Grassland Beef - U.S. Wellness Meats

Homemade Meat Sticks

homemade, meat sticks, ground beef, ground elk
Recipe and Photo By Ryan Kennedy

March Featured Chef Ryan Kennedy has provided a yummy and unique recipe for us to try. Ryan’s Homemade Meat Sticks are the perfect alternative to many processed options in conventional grocery stores. 

The packaged protein bar industry has seriously exploded over the past decade.

Hundreds of options line the grocery stores shelves and their convenience and portability are undeniably useful in todays fast moving society where people are more busy than ever.

While a few good options do exist, i must say, 99%+ are really lousy since they’re loaded with sugar, starch, and nonsense ingredients; even the good ones are still ultra processed! No food that comes in a package and can stay good on the shelf for years will ever compare to fresh whole foods that go bad after a week or so. Although, since the utility of bars are so helpful (especially when traveling) I thought I’d share my preferred options. Meat sticks, jerky, & canned wild-caught fish. These are the least processed options and are still whole foods that are far more nutrient dense than any protein powder. Since meat sticks can be both dry & very overpriced for the amount you get (usually around $3/bar) I created my own version that are far cheaper, fresher, healthier and tastier!

homemade, meat sticks, ground beef, ground elk
Recipe and Photo By Ryan Kennedy

Homemade Meat Sticks

Recipe By: Ryan Kennedy

Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 150 min
Servings: 15 bars

USWM Shopping List: Ground Beef or Elk


1 pound ground grass-fed meat (I used elk here, but beef works too)

1 tablespoon tamari (or coconut aminos)

1/4 cup dried cranberries (no sugar added)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Option to add any other seasonings your heart desires


1. Preheat oven to 220° F
2. Mix meat + all other ingredients together well in a bowl
3. Transfer meat mixture into a 9×13 baking sheet and pack down so it’s spread evenly.
4. Bake for 30 mins at 220° F, then drop temp down to 170° F and bake for another 2 hours. 5. Allow to cool, then cut up into bars and store in fridge.

Author’s Note

I have been making a batch of these every week and I must say they are SO handy to have around when in need of a quick meal. I keep mine in the fridge, but I have had them out of the fridge for the day and they were fine. Not sure how they would store at room temperature for more than a day though. 

We want to say thank you to Ryan for sharing this recipe for us all to try. If you try it be sure to tag #uswellnessmeats. Explore the Discover Blog for a variety of yummy recipes. 

Meet The Chef

Ryan Kennedy is a Functional Medicine Practitioner, Board-Certified Clinical Nutritionist and author of Beyond Nutrition. Ryan employs a holistic approach to helping his patients improve their health. He uses nutritional and lifestyle interventions to correct imbalances and enhance the body’s ability to heal. Check out Ryan’s website, Thriving Wellness for more info.