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  • Writer's pictureAlex Willis

Bear Chili

Let's be honest, bear isn’t the most sought-after wild game to eat. You are what you eat eats. And with bear, it depends on the season and location. It’s a little like rolling the dice – you could have a bear that went ham on all the wild blueberries, or the bear that’s been nom-ing on worms, insects, and that carcass that’s been getting a little ripe...

PRO TIP: If you don't want to clean your entire fridge, place your meat in a bowl when you thaw it.

I think we can all agree we’d prefer the sweeter meat of the berry-eating bear, but that’s not always the case. My bear was gamey. It had quite the odor too. When I was breaking it down and grinding it for this chili, it brought me back to the harvest – that bear-stank – who else knows what I’m talking about? It’ll stick with ya.

Got game? Then this recipe is for you. This recipe will take out the gaminess, I promise!

Recipe below makes about four servings.


  • 1lb bear meat, ground (or meat of your choice)

  • 1/2 red onion, chopped

  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 can kidney beans (15.5 oz)

  • 1 can diced tomatoes

  • 3 oz tomato puree

  • 1/8c raisins (or 1 small snack box)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp cumin

  • 1 tsp coriander

  • 2 tsp chipotle powder

  • Salt and pepper

Toppings (optional, but we all know life's better with them):

  • Shredded cheese

  • Sour cream

  • Scallions


  1. Heat oil in large pot or Dutch Oven on medium-high heat.

  2. Add onions, garlic, and bell pepper. Sauté until onions and bell pepper start to soften.

  3. Add in ground bear and spices: cumin, chipotle powder, and coriander. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook on medium until bear starts to brown.

  4. When bear is brown and almost done cooking, add in tomato paste and raisins.

  5. Mix all together on medium until bear is done cooking.

  6. Add diced tomatoes, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

  7. Serve with toppings and enjoy!

PRO TIP: Use this chili to make stuffed potato skins -- SO good, and sure to please!

If you try out this recipe, let me know! Message or tag me on insta – I’d love to hear how it went and if you made any modifications.

I love knowing where my food comes from. Even more so, I love knowing that I was involved in every step of the way --- from field to table.

This bear meat was harvested in New Brunswick, Canada with my friends Danny and Chris at Lawrence Dyer & Sons Outfitters.

This was my time hunting something that could eat me, and made quite a memorable father/daughter trip! Would y’all be interested in the full story?

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May 19, 2019

I hope to try this in Alaska!!!

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