The Perfect Venison Pasta Recipe for Beginners Cooking with Wild Game
Venison Pasta is one of the easiest recipes for beginners cooking with ground deer meat. My recipe with sun gold tomatoes perfectly complements the ground deer meat making it an easy venison recipe to repeat.
When thinking of an easy venison recipe for beginners who may not have much experience cooking with wild game, I like to consider two things:
- How can I make this accessible even to those who don’t consider themselves cooks, like me?
- How can I utilize ground deer meat as it is similar to ground beef?
My husband Nate is an avid hunter, and when we were first married, I was intimidated to not only eat, but cook wild game. There were not the resources we have now like MeatEater to provide information and inspiration to people like me. I loved the deer meat, but left cooking it to Nate.
Therefore, I created this Easy Venison Pasta Recipe as not only an easy venison recipe, but also a way to incorporate one of my favorite things to grow in the garden, sun gold tomatoes.
Tips for Cooking with Wild Game for Venison Pasta
Cooking with Ground Deer Meat vs Ground Beef
I prefer ground deer meat over ground beef. That is a bold statement, I know, but deer meat, to me, is so flavorful. We get our beef from a rancher and it’s way better than getting beef anywhere else. However, if I have a choice, I will choose the ground deer meat.
Cook Your Ground Deer Meat in Tallow for a More ‘Wild’ Flavor
Deer meat is different, and for some, might be an acquired taste. However, if you enjoy the game flavor, I highly recommend cooking it in tallow.
e tallow. But, you can use butter or only olive oil if you prefer.
Cook Your Ground Deer Meat in Something Acidic to Lower the Game Flavor
This recipe uses sweet tomatoes—sun gold tomatoes are very sweet—and white wine. Both are very acidic and sweet, which can help soften the flavor of the ground deer meat.
Common Questions about Venison Pasta
Does This Recipe Work with Other Types of Wild Game Meat?
Yes, this recipe works with any wild game meat, or typical meat that can be ground. This recipe could be interchanged with beef, bear, elk, moose, turkey, and probably much more. If you make this recipe with another meat, please let me know how it turns out for you!
Can this Recipe Be Made with Other Types of Tomatoes?
You can use any cherry tomatoes for this recipe. As you can see, I made this recipe with sun gold tomatoes and other heirloom cherry tomatoes from my garden.
I would suggest sticking to types of cherry tomatoes as I think they work best.
Does it Matter What Type of Pasta is Used for Venison Pasta?
You may use any pasta for this recipe. You could use spaghetti noodles, or even spaghetti squash for noodles. I bet that would taste delicious with the sweetness from the tomatoes and richness of the ground deer meat.
For most of my pasta recipes, I like to use Della Terra Pasta as they are local to Oklahoma and every one of their pastas taste amazing.
- 1 lb penne pasta
- 1 lb ground vension
- 2-3 cups of cherry tomatoes
- 2 T olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup of white wine
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 cup parmesan, plus more for topping
- Cook penne pasta in boiling water. Keep about one cup of the pasta's water before draining.
- While pasta cooks, heat olive oil in large pan. This pan will hold tomatoes, meat and pasta, so make sure it is very large.
- Sauté minced garlic first. I like to cook the garlic first and get it very well-incorporated into the olive oil before moving on.
- Once garlic is cooked and evenly dispersed in the pan, add tomatoes. Stir tomatoes around to ensure they are evenly coated with the olive oil. Let tomatoes sit for 10 minutes. You will see the skins start to soften and juices escape into the olive oil.
- While tomatoes cook, brown the ground venison in a medium-sized pan. You can cook the venison in butter or olive oil, but I recommend tallow if you have it.
- Add browned venison to the pan of tomatoes and add white wine. Lower the heat and let cook for 10 more minutes.
- Once everything is evenly cooked, add cooked pasta, basil and parmesan into the pan of venison and tomatoes. Mix well, add a splash of pasta water if it needs more moisture. Do not let it dry out.
- Once parmesan has melted down and pasta appears well mixed, you're ready for serving.
- Top with more parmesan and basil, to your liking and enjoy immediately.
Our favorite local-to-Oklahoma pasta is Della Terra Pasta.
We get our deer meat processed at Siegi's in Tulsa, OK.
If you do not harvest your own deer meat, you can order some from Broken Arrow Ranch.
This recipe can be made with ground beef instead of ground venison. You could also remove the meat altogether and just enjoy this as a Cherry Tomato Pasta.
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Photographs by Leah Payne