This Venison Chili recipe is a big stockpot full of hearty, delicious, and spicy chili. Made with ground venison and a variety of spices, this wild game recipe packs a lot of flavors and punch!

Venison Chili for Game Day in a brown bowl with topping ingredients in the background

We love this recipe and are always ready to enjoy a big bowl of this Venison Chili for dinner. I also love to share this recipe with friends. It is a big batch recipe that is perfect for Superbowl parties or any other gathering you may have. We also like to make a batch and let our friends make their own Venison Chili Loaded Nachos!

The product of our hunt – Ground Venison

Whenever we have a deer to be processed, the one part that I always look forward to is the ground meat. It is so versatile and you can use it in any recipe that you would use ground beef in. I will ask for more ground venison than I do for any other cut of meat from the deer.

Over the years I have made many recipes with ground venison. There is nothing more satisfying than making a recipe with something that you yourself have brought into the home for food. It also feels great to have a freezer full of venison to feed your family. After all, isn’t that what Homesteading is all about?

Chopped peppers on the cutting board

What you need to make this Venison Chili

You will need a variety of spices and herbs for chili, but the ones I feel most important are listed below. Most of what you need, you likely already have in your kitchen pantry.

Ground Venison: I’m assuming if you are reading this post, that you probably have access to it. If you don’t, then you can always buy venison online or substitute it with ground beef.

Venison cooking with butter and garlic in a stock pot

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Canned Tomatoes: I use home-canned tomatoes, which is a full quart size. You can use a 28 ounce can if you don’t have home canned.

Tomato Sauce and Paste: you only need an 8 ounce can of sauce and 4 tablespoons of paste. I prefer the tomato paste in a squeezable tube. it is far better for storage purposes. The tomato paste is what helps thicken this venison chili.

Chili Powder: I love a deep dark red chili powder. There is a difference and this brand is my favorite one. It gives a gorgeous color to this venison chili.

Cumin Powder: I never understood why people use so little of this ingredient. It has a great complementary flavor to the chili powder.

Smoked Paprika: This might be something you need to buy. I use it often and one of our favorite ways is to sprinkle it on deviled eggs. I also love the flavor it adds to the venison.

Cayenne Pepper: I like to add yet another level of heat to chili and cayenne does the job. Be careful and add 1/2 teaspoon at a time. A little can go a long way here.

Kidney Beans: I only add one can. We like to go light on the beans in our chili. But, if you like beans in your chili, you can easily add a 2nd can.

Stockpot: You need a 6-quart stockpot for this recipe. I use this one.

Tips for making the best chili recipe

Venison is very lean meat. For that reason, you do need to add fat to the recipe or it will be too dry. Ground venison is often mixed with pork fat. I still add more fat when cooking because it still dries out quickly and I like to add more flavor.

The best fat to use for flavor when cooking venison is butter or ghee. I used butter in this recipe, but if you do have ghee on hand, that will work also.

When the chili spices are added to the cooked meat, allow them to cook for about 2-3 minutes before adding the liquid.

Brown sugar adds a depth of flavor to the venison chili. This is an ingredient I recommend you keep in the recipe.

Make this Venison Chili recipe your way

  • Brown the ground venison meat until it has crispy bits. This adds a lot of extra flavors.
  • Leave out the beans and bulk the venison up to 2 pounds.
  • Add a tablespoon of cocoa powder to deepen the flavors even more.
  • Substitute black beans for the kidney beans
  • Instead of cayenne, use chipotle powder. Use the same amount of chipotle as you would cayenne. It is smoky and hot.
  • Substitute honey for the brown sugar.
  • Make the recipe in the crock pot. Browning the meat with the butter, garlic, and onions. Then, place it in the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours. Remove the lid the last 30 minutes and turn the heat to high to allow the chili to thicken.

Make a Game Day Venison Chili Bar

When having guests over to watch the big game, set up a chili bar with all kinds of toppings. Our favorites are sour cream, avocado, cheese, cheese sauce, chopped jalapenos, tomatoes, and fresh cilantro. You can also serve this Venison Chili with scoopable corn chips or tortilla chips.

Venison recipes for the Superbowl

We just established that game meat is perfect for game day. Below are some other ideas to help you serve up some other venison recipes for the special event.

Two BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves on a plate with a side of roasted asparagus

Easy BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves are mini loaves of delicious ground venison, cheddar cheese, and barbecue sauce. Perfectly portioned for one.

Bacon Wrapped Venison Appetizers have a cheesy, spicy bite with venison tenderloin wrapped in deliciously crispy bacon.

Bacon Wrapped Venison Appetizers

Venison Meatball Alfredo is great and can be kept warm in a crockpot. You could also make the meatballs and cover them in your favorite homemade pasta sauce.

Venison Pot Stickers are a fun take on an Asian appetizer recipe. They are SO delicious and fun to serve.

Check out there round-up posts for Superbowl recipes

pinnable image for Venison Chili for Game Day

*If you made this Venison Chili Recipe, please give it a star rating*

Featured Photo Venison Chili

Venison Chili

Shelby Law Ruttan
A thick and spicy chili made with ground venison that is perfect to serve guest on the day of the big game!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Wild Game Recipes
Cuisine Tex-Mex
Servings 12
Calories 221 kcal


  • 1 1/2 pound ground venison
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/2 green bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large jalapeno diced (seeds removed)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin powder
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar firmly packed
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 quart of whole canned tomatoes
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste


  • In a 6-quart stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the ground venison and chop it up, stirring occasionally, until the meat has begun to brown. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 7 minutes. or until the venison has browned.
  • Add the green, red, and jalapeno peppers. Stir to combine and cook for 3 minutes, until the peppers have begun to soften.
  • Add the seasonings to the cooked meat and stir to combine. Saute for 2 minutes to allow the flavors to blend into the venison.
  • Stir in the canned tomatoes with their juice, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes, until the chili has reduced and thickened some.
  • Serve as desired.


Serving: 1gCalories: 221kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 19gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 676mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6g
Keyword Game Day Venison Chili, Venison Chili
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About the Author: Shelby Law Ruttan

Honeybunch Hunts is a website dedicated to Hunting, Homesteading and Harvesting. Written by Shelby Law Ruttan, author and owner of Grumpy’s Honeybunch, she (Honeybunch) and Phil (Grumpy) have come together in a joint effort to share their knowledge and experience from the woods, to the garden, to the table.

One Comment

  1. Anonymous January 14, 2020 at 12:08 pm


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Shelby I'm Shelby, author of Honeybunch Hunts. I love hunting, homesteading, and harvesting and am sharing my experiences and recipes with you! I hope you will join my journey and find something you will love! Honeybunch Hunts is a website dedicated to Hunting, Homesteading and... read more

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