Easy-to-make venison chili is a tasty twist on classic chili! Perfectly seasoned venison blends with my homemade chili seasoning and hearty beans to make an amazing chili that your family will be talking about for weeks!
Easy Venison Chili Recipe
Chili is one of my family’s favorites for a reason! It’s an easy and wholesome way to feed a crowd without much effort. My venison chili is full of rich, seasoned venison, tender kidney beans, and tangy tomatoes.
This is a unique chili that you and your family will absolutely love. My favorite part of chili is all the delicious toppings that you can load up your bowl with!
Hearty venison chili is incredibly delicious and oh-so-easy to throw together!
I love to make a toppings bar full of everyone’s favorites. It makes dinner so much fun!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
Unique Flavor! The distinct flavor of ground venison in this dish makes for such a special meal!
Easy to Make! This recipe has just 4 easy steps. A delicious homemade chili couldn’t be easier!
Perfectly Seasoned! I use my easy chili seasoning blend for this recipe! It’s a delicious mix of spices that gives this chili the best flavor.
Venison is the special ingredient in this chili! It’s a game meat that’s a great change from the usual beef or chicken.
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil – You can also use any oil you happen to have on hand.
- ¼ cup Yellow Onion – Dice the onion for this recipe! You can use yellow or white onion here.
- 1 teaspoon Garlic – Mince or crush the garlic for the chili. 1 teaspoon of minced garlic is equal to about 1 clove of garlic, depending on size.
- 1 pound Ground Venison – If you cannot find venison at a local grocery store, try a local butcher!
- 2 tablespoons Chili Seasoning – I love my easy chili seasoning recipe! If you’re short on time, you can also use your favorite brand of chili powder or seasoning.
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt – Use according to taste! I recommend using less or skipping if your chili seasoning has a lot of salt added.
- 15.5 ounces Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes – This is equal to 1 15.5-ounce can. Don’t drain the tomatoes, we need the juice for the chili!
- 15.5 ounces Kidney Beans -- Drain and rinse the beans before adding to the chili!
- 4 ounces Tomato Paste – This is equal to 1 small can of tomato paste!
- 15 ounces Tomato Sauce – 1 large, 15-ounce can is perfect for this chili!
- 1 cup Beef Broth – You can use homemade beef broth, a carton of beef broth, or bouillon dissolved in hot water.
*Be sure to see the free printable recipe card below for ingredients, exact amounts & instructions with tips!*
🧂 Substitutions & Additions
I love this chili recipe as is, but you can easily make substitutions to make this your favorite!
Don’t love kidney beans? Try swapping them for a chili bean mixture or your favorite type of bean.
Fire-roasted tomatoes are great here, but you can easily substitute plain/petite diced tomatoes or even RoTel diced tomatoes with green chiles.
For a great smoky flavor, replace half of the tomato paste with an equal 2 ounces of diced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
Like this recipe, but can’t find venison? You can use lean ground beef, pork, turkey, or another great game meat like elk!
🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions
Chili is one of the easiest cold weather dishes to make! This recipe is made in a Dutch oven or large pot, but you can also make it in a slow cooker! (See Tips & Recipe Notes)
- Sauté onion and garlic. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until the oil is just shy of smoking. Then, add ½ cup of diced yellow onion and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes or until the onion is tender. To the onion, add 1 teaspoon of minced garlic and continue to sauté with the onion for one additional minute.
- Brown the ground venison. Next, add 1 pound of ground venison to the sautéed onion and garlic, breaking up the venison as it cooks. Cook until the venison no longer shows any signs of pink coloring, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients. To the venison, 2 tablespoons of chili seasoning and ½ teaspoon Kosher salt, then stir. Next, add the undrained 15.5 ounces of fire-roasted diced tomatoes with juice, then the drained and rinsed 15.5 ounces of kidney beans. Then, mix in 4 ounces of tomato paste, 15 ounces of tomato sauce, and 1 cup of beef broth.
Simmer & Serve
- Simmer until thickened. Once all the ingredients are added, bring your chili to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Make sure to stir every 10 to 15 minutes while the chili is cooking, until it reaches your desired thickness.
- Serve. Remove the chili from the heat and serve it immediately.
Venison chili is such a warm and filling meal! Garnish with your favorite toppings for the perfect bowl of chili. To accompany this meal, I always love to serve with a side of my delicious jalapeño cornbread or fluffy white rice! Enjoy!
💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes
- Everyone knows slow cooker chili is the best! Sauté the onions, garlic, and venison, then add the meat mixture and the rest of the ingredients to your slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, then serve with your favorites!
- Load chili up with your favorite toppings! Some of my favorites include sour cream, shredded cheddar, avocado, corn chips/tortilla chips, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges!
- Try adding a splash of beer for a different spin! If desired, add a splash of your favorite beer to the chili when adding the beef broth.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
Venison chili is even better the next day! Store the chili refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Chili freezes well for up to 6 months! However, it’s best used within the first 3 months. Make sure to fully cool your chili before storing it in an airtight freezer-safe storage container.
Reheating Venison Chili
Chili can be reheated on the stove or in the microwave! To reheat on the stovetop, transfer the leftovers to a pot and heat over medium until thoroughly reheated, about 15 to 20 minutes.
To reheat chili in the microwave, scoop servings into bowls and cover with a paper towel. Then microwave on high power for 1-minute intervals, stirring in between, until fully heated.
😋 More Tasty Savory Dinners!
Venison is a game meat that most describe as tasting gamey, earthy, and herby. Deer typically eat a lot of berries, nuts, and herbs whose flavors come through in its meat. Venison is also leaner and softer in texture than beef, so the taste is uniquely it's own!
Not every chili recipe calls for tomato paste, but I love adding it! Tomato paste helps to add a rich, concentrated depth of flavor and thickens the chili. I find that making chili with tomato paste is always thicker and richer than without it!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
- ½ cup yellow onion (diced - or use white onion)
- 1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
- 1 lb ground venison
- 2 tablespoon chili seasoning (see recipe or use your favorite brand)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 15.5 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes (1 15.5-ounce can)
- 15.5 oz kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- 4 oz tomato paste
- 15 oz tomato sauce (1 15-ounce can)
- 1 cup beef broth
- In a large pot (or Dutch oven) heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until the oil begins to shimmer and is just shy of starting to smoke. Add the onion and saute for 4-5 minutes or until the onion is no longer translucent and is tender. Add the minced garlic and continue to suet with the onion for an additional minute.1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ cup yellow onion, 1 teaspoon garlic
- Brown the ground venison with the sauteed onion and garlic, breaking up the venison as it cooks. Cook until the venison no longer shows any signs of pink coloring, about 5-6 minutes.1 lb ground venison
- Stir in the chili seasoning and kosher salt, then add the un-drained fire roasted diced tomatoes and drained and rinsed kidney beans.2 tablespoon chili seasoning, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, 15.5 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes, 15.5 oz kidney beans
- Mix in the tomato paste next, then add tomato sauce and beef broth. Bring your chili to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour with the lid off. Stir every 10-15 minutes while the chili is cooking until it reaches your desired thickness.4 oz tomato paste, 15 oz tomato sauce, 1 cup beef broth
- Remove from heat and serve immediately.
- Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Fully cool your chili before storing in freezer storage containers. Chili freezes well for up to 6 months but is best used within the first 3 months.
- You can swap out kidney beans for a chili bean mixture, or your favorite beans.
- I love fire roasted diced tomatoes, but you can use plain diced or petite diced tomatoes even RoTel brand diced tomatoes.
- For a great smoky flavor, replace half of the tomato paste with an equal 2 ounces of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!