19 Ground Venison Recipes | What to Make with Your Deer Meat (2024)

Here’s what to make if you have an abundance of deer meat (or elk, antelope, moose) in your freezer. You’ll love these ground venison recipes!

19 Ground Venison Recipes | What to Make with Your Deer Meat (1)

Ah, ground venison recipes. If there’s one thing every hunter has after a harvest its ground venison, or “deer hamburger” as my husband would say. I’m curious, do you call ground meat “ground (whatever meat it is)” or “hamburger”?Anyway.

So, you have a bunch of ground deer meat (or elk, antelope, moose) on hand. And I’m here to give you some inspiration for what to do with it! The same old recipes your grandmother made can feel tired and dowdy and I know I even need to check this list to refresh my meal rotation. And as much as well all lovevenison stew, fresh ideas are always needed! This a list of my tried and true (and healthy) ground venison recipe dish ideas and resources!

But what about the gamey taste? How do you get the gamey taste out of ground venison?

The thing I want you to know is that if you follow any of these recipes, you won’t have any of that “gamey” flavor some people complain about. Yes, venison tastes differently than beef. And especially if the meat your eating is from a large, trophy buck in rut, the meat will have a stronger flavor if you’re used to commercially purchased meats. But, if you prepare venison correctly it is delicious.

How do you make venison ground meat taste good?

The thing to do with venison is to prepare it properly. That means proper seasoning, adding some sort of acidic component AND if you’re making a burger, don’t cook it so that resembles a hockey puck. Stick to the recipes and you’ll learn a few tips and tricks that will have you clearing out that freezer in NO time!

Can I substitute ground venison for ground beef?

Here’s why I don’t recommend directly subbing venison for ground beef: you’re wanting it to taste like beef! If you use a recipe you’re familiar with and sub venison, you will notice a difference. Venison and beef aren’t the same, deer are different animals than cows. Som folks are OK with this, but when someone tells me they don’t like deer meat, it’s probably because they’re using dated or beef specific recipes.

What should I mix with ground venison? Adding fat:

People always ask me – “Allie, do you cut your deer meat with fat or anything else?”. My answer: yes! I usually cut my deer meat with about 10% beef or pork fat. It really depends on your animal. If you have a particularly plump deer you’re processing, use all deer and see what you think. But I’m not ashamed to admit that I do use other animal fats in my meat.

Want more recipe ideas, tips and tricks? Go grab a copy of my cookbookVenison Every Day! There are SO many recipes that use ground venison, like sausage gravy, Asian chop salad, and pasta fa*gioli.

Award-Winning Venison Chili

My award winning venison chili formula guaranteed to win that church cook-off. This hearty venison chili recipe is viral for a reason! You can do this in the slow cooker, just reduce the liquid quantity by half.

Venison Bolognese

This is a classic, easy to pull together meat sauce that’s perfect for pasta night. Make a double batch and freeze half!

Crazy Good Ground Venison Tacos

Fresh citrus and classic tacos seasoning flavors bring these viral venison tacos together. If you’re searching “What spices cover gamey taste?”, you HAVE to check this recipe out. They spices don’t really cover the flavor, but they enhance the natural deliciousness and are balanced out with the addition of lime and orange.

Classic Venison Meatloaf

An updated & fresh take on meatloaf -with wild game! It comes out of the oven so tender and juicy!

Venison Enchiladas

My FAVORITE for Mexican night! Make some guac and get out your favorite toppings. Another one that freezes well, see post for directions.

Egg Roll In A Bowl

A quick and healthy weeknight meal idea with TONS of flavor. Totally healthy & meal prep friendly!

Perfect Venison Burgers

Wondering – “How do you make deer meat taste like hamburger?” Check out this post! These burgers are exactly as the post reads. Perfect, juicy burgers! I’ve got a method and a secret ingredient!

Venison Sloppy Joes

The combination of onion, garlic, and my sweet & savor Sloppy Joe sauce is a match made in heaven for venison meat. Serve in a bun or over potatoes!

