If you hunt, there’s a good chance that at this moment, you have a fridge or freezer full of venison. Even if you don’t hunt but a friend or relative does, you might still have a freezer full of venison.
Or maybe you purchased the venison, curious about what it’s all about. After all, things made with venison at restaurants usually cost more money, right?
So you’re wondering, what’s so great about this meat that people are willing to pay more for it?
And maybe you already know, but venison can’t really be substituted in recipes that call for beef.
So now you need deer meat recipes, specifically. But where do you find those? Deer is one of the rare meats consumed in America, so where do you find deer recipes? Luckily for you, I have gathered 27 of the best venison recipes from across the Internet.
Get ready for a host of delicious recipes that make the most of this unique, rich, earthy-tasting meat.
1. Venison Chili
This is a great recipe if you have ground venison in your freezer. Ground venison, by the way, is a great way to make use of tough cuts, like the shoulder or shank.
It’s a hearty, filling meal that’s perfect for a cold day, maybe with a side of freshly baked bread.
What I love about this recipe, like all chili recipes, is that it’s so versatile. Chili is not fussy; You can change things out and make substitutions based on your personal tastes and what you have in your kitchen.
Want to bulk it out with some more veggies? Add carrots or celery. Only have white beans in your pantry? No problem. This will still turn out delicious.
2. The Best Venison Stew You’ll Ever Have
Speaking of hearty meals for an autumn night, here’s one that really hits the spot. I don’t know if it’s the best venison stew you’ll ever have, but it’s definitely a delicious option.
This stew is chock full of vegetables, making it filling and a good way to get in your five a day.
I’d recommend reading what the author has to say about how to avoid having tough venison in your stew; she recommends removing the sinew and searing and braising, which will really help you have tender stew meat.
There’s also an option for making this in the Instant Pot, which is a great way to have a hands-off meal.
3. Venison Stroganoff
Stroganoff is one of my favorite dishes; it’s so filling and comforting and warm, plus I love the Tang of the sauce. But it never occurred to me to make it with venison until I saw this recipe!
This is an easy, basic recipe that uses cream of mushroom soup as a shortcut, so you can have this meal on your table in no time at all!
The recipe calls for sour cream, but if you are trying to watch your fat intake, you could switch it out for Greek yogurt, which is a great, high-protein substitute.
The taste is not identical; you might notice it if you were using it as a garnish for tacos. But when it’s mixed into other ingredients like in this recipe, I bet you never notice the difference.
4. Perfect Venison Burgers
Here’s another great use for any ground venison that you might have in your fridge or freezer.
I’ll be honest with you: I think burgers on their own are often pretty tasteless unless you mix in seasonings or slather them with toppings. But venison has a nice taste all on its own that really elevates these burgers.
This recipe ups the game even further by adding seasonings and Worcestershire sauce to the meat before you form patties.
I also love the idea of putting grated frozen butter into the mix. Venison is very low-fat and lean, which is good for your health but not always great for taste and texture. Adding the butter is the perfect way to get just the right moistness.
5. Venison Roast
Is there anything better for a Sunday night dinner than a delicious roast with veggies, rolls, gravy, and all the fixings? Try something new with your roast by using venison!
If cooked improperly, venison can come out tough and rubbery, especially if it’s a tough cut like the shoulder.
The trick to fixing that? Cooking low and slow, which is why this recipe employs a slow cooker.
I love a slow cooker recipe on a busy day because I can put it together in the morning and come home in the evening to a finished meal.
Though it may seem surprising, don’t skip the balsamic vinegar. The addition of acid really helps the flavor of this roast.
6. Venison Bourguignon
When I’m thinking about recipes for venison, I tend to think about simple, hearty dishes of the variety my grandmother would make for Sunday dinner. But you can also use it for something a little bit fancier.
This recipe is a variation on beef bourguignon, which is a popular French stew made with beef stock and red wine.
This recipe switches out the beef for venison, giving this classic recipe a fun twist.
This isn’t the easiest recipe in the world, but it does make for a delicious meal that would be a great way to impress friends at a dinner party.
The author recommends bringing the deer meat first in order to get rid of the game a flavor that can sometimes be found in venison and that some people don’t care for.
7. Best Ever Venison Meatballs
Italian food hits the spot in a way that nothing else quite manages. At least that’s my opinion, and I will happily take a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs any day.
So why not try making those meatballs with venison? This is a great way to use this meat and to give your meatballs a slightly different flavor.
