homemade pemmican featured

Homemade Pemmican Recipe | with Organ Meats

posted in: Recipes

I keep a stash of this homemade pemmican recipe around pretty consistently. It’s great to take hiking, traveling, and have on hand to feed our children when I need a quick prep meal.

The bars are highly satiating, a little goes a long way. They are also perfect for those interested in organ meats and zero-fiber carnivore diet recipes.

In addition to being carnivore diet-friendly, this recipe is also keto diet approved.

Organ meat recipes

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I’ve never found a better option for traveling because the food will ever smush, squish, or spill. Pemmican doesn’t spoil (unless improperly made) or smell. It’s also lightweight!

Really, what else do you want?

If you are interested in learning more about this historically important food, Vilhjalmur Stefansson’s Not By Bread Alone contains a fascinating account of the pemmican trade and subsequent pemmican wars occurring at the height of the American/Canadian fur trade.

Try the basic pemmican recipe here.

Why add Organ Meats?

Organ meat recipes have been a fundamental part of my family’s diet for years and years.

After learning the health benefits of liver, I can’t deny it’s importance.

homemade pemmican organs ingredinets

There are many benefits of organ meats, in general. They are worth the effort to learn how to cook.

I’ve made pemmican with both heart and liver, however I do notice liver is much easier to dry and grind into a fine powder. Heart has a great flavor but produces more of a texture in the finished bar because it doesn’t grind down as well. Once it is mixed with the dried, ground muscle meat and tallow, it can be a bit gritty. Adding heart won’t make the homemade pemmican unpalatable, but this factor of texture may be something you want to consider.

TIP: Drying ground meat and ground liver are my preferred ingredients rather than whole parts that are thinly sliced. The ground foods are slightly more simple and straightforward to prep.

organ meat recipe cookbook

How to Eat Homemade Pemmican Bars

Pemmican is a mixture of protein and fat, which is already a complete meal in itself. Some of us might like added texture or other flavors in the meal. In this case, use these tips to guide your meal formulation.

homemade pemmican recipe
  • Make a quick prep lunch/dinner meal with bulk prepped vegetables
  • Serve with low-carb veggies on the side (steamed broccoli or cauliflower are portable for camping/hiking, tangy homemade sauerkraut is also really great!)
  • Combine with avocado and enjoy the contrast of firm/crumbly pemmican to soft/creamy avo
    • My daughter likes when I make an “avocado bowl” by placing the crumbs of pemmican in the hollow were the pit once was
  • Spread a layer of cream cheese or Zucchini Herb Butter on top of the bar before eating
  • Play with different herbs and spices, my absolute favorite for homemade pemmican is Mesquite Seasoning by Mountain Rose Herbs
  • My children like when I add a few spoonfuls of honey to the meat and fat “dough” which is delicious but obviously no longer ketogenic, if that matters to you

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homemade pemmican featured

Homemade Pemmican Recipe | with Organ Meats

Homemade pemmican is the ultimate protein bar! Made in the traditional style of multiple North American Indian tribes, pemmican is extremely nutrient dense, lightweight, and shelf stable.
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Traditional
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 16 pieces
Calories: 544kcal



  • Combine the dry meat, liver, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add optional herbs and spices, mix well.
  • Melt tallow in a double boiler over medium heat.
  • Pour over the dry ingredients and, using a strong spoon, stir well, until thoroughly combined.
  • Spread the mixture evenly in an 8x8-inch baking dish and leave to harden at room temperature before scoring into squares. Alternatively, you can roll the “dough” into balls with your hands.
  • Store pemmican in an airtight container in the pantry. If made correctly, it is shelf-stable and will never spoil. You may also store it in the refrigerator if that makes you more comfortable.


You may use any type of liver (beef, sheep, goat, etc) in combination with any meat (beef, bison, lamb etc)
For more tips on pemmican making, read my original article Traditional Survival Food Turned Modern Protein Bar

Macros and Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Pemmican Recipe | with Organ Meats
Amount Per Serving (50 g)
Calories 544 Calories from Fat 405
% Daily Value*
Fat 45g69%
Saturated Fat 22g138%
Cholesterol 290mg97%
Sodium 730mg32%
Potassium 490mg14%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 10206IU204%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 29mg3%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @PrimalEdgeHealth or tag #pehrecipe to share!

What do you think? How are you going to use pemmican in your diet?

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Homemade Pemmican Bar Recipe

13 Responses

  1. Renata Holicova
    | Reply

    hi Jessica

    how do you dry the liver and meet?

    • Jessica Haggard
      | Reply

      I use a food dehydrator. You may also dry at a low temp in the oven.

  2. Denisse Salinas
    | Reply

    5 stars
    Now, this is a different approach to protein bars – but by far the most natural I have seen. I would definitely try one! I am all about that getting that protein!

  3. Taylor Kiser
    | Reply

    5 stars
    I’ve never had this before. So intrigued to make it now though!

  4. Sharon
    | Reply

    5 stars
    I haven’t ever heard of pemmican but it sounds similar to jerky but can be used as a whole meal which sounds great to always have on hand.

  5. Anita
    | Reply

    5 stars
    This is a very interesting dish, I’ve never heard of it, and would love to give it a try. That said, I’ve never ever dried anything. Could you give a short instruction for the drying part so a total newbie like me can do it? Thanks! 🙂

    • Jessica Haggard
      | Reply

      Thanks for the feedback Anita. I’ve updated the recipe with more details in hopes of making it more clear for you and others alike!

  6. Liz
    | Reply

    5 stars
    Wow, this is a very interesting recipe. I appreciate that you use all the parts of the animals you eat!

  7. Noelle
    | Reply

    5 stars
    I have never heard of a dish like this, I am thinking my family would really enjoy this! I love the idea of an avocado bowl!

  8. Melinda
    | Reply

    How much does this make??

    • Jessica Haggard
      | Reply

      This recipe makes 800 grams of pemmican. I used an 8×8-inch baking dish as my mold and divide into 8 servings.

  9. Jesse
    | Reply

    Do you cook the meat and liver at all first ? Thank you

    • Jessica Haggard
      | Reply

      Hi Jese, The meat and liver are not cooked. They are dried raw, just like jerky.

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