Venison Stuffed Peppers

Classic, Italian style stuffed peppers. Comfort food to the MAX.

19 Ground Venison Recipes | What to Make with Your Deer Meat (11)

Venison Pasta Bake

Cheesy & meaty pasta bake that’s majorly toddler approved. Add herbs, spices, salt, and cheese to your liking!

Smoked Venison Meatballs

Smokey, juicy meatballs covered in a sweet and spicy sauce. Great as an appetizer or main!

Healthier Venison Stroganoff

A lightened up version of a classic, hearty meal. Worcestershire sauce is the secret to a savory broth. A fan favorite right here! This dish is insane when paired with egg noodles and fresh cracked black pepper.

Shepherd’s Pie Soup

All of the makings of Shepherd’s Pie…in soup form!

Venison Burrito Bowls

These protein packed, meal prep friendly bowls are one of my favorite weeknight meals. I serve the ground venison seasoned with plenty of spices over rice, beans, sour cream, pico de gallo, cheese and all of the fixings!

Venison Lasagna

Classic lasagna with ground deer meat and a rich, homemade tomato sauce. Layers and layers of flavor with ooey, gooey mozzarella cheese.

Smokey Venison Meatloaf

Classic meatloaf made with venison and kissed with smoke.

Beer Chili

Beer makes the perfect partner for venison in this balanced and flavorful chili. Take it up a notch!

Taco Style Stuffed Peppers

A twist on traditional stuffed peppers. Taco flavors!

Elk Taco Salad (can be made with deer)

Throw all of your favorite taco toppings onto lettuce for a healthy but NOT boring meal with wild game!

Venison Taco Dip

No one will even know this one is deer meat! It’s such a crowd pleasing appetizer.

Venison Meatballs

My tried and true meatball recipe. I always like to have a batch in the freezer!

Whole30 Venison Burgers with Special Sauce

Doing a Whole30 or love paleo recipes? These burgers are juicy and flavorful and they use sweet potato buns!

Ground Venison Recipes From Other Creators I Love

I’m not the onlyvenison recipe creatorin the game, check out these fantastic ideas from friends of mine!

Oklahoma Onion Burgersby Hank Shaw

Crockpot Pinto Beans (with Venison) fromThe Cagle Diaries

Mexican Albondigas En Chipotleby Hank Shaw

Venison Meatballs with Sweet & Sour SaucefromWinding Creek Ranch

British Venison Meatballsby Hank Shaw

Venison Breakfast SausagefromA Ranch Mom

Venison Meat Piesby Hank Shaw

Dirty Cauliflower Rice (with Venison)fromJoy Filled Eats

Venison Potsticker Dumplingsby Hank Shaw

How is venison best served? Try one of these amazing ground venison recipes and see for yourself!

It is such a gift to be able to share these ground venison recipes with all of you! I hope you’ll find a favorite and the next time you ask yourself “What is best to add to ground venison?”…you know where to go!

Want more recipe ideas, tips and tricks? Go grab a copy of my cookbookVenison Every Day! There are SO many recipes that use ground venison, like sausage gravy, Asian chop salad, and pasta fa*gioli.

This post was published in January 2021 was updated in September 2023.

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19 Ground Venison Recipes | What to Make with Your Deer Meat (2024)


What do you mix with ground venison? ›

Pure ground venison cooks up great with a little cooking fat like pork lard. However, many people like to add fattier cuts of meat or pure animal fat to their ground venison to enhance the taste and spread their venison out into more meals.

How do you make ground venison taste better? ›

Beef fat works well with ground venison, and makes the flavor closer to ground beef. Pork fat is lower in saturated fat, has less flavor and will allow the venison flavor to shine.

How to make a hamburger out of deer meat? ›

  1. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
  2. In a large bowl, gently fold together the ground venison, grated butter, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper with your hands. ...
  3. Divide the ground venison into 4 balls and gently form them into ½”-thick patties.

