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Child slicing pepper for Chocolate Chili with Bison Indigenous Food

Chocolate Chili with Bison: An Indigenous Food Experience

Learn how to make a hearty, home-cooked chocolate chili with bison & grab free printable recipe cards with pictures for this Indigenous food. Perfect for pre-readers and up. Explore history, science, culture, and more while enjoying a modern recipe, such as this chocolate bison chili, that honors traditional Native American food.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Native American
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 403 kcal



  • 1 tablespoon Avocado Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion large
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Thyme or 3 sprigs fresh
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 lb Ground Bison
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 2 teaspoon Paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 14 oz Diced Tomatoes with Juice
  • 14 oz Kidney Beans
  • 3 cups Bison or Beef Stock
  • 1 ¼ cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips


  • Prep the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Using a cutting board and knife, chop the onion, dice the bell pepper, and mince the garlic. Use this as an opportunity to talk about the anatomy of a pepper, including the stem, calyx, seeds, and locules. Compare pepper varieties and the heat associated with each one.
  • Gather the ingredients and head to the stove. Don't forget the cookbook. Lots of great opportunities for learning between recipe steps, including sections on bison.
  • Turn on the stove on medium heat and add oil.
  • When the dutch oven and oil are hot, add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. This is a good time to talk about the plan for the thyme sprigs (if you used them) and bay leaf.
  • Stir it all together with a spoon. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the mixture is soft.
  • Add the bison, salt, and pepper to the dutch oven. Use a wooden spoon to break it up and sear the meat. Cook for 8 minutes. Wash your hands.
  • Using measuring spoons as needed, add tomato paste, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, and diced tomatoes. The tomato paste should brown but not burn. Deglaze the bottom of the dutch oven with the juice of the diced tomatoes. In other words, the juice can free up the pieces of food stuck to the bottom of the dutch oven
  • To make the chocolate chili, add the kidney beans and stock to the dutch oven. If you use a 1 or 2 cup measuring cup as we do, this is a great opportunity for math in practical life. The child works through adding a total of 3 cups of stock to the pot.
  • Turn the heat up to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes and then reduce heat to low. Be sure to turn the heat down before the beans lose their shape.
  • Add chocolate and let simmer uncovered until the chili reduces to a stew consistency. Give the chocolate chili a good stir occasionally.
  • Turn off the stove. Remove the thyme and bay leaf. Enjoy!


Full Lesson Info and Pictures at:  https://happyhomeschooladventures.com/chocolate-chili


Calories: 403kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 19gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 308mgPotassium: 879mgFiber: 7gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 270IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 74mgIron: 6mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

Keyword bison chili, bison chili recipe, chocolate chili, Indigenous food, New Native Kitchen, traditional Native American food
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