A Simple Venison Chili You’ll Love

For many people, their first venison experience is with ground meat. That’s because most venison is hunted and ground up, frozen, and enjoyed over the winter. Not so with our premium New Zealand venison. Farm raised in nearly wild conditions, the red deer get a diet of nutritious grasses and roam vast, pristine pastures. This is flavorful, tender, and never gamey venison. So when we make chili, we keep it simple to let the quality and flavor of the meat shine.

To Bean or Not to Bean?

At its basic, chili is nothing but meat and spices, as any Texan will tell you. We’re of the mind that chili can be one of the greatest “kitchen sink” dishes. And we’re not here to judge your culinary choices. If you like beans in your chili, add them to the mix.

Our ground venison is available in 1lb packs.

Our Simple and Spicy Venison Chili 

This quick and easy chili relies on fragrant spices for its distinctive flavor. Adjust the spice level to your preference by using less chile pepper, but don’t skip the cinnamon and honey which balance all the elements. We made a huge batch to serve recently at the Fancy Food Show and served over a hot dog. Think tacos, sloppy Joes, or try it served over rice. It only takes 10 minutes of prep time and about 30 minutes of cook time. You can make this on a weeknight.


  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 lbs of ground venison
  • 2 tablespoons duck fat
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric     
  • 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes (or less if desired)
  • ½  cup tomato purée
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon 
  • 3 tablespoons honey 
  • Cilantro, optional 
  • Thinly sliced red onion, optional 
  • Pickled jalapeno peppers, optional 
  • Grated cheese; jack or cheddar, optional Sliced avocado, optional 


  1. Place two tablespoons of duck fat in a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute chopped onion until transparent. Add 2 lbs of ground venison and saute, stirring and breaking up the meat, until well browned. 
  2. Lower the heat. Add the garlic, then the spices one at a time, stirring to coat the venison. Allow the spices to bloom over low heat for a few minutes and continue to stir. Do not do this over high heat; it will 
  3. Deglaze the pot with ½ cup of tomato purée and bring to a simmer. Add ½ cup of water and continue to simmer. 
  4. Add 3 tablespoons honey and stir to combine. 
  5. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes to allow all the flavors to marry, or longer if desired. Add more tomato puree if the chile appears too dry. 
  6. Serve with sliced red onions, shredded cheese, jalapeno peppers, avocado, and chopped cilantro, if desired. Soft corn tortillas or chips make good accompaniments. 

NOTE: Use metal utensils, not wood, when handling turmeric. Clean up any turmeric spills immediately. 

Since 1985, D’Artagnan has been at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement, producing superior-tasting products by partnering with small ranches and farms. We are committed to free-range, natural production, sustainable and humane farming practices, and no use of antibiotics or hormones. That’s why D’Artagnan products have been revered by America’s most renowned chefs for over 35 years. We offer the same high-quality products to home cooks at dartagnan.com, along with recipes and guides to help you live the tasty life.

Are you a business looking to serve or sell D’Artagnan? We invite both chefs and food retailers to reach out and become D’Artagnan customers.

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