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Easy Crockpot Venison Chili

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Lee Tea loves cooking, including with venison and other wild and seasonal ingredients.

A Satisfying Home-Style Dish With Just the Right Kick

As far as chili recipes go, there might be billions online! Four-star, five-alarm, tailgate, party—there's all kinds! Some with bacon, beer, jalapeños, and/or sausage. In my house, we have three or four go-to recipes just for venison chili alone.

This recipe gets to the heart of what makes a good bowl of satisfying, home-style chili without lengthy prep time, or high cost. It has a well-rounded flavor, is not too heavy on any one element, and adds just the right amount of heat (that is, spicy enough to satisfy dad's picky palette, but not too spicy for the kids! Well, ok, maybe a smidge too spicy for the kids...). Just chop up a few vegetables, cook with the meat, and throw everything else into the crockpot. A few hours later, you've got a delicious bowl of chili that everyone will enjoy! And because it stays warm (and gets better) in the crock pot, this recipe is perfect for families with different schedules, gatherings, and guests throughout the day.

Ground beef may be substituted for the venison. Just drain after cooking and add cumin to the crock pot, not directly to the meat.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

5 hours

5 hours 15 min

6-8 servings


  • 1-2 lbs ground venison
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 can (28 oz) tomatoes, diced or whole, undrained
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6-8 oz) tomato paste
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) kidney beans, light or dark, drained
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cubes beef bouillon, dissolved in 1 cup hot water
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp tabasco or Red Hot sauce
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp hot or regular paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
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Optional Toppings:

  • Tortilla chips
  • Sour cream
  • Cheese
  • Jalapeño
  • More onions
  • Green onions
  • Whatever else you like, really!

Crank Up the Flavor!

For an even deeper, richer, and more complex and flavorful chili, give this a try:

  • add 1/4 cup of strongly brewed coffee and
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder.

Why? Plants that grow together go well together! Chili peppers, coffee plants, and cacao trees are long-time friends.


  1. In a skillet, break up ground venison. Sprinkle with cumin. Add onion, green pepper, and garlic. Cook until browned throughout.
  2. In a crock pot, add remaining ingredients (in order works well). Add contents of skillet and stir.
  3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours.

Make It, Then Rate It!

Dinner's Ready!

Enjoy now, later, tomorrow, alone, with friends, topped with cheddar, sour cream, or both! Goes great with cornbread muffins, cornbread, or just plain buttered rolls.

This is a highly flexible recipe with lots of room for improvisation. If you feel like adding an ingredient or omitting a spice, the choice is yours! I advise, though, to resist the temptation to increase the amount of the spices I have listed until the chili has simmered for 4-5 hours, as they increase in potency throughout cook time. But no matter what you do, you'll be relieved to have a hot, delicious meal at the ready for you, your friends, and family. I'm going to have a bowl now for dinner and leave the crockpot simmering throughout the evening—it's my turn to host game night tonight!

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