Buffalo chili with butternut squash

Photo Credit: Eat the Gains

Chili. This brings to mind cold nights, sitting by the wood stove and a warm blanket. Enjoy this very healthy and delicious chili as the skies begin to darken early. Using bison and butternut squash bring a local flair to this family favorite.

Lisa B. Smith, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with the Southern Ute Shining Mountain Health and Wellness.

Buffalo Chili


  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground buffalo
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coriander (optional)
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cubed
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 3/4 cup green chilies, chopped
  • INSTEAD OF 9 and 10, you can use 2 cans RO-TEL diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • Two 14 oz. can of low sodium black beans, drained
  • 3 cups water or low sodium chicken or beef broth (adding more as needed for desired consistency)
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Stovetop Directions

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large skillet, add buffalo and cook until done over medium-high heat, 5-8 minutes. Stir often to break up chunks.
  2. Push meat to sides of pan, turn down heat to medium, add 1 teaspoon oil, cook onions and garlic until tender about 3-5 minutes, stir onions and meat together.
  3. Mix in chili powder, cumin and coriander.
  4. Add squash, beans and water/broth, stir all ingredients together.
  5. Simmer mixture uncovered, 40-45 minutes or until squash is tender.
  6. Add chia seeds, salt and pepper (optional.)

Crockpot Directions

  1. Cook buffalo, onions and garlic as directed in step 1 and 2 above.
  2. Place in crockpot and add remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  3. Serve topped with fresh cilantro, plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheese as desired.

Nutrition Facts: Calories 272; Fat 8g; Total Carbohydrates 42g; Dietary Fiber 14g; Protein 15g; Sodium 155 mg

Serves 8-10

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