Chili Mac

Venison Chili Mac

Are you a chili mac fan? 
Chili MacLet me take that a step further…are you a fan of chili mac with venison?? I know what you’re gonna say, venison is so GAMEY and TOUGH. It doesn’t have to be. I’ve definitely had some deer that tasted like shit and too tough to chew. To be honest, the last time I had it (a few years ago) I decided I was breaking up with it. Done. It grossed me out. However, I’ve since changed my mind.

There’s a few things that are key, in my opinion, to getting your venison to not be an asshole. Start the tenderizing process by letting it sit in the fridge for a day or two after you take it out of the freezer; the enzymes start to breakdown slowly instead of being shocked by the microwave defrosting process. Use a marinade with citrus – it’s a natural tenderizer. Also, beat the hell out of it with a meat mallet or other meat tenderizing tool. Again, you want to break those fibers down.
Chili MacI was given some venison by a friend of mine recently and I have to say I’ve had fun with it. When I was at her house she made these – 
deerBattered and fried venison steak bites drizzled with maple syrup. They’re insane. I had to throw some mustard in the mix, because you know I can’t tolerate a lot of sweetness, and that made them even better. 

She gave me a roast, which I slow cooked in my new crockpot for several hours, then I let it rest and put it through my KitchenAid food grinder to grind it up for the chili. 
Chili MacI added Cabot’s Spreadable Habanero Cheese, which gives it not only cheesiness, but a special element of heat on top of the jalapenos I added to it. I know; I’m a pepper whore. 

Here’s your printable-

Venison Chili Mac

Venison Chili Mac


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 pounds ground venison
  • 2 packets chili seasoning
  • 1 28 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 16 oz cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 16 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16 oz can White Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 8 oz can yellow corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 8 oz can diced jalapenos
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 8 oz container Cabot Habanero Cheese Spread
  • 1 pound pasta, cooked and drained (I used orecchiette)
  • Cabot Farmhouse Reserve White Cheddar, shredded
  • Green onions, chopped


  • Add the olive oil to a dutch oven over medium high heat; add onion, sprinkle with salt, stir and reduce heat to medium.Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add venison through cheese spread; cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add pasta, stir well and serve topped with white cheddar and green onions.
  • [xyz-ihs snippet="Swoop"]


Of course - feel free to sub ground beef in place of the venison if you prefer.


  • Shea

    Shea Goldstein is a writer and the voice behind Dixie Chik Cooks. She's also a recipe developer and brand ambassador. She has been published in several media platforms such as Redbook, Parade, Food Blogger Magazine and more. She has been developing recipes and writing since 2009. Shea is a Southern Belle Who's Thinking About What's For Dinner While Eating Lunch

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Cameron Cranston

    Not sure how long this has been up but about half of the instructions are missing.

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