hunted squirrel and bolt action rifle on a log in the woods

How to Prepare Squirrel in 6 Great Recipes


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Is squirrel the other white meat? Some say so, and others say it tastes more like a lighter version of pork. Taste and texture-wise, it can be solidly compared to rabbit meat. Squirrel hunting can be a lot of fun. In many areas of the country, they aren't challenging to find. Cooking up some squirrel for dinner could be a gateway to wild game cooking. The little critter can deliver a savory and protein-filled dinner when prepared correctly. Taking care of this small game species in the kitchen is simple, but it is essential to take a few steps to ensure that the meat is tender, tasty, and safe. To minimize the gamey taste, soak squirrels in salt water overnight. This also makes the meat more tender. In the morning, remove the meat from the saltwater, rinse, and drain.

Cook the meat thoroughly. Many recipes call for it to be started on the stove and finished in the oven or some other variation of double cooking. This mainly produces a tender finish and ensures the meat is cooked. Never, ever eat the brain of a squirrel. While very rare, the squirrel brain could be infected with Creutzfeldt-Jakob's disease, also known as Mad Cow's Disease. The risk is low, but best not to take a chance. Be smart and use your brain - don't eat the squirrel's. It's time to head to the pines, bag some squirrels, and then scurry to the kitchen to test out one of these delicious recipes.

Baked Squirrel

Ingredients:

  • Four cut-up squirrels (use only hind legs and meaty back pieces)
  • One chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. red wine
  • One can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 c. vinegar
  • One chopped onion
  • 4 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. Adolph's tenderizer
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Crisco and cooking oil

Mix vinegar and salt with water to cover the squirrel meat. Soak for 2 hours in solution. Remove pieces and shake on tenderizer and pepper. Roll in flour. Fry in Crisco until golden brown. Place pieces in a baking dish.
In another skillet, sauté onion and pepper in butter. Add wine and soup. Mix well. Pour over the squirrel--Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

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Recipe from Cooks.com.

Squirrel Alfredo

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Squirrels
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1 Green Pepper, Chopped
  • 1 Stalk Celery, Chopped
  • 2 Cans Mushrooms
  • 1 Quart Alfredo Sauce
  • 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • ½ Soup Can of Milk
  • Cooked Egg Noodles

Soak squirrels in salt water overnight. Remove meat from the brine mixture, rinse, and drain on paper towels. Place the squirrel meat in a large pot with onion, green pepper, and celery. Cover with water and boil until meat is falling off the bone. Remove squirrel from broth and let cool. Remove onion, pepper, and celery from the pot and remove the broth. Pull meat from the bones and add it to a pot with the veggies and other ingredients except for the noodles. Cook on medium heat, occasionally stirring, until heated through. Serve over cooked noodles.

Recipe from Backwoods Bound.

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Country-Style Squirrel

  • Two squirrels
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Flour
  • 6 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Two c. water

Cut squirrel into small chunks of frying size pieces, season with salt and pepper, then roll in flour until coated well. Put in a skillet of hot oil and fry until golden. Remove squirrel and most of the oil, then add water and boil. Place the squirrel back into the skillet, turn to low heat, cover, and cook for approximately 1 hour. Serve with some large baked potatoes for a great combination.

Recipe from Cooks.com.

Oven-Fried Squirrel

Close up stainless steel stove with oven, professional grade - squirrel recipes

dpproductions via Getty Images

  • One squirrel
  • Four eggs
  • bread crumbs
  • Flour
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil/ vegetable oil
  • Butter

Pat meat dry with a paper towel to remove any moisture. Dip squirrel in egg. Combine bread crumbs with flour, and dip egg-covered squirrel in the mix. Cover the bottom of the skillet with olive oil and canola oil, and add butter and brown meat well (about 20 minutes). Put squirrel in the baking dish and pour the contents of the skillet over the meat--Bake for one hour at 375 degrees.

Belgian Squirrel

  • Three large squirrels
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • Two onions, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 18 pitted prunes
  • 1 1/2 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • One c. cold water

Clean squirrels. Burn away any fur that clings. Rinse the meat through several changes of water and pat dry. Cut squirrels into serving pieces--Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

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Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add squirrel pieces and fry until browned on all sides but do not cook through. Move the squirrel pieces to a large Dutch oven or oven-safe crock. Add onions to the butter in the skillet; cook and stir until tender and browned. Pour the onions and butter into the pot with the squirrel. Fill with enough water to almost cover the meat. Mix in the vinegar and season with thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover and place in the oven.

Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove the pot from the oven and add the prunes. Return to the oven and reduce the heat to 325 degrees. Continue baking for another 45 minutes.

Remove the pot from the oven. Mix the flour and cold water in a cup. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat and prunes from a serving dish. Set the pot on the stove and boil over medium-high heat.

Stir in the flour and water and simmer, constantly stirring, until the gravy is thick enough to coat a metal spoon. Serve meat with a lot of gravy.

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Recipe from All Recipes.

Squirrel Country Sausage

  • 4 ½ lbs. squirrel (approx. 15 fox squirrels)
  • 1 Tbsp. sage
  • 2 lbs. fresh seasoned pork sausage (with sage)
  • 2 tsp. basil
  • One onion
  • 3 tsp. margarine
  • Three garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. thyme

De-bone the squirrel and chop it in a food processor. Mix with fresh pork. Mince the onion and garlic (use a tablespoon of garlic powder if you don't have cloves).

Cook the onion until transparent and add the garlic, and sauté slightly.

Mix meats, onion, garlic, and herbs.

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To test seasonings, form a small patty and fry in a cast iron frying pan with butter. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

Form into small patties to cook or grill and use with your favorite sausage recipes. Great on pizza, with pancakes, or scrambled eggs.

Recipe from MDC.

This article was originally published on July 26, 2021.

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