) ‘Chicago Bear Sausage Recipe: A Football Fan Favorite’

There are few things more iconic than the Chicago Bears. As a city, we take pride in every aspect of our team, from their tough defense to their famous colors. But there’s one way that we can show our appreciation for the Bears that you might not have thought of: through cuisine.

Enter the Chicago Bear Sausage Recipe. This family recipe has been passed down for generations and captures everything we love about our football team. Made with thick slab bacon, bear meat, and Italian sausage, this dish is savory and bold – just like the Bears themselves.

As someone who grew up in Chicago, I can tell you that nothing brings people together quite like great food. And trust me when I say that this recipe is sure to impress your friends and family.

So whether you’re hosting a tailgate party or just looking to spice up your dinner routine, give this recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed. After all, who wouldn’t want a taste of the Chicago Bears on their plate?

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Chicago Bear Sausage
Chicago Bear Sausage

Are you a fan of the Chicago Bears? Do you love sausage recipes that are packed with flavor and spice? If so, then this Chicago Bear Sausage recipe is perfect for you!

What makes this recipe so special is the combination of bear meat and thick slab bacon. The addition of pepper and bear fat adds depth and richness, while still keeping things tangy and spicy. This unique blend of flavors will have your taste buds dancing in delight.

But it’s not just about the taste – the process of making your own sausages from scratch can be incredibly rewarding. There’s something satisfying about creating a dish with your own hands, using fresh ingredients and traditional techniques.

And if you’re a fan of wild game, then this recipe is an absolute must-try. The ground bear meat gives these sausages a hearty texture that pairs perfectly with the bold flavors.

So why should you give this Chicago Bear Sausage recipe a try? Because it’s a delicious, satisfying, and unique way to enjoy sausage-making – not to mention the perfect way to show off your love for all things Chicago-style.

Ingredient List

 Get ready to tackle this Chicago Bear Sausage recipe!
Get ready to tackle this Chicago Bear Sausage recipe!

Before diving into the recipe, let’s go over what you’ll need for this Chicago Bear Sausage Recipe.


  • 2 lbs ground bear meat
  • 1 pound thick slab bacon, cut into tiny pieces
  • 2 tablespoons pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Natural hog casings

For the meat in this recipe, I used black bear, because it’s what I had on hand. However, you could also use other types of bear meat or even wild game like elk or deer. It’s important to have a decent amount of fat in the recipe, so combining the lean bear meat with some fatty bacon is key.

The seasoning is inspired by Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich Recipe, and if you’re a fan of this famous dish, you’re in for a treat. The combination of spices like fennel seeds and dried thyme gives this sausage a perfect spicy kick that will make your taste buds tingle. The natural hog casings will help hold the shape of the sausage and give it its signature snappy texture.

Next up, we’ll get into the how-to section where we’ll turn these ingredients into delicious Chicago Bear Sausages.

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect recipe for a football party.
The perfect recipe for a football party.


Now, let’s get started on how to make this mouth-watering Chicago Bear Sausage.

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

Gather all the ingredients in one place. You will need 1 pound of ground bear meat, 1 pound of Italian sausage, and 1 pound of thick slab bacon.

Make sure to remove the rind from the bacon before chopping it up into small pieces. If your bear meat is too lean, add some bear fat to it, this will give your sausage a richer and bolder flavor.

Step 2: Mix the Meat

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground bear meat, Italian sausage, and bacon bits. Season the meat mixture with 2 tablespoons of pepper. Use your hands to mix everything thoroughly.

Step 3: Sausage Making

If you have a meat grinder at home, grind the mixture through the coarse setting or use pre-ground meat. Stuff the sausage mixture into casings following your sausage maker instructions or create patties instead.

If you don’t have a sausage maker and would like to make patties instead, simply take a small amount of the mixture about 2 oz and shape it with your hand.

Whether you are making sausages or patties, allow them to sit in the fridge for an hour or two before cooking them.

Step 4: Cooking Method

You can cook your Chicago Bear Sausages in several ways. This recipe works great for smoked sausages, dried summer sausage and breakfast sausage links.

For grilling or smoking: Grill or smoke your sausages until they reach an internal temperature between 165-175°F. This temperature will ensure that your sausages are fully cooked inside but also juicy and moist.

For pan-frying: Cook your sausage patties until golden brown on each side using medium-high heat on a skillet.

Enjoy these sausages as standalone snack bites, build an Italian beef sandwich with them or toss them into kabobs along with apples & onions for more hearty flavors. The possibilities are endless!

