What You Need to Know About Bison

Bison are one of over 100 species of hoofed mammals belonging to the Bovidae family, which also includes cattle. While often grouped with buffalo, their anatomical features slightly differ.

Historically, bison has been the second most popular type of red meat, with beef being number one. Today, the demand for bison meat is growing due to increased marketing efforts, its widespread availability, and favorable nutritional profile.

In terms of nutrient content, bison packs a good amount of several essential nutrients, including protein, iron, zinc, selenium, and B vitamins.

A serving of bison cooked from a raw, 113-gram (4-ounce) portion provides:

  • Calories: 124
  • Protein: 17 grams
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Saturated fat: 2.5 grams
  • Carbs: less than 1 gram
  • Iron: 13% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Selenium: 31% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 68% of the DV
  • Zinc: 35% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 19% of the DV
  • Niacin (vitamin B3): 28% of the DV

When compared with many other meats, bison is low in fat and overall calories, with a raw 4-ounce (113-gram) serving providing 6 grams of fat and 124 calories.

By swapping out fattier cuts of meat for bison, you may be able to get the same amount of beneficial nutrients with fewer overall calories, which may be helpful for individuals looking to improve their body composition or lose weight.

In addition to bison’s impressive nutritional profile and mild flavor, it can be versatile in the kitchen. You can use it as a substitute for other red meats in almost any recipe, including those for chilis, stews, and stir-fries.

Bison Stuffed Peppers

Lean protein packed ground bison stuffed peppers are a deliciously hearty meal with a cheesy topping.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • ½ cup dry white rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 oz ground bison
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 medium bell peppers
  • 1 large carrot grated
  • 1 small zucchini grated
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary minced
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese grated
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Place peppers in a baking dish with about 1/2" water on the bottom. Bake peppers for 10 minutes then remove and set aside.
  • Combine rice and water to a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until water is absorbed.
  • While rice cooks, place olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bison to the pan, breaking up into small pieces until browned. Drain most of the excess liquid from the skillet then return to heat.
  • Add the onions, carrot and zucchini and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add cooked rice to the skillet, stir to combine then add the tomato sauce. Turn off heat and stir to thoroughly combine filling.
  • Spoon bison mixture into the halved peppers. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, sprinkle grated cheddar cheese on top of each pepper and return to oven for about 5 minutes until cheese is just melted.

Best Bison Chili

This bison chili is a crowd-pleasing favorite. And if you’ve never cooked with bison before, this recipe is the perfect place to start! It’s easy to make with a simple ingredient list.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • ½ yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 jalapenos seeded and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 2 lbs ground bison
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup beef stock

Instructions

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the onion, green bell pepper, jalapeños and garlic in olive oil. Cook until the onion is translucent and the bell pepper is tender.
  • Add the ground bison to the skillet and crumble it as it cooks. Add the seasonings. Continue cooking until bison is browned.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes to the skillet. Stir to combine. Pour in beef stock (a little at a time) until your chili reaches desired thickness.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and simmer chili for 1 hour. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Optional: garnish with cheese, sour cream, avocado, or red onion.