Spaghetti and ground venison mix into a tasty one skillet pasta dish.
Jennifer Danella

Southwestern Venison Pasta

All the flavors of taco night, served up in a pasta dish. Yum!

Combining the very best parts of classic tacos with a spaghetti dinner may seem like an odd mash-up, but hear us out: There's nothing that says you can't give your meat sauce a little Southwestern flair. A solid spaghetti recipe already has chunky tomatoes, savory onions, and ground beef in the sauce. Still, this recipe allows you to dip into your game meat stores, adding the earthy flavor of venison to your pasta.

Plus, the spaghetti and ground venison mix into a tasty, one-skillet pasta dish—and we all love easy recipes, especially for camping meals. While we like to use a cast iron skillet from time to time, this recipe can be made entirely in a stainless steel pan. Start by browning your ground venison before adding the rest of your ingredients. Top with some cilantro, and enjoy!

Southwestern Venison Pasta Bake


  • 1 pound ground venison
  • ½ large white onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 8 ounces of uncooked spaghetti
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (Monterey jack, cheddar, or Colby jack preferred), divided
  • Chopped cilantro, to garnish (optional)

Recipe Directions

  1. Add ground venison to a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Begin to brown the meat, breaking it up as it cooks.

  2. Add diced onion and bell pepper as it browns. Once the meat is no longer pink, drain off any fat.

  3. Add minced garlic and seasonings and stir for one minute.

  4. Add in Rotel and beef broth. Bring to a boil.

  5. Once boiling, break the pasta in half and add it to the skillet. Mix until the pasta is well combined into the broth, then cover and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is tender. If it looks like your pasta needs more liquid during the process, add extra liquid as needed.

  6. Mix in one cup of the shredded cheese. Then, top with the remaining cup of cheese and cover with the lid to finish melting. Serve warm. Garnish with cilantro if desired.

READ MORE: Cook It: Cheesy Venison Taco Rice Skillet