Definitely, one of my favorite wild game sausages that is perfect for any time of year!

Substitutions and Variations

 Take a bite into the windy city with this savory sausage.
Take a bite into the windy city with this savory sausage.

If you’re a wild game enthusiast and can’t get your hands on bear meat, there’s no need to worry, because you can make some substitutions and variations. Instead of using bear meat, you can use ground venison, elk or bison. These all have similar texture and flavor profiles to bear meat.

If you’re not a fan of pepper or spicy food, you could leave out the black pepper in this recipe or use milder seasonings like paprika. Additionally, if you’re looking to switch things up from the original recipe, you could also try adding apples, onions or other veggies to your sausages for some extra flavor.

Another variation I’ve tried with this recipe is substituting the thick slab bacon for regular bacon. It still adds a salty flavor and helps keep the meat moist during cooking. You could also add different kinds of sausage such as italian sausage or smoked sausage to create more complex flavors.

Lastly, if you prefer a breakfast sausage-style, add a pinch of sage and some maple syrup or brown sugar for sweetness.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with your bear sausage recipe as there are endless possibilities for creating new and exciting flavors.

Serving and Pairing

 This sausage is the real MVP at any tailgate.
This sausage is the real MVP at any tailgate.

When it comes time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, the Chicago Bear Sausage is a perfect addition to any meal. With its bold and flavorful taste, you can be sure that this sausage will be the centerpiece of any table setting.

One great way to serve the Chicago Bear Sausage is on top of a Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich. The combination of bear meat and thick slab bacon will bring out the natural smokiness of the beef and enhance the overall flavor of this classic sandwich.

Another creative way to use your bear sausage is to create sausage kabobs grilled with apples, onions, and other vegetables. By adding pepper and other spices into the mix, you’ll get a burst of additional flavors that will take this dish from ordinary to extraordinary.

The savory taste of this sausage also makes it perfect for breakfast sausage. Its bold yet well-balanced flavor will complement anything from scrambled eggs to a hearty breakfast hash.

For a lighter meal option, the Chicago Bear Sausage can also be enjoyed as a summer sausage. Its smoky aroma pairs perfectly with fresh sliced vegetables and crackers, making it an excellent addition to any charcuterie board.

Lastly, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous or just want some comfort food during those colder months, try using your bear sausage in a bear chili or black bear ragu recipe. Pair it with some homemade cornbread or over creamy polenta for a warm and satisfying meal.

In terms of pairing options, this sausage goes best with bold red wines or hoppy IPAs. The richness of these beverages complements the intensity of the bear sausage’s flavor profile.

Overall, feel free to experiment with different recipes and pairing options until you find your perfect match. With such a versatile ingredient at your disposal, there’s an endless list of possibilities for enjoying this truly unique Chicago Bear Sausage recipe.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Don't be a benchwarmer, make this Chicago Bear Sausage recipe today!
Don’t be a benchwarmer, make this Chicago Bear Sausage recipe today!

The Chicago Bear Sausage Recipe is perfect for any outdoor party or game day celebration. To simplify the cooking process, it’s best to make these sausages ahead of time and store them in the freezer.

To prepare for a crowd, I usually double or triple the recipe so that I can have extra sausages on hand. After making the sausages, allow them to cool before storing them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Label the container with the date of preparation and store in the freezer for up to three months.

When ready to serve, you can reheat your sausages from frozen by boiling them in water for 10-12 minutes or grilling them until heated through. You can also thaw them overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat them by grilling or baking in the oven.

If you have any leftover cooked sausages, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. When reheating cooked sausages, be careful not to overheat them, as they can become dry and tough.

Overall, this recipe is perfect for meal prep and entertaining, and it saves you time by allowing you to plan ahead. With these make-ahead and storing tips, you’re sure to impress your guests with your quick and delicious Bears-inspired sausage dishes.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Score big with this classic Chicago-style sausage.
Score big with this classic Chicago-style sausage.

When it comes to making sausage, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. Here are some of my top tricks for achieving perfect results with this Chicago bear sausage recipe:

Firstly, using the right type of meat is crucial for creating a flavorful and juicy sausage. While bear meat can be tough, adding some bear fat or even thick slab bacon can help to balance out the texture and add extra richness. Additionally, using a combination of Italian sausage and smoked black bear can add another level of complexity to your sausage.

Another important tip when making sausage is to ensure that your ingredients are well-mixed. I recommend spending a good amount of time thoroughly combining your seasoning and meat mixture together, as this will ensure that each bite is well-seasoned and has a consistent texture throughout.

Additionally, when forming your sausage links or patties, be sure to handle the meat gently and avoid overworking it. Overworking the meat can result in a dense and rubbery texture, so try not to compress it too much when shaping.

Cooking time and temperature is also key when it comes to sausage-making. Be sure not to overcook your sausages, as this can lead to dryness and toughness. Aim for an internal temperature of 160°F for a perfectly cooked sausage with optimal juiciness.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to get creative with your serving and pairing options! This Chicago bear sausage recipe is incredibly versatile and pairs well with everything from breakfast food like eggs and toast to hearty sandwiches like the Chicago Italian beef sandwich. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different sides, sauces, and toppings to discover the perfect pairing for your taste buds.


As I wrap up this recipe article, allow me to go through the frequently asked questions about this Chicago Bear Sausage Recipe. These questions pertain to common concerns about the ingredients, preparation methods, storage recommendations and serving suggestions. Here are some answers that will help you out in case you have the same inquiries in mind.

How much fat do you add to bear sausage?

Making fresh sausage is an easy and straightforward process, and can be a fantastic starting point if you’re new to sausage making. Surprisingly, you don’t need any special equipment, such as casings or a sausage maker, to prepare delicious sausages. In this recipe, I’ve utilized meat with 20% fat content to compensate for the leanness of bear meat. To avoid an unpleasant gamey taste, it’s best to scrape all fat from the meat. Additionally, it’s recommended to partially freeze fatback until it’s about 50-75% frozen. This ensures easier handling and processing.

What is the best way to prepare bear meat?

When it comes to cooking bear meat, it’s important to treat it similarly to pork. To ensure it’s cooked thoroughly and safely, bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes per pound. It’s important to make sure the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 3 minutes before consuming. This will ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked and any potential bacteria is destroyed. Remember to prioritize your health and safety when cooking and consuming wild game.

Can you use bear fat to make sausage?

Incorporating bear fat into sausage or burger can bring out some delicious flavor, but it’s important to check the taste beforehand for any unpleasantness. If the bear fat passes the taste test, there’s no need to render it before using it, just like you would with beef or pork fat. The result can be a unique and flavorful dish that will impress your guests.

What do you soak bear meat in?

Marinating bear meat in acidic marinades like buttermilk, cola, vinegar, tomato, wine, or lemon juice has been reported by some bear hunters to eliminate the unpleasant bear odor and enhance the meat’s flavor. The acidic properties of these marinades are said to break down and tenderize the tough meat fibers, making it easier to cook and enjoy.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, you cannot go wrong with this Chicago Bear Sausage Recipe. With its unique blend of juicy black bear meat, flavorful spices, and thick slab bacon, it is the ultimate sausage making recipe that truly captures the spirit of Chicago. This recipe has something for everyone, including variations like bear chili, Italian beef sandwiches, and even Italian sausage kabobs grilled to perfection.

So next time you’re looking for a wild game sausage recipe that will satisfy your carnivorous cravings, look no further than this Chicago Bear Sausage Recipe. Whether you’re grilling up some sausages for a summer cookout or serving up a hearty breakfast feast with some homemade bear breakfast sausages on the side, this recipe is sure to impress.

So grab your apron and get ready to channel your inner Chicagoan as you whip up a batch of this delicious and easy-to-make sausage recipe. Join me and countless others in sharing and enjoying this family recipe that’s sure to become a tradition at your dinner table. Try it out today!

Chicago Bear Sausage

Chicago Bear Sausage Recipe

Good on pizza, and makes great meatballs as well. Times vary as seen.
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Course: Appetizer/Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: < 4 Hours, Bear, Canadian, Easy, Meat, Pork, Southwestern, Thanksgiving, Weeknight, Wild Game
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 45 lbs
Calories: 457.8kcal


  • 30 lbs ground bear meat
  • 6 teaspoons red peppers
  • 12 lbs ground pork butt
  • 15 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 3 lbs thick slab bacon, ground
  • 7 1/2 teaspoons pepper


  • Mix all together.
  • Fry in pan for breakfast sausage, good on pizza, and makes great meatballs as well.

Your own notes


Serving: 6896g | Calories: 457.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.5g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 39.3g | Saturated Fat: 14.1g | Cholesterol: 107.7mg | Sodium: 320mg | Fiber: 0.1g

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