National Resource Center for Alaska Native Elders

Dairy-limited Bison Stroganoff


Historically, wood bison roamed the Innoko River area, but they disappeared by 1900, possibly from overhunting during Alaska's gold rush or from other factors that are not known. Raymond Dutchman, a 95-year-old Athabascan elder from Shageluk, does not remember ever seeing bison in the Innoko. As a rule, indigenous people, like Mr. Dutchman, used practices that maintained food sources and safeguarded their sustainability. 

In 2015, 130 wood bison were reintroduced to the Innoko River area from the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, south of Anchorage. They were originally brought up from Alberta and the Northwest Territories of Canada. This bison herd is still growing and currently there is no harvest of animals. Once the herd becomes large enough for sustainable hunting, the surrounding villages will be allowed to hunt them for food.

To keep updated on the bison population in the Innoko River area, visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website for more information.

 Nutrition Facts

Serves 6 per serving: Calories 143 | Fat 2.42 g | Cholesterol 82 | Sodium 388.6 mg | Total Carbohydrates 21.7 g | Dietary fiber 1.2g | Sugars 3.6 g | Protein 28.44 g 

Bison meat is lower in calories and fat than beef and it’s considered a healthy diet choice. It is an excellent source of vitamin B12, iron and zinc. Contrary to beef, that is often grain-fed, bison is more likely to be grass-fed, which makes it a more sustainable food source. Also, unlike beef, it is illegal for bison to be fed hormones or antibiotics.

How to make Dairy-limited Bison Stroganoff

Bison Tales from Flora


Dairy-free Bison Stroganoff

  • 1-½ pounds ground bison

  • 1 – 12oz package egg noodles

  •  1 cup chopped sweet onion

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups beef broth

  • ½ cup dairy-free sour cream

  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard

  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tsp beef base (2 bouillon cubes)

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

  • 1-3 tsp of lemon juice, optional, to taste

Preparation Instructions

Dairy-free Bison Stroganoff

  1. Cook noodles according to package instructions. Set aside.

  2. In a large skillet over medium, brown the bison, breaking it up as it cooks.

  3. Add the onions to the skillet and continue cooking till onion is translucent.

  4. Sprinkle the flour over the bison and onions, stirring to evenly coat and allow the flour to absorb the oil. See note below if using cornstarch.

  5. Add the beef broth, sour cream, Dijon, Worcestershire, and beef bouillon to the pan. Stir until combined and allow the sauce to simmer until thickened. Add lemon juice to taste.

  6. Add noodles to sauce and toss to even coat pasta.  Garnish with parsley before serving.


  • To make fully dairy-free, use a substitute for butter like olive oil or similar.
  • To make this with dairy-free milk, whisk dairy-free milk and cornstarch together until smooth. Add it to the sauce instead of the sour cream and simmer until sauce is thickened, whisking constantly
  • Moose, caribou, puffin, ptarmigan, beaver or beef are outstanding substitutions for the bison. If you are low on meat, bulk it up with more vegetables like sliced mushrooms or zucchini.
  • Many variations for the sauce may include mushrooms, onions, and garlic, mustard and lemon juice.
  • Two tablespoons butter added to pan before meat and onions or mushrooms enhances flavors
  • Some recipes use onions for flavor but discard them. Some recipes use one-tablespoon tomato paste
  • Change out the egg noodles for healthier brown rice pilaf, sautéed mushrooms, whole-wheat pasta or spiraled zucchini, or riced cauliflower.
  • Stroganoff is excellent served over brown rice, gluten-free pasta, potatoes or zucchini noodle spirals.
  • Regular mustard can be substituted resulting in a very mild sauce, whereas, Dijon is sharper and more tangy.
  • Can substitute 1-tablespoon cornstarch in place of 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour.