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Our Homemade Venison Chili Recipe is So Good, Our Nana Said It Was the Best Ever

PHotos: Lyndsay Burginger

You've got a new go-to for your homemade venison chili recipe. 

Have some ground venison sitting in your freezer? Defrost it and make this homemade venison chili along with all the fixins!

We couldn't have gotten better help in the form of Wide Open Eats Managing Editor Lyndsay Burginger, a wizard in the kitchen and the brains behind this recipe. She put it together, dished it up for her extended family, and received the ultimate complement. Her boyfriend's Nana said it was "The best chili she's ever had!"

How can you argue with that? Try it out and see if this Nana-approved venison recipe tops the others you've tried in the past.


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs ground venison
  • 2 15.5 oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 10 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 4.5 oz can diced green chilies
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, green onions, radish for serving


In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat oil over medium-high until shimmering. Add in the onions, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, thyme, paprika and salt, and pepper. Cook until vegetables have softened, about 7-10 minutes.

Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the venison and cook until it is no longer pink, about 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add in the kidney beans, tomatoes, green chilies, and tomato paste. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to low and cover, simmering for 45 minutes.

Remove the lid and continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Place in bowls and top with shredded cheese, sliced green onions, sour cream, and sliced radishes.



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Our Homemade Venison Chili Recipe is So Good, Our Nana Said It Was the Best Ever