How should ground venison be cooked? ›

Cook to a minimum of 160 degrees F. When you grind meat, you spread any bacteria present throughout the entire batch.

What seasoning is good on deer meat? ›

Ideal flavours for venison
  • Fruits: quince, cherries, prunes, blackberries, apples.
  • Herbs: thyme, rosemary, bay, sage.
  • Spices: star anise, allspice, black pepper, cloves, juniper.
  • Alcohol: red wine (e.g. Grenache, Zinfandel), cider, ale. Other: chestnuts, celeriac, red cabbage, chocolate, mushroom.
Mar 7, 2016

What is the best meat to mix with ground venison? ›

Sometimes I combine ground venison and ground beef 50-50 to make a better mix for any recipe that calls for ground meat. If you do this, you can buy the cheaper ground beef that is a 75-25 mix of lean to fat, and when you add the leaner ground venison, you still get a pretty lean mix.

What takes the gamey taste out of ground venison? ›

The distinct game flavor of either birds or animals will be milder after soaking the meat overnight in the refrigerator in either a salt or vinegar solution.

What is the best fat to add to ground venison? ›

Pork belly has a tendency to overpower the flavor of lean cuts, while fatback compliments them. You can also use beef suet, but the texture and flavor aren't as good as pork. Another option is tallow from wild game, although deer fat is very saturated and waxy.

What takes the gamey taste out of venison? ›

Soaking deer meat in milk or a marinade with acidic components like vinegar, wine, or citrus juice helps eliminate the gamey taste. Alternatively, brining the meat in a solution of water, salt, and sugar can also improve its flavor and tenderness.

How do you keep venison burgers from falling apart? ›

To help venison burgers stick together, consider adding binding ingredients like breadcrumbs, eggs, or even grated cheese. These ingredients act as binders, keeping the burgers together during cooking. Adjust the quantities based on your preferences and the amount of venison used.

How do you make venison taste like beef? ›

Incorporating fat into venison is key to mimicking beef. This can be achieved by wrapping the venison in bacon or barding it with beef fat before cooking. Alternatively, cooking venison in beef stock or adding a bit of beef fat during the cooking process can also impart a richness closer to that of beef.

Can you eat venison rare? ›

The number one mistake people make when preparing venison is that they overcook it, rendering the meat rubbery and gamey. Tender cuts of venison should be served rare or medium rare unless you are braising it or mixing it with pork to add more fat.

Does venison get more tender the longer it cooks? ›

Large cuts of venison taste best when pot-roasted for several hours. If you have access to a crock pot, use any recipe for beef pot roast and you'll be pleasantly surprised. However, instead of cooking for two to four hours, venison may require substantially longer cooking time for the meat to become tender.

Why is my ground venison tough? ›

The toughness is partly the nature of venison, but it is further compounded by how unforgiving the near-zero fat percentage makes it. The most tender cut on the animal for doing a rare or medium rare fast cook method (sear/grill) I've come across is the diaphragm, often discarded upon field dressing.

Should I mix pork with ground venison? ›

You don't need to add pork to venison, but it can be a little dry due to being so lean, so cooking it with some bacon adds some fatty flavor to venison. For venison hamburger meat any pork fat will do for getting the lean venison to stick together, and it tastes delicious.

What is the mix ratio for ground venison? ›

With most ground venison recipes, my magic number is 80 percent lean and 20 percent fat. Adjust the ratio according to your personal taste. For sausage and other cured meats, the fat content can be much higher. Slightly freeze the fat before running it through your grinder or chopping it into small pieces.

Is ground venison healthier than ground beef? ›

Given that deer are leaner than cows, venison is generally healthier to eat than beef. An average cut of venison, in fact, has around half the calories and a sixth the saturated fats of a similarly sized cut of beef. It also has more proteins, vitamins and minerals than beef.

Should you season ground venison? ›

The best seasonings for ground venison include salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cumin, and dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or oregano. These seasonings enhance the natural flavor of the venison without overpowering it.

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