If you’ve never tried venison (fancy name for deer meat), you’re in for a treat. It’s game meat that is lean and flavorful and can be used as a replacement for beef in many recipes. However, there are certain recipes that highlight the distinct taste of this tender meat.
The venison recipes in the collection we’ve curated below are some of the best you’ll come across. From tasty breakfast and simple snacks to fancy appetizers and appealing entrees — everything’s on the menu!
Crispy bacon and tasty homemade marinade make these cuts of lean venison sing. This recipe calls for super-lean backstrap; you can use other cuts, but the more fat in the meat means a more gamey taste. Finish the completed bites with some barbeque sauce for a salty and smoky appetizer.
Mexican meatball soup, or albondigas, is just the dish to warm up a cold day. These yummy meatballs are made with rice to hold the venison together, and they will be delicate, so stir carefully! Vegetables and tons of Mexican spices make this soup the perfect comfort food it is!
These delicious Italian-inspired meatballs will have everyone begging for more. Traditional meatballs get a twist with fragrant basil and melty, gooey mozzarella cheese. Serve them with marinara as an appetizer or side dish, with pasta, or on a fresh roll as the most epic meatball sub ever!
Bringing Thai flavors to venison, this venison satay is tender, flavorful, a fantastic appetizer at parties. The tangy-sweet marinade of fish sauce, soy sauce, sriracha, and brown sugar infuses the meat with an excellent taste and makes it even more tender. Spicy and aromatic peanut sauce goes on the side for dipping, and this dish is served with a cool and crisp cucumber salad.
The next time you’re hosting a football party or going to a potluck, bring out a platter of these teriyaki meatballs. Seasoned the meat with ginger, garlic, and green onions, they are finished in a homemade sauce and garnished with sesame seeds. Use toothpicks to serve, or put a few on a skewer for easy eating.
Why buy supermarket beef jerky when you can make an out-of-this-world venison version? You don’t even need any fancy equipment — just six hours, baking sheets, and your oven. Make sure to partially freeze your venison before you cut it for easy preparation, and don’t rush the marinating process!
Savory spice-rubbed venison and sweet caramelized onions pair perfectly in this easy appetizer. Your friends and family will love these little bites, and we bet that they won’t even know it’s venison unless you tell them. Top them with sour cream and toast your baguette slices if you want these canapes to be a little crunchy.
Tasty, chewy homemade snack sticks are just the thing to take on the go or enjoy at home when you need a protein-packed pick-me-up. They are also very easy to make. You will, however, need a meat grinder/sausage stuffer. Have fun practicing your stuffing skills!
Sweet pears and crunchy glazed walnuts offset the tanginess from blue cheese in this delicious venison salad. The fresh flavors complement the smoked venison, and the whole salad is finished with whatever dressing you want — use a premade vinaigrette or make your own. Serve over couscous, quinoa, or farro for a more substantial meal.
Boiled baby potatoes, red onions, and salad greens form a nice bed for barely-grilled, medium-rare venison tenderloin. Scrumptious sweet-and-sour raspberry vinaigrette pulls the entire dish together. Serve as a salad course in a multi-course meal or alongside your entrée for a casual supper. This beautiful salad offers a little something for everyone.
Lean venison combined with pork and seasonings creates this delicious sausage. Whether you smoke this or not is up to you, but be sure to include powdered milk if you do smoke it to retain the moisture in the sausage and prevent it from crumbling. These sausages are fabulous cooked on the grill — perfect for your next cookout!
Breakfast doesn’t get any easier than this! Just mix up the ingredients, shape the sausage into patties, and freeze until you’re ready to cook. Pro tip: grind up some super-fatty pork roast to use with the extra-lean venison. A 1:2 ratio of pork to venison will give the best texture and flavor.
Try this savory Mexican breakfast skillet for your next brunch or lazy weeknight dinner! Browned venison delivers an earthy flavor that pairs beautifully with the eggs and adobo sauce. Serve with sourdough or crusty bread to mop up the sauce!
Everything in this Southern classic is homemade — the fluffy buttermilk biscuits, the smooth gravy, and the savory ground venison sausage. No casings are needed here; just season your meat and get cooking. Whether you make this for a crowd for the holidays or just for you and your partner, it’s a winning dish every time.
This fun breakfast combines eggs, cheese, and venison sausage into tasty boat sandwiches that are perfect for a cold morning. Eat them at home or on the go. They are packed with protein, perfect to fuel up on busy mornings. Hoagie buns are great, but bolillo rolls would work well, too.