In this recipe, the author has included some ground pork. This is because, as mentioned, venison is very lean meat, which can turn into slightly dry meatballs.
Adding ground pork, which has a higher fat content brings some of that rich moisture back in.
But if you don’t have pork or prefer not to use it, just substitute more ground venison! This will still be a delicious recipe.
8. Venison Meatloaf
Here’s another great use for that ground venison in your freezer. Meatloaf is at the top of my list for comfort foods that fill your stomach and your soul, and I love the idea of using venison.
Like the meatballs above, this is a recipe that does well with a bit more fat than venison has to offer. If you get your venison processed, you may want to request that your processor add some beef or pork fat, which is something that a lot of them do.
For this recipe, the author recommends an 80/20 mix of meat to fat.
Like I said above, you can’t just substitute venison straight across for beef; You need to adjust the flavors to match. This recipe uses brown mustard and sage, which pair beautifully with the taste of venison.
Anytime you make meatloaf it’s important not to overwork the meat, but that’s especially true with venison because it’s really easy to accidentally make it too tough.
9. Deer Jerky
I have always loved jerky, ever since I was a kid; I’d buy it anytime my mom gave me money to get snacks for a high school field trip. And if you haven’t tried deer jerky, you are in for a treat.
I think this is one of the best easy ideas for preparing your venison and preserving it to stick around for a while.
It can be easy to assume that making jerky is complicated—probably because it costs so much that it seems like it should be complicated—but actually this is a very easy recipe.
You simply marinate the venison in ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke, and then you put it in a low-temperature oven to dry out for six to 8 hours.
Now you have a delicious, high-protein snack that’s easy to pack along on car trips, hikes, or just during your workday.
10. Bacon-Wrapped Venison Tenderloin
A lot of what we’ve talked about so far has been hearty, down-home meals. That’s just the kind of cooking I like to eat best, so I’ve got no complaints.
But what if you’re having friends (or your in-laws) over and you need to impress them? That’s when you pull out this recipe for bacon-wrapped venison tenderloin with garlic cream sauce. Even the name sounds fancy.
But for as fancy and delicious as this looks and sounds, it’s a surprisingly easy recipe. You roast the tenderloin for an hour, wrapped in bacon, and then you throw together a quick sauce on the stove.
The recipe calls for heavy cream and that will definitely give you the most decadent version of this dish, but if you’re trying to watch your fat intake, you could switch it out for a lower fat option, like half-and-half.
11. Venison Bolognese
Don’t let the fancy name intimidate you: Bolognese is basically just meat sauce for pasta.
This recipe is not just ground meat in a jar of store-bought marinara, though; the sauce combines tomato paste, beef or venison broth, white wine, and milk.
If you prefer not to cook with wine, substitute chicken broth, or just use another cup of beef or venison broth.
The long, slow cooking time makes sure that the venison is tender and lovely.
Serve with your favorite pasta; I’d recommend something with lots of nooks and crannies to hold on to all that delicious sauce.
12. Venison Barbacoa
I normally don’t think of Mexican food when I think about venison recipes, so I was intrigued by this one. (It helps that I am a sucker for barbacoa and will order it anytime I see it on the menu.)
There are a couple of things that are great about this recipe, other than the fact that when you’re done, you will have delicious, delightful barbacoa.
First, it’s as easy as could be: you just combine everything in a slow cooker or pot and let it cook for a long time until the meat is fall-apart tender.
Second, because it cooks such a long time, it’s a great way to use up the front shoulders, which can be very tough. This recipe cooks that tough meat into submission.
Serve the way you would serve any barbacoa: in burritos or on tacos, with all the usual Mexican food trimmings.
13. Slow Cooker Venison Roast
Here’s another great roast recipe for your Sunday dinner or special holiday meal.
This is a saucier roast than the last recipe, and I don’t mean that it throws you a lot of saucy winks. The addition of cream of mushroom soup gives you a very different final product.
What I love about this is that it means the roast comes with its own sauce. You don’t have to make any gravy at the end or try to spoon that thin, watery stuff produced by your average roast over your meat.
This is a recipe that can tend towards being pretty salty, depending on the soup mix and canned soup that you use.
If you don’t like things too salty, consider using garlic powder instead of garlic salt, cutting down on the amount of soup mix, or using a low sodium soy sauce.
14. The Best Ground Venison Tacos
Here’s another great way to use venison for Mexican food. Jazz up your Taco Tuesday by using ground venison in your tacos.
