Bison One-Pot Dinner

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Dinner is easy with this simple bison one-pot dinner, filled with harvest grains and wilted greens. Read on to find out more about ground bison vs. ground beef and how to cook ground bison.

This morning when I headed out the door, the temperature had not yet climbed above 70. There was a difference in the air, a slight chill breeze that, however gentle, was working to push off the stifling humidity and heat we’re used to in Texas Septembers.

I welcome our weather when we return from Christmases in snowy Minnesota, but the day after a terrible sunburn on the soccer sidelines, I just want to wrap myself in everything autumn.

Bison One-Pot Dinner - Dinner is easy with this simple bison one-pot dinner, filled with harvest grains and wilted greens.

I wouldn’t consider our dinners complicated, but lately I’ve felt the need to make them even more simple.

This is partly because of my older son’s developing pickiness (he used to be such a good eater) and partly because I’ve been taking a harder look at what I eat. And by extension, what the rest of the family eats.

Compared to some, we eat pretty darn well, but eating more vegetables and fewer sugary snacks is something likely everyone should do.

one pot dinner recipes

One-pot dinners are similar to casseroles in that they’re extremely easy to make and filled with a variety of ingredients, but they actually require less time than a casserole.

Plus only one pan to clean up? Hello awesome.

Truth be told, though, eating salads gets kind of tiring, and my kids aren’t likely to scoop up a forkful of southern-style collards or kale.

Bison One-Pot Dinner - This easy bison one-pot dinner is filled with whole grains and greens for the ideal weekday meal.

But when you cook everything in one pot, however, something clicks in people’s minds, and those foods they pushed aside are suddenly easier to eat.

Maybe it’s the power of the casserole — we look to those creations whenever we need comfort or warmth on a chilly day. They’ve made millions of children eager to eat carrots, peas, greens, mushrooms, and every other vegetable that can be thrown in among meat and sauce.

bison one-pot dinner

This bison one-pot dinner comes together quickly and can easily be customized based on what you have in your pantry.

I used a harvest grain blend from Trader Joe’s, but you can also use quinoa, pearl couscous, orzo, or rice. Most stores these days have rice blends, thanks in part to food bloggers making alternative grains hip again!

Just be sure to have extra liquid on hand in case you need more, and keep an eye on the grains while cooking. Some grains like brown rice need more time, while couscous and orzo cook rather quickly.

Bison One-Pot Dinner - This bison one-pot dinner comes together quickly and can easily be customized based on what you have in your pantry.

When it comes to the greens, baby kale is easy to use — no chopping required. You can also use baby spinach, or take the time to chop up Swiss chard or large kale leaves.

Remember that the greens will wilt down quite a bit! You might have to squeeze them into your pan at first, but they will soon cook down to half the size or less.

This bison one-pot dinner reminds me a lot of my kale and quinoa stuffed squash. In fact, roasted acorn or butternut squash would be an excellent addition to this dish, if you happen to have some on hand.

ground bison vs. ground beef

While ground bison is becoming much easier to find in many mainstream grocery stores, there are still many readers who may be unfamiliar with ground bison.

Even though ground bison is similar to ground beef, there are a few key differences between the two red meats.

Bison has a lower fat content and higher protein content than beef, but has a very similar flavor. In fact, you may notice that bison has a fuller, richer flavor than beef without any gameyness.

how to cook ground bison

Ground bison can be cooked the same way as other ground meats, but will cook down less and produce fewer “drippings” due to the low fat content.

Ground bison is also very good in recipes that use binders, such as meatballs, or in recipes that use sauces or plenty of liquid, like this Bison One-Pot Dinner recipe.

ground bison recipes

My family loves Baked Bison Meatballs — simmer them in your favorite pasta sauce for a twist on the standard spaghetti and meatballs.

When it’s grilling season, we turn to juicy ground bison burgers.

Because ground beef and ground bison are so similar in flavor, you can substitute ground bison for ground beef in many of your favorite recipes.

Try it in Beef and Green Bean Stir Fry, 5-Way Cincinnati Chili, or even in Tex-Mex Sweet Potatoes.


bison one-pot dinner on a stacked plate with forks

Bison One-Pot Dinner

Dinner is easy with this simple bison one-pot dinner, filled with harvest grains and wilted greens.
4.21 from 213 votes
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 545 kcal


  • 1 pound ground bison
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup 1 cup harvest grains blend, or quinoa, pearl couscous, or rice
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups packed torn greens
  • Balsamic vinegar, optional


  • In a large sauté pan, cook bison, onion, and garlic until bison is browned. Be sure to break up the pieces as you cook. Stir in salt, pepper, cumin to taste, and tomato paste.
  • Stir in grains, then add 2 cups chicken stock. Bring to a light boil, then cover and reduce heat. Let simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more stock as needed to prevent sticking and allow grains to cook.
  • Add the greens on top and cover again. Let cook for about 5 minutes. Stir greens through the dish and serve, with balsamic vinegar drizzled over the top, if desired.


