Warm Up After the Hunt With Slow Cooker Venison Chili

November 27, 2023 By: Elizabeth Kligge
venison chili

Venison meals are a crucial part of our Field to Fork program. For the adults participating and learning to hunt for the first time, acquiring their own food is a key motivation, so we share venison whether training or actually hunting. Venison chili is relatively easy to prepare, and with this recipe, you can set it up in the slow cooker and head to the woods for a morning or afternoon hunt. Hot chili will be waiting for you when you get back to camp!

This particular venison chili recipe has been tested at multiple Field to Fork events, and the thing people always say about it is that it has the perfect balance of flavors and spice. It isn’t too extreme in any direction, and anyone can enjoy it. After a cold morning of sitting in the blind or the tree stand, this will warm you right up. I like to garnish it for extra color and flavor.

Venison Chili Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1½ pounds ground venison
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 (28 oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Optional Garnish

  • shredded Mexican cheese
  • sour cream
  • cilantro
  • lime

Venison Chili Instructions

In a large skillet, sauté onion and pepper in oil until beginning to soften. Add to slow cooker. Add ground venison to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned (it doesn’t have to be fully cooked). Season with salt and pepper, then stir in garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant. Transfer mixture to the slow cooker. Add tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, chicken broth, chili powder, cumin and oregano to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours until chili has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and lime if desired. Serve with cornbread. Serves 8.

About Elizabeth Kligge:

Elizabeth Kligge is NDA’s Field to Fork Coordinator for Pennsylvania. As a gardener, forager, angler, and hunter, she enjoys sourcing a variety of foods from the land and water around her. Elizabeth earned a bachelor's degree in visual arts from Gettysburg College and has studied and taught primitive survival skills at numerous locations around the country. She sees hunting as a way to connect people to their food and the natural world.