Venison Chili Con Carne

Venison Chili Con Carne is the perfect make-ahead dinner for guests.  The chili actually tastes better after it rests in the refrigerator overnight. I like to double the recipe—one batch for my family and one for a special night of entertaining.  

By the way, you should see the mess in my kitchen right now. I am browning 16 pounds of venison in two Dutch ovens and on the flat top of the stove. I have never really been a tidy cook! Then again, I think that messy cooks are more imaginative and take more good risks. Or maybe that’s just what I tell myself while I make the messes that I make. This chili recipe definitely will make a good mess in your kitchen!

Chili con carne made with venison and served with southern fried cornbread courtesy of Stacy Lyn Harris

What Is Chili Con Carne?

Chili con carne just means “chili with meat.” This hearty chili-pepper dish originated in either northern Mexico or southern Texas hundreds of years ago, thus the Spanish name. In the early 1900s, Texas had tons of small chili parlors, and the trend soon spread across other states.

I believe that venison gives meaty chili an incredible flavor. One of my favorite things about this dish is that I don’t use ground meat, but chop the venison into 1/4 inch cubes.

Spicy or Mild? It’s Your Choice.

I use chipotle peppers in adobe sauce to add depth of flavor in this chili.  If you don’t want it “spicy hot,” you can just remove the seeds from the peppers before using them.  

It was difficult to make this dish mild while my kids were urging me strongly to add the entire can of chipotle peppers.  I hated to blow up the guests with heat!  

Eat Some Chili Con Carne Tonight, Freeze More for Later

This chili con carne freezes great. So even if you aren’t having guests, you can make a double or quadruple batch to freeze for later. Put the chili in freezer bags, date the bags, and lie flat in the freezer. It tastes just as good in three months as it does the day you make it. Serve Venison Con Carne with Southern Fried Cornbread.

Be sure to watch the video for Chili Con Carne below for extra tips.

Chili con carne made with venison and served with southern fried cornbread courtesy of Stacy Lyn Harris


One of my favorite things about this dish is that I don't use ground meat, but chop the venison into 1/4 inch cubes. I also use chipotle peppers in adobe sauce to add depth of flavor.
5 from 2 votes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican


  • 1 16- ounce can of tomatoes diced
  • 3 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chili in adobe sauce
  • 5 slices bacon finely chopped
  • 4 pounds venison stew meat cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chili seeded and chopped
  • 1- can kidney beans
  • 3- tablespoons chili powder
  • teaspoons ground cumin
  • teaspoon oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow corn mix


  • In a food processor, place tomatoes and chipotle chili and puree until smooth (This should only take about 10 seconds). In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towel. Leave the fat in the pan.
  • Pat venison dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the fat until smoking hot. Brown half of the venison. (Do not crowd the pan or the meat will steam instead of brown). This should take about 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to bowl and repeat.
  • Add the olive oil, onions, and jalapeño to Dutch oven and cook for about 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in kidney beans, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds. Stir in broth, tomato mixture and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Add the meat to the Dutch oven then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Uncover and simmer for about 30 minutes longer.
  • Ladle 1-cup chili liquid into medium-sized bowl and stir in yellow corn mix. Whisk mixture into chili and simmer until chili thickens. Check seasonings. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or cheese and Jalapeño Cornbread.
Keyword chili, fall recipes, stacey lyn, stacey lynn, stacy lyn, stacy lynn, venison
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  1. Tina Parham says:

    I cannot wait to try this recipe…Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Stacy Harris says:

    Thanks Tina! Let me know what you think! Thanks for commenting.

  3. we love you chili con carne so much over a bunch of boiled patatoes! AWESOME! We are buying your book. We are hunters and harvest aleast 2 t 3 deer a year. I am looking foward to cooking more thanks to you!

    1. Stacy Harris says:

      That sounds great! Even better over baked french fries. Yummy!!! THanks for commenting. I always love feedack. I love having enough venison for the entire year to eat. It is so incredibly healthy. I think that you will love the book. I have quite a few sides that go well with the main courses and a few desserts to boot. Please keep in touch.

  4. when you say to use yellow corn mix, do you mean corn meal? or a mix like Jiffy?

    1. Stacy Harris says:

      I did use Jiffy cornmeal mix for this recipe. It is a little finer and has a sweeter taste than plain cornmeal. This is a must try. Let me know what you think!

      1. Cooked the chili Friday night and ate it at the deer camp Saturday. Turned out great and everyone enjoyed it. Thanks for the recipe.

        1. Stacy Harris says:

          Thanks Chad. I am so glad that it turned out well. Let me know if you try another recipe!!

  5. Ray Allen says:

    Couple of questions: 1. Assume recipe means 2 T Olive Oil? Bullets got separated. 2. What are you using canned tomatoes and not making your own stewed tomatoes? That said, if using canned why not use flavored/enhanced (basil and oregano for example)? Don’t get me wrong, I use the canned tomatoes all the time (I find the flavored better), but, I also am growing a crop of tomatoes this year and want to can my own for use in spaghetti and chili…

    1. Ray Allen, thanks for bringing my attention to the bullet being separated on the olive oil. Yes, you are correct. 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. I will correct that. Now for your second question…I am using my HOMEMADE pints (16 ounces) of canned tomatoes. I am very sorry for leaving that point out of the recipe. You can use any canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, flavored tomatoes or any tomatoes you wish for your chili. Glad you are growing your own tomatoes this year. Making what you like is one of the benefits of gardening.

      1. When do you add the meat back to the other ingredients?

        1. Danny, add the meat back to the Dutch oven as soon as the brown sugar is dissolved in the liquid and the liquid is simmering. The meat needs to simmer or braise for another hour with the other ingredients. I hope you love the recipe.

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