You will love these venison meatballs; baked in the oven, smothered with a delicious, homemade bbq sauce. No frying needed! Just form into balls, place in a pan, cover with sauce, and bake! Soft, juicy, and so flavorful!
Tip: The secret is lots of onion and garlic to neutralize the gamey flavor. If you dress venison properly, it isn’t very gamey anyways. But if you are working with a mature buck, it will be more gamey than a doe. This recipe sure helps reduce that wild game taste.
How to make venison meatballs
First, you mix the egg, cracker crumbs, onion, garlic, ketchup, and spices. I just stir it all together with a fork.
Second, you add the ground venison. (deer, elk, antelope, or moose all work equally well) Break up the meat with your hands gently as you add it to the bowl.
Third, mix the meat and spices together gently. You can use a spoon or your hands. I always use my hands because I feel like I can do a better job. But whatever you use, just stir enough to incorporate all ingredients, and be careful not to over mix, or the meatballs will get tough.
Next, form into balls and place in a greased casserole dish. I just spray the dish first, with non-stick cooking spray.
How to make the BBQ sauce
Then you mix up the BBQ sauce. I have a Ninja food processor, and I like to use the small blender bowl to make the sauce. I place all the sauce ingredients into the bowl and blend it good. It only takes a few seconds.
Here is the model I use: (affiliate link)
Alternately, you can finely dice the onion and stir it together with the rest of the bbq sauce ingredients.
Spoon the BBQ sauce over the meatballs and cover the pan. Bake for 45 min, then uncover and bake another 10 minutes.
I like to serve with baked potatoes and a vegetable, or simple pasta.
Tips for perfect meatballs
-Don’t overmix! This is the biggest cause of tough meatballs. Just mix very gently.
-I blend the bbq sauce so my kids won’t complain about the onions, haha! It’s quite good with diced onions as well, if you prefer that. The sauce has a thinner consistency when you use diced onions.
-If you take your wild game to a meat processor, ask them to add 5% suet (beef fat) to your ground meat. It really makes venison lovely to work with!
-You can substitute tomato sauce for the ketchup.
-You can substitute quick oats or breadcrumbs for the cracker crumbs.
Venison BBQ Meatballs
- mixing bowl
- casserole dish
- knife or food processor
- 1 lb ground venison deer, elk, antelope, or moose meat
- 1 egg
- 1/2 sleeve ritz crackers, crushed finely about 1/2 cup - can substitute oatmeal or bread crumbs
- 1/2 onion about 1/3 cup
- 2 cloves garlic, diced or pressed
- 1 TBL Worcestershire
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/3 cup ketchup can substitute tomato sauce
- BBQ Sauce:
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 TBL worcestershire
- 1/2 onion, diced about 1/3 cup
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350*.
- Mix egg, crackers, onion, garlic, worcestershire, salt, pepper, 1/3 cup ketchup together in a mixing bowl.
- Add ground meat, mixing gently with hands or spoon.
- Form into 12 meatballs. Place into a greased casserole dish.
- Place sauce ingredients into a blender and blend for 20 seconds. Spoon over meatballs.
- Bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.
That looks delicious!
Made these for dinner last night. They were super easy and the family loved them – especially the sauce. Simple, used standard pantry ingredients, frugal and delicious. As I try more and more of your recipes I am learning they are all like this.
Kay Schrock says
Thank you so much! I’m so happy that you enjoy my recipes.