Yellowstone Cookbook: A Love Letter to “Yellowstone” in Edible Form

Food writer, recipe developer, and photographer Jackie Alpers was so inspired by Taylor Sheridan’s TV series Yellowstone, she crafted an entire cookbook around it. In The Unofficial Yellowstone Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by the Dutton Family Ranch, Alpers researched the culinary life of ranchers, cowboys, and Indigenous people in the American West, from Montana to Texas in the years between 1883 and 1923, the where and when of the story’s five seasons and its prequel series.

A Cookbook Inspired by the Yellowstone TV Series

Cover of The Unofficial Yellowstone Cookbook includes images of the American West, a cowboy and dishes from the book

The Dutton family home is the hub around which the recipes revolve and dishes like Train Station Funeral Potatoes and The Roosevelt Lodge’s Baked Beans rely on the convenience of a kitchen oven. Others, like Corn Masa and Sage Dumplings in Partridge Soup, incorporate wild game from hunting while considering Indigenous traditions. Alpers cooks salmon on a stake over open flame and wraps prepared whole trout in foil for cooking on a grill.

I laughed out loud at recipes for Mountain Oysters and Son of a Bitch Stew, each recipe turning parts leftover from a cow’s slaughter into food fit for human consumption. Yet I am drawn to recipes like these which support eating an animal in its entirety.  They are in keeping with the Dutton’s wish to sustainably steward their land and with the book’s ethos.

Recipes I Made

Flathead Forest Elk Sausage Patties helped me use up the ground elk my neighbor gave to me after a hunting trip to New Mexico. Bison Nachos are a clever way to use red meat known to contain no antibiotics or hormones – and I had some in my freezer. For this review, Alpers sent me a recipe for mushroom and acorn flour soup, a nice way to use up the leftover acorn flour in my fridge from making acorn flour bread as part of my review of Sara Calvosa Olson’s cookbook, Chími Nu’am. (Recipe below)

Who Would Like This Cookbook

I am not a Yellowstone fanatic. As a citizen of the American West, The Unofficial Yellowstone Cookbook appeals to me simply as an eater who wants to eat well – thoughtfully and sustainably as well as deliciously. Perhaps we should all cast an eye back to a time when the West’s abundance helped ensure its path to a sustainable future.


Bonus Recipe from The Yellowstone Cookbook: Wild Morel Mushrooms, Onion and Acorn Soup

Wild morel mushroom and onion, acorn soup with dumplings on top in a cast iron pan

photo credit: Jackie Alpers

Any squirrel will tell you, acorns are edible! And, they have a long history as part of the food culture of American Indigenous people who developed ways to remove some the tannins from the nuts, which made them more palatable for us humans.

This recipe, an outtake, cut for space, was inspired by ingredients local to Northern Montana where the television series Yellowstone is set and filmed.

If you can’t find acorn flour, substitute other nut flour or buckwheat flour. Don’t worry about rehydrating dried mushrooms, they will soften up while cooking.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 servings


¼ cup butter

3 medium white onions, thinly sliced, about 4 cups

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup red wine

4 cups beef or vegetable stock

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp acorn flour

½ tsp black pepper

1 pound fresh morel mushrooms or 1 ounce dried, about 10 mushrooms

1 demi baguette, thinly sliced and toasted

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

1 cup shredded Gruyere and/or Swiss cheese



Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat then stir in the onions and garlic to coat. Cook for 15 minutes, or until starting to brown and caramelize. Add the wine then scrape up any brown bits that form on the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Stir in the flour, then the stock, tomato paste, mushrooms and black pepper and cook for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to broil. Ladle the soup into oven-safe bowls, then float a couple slices of baguette on top. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese then a handful of shredded Gruyere or Swiss. Place in the oven and broil until the cheese is browned and bubbly. Serve immediately.