These ground venison meatballs are about to become your favorite way to use ground venison! Easy to make, perfectly seasoned, and totally tender, these meatballs with ground deer meat are sure to be a hit.
Maybe you have found yourself with more venison than you know what to do with (a good problem!). Or maybe you simply need a recipe to use your ground venison that you can count on the whole family to enjoy. Whether you are new to cooking wild game or a seasoned venison chef, this meatball recipe is for you.
The secret ingredient in this venison meatballs recipe to keep them juicy and without gamey taste? Ground pork! It adds both fat and flavor. You can also make these entirely with ground venison, a mix of ground venison and ground beef, or simply ground beef. I find that the 50/50 blend of ground venison works the best for the most flavorful and juicy venison meatballs.
Adding a bit of acid, such as the red wine vinegar, is also great for offsetting any gamey flavor.
For a venison meatballs sauce, use a quality marinara, like Rao's or homemade tomato sauce like this Instant Pot Tomato Sauce or the sauce from this venison ragu. This deer meatball recipe can accompany italian food, swedish food (like swedish meatballs), any dish that you would serve meatballs!
Why you'll love this recipe
- easy recipe for ground venison: Not everyone loves the taste of venison or is familiar with wild game meat. These meatballs have no gamey taste and dare I say are even better than ground beef meatballs!
- versatile: These deer meatballs are very simply seasoned so they pair well with just about any sauce or dish.
- make-ahead: Make a double or triple batch and freeze for later.
- kid-friendly: These meatballs are great for kids and picky eaters. Plus they are a super source of protein.
- ground venison
- ground pork
- red wine vinegar
- bread crumbs
- fresh parsley
- dried oregano
- salt and pepper
How to Make the Best Venison Meatballs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix everything together gently with your hands or a spoon, being careful not to over mix. Overmixing can result in an overly dense or tough meatball.
Scoop portions of the meatball mixture with a cookie scoop or a spoon and form into golf ball sized meatballs. It can be helpful to wet hands with water or a drizzle of olive oil to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.
Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until they are cooked through and browned on the outside. To check for doneness, you can use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
Allow to rest for 5 minutes and enjoy!
For out of this world venison meatballs, make sure to add fat, binding ingredients, and bake until golden.
- Fat Content: Venison is a lean meat, so it's beneficial to add some fat to the ground meat mixture to enhance moisture and flavor. You can add straight pork fat or beef fat, but mixing ground pork meat with the venison meat adds fat and flavor, and it is super easy to find at the store.
- Binder: To help the meatballs hold their shape and maintain moisture, adding binders like breadcrumbs or crushed crackers is a necessity! These ingredients also contribute to the overall texture.
- Baking in the oven: Baking venison meatballs in the oven ensures they are fully cooked on the inside and golden on the outside. You can also make these meatballs by cooking in a skillet over medium heat on the stovetop, but I prefer the hands off method of baking in the oven.
- Grated onion: By grating the onion instead of dicing it, there is no need to saute the onion first. It cooks through in the oven just fine and the small size flavors the meatballs beautifully.
How to serve venison meatballs
On their own or simply coated in marinara sauce, these juicy venison meatballs are delightful. You will likely be eating them right off of the baking tray. Here are some more ways to serve baked venison meatballs.
- Pasta: Serve over a bed of pasta with a tomato sauce or gravy.
- Mashed Potatoes: Create a comforting meal by pairing venison meatballs with creamy mashed potatoes. Use the sauce from this swedish meatballs recipe to act as a gravy- the flavors pair perfectly!
- Roasted Vegetables: Serve with a variety of seasonal vegetables, like air fryer asparagus and oven roasted carrots and green beans and serve them alongside the meatballs for a nutritious and well-rounded meal.
- Crusty Bread: Serve on a french roll or with melted mozzarella cheese on top.
more ground venison recipes
Bake venison meatballs at 375 degrees F in the oven to ensure they cook through without getting overly brown.
This will depend on size and your desired doneness level, but on average for a standard sized meatball, they should take 20-25 minutes to bake.
Venison meatballs can be a healthy choice depending on how they are prepared. Venison is generally considered a lean protein source. It is low in fat and contains essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12.
I mean technically, yes. But adding binding agents, moisture, and seasonings help ensure a juicy and flavorful meatball that keeps its shape.
When cooking ground venison, such as for meatballs or burgers, it is recommended to cook it to an internal temperature of 160°F.
- 1 lb. ground venison
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 1 small onion grated
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp. fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix everything together gently with your hands or a spoon, being careful not to over mix. Overmixing can result in an overly dense or tough meatball.
- Scoop portions of the meatball mixture with a cookie scoop or a spoon and form into golf ball sized meatballs. It can be helpful to wet hands with water or a drizzle of olive oil to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.
- Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until they are cooked through and browned on the outside. To check for doneness, you can use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
- Allow to rest for 5 minutes and enjoy!