meat lovers pizza dip
Jennifer Danella for Wide Open Spaces

Recipe: Venison Lover's Pizza Dip

Make a homemade venison sausage or use one from your butcher!

Who doesn't love a good pizza? There is something magical about hot marinara, melty cheese, and salty pepperoni. For me, the combination makes me think about crisp fall evenings and the cozy comfort food that goes along with the weather changing.  The only thing better than pizza is a tasty dip, much like this chorizo venison dip, and this recipe hits the spot by combining two scrumptious dishes.

Whether you make your own, or your butcher makes it for you, adding ground venison sausage to your pizza dip takes it to the next level.  The dip is very easy to make, just gather up your ingredients, a cast iron skillet, and in just under 30 minutes you can dive in. The venison lover's dip can be used as a meat-filled appetizer with garlic bread, bruschetta, or some french bread, or as a light dinner. It can also be put together ahead of time, then cooked right before you're ready to serve it up, especially if you're using it for a gathering.

Venison Lover's Pizza Dip Recipe


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  • 24-ounce jar of marinara sauce
  • 3 ounces pepperoni, divided
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese divided
  • 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Chopped fresh basil to garnish
  • French baguette, sliced into ¼ inch pieces and toasted.

Italian Venison Sausage Ingredients

(Note: If you have Italian Venison Sausage from your butcher, you can use that instead!)

  • 1/2 pound ground venison
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Recipe Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add ground venison. Cook until the venison is no longer pink, breaking it up as it cooks.
  3. Drain grease, if any, then season with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, fennel, and red pepper flakes. Mix until the seasonings are well combined.
  4. Add in the jar of marinara sauce and stir well. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Top with half of the ricotta cheese in dollops all around the skillet. Then, sprinkle ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning over top.
  6. Place half of the pepperoni over the top. Then, sprinkle on mozzarella and Parmesan.
  7. Add the remaining half of pepperoni, then the remaining ricotta in dollops. Top with remaining ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning, sprinkled.
  8. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  9. Increase the heat to broil for 1-2 minutes or until crisp.
  10. Garnish with basil and serve with toasted and sliced baguette, or try with garlic bread or breadsticks! 

READ MORE: This Venison Backstrap Burrito Recipe Is a Must for Deer Hunting Season