Credit: Bumble Bee Ranch, Bumble Bee

5 Home-Cooked, Ranch-Style Cowboy Dinners

By: Teresa Bitler

Print This Page

Savor the flavors of the Old West in Arizona at an authentic cowboy supper.

About the author

Teresa Bitler

Teresa Bitler

Teresa Bitler is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in Sunset and Valley Guide magazines. She is the author of Great Escapes Arizona as well as four Arizona-related iPhone travel apps and is currently working on her second guidebook, Backroads & Byways of Indian Country. She can be reached at www.teresabitler.com.

Nothing says the Old West quite like a hearty meal cooked over flames and served under the stars – or at least accompanied by live country music. At these five ranches, you can eat a supper fit for a cowboy (or cowgirl) while enjoying a theatrical show, horseback ride, outdoor games or other activities.

Blazin’ M Ranch, Cottonwood

An evening at Blazin’ M Ranch in Cottonwood – halfway between Sedona and Prescott – kicks off at 5 p.m. when the gates open to its Frontier Town. Guests can entertain themselves by pitching horseshoes, learning how to rope and target shooting with a real Colt .45 six-shooter (using wax bullets) until dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Take a seat at a communal table and eat from a menu consisting of barbecued chicken and ribs, foil-wrapped potatoes, cowboy beans, prickly-pear coleslaw and “flying biscuits”: warm rolls tossed to you. Mosey over to the Copper Spur Saloon if you want something more than lemonade, iced tea or water, and save room for the warm caramel apple crisp.

A BlazinCredit: Blazin' M Ranch

Following dinner, the Blazin’ M Cowboys perform a variety show that concludes with a rendition of Ghost Riders in the Sky. Look outside, and you’ll see a “ghost” of a surprise you won’t want to miss.

Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson

Located east of downtown Tucson on the edge of Saguaro National Park, Tanque Verde Ranch, an all-inclusive guest ranch, opens its doors to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as its popular cowboy cookout.

Held in the Cottonwood Grove, the barbecued meal is offered Wednesday and Saturday evenings and features grilled beef, ribs or steak, chicken and fresh fish served with homemade cornbread, fresh fruit, salad and more. Guests dine at red-and-white-checked picnic tables while live music plays. Be sure to polish your boots and get your groove on because the evening usually includes line dancing, too.

M Diamond Ranch, Rimrock

A working cattle ranch 35 minutes from SedonaM Diamond Ranch treats guests to its Ranch Rendezvous, a steak dinner under the stars. Your adventure begins with an optional one-hour horseback ride. Or, wait for the riders to return and take a horse-drawn wagon with them to the cookout site.

Once you arrive, play corn hole, learn how to rope or listen to live music until dinner is ready. Mesquite-grilled steak is the featured menu item (although you can request salmon or a veggie burger instead). Sides include cowboy beans, corn on the cob and salad, while dessert is a sweet peach cobbler.

Rockin R Ranch, Mesa

Once a working ranch east of Phoenix, owned by a founding family of MesaRockin R Ranch is known today for its cowboy dinner and show. Get there when the ranch opens at 5:30 p.m. so you’ll have plenty of time to explore the Western town, watch the pre-dinner show and pan for gold.

Chelsea Robson sings a ballad as her musicians play on around her.Chelsea Robson sings for the crowd. / Credit: Rockin R Ranch

Dinner is classic Western fare: beef or chicken, baked potato, cowboy beans, chunky applesauce, biscuits and crumb cake. You can also order the combo of beef and chicken or a vegetarian meal.

The after-dinner show features an hour of comedy and classic country songs.

Bumble Bee Ranch, Bumble Bee

Cowboy dinners at Bumble Bee Ranch in Bumble Bee, Arizona, about 60 miles directly north of Phoenix, are more intimate affairs than at other venues. Instead of purchasing tickets for a dinner and a show, you make a reservation for your party of six or more and select your menu. Dinner is prepared specifically for your group. Last-minute reservations will not work for this venue. You will need to book at least a week or more in advance.

Menu options include deli sandwiches, hamburgers and hotdogs, spaghetti and barbecued ribs. But, for a true Western experience, there’s only one way to go: the rib eye steak, chicken or salmon dinner served with a baked potato, corn on the cob, dinner rolls and apple pie à la mode and so much more.

Add a cowboy activity, like a two-hour cattle drive, to round out your Old West experience.

Now, who’s ready to eat?

Similar Articles

  • Arizona’s Dog-Friendly Hotels & Restaurants

    by Jessica Dunham

  • Two Paws Up for These Arizona Attractions

    by Edie Jarolim

  • Voluntourism in Arizona

    by Elena Acoba

  • Food for a Cause: 5 Restaurants that Give Back

    by Jessica Dunham

  • Revisit Sedona's Historical Roots Today

    by Roger Naylor

  • Sommelier Kevin Lewis Talks Culture and Wine at Kai

    by Carina Dominguez

  • Sedona's Agricultural Past and Present Adventures

    by Roger Naylor

  • Find and Dine on Arizona's Heritage Foods

    by Bryn Bailer

  • 5 AZ Female Chefs to Watch

    by Nora Burba Trulsson

  • Cactus Bites

    by Elise McClain

Our website uses cookies and similar technology to provide a more personalized experience for you. By continuing to use our site, you consent to their use. For more information, please see our updated privacy policy.