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Spicy Jalapeño Venison Chili Recipe

Chili is delicious any time of the year – whether the year's first frost has descended upon your hunting fields, or you're reaching for the last package of ground venison at the bottom of the freezer.

Spicy Jalapeño Venison Chili Recipe
Serve this Spicy Jalapeño Venison Chili Recipe with shredded cheddar cheese and crackers or cornbread. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)
Print Recipe

Hot and spicy, it is no wonder chili is a favorite recipe for fall and winter, but its peppery flavors also do wonders at hiding “older” meat from last season. You know when ground meat turns from bright red to brown from freezer burn and oxidation? Chili doesn’t care like hamburger does. Chili will welcome any ground meat in hearty embrace, much like you offering a warm bowl of venison chili to those you care about.

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 ½ pounds of ground venison
  • 1 large yellow/brown onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon of powdered onion
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 can of drained pinto beans
  • 1 can of drained red beans
  • Half a can of traditional refried beans
  • 16 ounces of canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of molasses
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 1-2 cups of low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced
  • 1-2 cups of beef broth
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Saltine crackers or cornbread


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add ground venison and brown with salt and pepper, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon. Next, add another 1 tablespoon of oil, plus chopped onion and garlic. Sweat onion until softened and translucent.

    Spicy Jalapeño Venison Chili Recipe
    Sweat the chopped onions in ground venison until they are translucent. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)
  2. Next, lower heat to medium and add cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and paprika. Stir and combine spices into the meat, allowing the spices to get toasted a bit. Then add the beans, tomatoes, bay leaves, molasses, sugar and enough beef broth to submerge ingredients. Drop jalapeño slices, to taste, into the chili, cover and simmer on low for 1 hour.

    Spicy Jalapeño Venison Chili Recipe
    Add some or all of the jalapeños to the venison chili, depending on how spicy you like it. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)
  3. Taste chili for seasoning; add salt and sugar as needed. Discard bay leaves and jalapeño. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and crackers or cornbread.

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