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Ground Squirrel Chili

Ingredient Wild

Jeremiah Doughty | From Field to Plate    

Traditionally many squirrel hunters like to quarter and fry their harvest or throw in a pot and cook it until the meat falls off the bone for dumplings or soup. I tend to lean toward cutting all the meat off the bones and throwing it into the meat grinder. Grinding meat opens up so many more ideas and recipes from meatballs, lettuce wraps, stuffed peppers, spaghetti and of course our family favorite, chili. This simple chili recipe is great for those long winter nights and can be made in the crockpot if you’re at deer camp and want to come home to an amazing hot meal. 

pot of chili



  • 4-5 squirrels, all meat removed and ground 
  • 1 can black beans drained
  • 2 can chili beans 
  • 1 can navy beans drained
  • 1 can dark kidney beans drained
  • 6oz tomato paste 
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder 
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped 
  • 1 red bell pepper, minced 
  • 1 green pepper, minced 
  • 3 tbsp chili mix (see recipe below) 
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil 
  • 2 cups water or beer 
  • Toppings

squirrel chili recipe

Chili Mix


  • 4 tablespoons chili powder 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (don’t add if you don’t want spice)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (don’t add if you don’t want spice)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 2 teaspoons paprika 
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cumin 
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt 
  • 4 teaspoons cracked pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon dried garlic 
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion 


1. In stock pot or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onions, red and green bell pepper and Sauté until onions are translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds more. 
2. Add ground squirrel meat, onion powder, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce, brown meat, breaking it up. 
3. Once browned add tomato paste and brown, this will help develop flavor. Add fire roasted tomatoes and cook 1 minute more. 
4. Add your beans, chili mix and liquid, mix until fully combined. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 2-4 hours or longer. Stir often so not to burn bottom. 
5. Remove from heat and serve with your favorite chili toppings like cheese, onions, and jalapenos.

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