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Venison Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe

This isn't your average mac and cheese recipe! Homemade venison chili is topped with a creamy, four-cheese pasta and then baked to perfection.

Venison Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe
Make this Venison Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe even creamier by boiling the pasta 3-4 minutes longer than the directions say on the box.
Print Recipe

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours

Venison Chili Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds ground venison
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups red wine
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup whole Italian tomatoes

Mac and Cheese Ingredients:

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 ½ cups half-&-half
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Start by making the venison chili: Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and the ground venison.
  2. Season the venison with salt and pepper; stir until browned. Add the onions and garlic and saute over medium heat until they start to caramelize, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, this will remove some of the acid. Add red wine and reduce by half. Add the beef broth. Simmer the chili for 1 hour.
  4. Add the Italian tomatoes, chili powder, paprika, and ground cumin; simmer for another hour. Season with more salt and pepper, to taste, if needed.
  5. Place the venison chili in a casserole dish that is large enough for the chili to fill halfway. Wrap the chili with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  6. Cook the pasta for 3-4 minutes more than the directions on the box. Yes, they will be a little overcooked but as you will see this will make a very creamy mac and cheese.
  7. When the pasta is cooked, drain and shock the pasta under cold running water. Shake all of the excess water off the pasta and place it in a plastic container. Stir in the rest of the Mac and Cheese Ingredients, cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  8. Remove the pasta mixture and spoon on top of the chili. Sprinkle the top with grated Parmesan cheese and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from the oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.

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