This recipe calls for lots of acids: apple cider vinegar, lime juice, and orange juice.
This gives the recipe a nice taste but also combats the gaminess that can sometimes plague venison. So don’t be intimidated by the recipe calling for so much!
When you serve your tacos, really elevate the meal by buying uncooked tortillas from the refrigerator section at your grocery store.
If you haven’t tried them before, I promise they’re about 1000 times better than those dry, tough ones that you get near the bread aisle.
Also, you don’t have to use these for tacos. This meat would be great for burritos, tortas, or all sorts of Mexican dishes.
15. Venison Marsala
Here are another one of those venison recipes for when you want to impress the other diners a bit. This one takes a bit more work than some of the other recipes on here, but the final product is worth it.
In this recipe, venison is dredged in a mixture of flour and parmesan cheese, then pan-seared. Onions and mushrooms are sauteed with consommé, lemon juice, and marsala wine (hence the name).
then everything is combined and cooked together before being served.
Don’t have consommé (or don’t know what it is)? The beef broth will be fine.
And if you prefer not to cook with wine, you can substitute apple juice.
16. Shredded Venison Sandwiches
Just looking at this recipe makes me hungry. Pulled pork sandwiches are one of my absolute favorites; stick the meat on a bun and serve with a side of chips and it just feels like summer, right?
So I love this variation using venison. The sauce, consisting mainly of brown sugar, soy sauce, and mustard, gives it a sweet tangy flavor, while the hot pepper sauce gives it a bit of a kick.
And the recipe couldn’t be easier: put everything in a slow cooker and cook for 8 to 10 hours. When you get home at the end of the day, you have a delicious meal waiting for you.
And while I haven’t yet tried it myself, this is just the sort of recipe that would freeze beautifully.
So make a lot and pop half of it in the freezer, and then on some busy day in the future, I promise you that frozen meat is going to save your life.
17. Teriyaki Venison
We’ve had a couple of Mexican recipes so far, so why not move into Asian flavors? Teriyaki sauce is good on pretty much anything, so I love the idea of adding it to venison.
I know busy cooks will appreciate easy venison recipes, So I love that this one just uses pre-made teriyaki sauce. Sometimes you want to be fancy and make your sausage from scratch.
And other times, you don’t have time to be fancy; you need something with lightning-quick prep.
Make sure you marinate this meat long enough. The minimum listed is 4 hours, but it’ll really be so much better if you can do it overnight.
18. Venison Bacon
Here’s a unique idea: why not venison bacon?
Of course, this isn’t true bacon, cut in long slices from pork belly. If you want to be precise, this is really formed ground bacon: a bit like sausage, except that you flavor it like bacon and then cut it thin.
Between the form and the fact that venison and pork are very different, this isn’t going to trick you into thinking that you’re eating bacon. But it has a lot of the same flavor notes as bacon.
This recipe is a great excuse to pull out your smoker.
Pay attention to the recommendation to start at a low temperature so that the bacon can absorb the smoke flavor, before stepping up the temperature by 10 degrees every hour.
19. Venison Goulash
Alright, we’ve been to Mexico and Japan on our venison cooking journey; why not stop in Hungary next?
Goulash is one of those terms that is hard to pin down.
Different people mean different things when they say it. and even in Hungary, close to the source, every cook has their own way of doing it.
This version uses venison, but there are all sorts of other variations out there. The important thing is lots of paprika—and not just paprika, but Hungarian paprika if you can get it.
You can serve this with potatoes, or if you want to be authentically Hungarian, serve with dumplings on the side—the author includes them in the recipe.
20. Venison Vegetable Soup
Here’s another delicious soup for a cold, rainy night. Full of tasty vegetables, this is the kind of meal that warms you from the inside out.
The liquid in this soup is water with beef bouillon granules and other seasonings, but if you had venison broth, this would be a great place to use it.
Just make sure the amount of broth you put in is equivalent to the amount of water called for. Also, this calls for a bag of frozen mixed vegetables, but if you want something fresher, you could substitute any vegetables that you have in your kitchen.
Just pay attention to how long it takes those vegetables to cook through; It could be longer than is called for in the recipe.
21. Venison Sausage
You can buy sausage premade of course, but there’s something great about making your own, isn’t there?
It’s a bit more work and mess, but you know that you have the consistency and the seasonings exactly to your liking, plus you know exactly what’s going in there—no preservatives or other add-ins!
