Slow Cooker Pheasant Nachos

These slow cooker pheasant nachos are the perfect game-day meal! You can substitute chicken for the pheasant if you’d like. However, as a wild game cook, I am a big fan of pheasant for this recipe. The pheasant’s flavor is more delicate, yet deeper than that of chicken.

Slow Cooker Pheasant Nachos, recipe by Stacy Lyn Harris from her Harvest Cookbook

Pheasant has become super popular in high-end and even casual restaurants. You can find them at local restaurant stores and in some grocery stores. If the grocery stores don’t have them in stock, they can order them for you, or you can order them from online sources.

Pheasant can be found in the wild and captivity all over the world. They are abundant here in Alabama, where these birds find plenty of berries, bugs, greens, and seeds to eat. For hunters, this nachos recipe is a crowd-pleasing way to serve up wild pheasant.

The slow cooker  / crock pot method ensures tender meat. If you also want the meat to be crispy, you can crisp it up on the stovetop after it cooks. Just scoop the cooked meat out of the slow cooker juices with a slotted spoon, transfer it to a hot cast iron skillet, and leave still for two minutes. Turn the meat to crisp evenly.

Seriously, these pheasant nachos are an unforgettably excellent treat. If you prefer soft tortillas to chips, these also make tasty tacos!

Click here for more wild game recipes.

Slow Cooker Pheasant Nachos, recipe by Stacy Lyn Harris from her Harvest Cookbook

Slow Cooker Pheasant Nachos

You can substitute chicken for the pheasant, but the pheasant's flavor is more delicate, yet deeper than that of chicken.
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican


  • 1/4 pound bacon (4 slices) cooked and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
  • 6 pheasant breasts
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 large bag tortilla chips
  • 2 red or green jalapeños sliced
  • cheese sauce recipe below
  • guacamole recipe below
  • chives (about 1/4 cup) chopped
  • 4 ounces sour cream

For the cheese sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese shredded

For the guacamole

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 jalapeño more or less to your taste
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 onion minced
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, cook bacon for about three minutes and turn over and cook for another two to three minutes, or until the bacon is brown. Remove to drain on a paper towel. When cool enough, crumble the bacon and set aside.
  • For the meat: Spread bacon grease over the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the onions and the garlic cloves in the crockpot / slow cooker. In a medium bowl, add pheasant breasts, liquid smoke, salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder and coat the pheasant with the seasoning. Place the pheasant and seasonings into the slow cooker and pour in the broth. Turn the slow cooker on low and cook for eight hours. Once the pheasant is tender, use two forks to shred the meat into the juices. If you want it crispy, use a slotted spoon and scoop the pheasant pieces out of the juices into a hot cast iron skillet, leave still for two minutes, and then turn.

For the cheese sauce

  • Melt the butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk until the mixture is smooth and barely begins to bubble. Add the warm milk to the pan and cook over heat until it begins to boil. Then reduce to low heat and simmer while continuing to stir until the liquid begins to thicken. Add the salt, cayenne, and mustard to the mixture and whisk until combined. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for about five minutes. Add the cheese in handfuls, mixing in between each handful until well-incorporated and all the cheese has been added.

For the guacamole

  • Mix all ingredients in medium-sized bowl. Leave it a little chunky for better texture.

To plate

  • Sprinkle a layer of chips on a large platter. Add 1/2 of the cheese sauce, 1/2 of the guacamole, 1/2 of the crumbled bacon, and 1/2 of the chives and a few dollops of sour cream. Add another layer of chips and add the remaining ingredients in order, finishing with the chives.
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