Make These Venison Meatballs for Thanksgiving Appetizers

Quick, easy venison meatballs are fantastic appetizers for everyone to enjoy while they’re visiting for the holidays and need something to nosh on before the big meal.

When Uncle Claude and Aunt Gertie show up, you know they’re going to be hungry after driving the land yacht over the river and through the woods for the annual Thanksgiving feast.

She’ll rumble into the kitchen looking to “help out a bit” and he’ll be hungry, eyeballing anything and everything to rid the hunger pangs. He hasn’t eaten since that second stop for coffee at the BurgerHaus, so a selection of finger foods, cheese cubes or other small goodies will be just fine.

Hey, let’s have some meatballs!

Spicy Meatball Recipe

Whether you use venison, beef or something else, meatballs are great for meals and party appetizers.

Using ground venison for meatballs is a great way to make some super dishes. Whether with spaghetti or other pasta dishes, maybe just a little marinara, or with some veggies instead of a patty, meatballs are just fun. And good.

Additionally, meatballs are great appetizers. Roll them smaller, add toothpicks, serve with your favorite barbecue sauce or dip, and then accept the congratulations.

Get More Great Venison Recipes Here!

One of our favorite wild game chefs, Scott Leysath of California, offers his version of venison meatballs below. Be sure to check out for more recipes for venison, other big game, waterfowl, upland birds, small game and fish.

Scott Leysath’s Venison Meatballs

2/3 pound ground venison
1/3 pound ground beef (15 – 20% fat)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup onion, finely diced
2 – 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Japanese breadcrumbs (panko)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
olive oil

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except olive oil. Mix well. Form into golf ball-sized meatballs. Heat a thin layer of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown meatballs evenly. Browned meatballs can be frozen and vacuum packaged for later use.

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Get Your Kitchen Fired Up!
If you’re interested in more great venison recipes, you’ll want  “The Sporting Chef’s Better Venison Cookbook” in your kitchen. This 176-page book is packed with great info, photos and more. You’ll get Scott Leysath’s insights on venison preparation and recipes for everything from soups to roasts. It definitely should be in your collection, and is a great Christmas gift, too! See it here.