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Yes, you read that title correctly. Rattlesnake. Pizza. Hssssssssssss.
I’m still looking for ways to use up all the ingredients I picked up while I was at Jungle Jim’s a few weeks ago, next up on the weird recipe list: canned rattlesnake.
Well, smoked canned rattlesnake. Finding such a thing at an Ohio grocery store – well you’d be hard pressed to find it anywhere other than Jungle Jim’s. But apparently, it’s a delicacy across southern states, where the rattlers roam free.
The one thing that I didn’t realize about rattlesnake, for whatever reason, is that these things are boney. I mean, they are basically long ribcages after all. Per the instructions on the side of the can – that advised it’s best enjoyed once the bones are picked out – I managed to pull out several still-connected vertebra and probably hundreds of tiny rib bones.
I was able to salvage about a 1/2 cup of rattlesnake meat, once all the bones were removed. Next time I attempt to eat snake, I’ll probably get the fresh stuff…minus the bones.
Because this pizza is already going way beyond your typical pizza, I started the pizza sauce with a base of fresh pico, but the jarred stuff works just as well for a nice spicy sauce.
Jungle Jim’s also has some pretty spectacular homemade pizza dough, which naturally I grabbed several bags of because as much as I love pizza, I hate making the dough from scratch. This way, it’s close enough and half of the effort!
Of course, no pizza is truly complete without a nice garlicky, buttery crust. Poke some holes in it so that it doesn’t puff up a ton. I also prebake my crusts for about five minutes before putting the toppings on – wouldn’t want a soggy bottom.
I topped my pizza with fresh handmade mozzarella, roasted garlic and fresh sweet peppers. Though of course, the rattlesnake was the star of this dish – it tastes almost like sausage, so surprisingly it actually tasted pretty great on the pizza! Rattlesnake may just be the most unusual topping ever I’ve had on a pizza – but I seriously can’t wait to try it again!
- 16 oz pizza dough
- 8 oz smoked rattlesnake meat
- ¼ cup tomato sauce
- ¼ cup habanero salsa
- ¼ cup mild salsa
- 3 sweet mini bell peppers
- 5-8 slices fresh ball mozzarella
- 3 tablespoons butter melted
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- salt & pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons fresh parsley for topping
- ½ cup corn meal for dusting
- ½ cup flour for dusting
- Preheat a pizza stone in the oven at 425 F for at least one hour prior to cooking pizza for best results. Dust with cornmeal to keep the pizza from sticking.
- Lightly flour a large clean surface and roll out the pizza dough until it's about a half inch thick. In a small bowl, melt the butter and whisk in the garlic powder and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Brush the melted butter on the pizza. Use a fork to pierce the pizza several times to prevent bubbling. Prebake the pizza for five minutes on the corn meal dusted pizza stone.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the salsas until fragrant then stir in the tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper and cook until bubbling, then remove from the heat.
- Open the rattlesnake and remove all bones. Discard the bones and reserve the meat in a small bowl.
- Spread the sauce on the prebaked pizza in an even layer. Don't spread the sauce too thick, you may have some leftover. Arrange the slices of mozzarella around the pizza then top with rattlesnake meat, roasted garlic and sweet peppers.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the mozzarella is nice and melty. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve hot, and enjoy!