There’s no better way to celebrate National Indigenous History Month than cooking up some amazing First Nations/Indigenous cuisine of Canada at home. These recipes all have amazing ingredients that First Nations, Inuit and Métis people use in their traditional fresh food cooking styles. Recognize and celebrate the Indigenous people (and cuisine) of Canada by enjoying some of these yummy recipes from all over the country.
Related: Meet Justin Hall, Estate Winemaker at Nk’Mip – North America’s First Indigenous Winery
Venison Carpaccio With Cedar Jelly and Sea Buckthorn Jam
If you’ve only got 20 minutes to make a gourmet meal, look no further than this venison carpaccio and sea buckthorn jam recipe. From cedar to berries, this dish brings together a variety of bold flavours to make for a very Canadian wilderness culinary experience.
BBQ Chicken Frybread Tacos
Not your typical hard shell tacos. This version uses frybread (deep-fried bread) as the base, with fresh ingredients — like onions, cilantro, tomatoes, etc. — on the top. Try it with chicken, beef chili or even baked salmon.
Golden and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, these Inuvialuit-style donuts are satisfying treat, similar to Beaver Tails or Elephant Ears found at carnivals.
Buffalo Beef Stew
Bison was (and is!) a significant resource for Indigenous peoples in Northern Canada and in the wide-open prairies. Celebrate the bison by giving this hearty buffalo stew at home a try. Don’t forget to serve it with some delicious bannock on the side.
Frybread Stuffed Pizza
Pizza dough is swapped out for Indigenous frybread in these homemade pizza pockets. It’s an easy, kid-friendly recipe that’s perfect for getting the whole family involved in the kitchen.
West Coast Cedar-Planked Salmon
Salmon is a deeply embedded food source for First Nations people: it represents their culture, identity and existence. It’s also one of the best foods for your mental health. Try this version of cedar-planked salmon from the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.
Butternut Squash Bannock Pizza
What do you get when you combine bannock dough pizza crust with maple chipotle lime sour cream, butternut squash and lots of cheese? The ultimate comfort food!
Bannock is a traditional Indigenous survival bread. When food was scarce and rations were low, this bread could be made with almost anything. The ancestors would use crushed wheat, dried berries, bitterroot or pemmican. These ingredients would add sustenance to their diet. Today it’s a treat and it can be baked, fried or grilled. This recipe takes less than five minutes to prep. You can add blueberries or Saskatoon berries, as well as a little whole-grain flour to make it healthier.
Turkey and Wild Rice Tortellini
While tortellini isn’t traditionally an Indigenous dish, award-winning Indigenous chef Shane Chartrand gives the classic Italian pasta and Indigenous spin by filling it with turkey and wild rice, and swaps out the olive oil for Canola oil sourced from the Canadian prairies. This fresh spin on your favourite pasta is one you’re sure to love.
Seaweed-Crusted Halibut with Cherry Tomatoes
If you are lucky enough to live on the West Coast, go get yourself some fresh Pacific halibut. This recipe pays tribute to when First Nations folks fished for this amazing food source. It’s low in fat, full of omega-3’s, uses local ingredients and is so delicious. Learn more about how a group of Indigenous chefs came together to cook for a community in mourning.
Fried Bannock Dogs
This is a family favourite for dinner and is also popular for parties and potlucks. That said, once you show up to a celebration with bannock dogs, be prepared to become the official “Bannock Dog Maker” of your group, because everyone will ask you to make them again and again!
Arctic Cranberry Orange Muffins with Orange Glaze
These cranberry orange muffins burst with flavour and natural goodness. Made with hand picked kimmingnat (arctic cranberries), a traditional Inuvialuit comfort food, they’re a delicious and bold way to start your day! Plus, they’re easy to make and freezer-friendly, so they make for a great after-school snack.