This easy Venison Chili recipe is hearty and delicious, perfect for the cold months of hunting season or any time you have ground venison in your freezer.
I grew up on venison. If you lived in a family of hunters, you probably would too.
Because deer are HUGE, you end up with a lot of meat and eat it in everything from goulash to tacos to spaghetti to burgers. And everything else, ever. Including chili.
If you’ve ever hunted, or know/love someone who hunts, they probably have a freezer full of venison and are always on the lookout for new recipes.
A lot of hunters have their meat “processed” by a service and you get back neat little packages of ground venison, venison steak, venison tenderloin, venison sausage, stuff like that. But in my house, we did it the old-fashioned way. Manually, on the kitchen table, as a family.
I usually ran the meat grinder.
If you’ve ever cooked with venison, you know it’s extremely lean. That means you don’t have to drain off the fat in your after you cook the meat which is a nice bonus.
The rest of the chili is pretty straight-forward. My mom normally adds celery instead of bell peppers, so feel free to make that swap if you’re feeling adventurous.
If you don’t know a hunter and can’t track down ground venison, you can still enjoy this chili recipe. Just substitute lean ground beef and you’re on your way.
If you want to make Slow Cooker Venison Chili, follow the recipe below through Step 2. Then, combine everything in a crockpot, cover, and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions chopped
- 1 green bell pepper stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder or 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 2 pounds ground venison
- 2 (15.5 ounce) cans kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 2 (10 ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree
- Shredded cheese, sour cream, and scallions for serving, optional
Heat oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until vegetables have softened, 7 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add venison and cook, breaking up the clumps with a spoon, until the venison is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in kidney beans, tomatoes, and tomato puree. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove lid and continue to simmer for 30 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve with preferred toppings including cheese, sour cream, and scallions.
Adapted from the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook All-American Beef Chili.