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Venison Meatballs

"I learned to cook game while my husband was a forestry student," recalls Sheila Reed from Fredericton, New Brunswick. "We lived off the land as much as possible. I still enjoy these savory meatballs in a slightly sweet barbecue sauce. I make a big batch for an annual pool party and there are never any left."
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 35 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup uncooked instant rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound ground venison
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup condensed tomato soup, undiluted
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons paprika


  • In a large bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Crumble venison over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. Place in a greased 8-in. square baking dish. Combine the remaining ingredients; pour over meatballs.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 35-45 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.
Nutrition Facts
4 each: 314 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 96mg cholesterol, 1016mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate (24g sugars, 2g fiber), 29g protein.

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  • Pinkney
    Nov 20, 2019

    I've made these a couple of times. Because we are on a restricted sugar/salt diet I don't use the brown sugar (don't miss it at all) and substitute tomato paste for the soup. I bake the meatballs covered with a traditional SC yellow BBQ sauce. These are the best meatballs I have ever made and the rice is the key ingredient. I usually just cook up a third cup of raw rice and use that instead of the instant rice, but imagine it doesn't matter either way. You can season them more heavily if you like, but you're going to like them no matter how you do so. Really, though, omit bread crumbs and use rice. There is a noticeable diff. in texture and flavor.

  • Terrila
    Nov 11, 2017


  • Pam
    Oct 2, 2017

    These are the best thing the whole family loves them.For a change BBQ sauce works well instead of ketchup

  • Vicki720
    Jan 10, 2016

    Never had or made venison before so was looking for easy recipe. Like the fact that had all ingredients at home. Made the mistake and used regular rice instead of instant, and added a few herbs to sauce that had on hand. Over all was really good, except for my mistake with using wrong rice. Would make again and share with family and friends.

  • meliss.beyer
    Dec 14, 2015

    I thought that these were just okay. My husband doesn't like anything sweet so I omitted the sauce and just added them to pasta sauce. To me, they were lacking seasoning. If I make them again I'd add more spices. They were very easy to make and I had all of the ingredients in hand.

  • Sunvette77
    Jan 17, 2015

    These meatballs came out great. Instead of the rice I pur?ed the onion and some carrot in and added some Worcester and hot sauce as well as an egg and a small amount of bread crumbs and Italian seasoning. I also only cooked these for 25 min at the 375 degrees suggested, delicious!

  • fwsoccerdad
    Jan 7, 2015

    Wow, thanks for this recipe. So easy to make and the preparation doesn't take days like many other dishes. The meatballs turned out great. I initially planned to serve these just as hors d'oeuvres that people could pick at through the day, not realizing that these very well may have stolen the show, so to speak. These were devoured in no time and I had to make another batch. I seasoned the meat with salt, pepper, and garlic powder prior to doing anything else and I'll likely do the same, without changing anything, when I make them again this weekend. So quick, so easy, and as good a meatball as a person could have. Like the recipe called for, I used instant rice and will definitely only use instant in the future. Thanks again for a recipe that's definitely going to be an annual staple at my house for years to come.

  • babygirla193
    Dec 27, 2014

    This is the best easy Venison Meat balls !!! I ever made for Christmas Eve and everyone including kids loved them ! THANK YOU ...

  • HoneyBee1
    Oct 19, 2013

    There are lots of game hunters in our family and we have 2 freezers well stocked. Venison meatballs are something I had not tried till I saw this recipe, we all thought they were delicious!

  • wunky
    Feb 27, 2013

    I made these meatballs for a friend who had given me the ground venison. He kept some for himself and gave some to several other people. All of them said they are the best meatballs they have ever eaten!