Six Venison Chili Recipes You Should Try This Season

deer hunting chili

Mmmm, can you think of many things to eat during hunting season that are better than a steamin’ hot bowl of deer chili?

It’s tough to do, I know. As much as we love burgers, roasts, slow-cooked anything and smoked sausages, the greatness of deer chili is hard to argue against. There are so many ways to make and enjoy it. Even the add-ons are worth a debate, aren’t they?

Cornbread or buttery garlic toast?

Sliced onions? Jalapenos or hotter peppers? Cilantro? Cheddar cheese or another kind? How about beans or no beans? Whew! That’s a huge debate all by itself.

However you prepare your venison chili, the good thing is we can all enjoy the success in the field and time spent with family and friends. Good luck this season and enjoy these great deer chili recipes!

Venison Chili
1 pound dry kidney beans
1 pound ground venison
1 pound venison stew meat, in 1/2-inch chunks
2 Tbsp. oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons chili powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
28-ounce can tomatoes, diced
1 large onion,diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 large green chili pepper, diced
¼ tsp. cumin
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
¼ cup masa flour or all purpose flour

Rinse beans and place in a large soup kettle. Add 2 quarts water and 2 teaspoons salt; cover the pot and bring to a boil. Boil gently for about 2 hours, until beans are tender. Brown meat in a large skillet containing oil and garlic. Add chili powder, salt and pepper. Cover and saute for an hour. Drain the beans and add 1½ quarts water, tomatoes, onion, peppers, cumin and parsley. Simmer for an hour, then add meat mixture. Stir masa flour into ½ cup water to form a paste and blend into chili to thicken. Simmer for about half an hour, adjust the seasonings and serve.

Sounds great! Add some buttered garlic bread, cheese toast or some great homemade cornbread, and you’re set for a super meal!

Wild Game Stacy Harris cookbookGet More Great Recipes For Your Venison!
If you’re looking for more great venison recipes, be sure to check out Wild Game: Food for Your Family by Stacy Harris. She’s compiled some super tips, insights and recipes in this great cookbook that you’ll greatly enjoy. Harris has a large family and they’re reliant on wild game, fish and fresh vegetables and fruit they grow at their home. You can’t miss with these mouth-watering recipes. 

Get your copy today and order some for Christmas gifts, too!


Brad Fresch’s Venison Chili
2 lb Venison breakfast sausage (pork added, along with spices to make the sausage; I add a little extra sage)
3 lb ground venison (or small cubes if you’d prefer).  (FYI only, I have 10% beef fat added to my ground venison)
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 large white onion, diced  (or more if you like onion)
3 heads of garlic, coarsely minced (I adjust up from there, and even add some roasted garlic depending on my mood)
1 large can diced green chiles
6 – 8 tbsp. home made chili powder (I make my own using a combination of dried peppers such as Ancho, Cascabel and arbols)
8 – 10 Jalapeno peppers with the seeds and white ribs removed, diced
3 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans black beans, drained
1 large can sweet corn (or more if you’d like), drained
2 bottles beer (I use Negra Modelo, but it’s your choice)
5 Bay leaves
Several dashes of Frank’s Red Hot sauce, to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
handful of corn tortilla chips (minimum, more depending on desired thickness); crushed

Heat a large, porcelain-coated cast-iron Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add oil.  Add the venison breakfast sausage to brown and release fat; break into small chunks.  Add the remaining ground venison and the chili powder; cooking the chili powder releases the essential oils.  You can add a quarter cup of water to the meat; it helps to break down the meat into smaller chunks and is evaporated during the cooking process.

Once the meat is all browned, add the onions and jalapenos.  Cook until the onions are translucent, add garlic and stir into mixture.  Add the beer; use a wooden spoon to scrape up the bits off the bottom of the pan.  Add tomatoes, green chiles, black beans, corn, and bay leaves to the mixture.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.  I try to let the mixture simmer for at least 1 hour before I taste it.  At this point you can add additional seasonings if desired.  I’ll occasionally add a bit of sugar or honey if the tomatoes are to acidy; it depends on your taste and what you like.  Don’t add too much salt; the tortilla chips have salt also.

Once you have the basic taste the way you want it, add the crushed tortilla chips.  Masa was used to thicken the chili in the Southwest many years ago; I use tortilla chips since they’ve been roasted and add a nice flavor, as well as thicken the chili.  You can add or subtract the amount of chips based on the thickness and texture you like.  Cook for at least 1 additional hour.  I personally like to transfer the mixture to a large crock pot, and refrigerate the chili overnight.  I’ll then set up the crock pot to cook on low heat the next day.

My family likes to serve the chili over spaghetti (my wife was born in the Cincinnati area where this is common).  We’ll add grated cheddar cheese, some additional hot sauce if desired, diced onion and sour cream.

How about that? Sounds pretty good!

