The Chuckwagon – Western Recipes

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Cowboys at a Mess Scene, 1887

Cowboys gathered around the chuckwagon ready for “chow” on the ranch, 1887

BBQ Biscuit Pie


2 Tb Canola oil 1 lb Ground Venison
1 Small onion, diced
3/4 – 1 Cup of your favorite BBQ sauce 🙂
1 Can Refrigerated, uncooked biscuits
2 C Cheddar cheese

Brown ground venison in Canola oil with onion and season to taste. Stir in BBQ sauce until venison is evenly covered or to taste. Grease a 9 x 11 baking dish and line bottom of pan with biscuits. Pour Venison mixture over busciuts. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top liberally and place in an oven preheated to 350o. Bake until cheese is melted and lightly browned on top.

Chuckwagon Stew


  • 2 1/2 lb Beef cubes.(5 cups)
  • 2 Tb All-purpose flour
  • 1 Tb Paprika
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 3 Tb Lard
  • 2 Sliced onions
  • 1 Clove garlic, minced
  • 28 oz Can tomatoes
  • 3 Tb Chili powder
  • 1 Tb Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Dry chrushed red peppers
  • 2 cup Chopped potatoes
  • 2 cup Chopped carrots

Coat beef in a mixture of flour, paprika,1 tsp. chili powder and salt. Brown in hot fat in a large Dutch oven. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft. Then add tomatoes, chili powder, cinnamon, cloves and peppers. Cover and simmer 2 hrs. Add potatoes and carrots and cook until vegetables are done, about 45 minutes.  Serves 6.

Quick Southwest Chili


  • 1 1/2 pounds hamburger or ground turkey
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 3 cans black beans
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can pitted black olives (optional)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 package Taco seasoning
  • 1 package Hidden Valley ranch dressing

Fry the hamburger with the onion. When done, drain the grease and then add all the other ingredients and stir to mix well. Heat for 15 minutes or until all ingredients are hot.  Serves 8-10

American Indian Cooking & Herb Lore

American Indian Cooking & Herb Lore. Available at Legends’ General Store.

Missouri-Style Barbequed Ribs


  • 2 tb Salt
  • 2 tb Chili powder
  • 1/4 c Sugar
  • 4 tb Paprika
  • 2 tb Cumin, ground
  • 2 ea Racks of 3/down pork ribs**
  • 2 tb Pepper, black, fresh ground

Basting Sauce

  • 1 3/4 c Vinegar, white
  • 1 tb Salt
  • 2 tb Hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tb Pepper, black, fresh ground
  • 2 tb Sugar

The term “3/down” refers to the weight of the ribs. In this case, it is three pounds or less for each slab of 10 to 12 ribs. Combine salt, sugar, cumin, pepper, chili powder and paprika to make barbeque rub. Rub ribs thoroughly with this mixture. Place ribs on baking sheets and cook in 180 degree oven for 3 hours. Do not turn; slow cooking infuses spices. Remove from oven. (ribs may now be covered and refrigerated up to 2 days before grilling) Use very low charcoal fire with rack set as high as possible. Grill ribs 5 minutes to 30 minutes per side, depending on heat and temperature of ribs. Ribs should have light outer crust and be heated throughout. If you prefer juicy ribs, coat with basting sauce just before removing from grill. Otherwise serve dry with sauce on side. Remove ribs from grill, cut in between bones and serve.

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9 thoughts on “The Chuckwagon – Western Recipes”

  1. Hi,
    Me and my family are planning a self made trip in West USA and we would like to have a dinner like a “real old west bivouac under the stars” (or chuck wagon cooking?).
    Someone can advise me if there are some places that organize this kind of events? Or can you give me information about it?
    Thank you so much for all your advice
    Kind Regards
    Enrico from Italy

    1. The Rattlesnake camp grounds in Alabama is putting on trail rides and Chuck wagon cooking next weekend starts Thursday 21st

    2. Ciao Enrico! Many years ago (about 1997 when my son was 11), we took a trip out West and stayed at a great little place near Chimney Rock near Scots Bluff, Nebraska on the Oregon Trail. I think it was this place (from the description):Oregon Trail Wagon Train at the Base of Chimney Rock near Bayard , Bayard, NE 69334 –(308) 586-1850 / See Description at: There is also a museum in Scot’s Bluff and hiking trails and Carhenge is not too far away. We stayed in a log cabin that had a chuckwagon meal cooked outdoors along with a cowboy sing-along. They also had a Conestoga wagon (both day and overnight) trips out to Chimney Rock. If you want to stand in the ruts of the Oregon Trail and take a Conestoga ride to Chimney Rock, this is a great location to stop! I did see some other websites that offer camping in Conestoga wagons by doing a search for Conestoga Wagon trips in western USA. There were some in Utah and Yosemite. Good luck and hope you enjoy your trip to the “Wild West”!

    3. Bar D Ranch in Durango, CO. A little dude ranchy/touristy but a whole lotta fun with a cowboy band to boot. Dave S

    4. See Beautiful Jackson Hole Wyoming! The “Bar J Chuckwagon” and the “Bar T 5” are authentic Chuckwagon experiences. Both include amazing food and family fun entertainment! (Old western music/comedy)

  2. These recipes are fantastic and excellent. I’m a senior and watch all the Old Westerns as I grew up on a ranch so being on limited income I realized they got by on next to far less than we have today but few went hungry so I wanted a Site Exactly like this for True recipes. My grandparents were ranchers over and over so it all fits. Wonderful!
    Thank you.

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