Family-Favorite Venison Chili Recipe


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Simple & Satisfying Venison Chili Recipe with Ground Deer Meat for Beginners Cooking with Wild Game

Venison Chili is perhaps one of the easiest recipes to make with deer meat. This recipe in particular is perfect for those who may be cooking with deer meat for the first time. It’s simple, and satisfying!

This venison chili recipe is from Nate’s family—one that’s been made at ‘deer camp’ for years. Each family member has their own rendition of venison chili and this is ours!

Venison Chili with Corn Chips on by Katie O. Selvidge

Is this Venison Chili or Venison Stew?

Technically, this would be stew since there are beans in this chili recipe. However, we like the beans in our deer chili for better texture and flavor.

You can make our easy Venison Stew Recipe, also perfect for beginners.

Can I Substitute Deer Meat for Beef in Any Recipe?

You can substitute deer meat for almost any beef recipe.

We appreciate the flavor of venison, so we do not do much to cover the taste as others might. Some wild game recipes really work hard to hide the gamey taste. It really comes down to preference.

Just make sure you read recipes well before making them and know your preferences.

Wild Game Flavor in Venison Chili

We like the taste of venison and usually try not to cover the natural flavor.

In this recipe, one way to manage how much of the deer flavor you want is to either completely drain the ground meat after browning—eliminating all the grease. Or, what we do is keep just a little bit of the juices from browning to keep that rich venison flavor.

What Makes This Venison Chili Recipe Unique?

The fact that this is from a family recipe, adjusted to our preferences and can be adjusted to your own taste preferences, and has been shared for years makes it special to us.

It’s also much healthier than your typical beef chili. Not only because the meat is fresh and sourced well, but because deer meat is much lower in fat.

What to Serve with Venison Chili

Your favorite cornbread and / or corn chips are perfect to eat with this chili. I had never had chili with corn chips until I ate with Nate’s family. I love the extra crunch with each bite.

Venison Chili

Venison Chili

Simple and satisfying venison chili—perfect for beginners cooking with wild game.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • Beef Tallow
  • 1 White Onion, diced
  • 3 Jalapeños, removed seeds and cut into strips
  • 1-2 lbs Ground Deer Meat
  • 2 Cans of Pinto Beans
  • 1 Packet of Chili Seasoning Mix (we prefer Williams)
  • 46oz Tomato Juice (you may not use all of it)
  • Colby jack or Cheddar Cheese, for topping
  • Corn Chips, optional


  1. Heat up the Beef Tallow in large pot on low to medium heat. We prefer the flavor of Beef Tallow, but you can also use your preferred cooking oil.
  2. Brown the diced White Onion and strips of Jalapeños. We cut the Jalapeños into strips so you can more easily remove them later if you prefer.
  3. Add the Ground Deer Meat and brown until completely cooked.
  4. Once browned, drain about 90% of the grease leaving a little bit of the juices if you want to taste more of the venison flavor. If you want a less gamey taste, then drain all of the juice from browning.
  5. Add the Chili Seasoning Mix, following the packet instructions. Be sure to stir well and evenly into the Ground Deer Meat.
  6. Add the Tomato Juice to the pot. Depending on how meaty vs liquid you prefer your chili will determine how much of the 46oz you add. We like to add about 3/4 of the container for more meaty texture, then add more later if needed.
  7. Add Pinto Beans and stir everything evenly.
  8. Cook for 20-30 minutes on medium. You do not want it boiling, but a few bubbles are fine.
  9. Serve with corn chips and enjoy!

Want More Venison Recipes Like This? Click Here for My Easy & Comforting Venison Stew Recipe.

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Photographs by Leah Payne

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