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White bow of venison chili topped with cheese on a green napkin with saltine crackers.
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4.8 from 5 votes

20 Minute Venison Chili

Get that slow-simmered flavor with this quick and easy 20-Minute Venison Chili. The secret to all that hearty flavor is in the first step and with 3 of the pantry ingredients. This shortcut comfort food recipe has less than 10 ingredients! No deer hunters in the family? Substitute any lean ground meat or even turkey.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 307kcal
Author: Kathleen Phillips | GritsAndGouda.com
Cost: 15


  • Dutch oven or large pot


  • 2 pounds ground venison (deer meat), ground round, elk or turkey (or combination half venison and half ground chuck)
  • 2 cups chopped onion about 1 large
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 to 15.5-ounce) can small red beans chili beans, pinto beans or kidney beans
  • 1 cup beef broth or stock
  • (optional) 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Optional Toppings

  • Shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, jalapeno peppers, saltine crackers, corn chips, tortilla chips


  • Start with a cold pot. Cook ground venison, onion and garlic salt together in a Dutch oven or large pot over high heat until no longer pink, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. (Do not drain unless substituting high-fat ground beef.)
  • Stir in remaining ingredients to the pot except for toppings.
  • Bring the mixture up to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, 9 minutes.
  • Add desired toppings and serve warm.


If using half ground beef (70/30% fat ratio) and half venison or lean meat, drain the meat mixture at this point. No draining necessary when using all venison or 90/10% lean meat.
Instant Pot Instructions: Cook venison, onion and garlic salt in the Instant Pot. Stir in remaining ingredients except for toppings. ADD an additional 1 cup of broth or water. Cook on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. Quick Release.
Crock Pot Instructions: Cook venison, onion and garlic salt in a large skillet. Some slow cookers have the capability of browning meat right in the slow cookers. Stir in remaining ingredients except for toppings. Cook on LOW for up to 8 hours or HIGH for 2 to 3 hours.
Substitutions: Any lean ground meat can be substituted for venison. If you don't have garlic salt, substitute 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.
Make ahead meal prep tip: Cook ground meat, onion and garlic salt together and let cool completely. Freeze in a freezer Ziploc bag or vacuum seal with a FoodSaver to be used later for chili, spaghetti and Sloppy Joes.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 307kcal | Protein: 35g