The Starving Chef Recipe: Venison Meatballs

Venison Spaghetti
Bucking the beef.

By Felicia Vargo, The Starving Chef

Pick your preferred cooking method with these amazingly simple—and delicious—venison meatballs.

Venison Meatballs

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 3 or 6 hours
Makes: 4-6 servings


1 lb. ground venison
1 egg
¼ C bread crumbs
¼ C grated parmesan cheese
2 T parsley, finely chopped
½ T dried minced garlic
½ T dried minced onion
1 t red pepper flakes (optional)
½ t salt
¼ t pepper


2 C beef broth
15 oz. tomato sauce
14.5 oz. diced tomatoes
¼ red onion, finely chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T red tomato paste
1 T oregano
1 T thyme
2 T capers
1 t caper juice
1 T olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Choice of pasta, for serving

Here’s How
  1. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the meatballs until completely blended. Separate the meat mixture into individual and equally sized portions and roll into meatballs. Set aside.
  2. For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Saute the onion, garlic and tomato paste until fragrant—about five to eight minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes, capers and caper juice. Cook until the moisture from the tomatoes is reduced or for about 10 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, beef broth, thyme and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a rolling bubble then remove from heat.
  3. Slow cooker method: Sear the meatballs on all sides in a large skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Place the browned meatballs in the bottom of a slow cooker and pour the sauce over the meatballs. Cook on high three hours or on low for six hours.
  4. Instant Pot Method: Brown the meatballs in olive oil by using the Instant Pot (IP) on saute mode. Remove and set aside. Make the sauce in the IP on saute mode following the sauce pan instructions given above. Then turn the IP to slow cook mode and submerge the meatballs in the sauce. Slow cook on high three hours or low for six hours.
  5. Serve cooked meatballs and sauce over a bed or your favorite pasta. Enjoy!

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Categories: Food & Dining