This simple venison meatloaf is made with the perfect balance of venison, sausage, and spices. And you’re going to love the sweet, slightly tangy barbeque glaze on top.
With deer hunting season over for most of the country, it’s time to start thinking about how to prepare that delicious meat.
We usually have deer meat for dinner several nights a week until it runs out! One of my favorites and I do have several favorites, is this venison meatloaf.
I make this venison meatloaf recipe with sausage, not because I don’t like the flavor of deer meat, but because of the explosive flavor the two types of meat have cooked together.
Deer meat recipes
With a freezer full of deer and elk meat, knowing what to do with all the different cuts may be a bit overwhelming. Well, except for all that ground venison which is waiting to be turned into burgers or meatloaf.
This venison meatloaf is genuinely the best meatloaf recipe ever. It is the ideal ground venison recipe for anyone that is not a fan of gamey-tasting meat.
With the perfect combination of seasonings, bread crumbs, onions and celery, along with pork sausage, this recipe is a guaranteed success!
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How to make venison meatloaf
- Ground venison
- Ground pork sausage
- Eggs and bread crumbs (to hold it together)
- Celery and onions
- Salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder and thyme.
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Venison meatloaf recipe
Step 1. Begin by dicing up the onions and celery into small pieces. For the celery rib, I’ll split it right down the middle, then finely chop.
Step 2. Add venison and sausage into a large glass mixing bowl. Work the two portions of meat together. They don’t need to be perfectly mixed because we’ll still mix it up more in a minute.
Step 3. Add the eggs, bread crumbs, salsa, celery, onions, and seasonings in the bowl with the meat. Now, mix everything up nicely. It should be pretty hefty and hold a shape when done.
Step 4. Finally, In a well seasoned 12″ cast iron skillet, roughly shape the meatloaf and set it in the center of the skillet. Fine-tune the shape if needed, then place it on the center rack in the oven and bake at 375°F.
Pro tip: Depending on the size of the loaf, it should take around 50-60 minutes for a two-and-a-half-pound meatloaf.
Step 5. Remove from oven and top loaf with ketchup, barbeque sauce, or the homemade glaze recipe below to cook for the last 25 minutes.
Simple meatloaf glaze
Sometimes a simple ketchup or bbq sauce on top is all it takes to complete a meatloaf recipe. This simple meatloaf glaze takes no time to whip up and adds a fantastic sweet and tangy flavor to every bite.
While the meatloaf is cooking, combine ½ cup of hickory barbeque sauce, ¼ cup of ketchup, 1 tbsp of brown sugar (or coconut sugar) and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar in a small ramekin.
Stir well, then top the meatloaf for the last 25 minutes in the oven.
The secret to making the perfect meatloaf
The perfect meatloaf is flavorful, moist, and holds together well.
I don’t add milk into this meatloaf; I find that the little bit of salsa and not overcooking gives it the perfect texture that’s not too greasy.
Also, there is no need to saute the celery and onions ahead of time. An hour in the oven is plenty of time to soften the finely chopped veggies. Alternately, chop the vegetables nice and thick for a bit of crunch.
what to make with ground venison
Venison recipes are among some of my favorite meals to create. I love making steaks and roasts, along with various ground venison recipes such as burgers and meatloaf, which are especially fun, and the variations are endless.
Benefits of venison
Be sure to try this recipe and let me know what you think. It is such a simple recipe, full of flavor, and can be enjoyed any night of the week.
Some more popular recipes
- Classic venison chili
- Jalapeno burgers
- Venison backstrap
- Venison tenderloin medallions
- Fried pork liver
- Corned beef brisket
Juicy and Tender Venison Meatloaf
- 2 lbs ground venison
- ½ lb of ground pork sausage
- ¾ cup of bread crumbs
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup of salsa
- 1 onion finely diced
- 2 celery ribs chopped thin
- 2 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder and thyme
- ½ tsp of pepper and cumin
for the glaze
- ½ cup hickory bbq sauce
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp of brown sugar
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Combine venison and pork in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well with your hands.
- Roughly shape it into a loaf, then set it in the center of a 12" cast iron skillet.
- Fine-tune the shape of the loaf if needed before transferring it to the center rack and baking for 50 minutes.
- While the meatloaf is baking, combine the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl or ramekin.
- Spread the glaze over top of the loaf for the last 25 minutes in the oven.