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Say Goodbye to Hot Dogs with These 25 Wild Game Tailgating Recipes [PICS]

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Football and wild game… Why not combine these two wonders of autumn with some butt-kicking tailgating recipes?

The leaves on the trees are just starting to change colors. The sounds of honking geese overhead and football games on TV and local high school fields are echoing through our minds.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, fall is here. And with it, these 25 wild game tailgating recipes!

Below are some of the most delicious, innovative, and inspiring wild game recipes out there. But the real magic is how well they cater to a tailgating party. Move over, simple hot dogs and burgers!

Some are ideal for cooking in-the-moment, grilling or smoking in the pre-game hours. Others are better for preparing ahead of time and bringing to the tailgate, or those at-home big game parties that are just begging for a wild game addition!

Stake your claim as a tailgating superhero. Cheer on your favorite team in style this fall with some mouth-watering wild game meat.

1. Bacon Wrapped Venison Backstraps

tailgating recipe
Legendary Whitetails

Ingredients:

16 oz soy sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 lb bacon
Venison backstraps

What to do:

1. Combine the soy sauce and brown sugar in a plastic bag.

2. Add the backstraps and let marinade for at least 24 hours.

3. Wrap them in bacon and bring to your favorite tailgating session. Grill until medium done.

2. Venison Bacon Cheeseburger

tailgating recipe
Legendary Whitetails

Ingredients:

1 lb ground venison
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 egg (beaten)
4 slices cheddar cheese
4 slices of bacon
Seasoning to taste

What to do:

1. Cook bacon until brown and crispy. Remove from pan, cut in half,  and set aside.

2. Combine venison, pork, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, chopped onion, bread crumbs, minced garlic, and egg, until evenly combined. Refrigerate for 20 minutes for mixture to set. Shape into four patties, and then keep covered and cool until time to grill.

3. Preheat an outdoor grill at medium-high heat.

4. Brush burgers with olive oil (be careful because they will flare up) and grill about 4 minutes per side. Top each burger with a slice of cheddar cheese and two bacon strips.

3. Spicy Venison Steaks

Recipe via Ryan Lisson

Ingredients:

1 cup soy sauce
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup honey
1 teaspoon grounder ginger
3 cloves crushed garlic
Red pepper flakes (to preference)
Smoked paprika (to preference)
Venison steaks

What to do:

1. Combine everything except venison in plastic sealable bag. Shake to incorporate well.

2. Add venison steaks and let marinate in refrigerator for 24 hours.

3. Heat grill to high heat. Remove steaks from cooler and add to grill (will flare up).

4. Cook roughly 2 minutes each side, or according to your preference.

4. Crock Pot Italian Venison Roast

tailgating recipe
Legendary Whitetails

Ingredients:

3 lbs venison roast or loin
16 oz jar of Giardiniera
16 oz jar of Pepperocini
1 envelope dry zesty Italian salad dressing
3 beef bullion cubes (or small can of beef broth)
1 onion cut in slices
1 bell pepper cut in slices

What to do:

1. Place roast or loin in crock pot the early morning of the game day, and then add all other ingredients to it.

2. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 hours on high heat. Transport crock pot to game. Continue to cook on high for another hour or until venison is tender.

3. Shred meat with a fork and serve on good bread, topped with peppers and onions from pot.

5. Goose Fingers

tailgating recipe
Legendary Whitetails

Ingredients:

1 goose breast
1 cup flour
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
Cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil (for cooking)

What to do:

1. Debone goose breast and slice into 1 inch-wide strips along the length of the breast.

2. Beat egg. Put flour and bread crumbs into two separate bowls.

3. Season goose with Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper.

4. Coat strips in flour, then egg, and then bread crumbs. Fry in vegetable oil until golden brown. Eat with favorite dipping sauce.

6. Venison Roast

Recipe via Ryan Lisson

Ingredients:

Medium venison roast
1 large yellow onion
1 large tart apple
2 large carrots
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic
1 cup water
1 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper

What to do:

1. The morning of the game, sear all sides of the venison roast using the vegetable oil in a cast iron pan over high heat. Sear each side for about 1 minute or until a nice crust develops.

2. Remove from pan and place in crock pot. Add onion, carrot, and apple slices, as well as garlic and seasonings.

3. Either start at home or bring with to game and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. Add hot water, beef broth, and flour to create a delicious gravy. Serve on a bun or with a side of your choice.

