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This delicious dish is made with ground deer meat along with various beans, vegetables, and spices. It’s a tasty, warming dish that makes a change from the more common beef chili recipes. This one is just as easy to make and it’s a one-pot recipe, so you simply prep your ingredients, add them to the pot, and let the venison chili slow cook to perfection while you whip up some tasty side dishes to go with it.

A bowl of venison chili topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, and sliced jalapeños, accompanied by saltine crackers and tortilla chips on a plate. A spoon is in the bowl.

Ground venison pairs up with beans, spices, vegetables, and carefully chosen seasonings to make this exquisite and unusual deer meat chili recipe.

Fans of chili might also like to try this hearty beef chili, white chicken chili, or what about this beanless chili? Or, for something equally hearty but different, how about this delicious lentil soup? Or Tuscan marry me gnocchi?

A bowl of deer meat chili topped with shredded cheese, sliced jalapenos, sour cream, and green onions, surrounded by crackers and whole vegetables on a wooden table.

Why You’ll Love It

Easy: It’s a one-pot recipe that is incredibly simple to make. You just need to use a nice heavy-bottomed pot and add the ingredients in stages.
Delicious: Ground venison, or ground deer meat, has a really rich gamey flavor that pairs well with the robust and bold ingredients typically found in chili. Venison is an extra-lean and nutritious meat choice.
Unusual: Perhaps you’ve had venison chili before and loved it or maybe you’re new to using deer meat. Either way, this recipe makes a tasty change from the most common beef chilies (which are also good of course!)

A bowl of ground venison chili topped with shredded cheese, sour cream, and a cilantro leaf, surrounded by tortilla chips and crackers, with a pot of chili and a bunch of cilantro in the background.

Deer Meat Chili Ingredients

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below

Ground venison: If someone in the family hunts or you are friendly with your local butcher, you’ll know where to score some delicious ground venison. If not, you can look online or visit some specialty butchers. Venison isn’t sold at every grocery store but you should be able to source some.
Vegetables: Yellow onion, bell pepper, jalapeno peppers, and tomatoes harmonize in this lovely chili recipe. Feel free to add others, such as green onions, diced tomatoes instead of crushed, or more than one color of bell peppers.
Beans: I like to use pinto beans, kidney beans and black beans, but you can mix and match if you have different preferences.
Seasonings: Cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper add plenty of flavor. You can also add red pepper flakes for an extra dimension or some cayenne pepper.

Assorted chili ingredients, including ground venison, canned beans, spices, broth, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, garlic, a bell pepper, an onion, and two green chili peppers arranged on a wooden surface—perfect for crafting a hearty venison chili.

How to Make Venison Chili

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card

Brown the meat: Heat some olive oil, or another kind, in a large heavy pot and then cook the ground meat – get it browned all over.
Add the vegetables: Add the onions, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapenos, and cook until soft.
Add the seasonings: Now add the Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and (if using) red pepper flakes, and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients: Add the beef broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and beans drained and rinsed, and simmer for an hour.

Close-up of a pot filled with chunky venison chili, including beans and ground meat, being stirred with a metal spoon. Two bowls in the background contain various toppings.

Substitutions and Variations

Gluten-free option: If you want a gluten-free version, just ensure you’re using gluten-free broth in the recipe.
Different beans: Sub any other beans you want in here. Lima beans, cannellini beans or any other chili beans will work with the venison chili.
A less gamey flavor: Venison is pretty gamey. That’s not to say it isn’t tasty (because it is!) but if you are more used to milder meats and unsure whether you’ll like deer meat, you can swap half or two-thirds of the ground venison for ground beef or ground veal.

A bowl of venison chili topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, and sliced jalapeños is surrounded by tortilla chips and saltine crackers on a wooden table.

Serving Suggestions

To begin: Kick off the meal with a cup of chicken enchilada soup or tilapia nachos.
On the side:
What about one of these simple cornbread recipes or vegetable side dishes?
And afterwards: If you do have room for dessert after this delicious venison chili, consider orange bars which are light, sweet and really good!

A bowl of venison chili with beans and ground meat, accompanied by toppings like shredded cheese and jalapeños in the background.

How to Store Deer Meat Chili

Store: Keep it for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Freeze: It freezes pretty well. Make sure to use airtight containers or freezer bags.
Thaw: Defrost the venison chili overnight in the fridge.
Reheat: Warm it back up in a pan on the stove.

A pot of deer chili with beans, ground meat, and vegetables, accompanied by a wooden spoon. Bowls of this hearty chili topped with cheese and tortilla chips are in the background.

Top Tips

Taste as you go: Venison is strong-flavored, as are the seasonings in this venison chili recipe. When you come to the end of the recipe, taste the sauce when it’s nearly done, adding more salt and pepper or whatever you feel is lacking, to balance it out.
Drain the beans well: Have the kidney beans drained as well as the other beans. Rinse them too before adding to the venison chili.
Prep your toppings: You can serve the same popular beef chili toppings and sides with this venison chili. Cheese, sour cream, sliced avocados, and corn chips are just some ideas to consider.

A bowl of ground venison chili topped with shredded cheese, sour cream, and green onions, garnished with saltine crackers.

Deer Chili FAQs

What size of pot is best here?

I used an 8-quart Dutch oven. This one is really good value for money.

Can you make this in a crock pot?

Yes, you can. After browning the meat and sauteing the vegetables, transfer into a slow cooker, add the remaining ingredients and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

What’s a good way to enjoy leftover chili?

I love it as a baked potato filling, topped with some shredded cheese! You can also enjoy it with a side salad or with whatever chili toppings and sides you prefer.

A bowl of venison chili topped with shredded cheese, sour cream, and a cilantro leaf, surrounded by crackers and corn chips. A pot of deer meat chili and some fresh cilantro are in the background.

Easy Deer Meat Chili Recipe

5 from 3 votes

Venison Chili

By: Bella Bucchiotti
Ground venison pairs up with beans, spices, vegetables, and carefully chosen seasonings to make this exquisite and unusual deer meat chili recipe.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 2 Pounds ground venison
  • 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, de-seeded and chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 4 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ to ½ Teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • 3 Cups beef broth
  • ¼ Cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 30 Ounces canned pinto beans, drained
  • 15 Ounces canned kidney beans, drained
  • 15 Ounces canned black beans, drained
  • 28 Ounces crushed tomatoes, canned, not drained
  • 6 Ounces tomato paste

Instructions 

  • In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the ground venison and brown.
  • Add the chopped onions, minced garlic, chopped green pepper, and chopped jalapenos. Continue to cook until soft.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes, and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the beef broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to a medium heat.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.
  • Add the pinto beans, kidney beans and black beans.
  • Simmer on low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Notes

Taste as you go: Venison is strong-flavored, as are the seasonings in this venison chili recipe. When you come to the end of the recipe, taste the sauce when it’s nearly done, adding more salt and pepper or whatever you feel is lacking, to balance it out.
Drain the beans well: Have the kidney beans drained as well as the other beans. Rinse them too before adding to the venison chili.
Prep your toppings: You can serve the same popular beef chili toppings and sides with this venison chili. Cheese, sour cream, sliced avocados, and corn chips are just some ideas to consider.

Nutrition

Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 2109mg | Potassium: 1802mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 2295IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 194mg | Iron: 11mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Venison chili is made with a tomato sauce, spices, beans, and more. It’s a delicious alternative to ground beef chili, offering a richer, gamier flavor. You can make it in a heavy pot or slow cooker. Everyone is going to love the deep, rich flavors this venison chili offers, and it pairs with rice, cornbread and of course all your favorite chili toppings!

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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