Here’s an excellent idea for a holiday breakfast bake to feed everyone! Turn your typical frittata on its head with this healthy casserole. Lean venison and spices are cooked with spinach or greens of your choice and topped with egg. A short stint in the oven and you have a delicious, golden-brown casserole!
Mushroom lovers will go wild for this hearty pasta! An assortment of wild mushrooms complements the herbs and spices in these venison meatballs. The sauce is finished with sour cream, which lends a slight tang and a lot of body, meaning that the sauce sticks perfectly to the pasta. Use wide noodles like tagliatelle or fettuccine for an outstanding meal.
Upgrade your classic beef stew recipe to this full-bodied venison version and the whole family will be begging for more. Sear the venison and then braise it slowly with the flavorful veggies. The venison will be fall-apart tender and the veggies perfectly cooked. Make sure to remove all the silvery membrane, or sinew, from the meat as you’re cutting it.
A unique twist on the classic shepherd’s pie, this venison casserole is a simple recipe delivering a burst of flavor! Instead of layering meat with potatoes on top, you put your potatoes on the bottom like a crust and build the casserole up from there. Green chilies are a fun surprise, and the whole dish is covered in a creamy, savory blend of cheeses before baking.
Grilled steak is a favorite from coast to coast, so why not shake things up for your next cookout by making a fantastic venison steak? Two different marinades provide tenderness and flavor, while bacon gives these steaks a crispy and salty finish. Serve atop mixed greens for a tasty and filling salad, or with your favorite sides for dinner.
Warm winter spices like nutmeg and cloves really pop when they are used to season the venison here. Combined with sweet blackberry sauce and the juices from the medium-rare meat, this dish will be a cold-weather favorite. Use the leanest part of the meat, or soak the venison in milk to balance the gamey flavor.
This steamed “pudding” has English roots and is easy to assemble, though it does have a long cooking time. Don’t be intimidated by the use of suet. It is available from a variety of online retailers, but you can also use vegetable shortening for a similar texture and less rich flavor. Serve with greens and mashed potatoes for a hearty meal.
#23. Venison Barbacoa
This twist on a Chipotle burrito filling is to die for! Ideally used to cook the front shoulder of the deer, you can also use a fatty part of the venison such as the leg meat. Barbacoa is braised meat, so the long cooking time will render out any fat and connective tissue. Serve in burritos or tacos, or over a grain of your choice, and don’t forget the toppings!
If spicy food is your happy place, you absolutely must try this Indian recipe! Vindaloo is a traditional fiery Indian stew with potatoes, but this recipe uses squash and chickpeas instead. Feel free to adjust the heat level to suit your liking. Serve over basmati rice for an aromatic and satisfying meal.
#25. Venison Bourguignon
Venison bourguignon offers a rustic take on the popular French beef dish. Rich red wine sauce coats the carrots, onions, and of course, the venison. This slow-cooked stew is typically served with oven-roasted potatoes, but it also goes great over rice, noodles, mashed potatoes, or with crusty bread.
Tamale pie is warm, comforting, and goes from prep to table in under an hour! Change up the vegetables if you want, and adjust the spice level if needed. Serve with sour cream and green onions, or sprinkle some cheese on those corn biscuits. This dish will be a hit with the whole family.
A dish so versatile you can make a large pie for a community table or individual mini pies! Porcini powder, made from dried porcini mushrooms, adds a nice umami flavor to the fragrant sauce. For the pastry lid, both pie crust and puff pastry are fantastic options, and if you have leftover filling, you can serve it with mashed potatoes.
What would life be without a good burger? This venison burger, when made right, can be intensely juicy and flavorful. Ground venison is very lean, so add two tablespoons of frozen grated butter per pound of ground meat and use care not to overcook the burgers. A little bit of balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce add intense flavor while counteracting the venison’s natural gaminess.
#29. Venison Schnitzel
For your next family meal, try out this venison schnitzel and bring some excitement to the dinner table! Dip pounded out venison steaks in seasoned flour and egg, and then bread in a combination of breadcrumbs and crushed buttery crackers and fry. Serve with a full assortment of German sides like cold salads, pickled beets, and cottage cheese.
This fix-it-and-forget-it recipe for barbequed venison is perfect for game day! Cook your venison with bacon, onion, and a mix of seasonings overnight in the slow cooker for best results. Shred the meat and serve in sandwiches with barbeque sauce, or offer it as a topping for baked potatoes or rice bowls.
This venison pot roast with potatoes and vegetables is a true one-dish classic. Perfect for a lazy weekend dinner, you can have it on the table in under three hours using the sauté and pressure cooker functions on your Instant Pot. Experiment with seasoning to get the flavors just right.