7. Grilled Apple Bacon Goose

tailgating recipe
Legendary Whitetails

Ingredients:

Goose breast cut into 1 inch strips
Green apple, cored and sliced
Bacon strips

What to do:

1. Pair one slice of apple with a strip of goose meat.

2. Wrap in a piece of bacon and grill until bacon starts to crisp and goose is cooked to your liking.

3. Serve with whatever sauce you like.

8. Mexican Pheasant Dip

tailgating recipe
Legendary Whitetails

Ingredients:

6 pheasant breasts, diced into cubes
1 lb of shredded cheese
Seasoning salt
1 can of corn
1 can of black beans
1 can of pinto beans
1 large jar salsa

What to do:

1. Spray a crock pot with cooking spray. Drain and add the beans, corn, and half the salsa.  

2. Add the diced pheasant, and sprinkle with some seasoning salt and the rest of the salsa. Sprinkle with a light layer of cheese. 

3. Cook on high for 4 hours, and drain some liquid if necessary.

4. After bringing to your tailgate party, cook on low for an hour, add more cheese, and serve with chips.

9. Venison Chili

Recipe via Ryan Lisson

Ingredients:

1 large onion
1 lb venison burger
1 lb beef burger
1 large can each of dark kidney beans, light kidney beans, and great northern beans
3 tomatoes, or 2 cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 medium can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon butter
Seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne, smoked paprika)

What to do:

1. Sauté onion in the butter until translucent and put in crock pot.

2. Brown ground meat in skillet and drain fat. Add to onion.

3. Chop tomatoes (or open cans of diced tomatoes). Add to crock pot with tomato sauce and seasonings.

4. Cook on low 4 to 6 hours.

5. Bring to tailgate party. Place on high for 20 minutes to heat up. Serve with hot sauce and bread.

10. Grilled Venison Teriyaki Kabobs

tailgating recipe
Legendary Whitetails

Ingredients:

Venison, cut in short chunks
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 red onion
1 pineapple
1 green and red pepper

What to do:

1. Put the water in a pan, and mix in soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, onion powder, and garlic powder. Heat over medium heat to dissolve the sugar.

2. Pour mixture over venison chunks and let marinate overnight in refrigerator.

3. Place the venison, onion, pineapple, and peppers on skewers, alternating each layer. Cover and place in cooler to bring to tailgate party.

4. Place kabobs on the grill, cooking to own preference.

11. Pheasant and Wild Rice

tailgating recipe
Food.com

Ingredients:

1 (2 1/2 lb) pheasant, dressed
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
3 whole allspice
2 tablespoons sherry wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups cooked wild rice

What to do:

1. Cut pheasant into quarters, and dredge pieces in flour.

2. Melt butter in oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add pheasant, and cook until browned on both sides, turning once.

3. Add everything else except wild rice. Put skillet in oven, covered, at 350°F for 1 1/2 hours or until tender.

4. Remove skillet from oven. Remove pheasant from skillet, and keep warm by covering in tinfoil.

5. Cook pan drippings in skillet over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 cups.

6. Serve with pheasant and rice.

12. Grouse Soup

Recipe via Ryan Lisson

Ingredients:

2 grouse breasts, cubed
3 tablespoons butter
4 carrots, diced
2 yellow onions, diced
1 handful kale leaves, cut in short strips
1 small rutabaga, diced
4 cups chicken stock
Rosemary
Salt & pepper

What to do:

1. The morning of the game, combine diced carrots, onions, rutabaga, and butter in a large soup pot. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add chicken stock, grouse meat, and kale. Season with rosemary, salt, and pepper to taste.

3. Simmer for an hour and a half. Bring to game, and reheat over camp stove for instant soup.

13. Deer Poppers

tailgating recipe
Legendary Whitetails

Ingredients:

6 jalapeno peppers
1 deer tenderloin
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup olive oil
6 pieces bacon cut in half
1 block cream cheese

What to do:

1. Marinade tenderloin overnight in soy sauce and oil.

2. In the morning before the big game, cut meat into thin strips and cut bacon into half pieces. Cut jalapenos lengthwise and remove seeds.

3. Stuff jalapenos with cream cheese in the center, and wrap with tenderloin strips and bacon.

4. Put on grill on medium heat and cook until bacon is crispy.

14. Beer Can Pheasant

tailgating recipe
Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook

Ingredients:

1 empty Red Bull can, washed
Enough beer to fill half the can (use any beer you want)
1 whole pheasant, plucked and gutted
2 tablespoons olive oil to coat bird
Salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon dried thyme

What to do:

1. At the game, take the pheasant and beer out and let them rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

2. While you wait, prepare your grill for indirect heat. If you are using charcoal, put the coals on one side of the grill, leaving another side free of coals. If you are using a gas grill, fire up only half of the burners.

