison Roam

Our mixed family farm used to include cattle with grain farming. There was a time when my Uncle Glenn took a leap of faith and decided to make the switch to bison. Bison are much easier for aging farmers to take care of, in addition to being low in fat and high in protein. Bison meat is just plain delicious. I count my blessings which include access to good quality farm raised bison, it’s so important to know where your food comes from! The last time I was home it was cold enough to transport frozen Bison in a cooler for 10 hours. It was still frozen when I placed it in my freezer, where it stayed until the day I remembered to take it out to thaw.

A black bowl filled with ground bison chili, peppers, chick peas, and large orange sweet potato bites.

Cold Weather Chili Cravings

When the weather turns cool I get a huge craving for chili. While the pound of ground bison was thawing I made a trip to our local Co-Op. There I found some wonderful sweet potatoes and thought they would be super in the chili.  My usual chili recipe contains a lot of chili powder and cumin but I had some ‘more interesting’ spices that I wanted to use for this version. Back at home, I searched for chili recipes including sweet potatoes and got quite a few results. Then I tried to throw harissa and sumac into the search mix and got fewer results. The search eventually revealed a recipe for a North African soup and I thought it would be fun to add those flavours to my Sweet Potato Chili.

A black bowl filled with ground bison chili, peppers, chick peas, and large orange sweet potato bites.

How to Make Bison Chili

Begin by sauteing the onions with the spices until they become soft. Then add the minced garlic, red peppers, and the ground bison.

After the bison becomes browned add the tomato paste, peanut butter and chunks of sweet potato.

After about ten minutes on low, dump in the tin of diced tomatoes, sriracha, and lemon juice.

The key is to cook the sweet potatoes until they are just soft, then add the chickpeas at the end. For extra heat, serve with cilantro and some more harissa.

A black bowl filled with ground bison chili, peppers, chick peas, and large orange sweet potato bites.

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Pinterest image of a black bowl filled with ground bison chili, peppers, chick peas, and large orange sweet potato bites.
Yield: 4 servings

Sweet Potato Bison Chili

A black bowl filled with ground bison chili, peppers, chick peas, and large orange sweet potato bites.

Sweet Potato Bison Chili is a delicious spin on traditional chili, made with just the right amount of spice from harissa and sumac.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion; small dice
  • 1 1/2 tsp harissa
  • 1 1/2 tsp harissa
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves; minced
  • 2 tiny bomb peppers; sliced into slivers
  • 1 lb ground bison
  • 1 ½ tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 sweet potato; cut up into cubes
  • 1 tbsp sriracha (garlic/chili paste)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 16 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 16 oz can chickpeas
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cilantro 

Instructions

    1. Begin by sautéing the onions with the olive oil until it has softened.
    2. Add the spices to the onion, then the minced garlic, red peppers, and the ground bison.
    3. Break up the minced bison and sauté until it turns brown.
    4. Add the tomato paste, peanut butter and chunks of sweet potato.
    5. Cover and cook on low for a bit, then add the diced tomatoes, sriracha, and lemon juice.
    6. Cook on low until the sweet potatoes become soft then add the chickpeas.
    7. If you would like extra heat, serve with cilantro and more harissa.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 602Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 784mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 13gSugar: 14gProtein: 40g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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10 comments

  1. foodisthebestshitever

    I love a good home town/tales of childhood story. Very nice, my friend. Cockle warming… And the chilli would be too I’m sure! 🙂

    Reply

  2. chef mimi

    This looks fabulous! Bison is so good, and I’m already thinking about what other goodies I could add to this Chili!

    Reply

    1. dishnthekitchen

      Yeah I kept it pretty simple but I really like the addition of peanut butter.

      Reply

  3. La Cuisine Helene

    Wow this looks different and so yum, my sons would love it.

    Reply

  4. Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen

    Bison is one of my favourite game meats! Also I love the addition of peanut butter. I’ve used sunflower seed butter (I’m allergic to PB) in North African inspired recipes and I’m always surprised at how good it tastes in savoury dishes like that.

    Reply

    1. dishnthekitchen

      That’s a great idea Chelsea. Sunflower seed butter would add a creaminess to the sauce without a huge flavour change. I must try that next time! Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply

  5. Flavour and Savour @flavourandsavour.com

    Love harissa, but I’ve never thought about adding it to chili. Great idea!

    Reply

    1. dishnthekitchen

      Thank you. I think there are quite a few uses for harissa…love the flavour!

      Reply

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