Venison chili is rich and hearty, made with ground meat, bacon, veggies, and healthy beef bone broth. Make it on a stovetop or in a slow cooker!
Deer meat chili is a comforting, paleo, keto, and low carb meal for hunting season or any cold weather night.
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What are the benefits of eating deer meat?
If you’re a hunter or friends with someone who hunts, you’ve likely tasted some homemade deer jerky. It’s super popular because it’s a great snack to take along while hunting.
Deer meat, as well as the meat of elk, reindeer, antelope, and caribou are all considered venison. Wild game like venison is leaner than ground beef, has less calories per serving, and more vitamins and minerals.
Plus, the flavor of venison is much heartier than the flavor of ground beef. That extra flavor makes for a more comforting, filling meal. And it’s what makes ground venison chili so appealing.
Where can I buy ground venison?
If there are no hunters in your family and you don’t have a local source for venison, don’t worry. There are a number of places online (including Amazon!) where you can purchase ground venison.
Another option is to grind your own venison. It’s very simple to do and will save you money over having a butcher grind it. But again, you’ll first need to source the deer meat.
If you want to grind your own meat for deer chili, check out these tips from Cabela’s. And plan to add some ground pork to the blend.
Butchers recommend that at least 10 percent pork be added to a ground venison blend. Not only does the pork add flavor, but it also adds fat. As a result, you’ll make a ground meat dish that everyone will love!
Making deer meat chili on a stovetop
Although I do have a slow cooker venison chili recipe option, I recommend making it on a stovetop.
Not only will it save you time, but it also allows you to add seasonings during the cook time. You can monitor and taste the hearty meat stew as it cooks.
In contrast, removing the lid of a slow cooker allows heat to escape. For that reason alone, you shouldn’t add any seasonings during the cook time.
Another great reason to make venison chili on a stovetop is to achieve the best flavor possible! Most of us know that when you make any type of chili, it’s necessary to brown or sear the meat.
Since a slow cooker doesn’t have the capability to brown meat, you’ll need a stovetop to do that. Rather than having to wash the pot and your slow cooker, why not just keep making it in the pot?
It makes sense to me, anyway. 😉
Tips for the best slow cooker venison chili
All of that said, at the end of the day, it boils down to whatever is the most convenient for you. I definitely won’t discourage you from making it in a crock pot if you want to. After all, it will still be a delicious, hearty, low carb deer meat chili!
Here are some tips to help you make it in the slow cooker easily, and with the most flavor:
- Use a liner. Slow cooker liners are great to use because they make cleanup easier. In addition to that, liners help to regulate the heat coming from the inner crock and prevent scorching. If you have any hot spots, the liner will absorb the excess heat and distribute it evenly.
- Avoid lifting the lid. As mentioned earlier, removing the lid of a slow cooker during cook time should be avoided if possible. Doing so allows heat to escape and it can take some time for the proper temperature to return.
That being said, zucchini is added 30 minutes before cooking is complete. Therefore, it will be necessary to remove the lid one time.
Other venison recipes to try
If you’re a fan of game meat, I think you’re gonna love this dish because it’s my best venison chili recipe. You should also give these recipes a try:
- Ground Beef Jerky – I always make it with ground deer meat instead of beef.
- Substitute ground venison for the turkey in these Turkey Zucchini Meatballs
- Easy Paleo Breakfast Casserole – just use ground venison or deer meat sausage for the sausage.
Have you ever made any venison recipes? Share your favorites with me in the comments!
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Venison Chili (Crock Pot Slow Cooker Option)
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- 8 ounces no sugar bacon chopped
- 1 medium bell pepper diced (or use chili pepper)
- 1/4 cup onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 pounds ground venison cubed venison works too
- 4 cups beef bone broth or chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/4 teaspon salt more or less to taste
- 1 dash ground black pepper optional
- 3 medium bay leaves optional
- 1 medium zucchini diced
- In a Dutch oven or large pot, cook bacon until browned well. Push to side of pot.
- Add onion, pepper, and garlic. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes or until peppers have softened.
- Add venison and season with salt and pepper if desired. Sauté until well browned (about 15 minutes).
- Stir in the broth, chili powder, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, cumin, salt, optional pepper, and optional bay leaves. Allow to simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Blend in diced zucchini and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.
Slow Cooker Crock Pot
- Cook bacon until browned. Add to slow cooker.
- Cook onion, pepper and garlic in bacon fat for about 4 to 5 minutes or until peppers have softened and onion is translucent. Add in ground venison and cook until browned. Transfer to slow cooker.
- Stir in the broth, chili powder, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, cumin, salt, optional pepper, and optional bay leaves. Cover and cook on high 2 to 4 hours or low 6 to 8 hours.
- Blend in diced zucchini and continue cooking until zucchini is tender (about 30 minutes to an hour.
- Use a liner to make cleanup easier
- Avoid lifting the lid during cooking so it cooks at the right temperature.
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