3. Rub the pheasant all over with olive oil. Mix the salt, pepper, and thyme in a bowl and sprinkle it over the pheasant.

4. Fill the Red Bull can halfway with beer. Put the can inside the pheasant’s cavity and place the pheasant on the cool side of the grill. The legs and the can will act like a tripod to keep the pheasant upright.

5. Cover the grill and cook for about 40 minutes. After that time, check the pheasant and add more coals if needed. Stick a thermometer into the thickest part of the pheasant’s thigh — you want it to read 160 degrees. If it’s not there, close the grill lid and come back in 15 minutes. Continue in this fashion until the pheasant is done.

6. Carefully move the pheasant to a pan. Let the pheasant rest for 10 minutes. Lift it off the can and carve into serving pieces. Add favorite barbeque sauce and serve.

15. Grilled Venison Heart

Recipe via Ryan Lisson

Ingredients:

As many venison hearts you can get your hands on
1 cup olive oil
1 cup white wine vinegar
Favorite seasonings (salt and pepper, but coriander and sage work very well)

What to do:

1. Trim the hearts of all fat, tallow, and connective or vascular tissue. Slice across the heart, about 1 inch thick.

2. Marinade in remaining ingredients in plastic bag overnight.

3. At game, grill heart steaks over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes per side, depending on preferred doneness.

16. Buttermilk Fried Quail

tailgating recipe
Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook

Ingredients:

8 to 16 quail, cut in half lengthwise
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups vegetable oil

What to do:

1. At home, mix the buttermilk with the all the spices, except the salt. Coat the quail with the mixture and set in a covered container for as little as an hour, and as much as 8 hours.

2. At the game, pour the oil into a large pan — a big cast iron frying pan or Dutch oven is ideal — and heat over medium-high heat. You want the oil to almost submerge the quail halves.

3. Meanwhile, take the quail out of the buttermilk and let it drain in a colander.

4. Let the oil heat until it is about 325°F; this is the point where a sprinkle of flour will immediately sizzle. Do not let the oil smoke! When the oil is hot, pour the flour and salt into a plastic bag and shake to combine. Put a few quail into the bag and shake to get them coated in flour.

5. Fry for about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the quail over and fry for another 3 to 4 minutes. You will probably need to fry in batches, so just leave the unfried quail in the colander until you are ready to flour them up and fry them. Don’t let the floured pieces sit.

6. When the quail are golden brown, let them rest on a rack set over a paper towel to drain away any excess oil. Serve hot or at room temperature.

17. Flamin’ Venison Backstraps

tailgating recipe
Legendary Whitetails

Ingredients:

Venison backstrap
1 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup teriyaki sauce
1 lb thick-sliced smoked bacon
Course ground pepper

What to do:

1. Cover the backstrap with each of the 3 sauces. Marinate at least an hour.

2. Lay the bacon strips out flat, side-by-side, so the side edges touch.

3. Remove the backstrap from the marinade and lay on the bacon. Cover the backstrap on all sides heavily with the course ground pepper. Wrap the backstrap with the bacon, securing with toothpicks.

4. Grill on medium-low for about 40 minutes or until level of desired doneness has been obtained.

18. Venison Ribs

tailgating recipe
MeatEater

Ingredients:

Venison ribs
Favorite pork dry rub
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup yellow mustard

What to do:

1. Using a hacksaw or bone saw cut a rack of venison ribs perpendicular to the bones, so that you get three strips of connected rib bones that are about five or six inches long. Then cut these strips into pieces containing three or four ribs apiece.

2. Place the ribs into a pressure cooker and add just enough water to cover them. Cook at full pressure for thirty minutes. By then, the ribs should be tender enough for the meat to fall off the bone.

3. Remove the ribs from the pressure cooker, and let them cool. Before the tailgate party, give them a generous rub-down with your favorite dry rub. Combine the vinegar and mustard for the mop sauce.

4. Lay the ribs in a single layer on the pre-heated grill. Since they’re already cooked, you’re just looking to give them a light char and get them crisp. Flip often, and mop on a generous coat of the glaze each time they flip. They should be done in about 10 to 15 minutes.

19. Duck Roll Ups

tailgating recipe
Legendary Whitetails

Ingredients:

6 duck breasts
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup brown sugar
Garlic
1 red or green pepper
1 Onion
1 pound bacon

What to do:

1. Fillet each breast into 3 fillets for a total of 18. Using a meat tenderizer pound out fillets to make them thin.

2. Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, and wine in a deep bowl. Marinate duck fillets in mixture for 1 hour, then drain.

3. Lay breast fillets out and spread 1 tsp minced garlic on each fillet. Place 1 thinly sliced pepper strip and 1 thinly sliced onion strip on each fillet.

