The Be Well Recipe: Bison and Squash Chili

Photo by Betsy Nelson

Nothing says fall like a bowl of chili. This Cleanse-friendly chili uses grass-fed bison and doesn’t contain any beans or nightshade vegetables. But, it still packs plenty of flavor thanks to a variety of healing spices: Cinnamon helps balance blood sugar levels, cumin and coriander assist in digestion, and oregano is a very beneficial herb that helps eliminate toxins from the body and rev up metabolism.

Bison and Squash Chili (4 servings)

For the chili:

  • 1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 T. cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. grass-fed bison chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 4 cups peeled, seeded and cubed squash (kabocha, red curry, buttercup, or other ‘meaty’ squash)
  • Salt to taste

For the sauce:

  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 T. raw pumpkin seeds
  • 4 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. water
  • Salt to taste


  • Sliced radishes
  • Sliced avocado
  • Chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan, and add the cumin seeds, toasting until fragrant. Add the onion and the celery, and sauté until softened. Add the garlic, coriander, cinnamon, oregano, black pepper, and bison, and sauté until the meat is cooked on each side.

Stir in the broth, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally over low heat. Stir in the squash cubes and keep heat on low, simmering for 45-60 minutes, until bison is tender.

While the chili is cooking, prepare the sauce: Mix all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Season the chili with salt according to your taste, and serve in bowls drizzled with the cilantro sauce and topped with sliced radishes, avocado, and chopped cilantro.

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