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Do You Love Slow-Cooked Venison? If so, you don’t want to miss out on fantastic meals by using all of your deer meat. Don’t toss the shoulders and necks! Check out how you can convert those into super meals your family will love with Scott Leysath’s Better Venison Cookbook. Click for more information.


Stephen Burchett of West Virginia loves bowhunting and making venison chili.

Stephen Burchett of West Virginia loves bowhunting and making venison chili.

Stephen Burchett’s World’s Absolute Best Venison Chili
2-4 lbs ground venison
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 bunches green onions diced
1 Teaspoon of each: Crushed red pepper, black pepper, ancho pepper, chipolte pepper and cayenne pepper
1-2 tablespoons cumin
4 Cans diced tomatoes
2 Cans chicken broth
1 tablespoon of each: Cocoa, Cinnamon
1 can chopped green chiles
¼ Cup of each: vinegar, brown sugar
2 Cans of Great Northern Beans or Black-Eyed Peas
Juice two limes
One bunch fresh cilantro chopped
White rice
Condiments: Sour cream, grated cheese, hot sauce.

Heat oil in very large pot at medium-low.  Saute onion 10 minutes. Add venison, increase heat and cook through.  (It helps to cover pot to cook venison). Add peppers, cumin, chocolate, cinnamon, tomatoes and chicken broth. Simmer on low 60-90 minutes. Add beans, lime juice, chopped green chilies, cilantro, vinegar and brown sugar and heat through. Serve over white rice with choice of toppings. Keeps very well in refrigerator.  Neighbors will ask all week if we are serving venison chili for Sunday football games.


aStacyBookSEE ALSO: Super Videos, Recipes and Tips from Stacy Harris!

Stacy Harris’ Venison Chili
1 16-ounce can of tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chili in adobe sauce
5 slices bacon, finely chopped
4 pounds venison stew meat, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Pepper and Kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 jalapeno chili, seeded and chopped
1 can kidney beans
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons yellow corn muffin mix

Harris’ chili is a family favorite. To see how to make it visit

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SEE ALSO: To Make Great Venison Meals, You Need to Know These Big Buck Secrets!


Chuck Wagon Chili
A staple in the diets of early cowboys and pioneers, chili played a considerable role in the founding of our great American West. It’s hot, spicy, and filling, making it the perfect grub for days of killer saddle sores and unrelenting cattle drives. This recipe makes a lot of chili, so make sure you have good company to share it with. Visit for more great recipes, too!

Servings: 12

– 1 lb ground venison
– 1 lb diced venison
– 1 tsp. olive oil
– 1 cup chopped onion
– 1 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
– 1 tsp. garlic salt; salt, to taste
– 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
– 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
– 5 tbs. chili powder
– 2 cans of red beans (15 oz each)
– 2 cans of refried beans (15 oz each)
– 1 cup of water
– 1 can diced tomato (14.5 oz)
– 1 can of tomato sauce (8 oz)
– 2 tbs. molasses
– Shredded mozzarella, for sprinkling

– Cornbread, a must!

1. Trim and remove silver skin from 1 lb of venison stew meat and cut into small bite-sized pieces.

2. In a large pot, heat up 1 tsp. olive oil and add in the chopped onions.

3. Once the onions soften, add the stew meat and the ground venison and brown. While the meat browns, break up the ground venison with your spoon to prevent large chunks.

4. Once meat browns, stir in the re-fried beans and red beans, liquid and all. You don’t have to cook the venison all the way through before adding the beans. It will continue to cook later.

5. Stir in the crushed red pepper, garlic salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and chili powder.

6. Stir in the cans of chopped tomato and tomato sauce. Add salt to taste.

7. Then the molasses. Cover and simmer on low for one hour. If after the hour you still think the chili is too thin, take off the lid and continue to cook until thickened. Or you can do this before the hour is up.

8. Ladle chili in serving bowls and sprinkle shredded mozzarella on top. Enjoy with some cornbread and coffee.

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SEE ALSO: Become a Better Deer Hunter by Learning About Whitetail Behavior


Scott Leysath’s Fast Venison Chili
2 – 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2- 3 pounds ground venison
1 medium onion, diced
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 bell peppers, roasted
2 Anaheim peppers, roasted
2 cups prepared salsa
2 tablespoons chile powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano flakes
1 quart cooked pinto beans, drained
3 – 4 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
1 fresh lime, juice only
*** salt, pepper and Tabasco to taste

In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat oil and cook venison until lightly browned. Add next four ingredients and cook for 5 minutes. Add salsa and next three ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. Add beans, 2 tablespoons of the tomato paste and cilantro. Heat to warm beans. If you want to thicken the chili, add additional tomato paste. Season with lime juice, salt, pepper and Tabasco. Makes 8-10 servings.

SEE ALSO: Digital Downloads of Great Venison Recipes and Tips