8 Delicious and Nutritious Elk Recipes

To be honest, I am no hunter who will wear his cook’s hat with equal pride. I trust the abilities of some of my friends and family to handle the majority of the cooking.

That said, I have a few recipes I love to pull out and impress when the mood calls.

In most cases, I think of spicing up the dinner menu only after discovering the remnants of last season’s elk meat in the freezer. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the taste of the wild elk meat you have hunted is unlike anything you will find on supermarket shelves. 

The tender, juicy nature of lean elk meat allows you to use it as the perfect substitute for beef. Plus, you get an excellent nutritional profile.

If you are looking for some mouthwatering elk recipes, we have got you covered. Here are 8 of my favorite elk meat recipes that you can try out.

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1. Cranberry Elk Acorn Squash Recipe


  • Two medium acorn squash
  • ½ pound elk burger
  • ½ cup cooked rice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 medium orange, zest and juice
  • Crimini mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • ½ cup red onions
  • 1 tbsp. crushed garlic
  • ½ tbsp. cinnamon
  • Montana flavor fish seasoning
  • Brown sugar


While this elk meat recipe might take some time, let me assure you that it is worth the effort. Cut the acorn squash into two and deseed them. Then rub olive oil inside them and season with salt and pepper. Bake them till soft. Next, boil the cranberries with orange juice, salt, and brown sugar till they pop.

Saute the onions and mushroom with half of the olive oil and butter till soft. Add the garlic and saute for a few more minutes. Then add the rest of the oil and butter along with the elk meat and fish seasoning. Cook til the items turn brown and then add the cinnamon.

Add the cooked cranberries to the meat and cook till the mixture dries. Also, add the rice and the remaining orange zest. Mix well and turn off the heat.

Now stuff the squash with the meat mixture and bake them for 10-15 minutes.  You can try unleashing your creativity by adding some cheese on top to improve the taste further.

If you’d rather check out a video of this recipe, you can find it here:

2. Elk Parmesan Patty


  • 1 1/2 lbs ground elk
  • 1 tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 eggs+ 1 tsp water, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 cups marinara sauce


This Italian-inspired dish is one of my favorite ground elk recipes. Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the ground elk, freshly chopped parsley, granulated garlic powder, and kosher salt and shape them into 4 individual patties. 

Combine the seasoned breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese. Now, dip each patty into the egg and water blend and press each side into the breadcrumb mix. Add the canola oil to a skillet and heat to about 350° F. Once the oil is hot, place each patty on the skillet. Fry each side till they turn brown.

The last part is easy. Add the marina sauce to the baking dish and arrange the patties evenly on it. I prefer adding a slice of mozzarella cheese to each patty before baking them for around 30 minutes. The elk Parmesan patty is ready for you to devour.

3. Elk Gumbo


  • 3 tablespoons and ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 pounds of elk meat, cubed
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 5 cups beef broth
  • ½ Andoille sausage, cut into small chunks
  • Cooked white rice or quinoa


First off, season the cubed meat with salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup flour. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a pot and stir the meat in it till it turns brown. Set aside the meat and add onions, celery, garlic, and peppers to the pot. Cook for 10 minutes and set it aside.

Pour the remaining oil and 1/2 cup of flour into the pot and stir till the color turns dark. It should take around 7-8 minutes but make sure not to scorch the mixture. Now, add all the ingredients in the pot along with the beef broth. Let it simmer in low heat till the meat turns tender. I prefer combining the dish with cooked rice.

4. Elk Ramen


  • 2 lbs rib meat, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 4 soft-boiled eggs
  • 1 large carrot grated
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 2 cups bok choy greens thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger root grated
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. rice (or white) wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper minced
  • About 3 packages of ramen noodles


While this dish is best prepared with rib meat, I have used thinly sliced cuts of elk for it. To start with, add the soft-boiled eggs to boiling water and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes. Then, add the beef stock, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar and let the mixture boil.

Add all the vegetables to the broth and simmer till they soften. Next, put the sliced meat on the grill or pan and cook it to medium. While it cooks, boil the ramen noodles in a pot. Add the meat once the noodles turn soft and stir thoroughly. Lastly, add the vegetable broth as the topping and serve.

5. Elk Pastrami


  • 3 lb. elk round roast 


  • 1-gallon water
  • 2 tbsp. pink salt or Instacure #1
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. pickling spices


  • 2 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. mustard seed

This one is another of my favorite elk meat recipes as the smoke and spices add multiple layers of flavor to the meat. Even though brining the meat takes some time, the wait is totally worth it.

Mix the ingredients to prepare the brine solution and chill in the refrigerator. Soak the elk meat in the solution, cover it with a lid, and brine in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Once the process is complete, remove the meat, wash it, and dry it. 

At this point, I taste a small piece of the meat to check if it’s too salty. If so, I soak it in cold water for an hour and then dry it again.

The next step is to coat the meat surface with the rub mixture. Then set the smoker to 225 degrees and hot smoke the meat. Lastly, stream the pastrami in the oven for around one and a half hours by adding an inch of water to the pan. Make sure to cover the pan tightly to ensure that the steam does not escape.

elk steak

6. Elk Steak


  • 2 elk steaks, 10 to 12 ounces each (283.5 to 340.2g)
  • 1 tbsp. Morton Kosher Salt
  • 1 tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 6 cloves garlic grated
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary


What I love most about this recipe is its simplicity. All you need is a hot pan, a grill, and the right seasoning. Start by heating the grill and then season the elk steaks with salt and black pepper. 

Place the pan over the grill gate. I suggest using a cast iron skillet to enhance the smoky flavor. Once it heats up, add 1 tablespoon of butter and let it melt. Then place the steak on the skillet and let it sear for a few minutes. After 2 minutes, add some garlic, fresh rosemary, and another spoonful of butter to it.

I prefer cooking it to medium rare, but you may prefer it crispier. Repeat the process for the remaining steak.

7. Spicy Elk Chili


  • 1 pound ground elk meat 
  • 2 zucchini peeled and diced
  • 2 bell peppers diced
  • 1 onion peeled and diced
  • 1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5-ounce can of fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. of cinnamon powder

Heat a stock pot over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of cooking fat. I prefer using bacon fat. Add the onions and fry them till they turn translucent. Then add the peppers and zucchini and saute for around 5 minutes.

Now it’s time to add the elk meat and all the other spices and cook for 8-10 minutes. Once the meat is cooked, add the tomato sauce, fire-roasted tomatoes, and cinnamon. Stir well and simmer for around 45 minutes. You have a perfect dish to enjoy when the weather is chilly.

8.  Elk and Vegetable Stew


  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 lb ground elk 
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 5 carrots chopped
  • 3 tomatoes chopped
  • 5 celery stalks chopped
  • 3 parsnips chopped
  • 7 or 8 small red potatoes diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano minced
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • black pepper and sea salt to taste

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large stock pot and add the onion, celery, parsnips, and carrots. Cook till the onions turn translucent. Then, add the garlic, oregano, and paprika. Let it cook till you smell the spicy fragrance. Set the mixture aside in a crock pot.

Now, melt the remaining butter in the stock pot and cook the elk meat till it turns brown. Transfer it into the crock pot.

Finally, add the potatoes, tomatoes, beef stock, and vinegar to the crock pot and cook for 3-4 hours on high heat. Once it’s ready, you can add some fresh parsley from the top.

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