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Venison Stovetop Chili

bowl of venison chili topped with cheese in a white bowl with tortilla chips on the side
Servings per Recipe
Nutrition Facts
Calories : 230
Fat : 5 g
Sodium : 270 mg
Total carbohydrate : 23 g
Fiber : 5 g
Protein : 23 g
1 pound ground venison
1 Tablespoon oil (Tip 1)
4 cups low-sodium tomato or vegetable juice
4 ounces dry small red beans (about ½ cup dry beans) or 1 (15 ounce) can red beans (Tip 2)
1 cup diced onion (about one medium onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Wash hands with soap and water.
Prepare dry red beans the night before making chili. Measure out beans and remove any wrinkled or soft beans. To a medium bowl, add beans and cover with water by 2 inches. Cover container and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
When ready to make chili, wash hands with soap and water.
Add ground venison and oil (Tip 1) to a 3- or 4-quart pot over medium heat. Cook, breaking meat into small pieces, until meat is browned. Meanwhile, chop onion and garlic and drain liquid from soaked beans; set aside.
Once meat is browned, add chopped onion to the pot and stir to combine. Add lid and let cook 3-5 minutes, stir occasionally, until onion becomes slightly translucent.
Add tomato juice, drained beans, garlic, and spices. Stir to combine. Add lid, reduce heat to low, and simmer chili for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until beans are cooked.


  • If venison is ground with added fat, do not use oil in recipe. If a lot of fat is released from the cooked meat, drain the fat and return meat to pan.
  • Replace soaked beans with one 15-ounce can of red beans. Drain liquid from beans and rinse under cool water before adding in Step 6.
  • Recipe can be prepared with ground turkey, chicken, pork, beef, or meatless crumbles if venison is not available. 
  • Venison Stovetop Chili recipe developed and shared by Illinois Deer Donation Program.