Oh, deer chili! Yes, that’s right, Summer may be fast approaching, but there is still venison in the freezer. So today, we go back to the basics with this venison chili recipe, yet without skimping out on the flavor.

Deer chili recipe with beans, peppers and onions in a large dutch oven.

Venison chili is my favorite style of chili – cliche, maybe, but I’ll say it anyway.

I don’t try to hide/mask the venison flavor either, so if you are not ready for the full effect of this venison chili recipe, see the substitutions below.

Best venison chili recipe

The secret with venison chili is to use ingredients that compliment the rich, earthy (or gamey, however you look at it!) flavor.

Beef or even ground elk meat both taste great using this same recipe.

The key to flavor

Spices and broth! The more spices and a wide variety at that are what make a great chili. Well, spices and broth of some kind.

This deer chili calls for beef broth, but you can use deer, elk even chicken broth.

Although, if you don’t have broth, The chili will still be fantastic without it!

Homemade venison chili recipe with cheese on a striped tea towel on white marble counter.

Venison chili recipe

I like to make dutch oven chili because its fast and easy, though you can very quickly throw everything in a crockpot to cook all day!

For exact measurements, see the printable recipe card below.


  • Ground venison
  • Kidney beans (canned)
  • Diced tomatoes (canned)
  • Chipotle peppers (canned)
  • Beef broth
  • Jalapenos
  • Bell pepper
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Worcestershire sauce

And for the spices, we’ll use salt, pepper, chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, cocoa powder, dried parsley and celery seed.

Bowl of deer chili on white counter with a wooden back splash.

How to make deer chili

Add to the dutch oven, or a large pot if you so desire, a splash of cooking oil, then venison and garlic. Break up the venison into smaller chunks so it can cook evenly.

As the venison begins to brown, dice up the bell peppers, jalapeno, onions and celery, and add them into the dutch oven.

Once the meat has browned, add in the diced tomatoes, kidney beans, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth and chipotle peppers. You may need to chop the chipotle peppers before adding them to the chili.

Finally, stir in spices, cover, and simmer for thirty minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.

And that’s it! Remove the venison chili from the heat and let it rest for ten to fifteen minutes or so before topping with cheese, sour cream, or whatever garnishings suit your fancy.

Please note that chipotle peppers pack some heat, so be aware if you’ll be sharing this chili with smaller children.

White bowl of chili with spoon and towel.

Ground venison recipes

Do you struggle to know what to make with all the venison in your freezer? For me, the ground venison recipes are the easy part; I mean, you can just about make anything with ground venison as you can with ground beef.

Along with this chili, popular ground venison favorites include meatloaf, burgers, and stroganoff.


Do I have to use broth?

Absolutely not. I like my chili with plenty of liquid, so I don’t drain the beans, AND I add the broth. This recipe will be just fine without broth. Just make sure there is some liquid in the chili so it doesn’t dry out.

Can I substitute the venison?

Of course, substitute the venison pound for pound with elk, moose, beef, or ground pork. I have a fantastic ground pork chili recipe that you will have to try!

Does venison chili taste gamey?

Unlike venison steak or other similar venison recipes, the chili definitely has a rich, distinct flavor. However, with the combination of spices and other ingredients, it has very little gamey taste.

What goes with venison chili?

Buttered bread, cornbread, loaded baked potatoes, noodles (chili mac), etc., complement chili quite well.

How long does chili last?

Chili stored in the freezer should keep for 3-5 days. Do note: the hot peppers will continue to permeate throughout the dish in the fridge and, as a result, may taste hotter than it originally did.

Ground venison chili with kidney beans, cheese and peppers on a wicker mat.

I hope you enjoyed this venison chili recipe. Check out some of the recipes below for more great venison inspiration. And be sure to leave a comment below, letting me know what you think!

Deer chili recipe with beans, peppers and onions in a large dutch oven.

Best Easy Venison Chili Recipe

Laura Ascher
Savory and rich, this award-worthy venison chili is the perfect comfort food to come home to after a long week.
4.72 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 298 kcal


  • 2 lbs of venison
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 bell pepper onion, and jalapeno, diced
  • 2 celery ribs chopped
  • 4 cans of kidney beans 15.5 oz cans
  • 4 cans of diced tomatoes 14.5 oz cans
  • ¼ cup of chopped chipotle peppers canned
  • ¾ cup of beef broth
  • 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp of chili powder
  • ½ tbsp of salt and cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • ½ tsp of cumin smoked paprika, and dried parsley
  • tsp of cayenne pepper and celery seed.


  • Heat a splash of oil in the bottom of a large dutch oven then add in meat and garlic.
  • As the meat is browning, add in the jalapeno, bell pepper, onion and celery ribs.
  • Once the meat is browned, stir in the beans, tomatoes, chipotle peppers, broth and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Stir in seasonings, then cover and simmer for half an hour.
  • Remove from heat and let it sit 15 minutes before serving.



This chili does have some heat to it. If you are not a fan of heat, simply omit the chipotle peppers and jalapenos.


Serving: 1ozCalories: 298kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 41gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 713mgFiber: 8gSugar: 6g
Tried this recipe?Mention @castironskilletcooking on Instagram
This website provides approximate nutrition information based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands, measuring methods and portion sizes per household. We recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer.

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