Venison Meatballs

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

Winter is officially upon us! And I’m tired of eating the same ol’ same ol’ every weeknight. These venison meatballs certainly break up the monotony.

Venison is increasingly becoming more and more widely commercially available. I’ve seen it in my standard grocery stores from time to time, usually tucked away by the veal and lamb.

As a “city slicker,” venison has always been a meat that has confused and alluded many of us. But not that it’s becoming more available to the general public, I’m excited to incorporate more of it into my diet.

Venison is actually extremely tasty – just a hint of gameyness adds savory flavor to an otherwise standard meatball recipe. Once you’ve tried it though, you’ll wish all meatballs were made from venison!

crock pot venison meatballs

Venison Meatballs

The Starving Chef
Venison is actually extremely tasty – just a hint of gameyness adds savory flavor to an otherwise standard meatball recipe.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine Instant Pot, Meatballs, Slow Cooker
Servings 8



  • 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.
  • For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Saute the onion, garlic and tomato paste until fragrant – about 5-8 minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes, capers and caper juice. Cook until the moisture from the tomatoes is reduced or for about ten 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.


  • 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 low 3-4 hours or on high 6-8 hours.


  • 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 low for 3 hours or on high for 6 hours.
  • Serve cooked meatballs and sauce over a bed or your favorite pasta. Enjoy!
Keyword meatballs, slow cooker, venison
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