This Whole30 approved Smoky Bison Chili will curb all your chili desires! Ground bison, sweet potatoes, and jalapeño with smoked paprika for the flavor kick.

Hello there! Congrats to the Eagles for dethroning the Patriots Sunday in the Super Bowl… or did everyone only count down the minutes of the first half to watch JT jam out and the second half to watch This is Us?  Yeahhhhhh… me too guys. We actually couldn’t watch This is Us because we are still playing catch up. With Brenton being gone a lot last year we were never able to watch it together.  And I believe its one of those shows that needs to be watched together no matter how badly we want to catch up and binge! Anyone else wait to watch shows with their SO (even if it is months and you fall really far behind!)?  That’s love right there!


We are less than a week away from being complete with our very first Whole30!!  To say it has been easy is an exaggeration.  It hasn’t been terrible though.  We ate mainly paleo for about a year leading up to it but the not even maple syrup thing has been really difficult because I do like making treats. We have only been out to eat once and to all places a pizza restaurant with friends!  <— who the heck does that?!?! Lesson learned folks.  That was rough and we were those people who brought their own salad dressing.  Thankfully no one said anything because pretty sure thats against health code. I’ll be writing a complete Whole30 review at the end of our reintroduction to share all my tips and tricks for your next Whole30.

You know what saves the day though? This Smoky Bison Chili!

This recipe is super simple.  Most of these items are likely already in your pantry: sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, ground bison (lean beef or turkey will work well too), canned diced tomatoes, bone broth… And hopefully you have a well-stocked spice cabinet too. Because you can’t really do chili without the necessary spices…. Chili powder, I like to throw in some cumin, paprika, smoked paprika (the key to the smokiness).  I actually go heavy on the chili powder in comparison to some recipes I’ve seen out there. What is the point of having chili if it’s flavorless?? There is none. End of story.

Oh and you guys know that the avocado is not optional, right?  I’ve actually made this chili about four times before shooting it to perfect the spicing.  But also because its so hard to find the perfect avocado for a shoot in the middle of winter in the middle of Washington.  Why do they have to get black spots so quickly! Ya’ll, we pay $1.50 per avocado up here I’d like for it to be perfect, without blemish. I know I’m not the only one who feels this heavy disappointment.  But then there are those angels singing when you open up a perfect spotless avocado! There is no feeling like it.  Relief, victory, elation!

Anyways, I finally found a perfect one and now I can share this recipe with you. Smoky Bison Chili and avocado for all!


You know what’s so flipping great about any chili:

  1. You can’t really mess it up.
  2. It lasts all week in the fridge (that is if you make enough)
  4. If you use a crockpot, time saved and hassle free
  5. AVOCADO!!!!
  6. LEFTOVERS! <— oh I already said that but it deserves another mention!

I did not make this recipe in the crockpot but you definitely can.  I’ll include those instructions in the recipe as well.  But even if you don’t this only takes about 45 minutes to cook!  I used homemade bone broth but you can use store bought bone broth (not stock though because it’s too water and missing a lot of the collagen).  You can usually find it in the freeze section.  Here’s one that I highly recommend (though its expensive) or just make your own in your crockpot.  Go to your butcher, get some marrow bones. Cover bones with water and add carrots, celery, and onion.  Fire up that crockpot on low for 48 hrs and voila! You’re own collagen rich bone broth!

The collagen is what makes the chili chili and not a soup.  When you put it in the refrigerator and it cools to almost a jello like consistency.  That is exactly what you want for your chili! Of course when you heat it up it melts to a liquid again.  Science is cool!

I love seeing what recipes y’all are making.  Thanks for all the @herheartandtable and #hht tags on Insta-stories!  Love seeing you fuel your bodies for good!  Let me know if you make this Smoky Bison Chili either on the insta or Facebook.

Print Recipe
Smoky Bison Chili
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Smokey Chili Spice Mix
Chili Time!
Toppings (that make life better)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Smokey Chili Spice Mix
Chili Time!
Toppings (that make life better)
  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add olive oil.
  2. Saute onion, garlic and jalapeno for 5 minutes.
  3. Add chopped sweet yams to the pot and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add spice mix and stir until combined.
  4. Add meat to pot and sauté until fully cooked and slightly browned.
  5. Pour in diced tomatoes and bone broth. Stir in cilantro.
  6. Bring to a quick boil then reduce to a simmer covered for 20 minutes. Remove cover and simmer until liquid has reduced an inch.
  7. Enjoy with all the toppings and extra avocado!!
Recipe Notes

Crockpot method:

  1. Prepare and cut sweet potato, onion, garlic and jalapeño.
    Add into crock pot. Then add diced tomatoes, cilantro and bone broth.
  2. Cook meat on stove top until fully cooked and browned slightly.
  3. Add in all of your seasonings, with salt to taste (add more salt if you prefer) and stir until ingredients are evenly distributed.
  4. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 6-8 hours.
  5. Recipe serves about 8 small-medium bowls, or 6 large bowls. Top with avocado, onions, cilantro, etc.
  6. Chili will keep in fridge up to 5 days, or store in airtight container in freezer up to 3 months.

*This recipe is very adaptable, so play around with add-ins and spices to your liking. I've used bell peppers, and replaced the sweet potatoes with squash.

Share this Recipe

February 9, 2018



  1. Reply

    Alicia Yarrish

    February 9, 2018

    Melissa! This looks ah-mazing! If I wasn’t in ketosis I’d be making this like tonight, haha. Gonna have to pin it for when I’m off ketosis!

  2. Reply


    February 9, 2018

    You had me at “it lasts a week in the fridge” 😉 These are the types of recipes that I need in my life. I really need to try out this Smoky Bison Chili! Thanks!

  3. Reply

    Jennifer Beckton

    February 9, 2018

    Oh wow this whole 30 chili looks to die for. It makes me want some chili for dinnner. I will have to try this recipe out. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Reply

    Sarah F

    February 9, 2018

    Gahhhh look at this… this looks about as amazing as a big warm winter hug. I love all of your recipes!

  5. Reply


    February 10, 2018

    Oh my gosh!!! This looks so delicious!!! It looks like this is from a magazine! Such a yummy recipe, I can’t wait to try!!!

  6. Reply


    February 10, 2018

    I have been look for a hearty winter recipe all week! I can’t wait to try it out and post to you about the outcome! Looks mouthwatering!

  7. Reply


    February 10, 2018

    This looks so tasty! I’ll try this for sure! Also great photos!

  8. Reply

    Jennifer M Outlaw

    February 10, 2018

    I used to wait to watch things with my hubby but I soon realized that it was impossible. He puts a show on a falls asleep five minutes later. I have watched some episodes 6 times before he actually stays awake to watch the entire thing, lol. I gave up on that a long time ago. I am so in love with this whole 30 smoky bison chili…delicious and healthy, what more can you ask for?!

  9. Reply


    February 11, 2018

    Ok, reading through this is making me hungry! Great job on the photos and the recipe. I’ll be trying this soon!