4. Roll up each fillet and wrap a strip of bacon around each fillet completely. Insert 2 toothpicks into fillet to keep the roll up together.

5. At the game, cook on preheated grill until bacon is crisp.

20. Grilled BBQ Rabbit

tailgating recipe
Legendary Whitetails

Ingredients:

Fresh rabbit
Water (enough to cover all rabbits)
Salt (enough to make water taste salty)
Garlic salt
Pepper
Spreadable butter
Olive oil
BBQ sauce

What to do:

1. Wash your rabbits with clean water, and submerge them in a bowl with water and salt. Let sit in fridge over night.

2. Game day morning, rinse rabbits well. Rub olive oil on them just enough to cover surface.

3. Pre-heat grill to medium heat. Meanwhile, rub butter onto surface and sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper to your liking. Place on grill.

4. Rabbits are done when the core temperature reaches 170ºF in the fattest part. While grilling the rabbit, baste with melted butter every 15 minutes to keep moist. Towards the end, baste with BBQ sauce as well.

21. Hot Peppers and Backstrap

tailgating recipe
Legendary Whitetails

Ingredients:

Jarred Italian hot peppers
Venison backstraps
Garlic
Spinach

What to do:

1. Marinade backstraps in hot peppers for at least three hours.

2. Remove backstraps and grill to medium rare (or to preference).

3. Sauté garlic and spinach with the hot peppers. Slice the backstraps and spoon the hot pepper mixture over the top.

22. Venison Sausage

Recipe via Ryan Lisson

Ingredients:

2 pounds venison scraps, cubed
2 pounds pork shoulder, cubed
2 tablespoons each salt and pepper
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
1/2 cup minced garlic
1 cup cold water

What to do:

1. Grind the meat together using the medium plate of your grinder.

2. Combine the spices, garlic, and cold water, and add to meat mixture. Incorporate well. Stuff into natural sausage casings.

3. Grill over medium heat and enjoy.

23. Homestyle Meat and Gravy

tailgating recipe
Legendary Whitetails

Ingredients:

Venison, cut into steak thicknesses
Seasoned flour
Vegetable oil
1 onion
Water
Milk (optional)

What to do:

1. Pour a generous amount of seasoned flour (with salt and pepper) into a bowl and dredge each venison steak.

2. Heat oil in a frying pan over a camp stove and gently begin to lay each piece of meat into the pan. Fry for a few minutes on each side, or until desired doneness. Remove from pan and lay on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb oil.

3. Drop about 2 tablespoons of seasoned flour in the leftover oil in the pan, and stir until a roux forms (add more oil, if needed now). Stir in a cup or so of water until a gravy starts to form. At this time, either keep adding water until you get the consistency of gravy you want, or start adding milk for a whiter gravy.

24. Bacon Wrapped Duck Bites

tailgating recipe
Legendary Whitetails

Ingredients:

1 cup steak sauce
1 cup whiskey
1 pound bacon strips, cut in half
6 duck breasts, deboned and cut into cubes
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

What to do:

1. Stir the steak sauce and whiskey together in a bowl. Pour the marinade into a resealable plastic bag and add the duck cubes. Seal the bag, turn once or twice to thoroughly coat the duck, and place in the refrigerator or cooler until you get to the tailgate party.

2. Preheat a grill for medium heat. Soak wood skewers in a bowl of water at least 30 minutes to prevent burning.

3. Remove the duck from the marinade, and discard the sauce. Wrap a piece of bacon around each duck cube and push a skewer all the way through several pieces to secure the bacon.

4. Cook the duck bites on the preheated grill until bacon is crisp and duck is no longer pink, turning once, about 5 to 10 minutes.

25. Venison Zip Dip

tailgating recipe
Legendary Whitetails

Ingredients:

2 lbs ground venison
1 can refried beans
1 packet taco seasoning
1/2 cup milk
1 jar salsa
1 2-lb. box Velveeta cheese, cubed
2 tablespoons ranch dressing

What to do:

1. Brown and drain meat. Add can of beans and taco seasoning. Add enough water to mix together.

2. Cut cheese into cubes and add to crock pot with milk. Set pot to high to melt cheese. While cheese is melting, add all other ingredients.

3. Stir frequently. Simmer on low. Serve with your favorite dipping chips.

If you enjoyed these recipes, check out the following article!

NEXT: 5 Unusual Venison Recipes You’ve Never Heard Of

Follow me on Twitter @rjlisson

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Say Goodbye to Hot Dogs with These 25 Wild Game Tailgating Recipes [PICS]