As with some of the other recipes we’ve seen, this one calls for some ground pork to be added, because it adds some fat that is lacking in venison, which is naturally very lean.
If you prefer not to use pork, you could add in some beef fat, or just use straight venison; just be aware that it will affect the moistness of the sausages.
22. Venison Pot Pie
There is something about a pot pie that speaks to my very soul.
It just feels so rustic and hearty, like it’s something that my ancestors would have eaten.
This recipe doesn’t include information about the piecrusts; It just says you need them. Personally, I’d buy them premade.
I know there are people that wouldn’t be caught dead buying a crust from the grocery store, but I am not one of them. Life is too short to make a pie crust from scratch unless doing so brings you joy.
This recipe calls for potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, peas, and corn. But really, you could use any vegetable that you have in your kitchen. Personally, I don’t love peas or corn, so I might swap them out for cauliflower or parsnips.
23. Crock-Pot Venison Roast
Here’s another great roast recipe. Like the others, this one uses a slow cooker so that it is really a very hands-off meal.
One thing I really love about roasts is that the vegetables cook right with the roast, so you don’t have to worry about coming up with any on the side!
Maybe add some dinner rolls, and you’ve got a great meal. The fresh thyme pairs beautifully with the venison to add some delicious flavor.
24. Venison Sliders
Everyone loves finger food, right? I think I might secretly prefer going to an event that served hors d’oeuvres and appetizers the whole time than to a full-on dinner.
There’s just something so fun and delightful about tiny snack-sized foods.
So I love the idea of these venison sliders, which pack a lot of flavor into a little sandwich you can down in just a few bites.
Like a lot of recipes we’ve seen, this one adds ground pork in order to give the venison some much-needed moisture.
Alternatively, you could add some beef or pork fat to your meat mixture. Once you’ve mixed your meats and your spices, it’s time to cook. You can do these in the oven, on the grill, or in a smoker.
Keep an eye on them; they’re small enough that they’ll cook pretty quickly.
25. Spicy Asian Venison Bowl
Here’s another fun way to marry Asian flavors with venison. The soy sauce, fish sauce, and rice wine vinegar give the sauce on the meat an Asian flavor, while chili sauce gives it a bit of kick.
If you’re not a fan of spice, you could lessen or omit the chili sauce altogether. To me, this recipe looks like it would be great for meal prep.
You could cook a bunch of rice and all of the meat at the beginning of the week and then portion it out into smaller containers.
Then you’ve got meals ready all week without any extra prep!
26. Venison Lasagnas
Is there anything better than lasagna? It’s hearty and filling and full of tomato-y, cheesy goodness. So is it any surprise that one of the best venison recipes is also a lasagna recipe?
In a lot of ways, this looks like your standard lasagna recipe, there are a few adjustments to account for the use of venison instead of ground beef, namely the addition of a couple of acidic flavors. Don’t skip those—they will really help the final product.
This is another great recipe for freezing. You can assemble the lasagna.
Cover it tightly and put it in your freezer. When you are ready to cook it, just add 20 extra minutes to the baking time to account for it being frozen.
27. Venison Cheesesteak
We all agree that the cheesesteak is one of the greatest sandwiches, right? The meat and that gooey melty cheese on a soft a hoagie roll are just about as good as it gets.
So I love this recipe that uses venison! It’s a great way to use some of the tougher cuts because you slice it so thin that it’s going to be pretty tender no matter what.
Venison is pretty flavorful on its own, but the addition of a marinade really steps up the flavor.
I’m not going to wade into the debate about sliced cheese versus cheese whiz or whether a cheesesteak should include vegetables; I’ll just say that however you decide to serve it, this is sure to be delicious.
27 Best Venison Recipes
- 1 ½ lbs ground venison
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 each jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
- 2 (15.5 ounce) cans chili beans, undrained
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (15.5 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
- 1 c water
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsps ground cumin
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- First, turn your Instant Pot on to Sauté (use the Low Sauté setting if your Instant Pot has one). Put your ground venison in the pot and cook, breaking it up as you go, for five minutes.
- Add the onion and the jalapeno peppers; sauté, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft (roughly 3 minutes). Hit Cancel on the Instant Pot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Put the lid on and turn it to lock. Set the Instant Pot to Manual and set the timer for 20 minutes.
- When the cooking is done, do a quick release of the pressure. Remove the lid and stir.