Forest grouse with "Manti marinade"
Wildlife recipes Wildlife recipes
Plate of baked grouse

Forest grouse with "Manti marinade"

Grouse meat is very mild and easy to use as a substitute for any poultry recipe

By Scott Root
Conservation Outreach Manager
Central Region

Scott holding a forest grouse

This recipe is adapted from a previous blog post, "Channeling my inner Hobbit."

In late September through mid-October, I like to hunt forest grouse through a brilliant mix of oaks, maples and aspens. The trees provide a colorful backdrop for photos, with or without grouse in hand. Grouse hunters enjoy some of the most breathtaking views in Utah!

The other main perk of grouse hunting, of course, is a delicious meal. Over the years, I've found that many people prefer the taste of forest grouse to chicken. They also love that grouse can be found in the forests of Utah and are not commercially grown.


There is very little difference in the look, texture and taste of the two forest grouse species (dusky grouse and ruffed grouse), although the birds' diet can affect the taste a bit.

Dusky and ruffed grouse meat, raw

Raw grouse meat.
Photo courtesy Scott Root

My favorite method of preparing grouse (and other upland game birds) is to remove the breast meat and then marinate and refrigerate it overnight. I use my own version of what some people call the "Manti marinade:"

  • 1–2 forest grouse (any species)
  • 1 to 2 cups of 7 Up, Sprite or Fresca
  • ½ cup of soy sauce
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon of horseradish (optional)
  • 1 packet of Shake 'n Bake mix (optional)


I cook the grouse on the grill, being careful not to overcook the meat, which can make it a bit chewy. Another great option is to use a Shake 'n Bake mix and just bake the grouse. There are many other delicious ways to cook grouse, and they are all great options. Grouse meat is very mild and easy to use as a substitute for any poultry recipe.

Plate of roasted grouse

Photo courtesy Michael Foster

Plate of baked grouse

Photo courtesy Jennifer Grimmer

Scott Root

Scott Root

Scott is the DWR's conservation outreach manager in central Utah. He works with the public, the media and anyone who has questions about wildlife. He enjoys hunting, fishing and wildlife watching, especially with his kids.

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