Squirrel and Walnut Dumplings: A Nutty Twist on a Southern Classic

Embrace the Bounty of the Woods

Squirrel and Dumplings is a classic Southern dish, beloved for its hearty and comforting qualities. But what if we told you there’s a way to elevate this traditional favorite? Prepare to embark on a culinary adventure as we introduce you to Squirrel and Walnut Dumplings, a unique and nutty twist that adds an extra layer of flavor to this beloved dish.


For the Squirrel Stew:

  • 2-3 squirrels, cleaned and cut into serving pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh thyme leaves for garnish (optional)

For the Dumplings:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup milk


Preparing the Squirrel:

  1. Season the squirrel pieces with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the squirrel pieces and sear them until they are nicely browned on all sides. Remove them from the pot and set them aside.

Making the Squirrel Stew:

  1. In the same pot, add the chopped onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Sauté until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Return the seared squirrel to the pot.
  3. Pour in the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and let it simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the squirrel meat is tender and starts to fall off the bones.

Preparing the Dumplings:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and chopped walnuts.
  2. Gradually add the milk while stirring until a thick batter forms.

Adding the Dumplings:

  1. Once the squirrel meat is tender, drop spoonfuls of the dumpling batter onto the simmering stew.
  2. Cover the pot and let the dumplings cook for about 15 minutes, or until they are cooked through and fluffy.

Adding the Nutty Twist:

  1. Stir in the chopped walnuts and heavy cream into the stew.
  2. Let the stew simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes until the walnuts are heated through and the stew has thickened slightly.

Serving Your Squirrel and Walnut Dumplings:

  1. Ladle the stew and dumplings into bowls.
  2. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves if desired.
  3. Enjoy the unique flavors and textures of this nutty twist on a Southern classic.

This Squirrel and Walnut Dumplings recipe celebrates the rich, nutty flavors of both walnuts and squirrel meat, creating a dish that’s not only hearty but also delightfully nutty. It’s a dish that pays homage to tradition while adding a touch of innovation to the Southern kitchen.

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