Serving: 2 cupsCalories: 545 kcalCarbohydrates: 39 gProtein: 44 gFat: 24 gSaturated Fat: 9 gCholesterol: 105 mgSodium: 901 mgFiber: 10 gSugar: 10 g
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  1. Planning on trying this tonight! I have collard greens and quinoa but will add raisins and maybe some almonds for crunch.

  2. Ok, so apparently my pantry was not on the same page… I actually had currants and rice (not raisins and quinoa) and the fridge yielded some fresh ginger and a jalapeño which were added to the onion/garlic mixture. It was fantastic! A great foundation recipe to take in various directions depending on the ingredients you have on hand. Mine seemed more North African, since I used turmeric, cumin and cinnamon, but I can see making it more Indian, Mediterranean, etc.

  3. Soooo good! Funny enough I found your recipe because I was looking for something that could help me use up some food items before I move back to MN in a few weeks (sounds like you have family there!) I agree like Tiffany that this is a great base to throw in different ingredients to switch it up. I added some butternut squash chunks, nutritional yeast, and a dusting of shredded cheese. Nothing too crazy this time around but was so excited for how easy and tasty this was….now going back for seconds!!

      1. I’m so sorry to hear that Kelly! I’ve not used quinoa in this recipe myself. Was everything else the same as the recipe is written?

  4. I agree with other reviews – a great lean meat to work with and a solid base of a recipe. I used Basmati rice and changed the spice mix a little while also using zucchini and carrots. An easy mid week dish for a family.

  5. We love bison and I have been looking for a recipe that wasn’t a bison burger. This recipe was perfect. I made it with quinoa and it turned out great. We did not put the balsamic vinegar as it was tasty without it. I did have to cook the quinoa a bit longer than 20 minutes. I think it was closer to 30 minutes. I will definitely be putting this on our regular list.

  6. Love this easy recipe for a delicious weeknight dinner! We keep this in our weekly rotation in cooler months. A great recipe to share! Thank you!

    The print button isn’t working-any thoughts?

    1. @Jodi Thank you for letting me know it’s not working! I will look into this. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

      1. I made this exactly as written with a mix of both lacinato kale and baby spinach. Easy prep. The grandkids all cleaned their plates. Easy cleanup. My kind of meal. Will definitely make again!

  7. I love bison so excited to make this tonight. Used whole wheat orzo and lacinato kale and it was delicious! Hubby loved it too.

    1. It doesn’t. I ran the full recipe through My Fitness Pal and at 4 servings, it has 300 cals per serving. Also 7 g fat (1 saturated), 38 g protein, 35 g carbs. This is using the Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains, which I just love and always have on hand.
      Recipe was great, really delicious, by the way. Don’t skip the balsamic vinegar at the end–I almost did because it seemed odd but it really did add a nice depth of flavor to the dish.

    2. Hi Mary, the nutrition is just an estimate based on what is in the database I use, and they don’t have the exact products used. I re-ran it based on using quinoa and it is lower, but it will definitely depend on the specific ingredients and amounts you use for the recipe. I hope that (plus Allistar’s comment) helps!

  8. I used a little bit less rice but more chicken broth than the recipe called for, and the rice will not cook! It’s already been on the stove 10 minutes longer than the recipe called for, & the rice is only about half cooked. I don’t know where I went wrong. 🙁

    1. Hi Lija, what kind of rice did you use? The cook time and liquid needed does vary a bit depending on the grain you use. It’s also important to bring it to a boil before reducing to a simmer on medium-low temperature, so it is hot enough to continue cooking but not too hot that the liquid evaporates and the grains stick. I am sorry you were having trouble with the recipe!

  9. This is definitely one of the rotation meals at my house. I get ButcherBox delivered every two weeks and a couple of pounds of bison are always part of my selection. This is how I get my guys to eat kale!! I also use the Texmati Royal Blend rice and use the cup and a half of chicken stock per the directions on the container.
    The balsamic vinegar is a must to bring the entire dish together. My husband always comes back for a second serving!

  10. What a great recipe. I added a bit more tomato paste, corn, some smoked paprika and a touch of oregano. Thank so much. Will definitely make again.

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