12 Delicious And Savory Venison Tenderloin Recipes

Serving family and friends properly cooked cuts of venison (deer, elk, moose, or antelope) is one of the finest rewards of hunting. Venison or other wild game can be prepared much the same way as you would prepare beef or pork: grilled, smoked, fried, baked, or broiled.

If you want backstrap and tenderloins to be juicy and flavorful, avoid overcooking. Deer meat is done when the internal temperature of the meat reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Overcooking makes the meat dry, tough, and unpalatable.

Read on to discover a few helpful tips and delectable venison tenderloin recipes to cook your wild game to perfection.

Simple Venison Tenderloin Recipe

venison tenderloin recipes
Photo courtesy of Add A Pinch

Sometimes simple is best when it comes to creating mouthwatering venison tenderloin recipes. This is a simple venison tenderloin recipe that is adapted for grills, smokers, or the oven.

Find the recipe at Add A Pinch

Brown And Crispy Fried Venison Tenderloin Bites

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We’re calling this one “deer down south”! With a tangy Cajun inspired dip, this venison shows out with that @oldbay_seasoning . Recipe inspiration @godwinjohn316

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If you are hosting a football party, the gang will devour these hot and spicy deer meat bites, so better make a double or triple batch. Try serving deer bites with a side of ranch dressing and a bowl of celery sticks for a treat that’s far better than buffalo wings. 


  • 2 pounds of venison tenderloin cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 3 tbsp. of sea salt for soaking
  • 2 tbsp. of sea salt for breading
  • 2 c. of milk for soaking
  • 3 c.of coconut oil 
  • 3 tbsp. hot chili oil
  • 3 c. coarsely ground barley, corn, or almond meal
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. In a glass bowl, combine milk and sea salt. Cover with an airtight lid and refrigerate. Soak venison and milk mixture overnight to remove the gamey taste from the meat.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. 
  3. Remove venison from the refrigerator and drain. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  4. In a large bowl, mix meal and seasonings, add venison strips. Toss to coat well. 
  5. When coconut oil sizzles, place strips of the meat in the oil. Cook until there are no signs of undercooked meat, and strips are golden brown and crispy. 
  6. Drain on a paper towel and serve hot with a creamy ranch or blue cheese dressing or your favorite barbecue sauce.

Marinated Venison Tenderloin

marinated venison tenderloin
Photo courtesy of Fox Valley Foodie

This simple venison recipe utilizes a few common kitchen ingredients for the marinade including soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, garlic, and smoked paprika. Marinate your venison for four hours or longer for a tender, flavorful cut of meat.

Find the recipe at Fox Valley Foodie

Saturday Night Venison Tenderloin Stew

venison tenderloin stew
Garrison Gunter / Flickr (Creative Commons)

If you want a flavor-packed stew for supper, this one of those simple venison tenderloin recipes that are bound to please the pickiest palette. Serve with homemade buttermilk biscuits topped with a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey. 


  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds of venison stew meat cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 large white onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 pound of carrots cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 c. of chopped celery
  • 1 red sweet pepper chopped
  • 2 parsnips chopped in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. sea salt
  • 2 tbsp.flour
  • 2 c. of water
  • 2 c. of red wine
  • Browning sauce (optional)


  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven. Brown the meat. Add onions, garlic, seasonings, wine, and water. Simmer covered for two hours or until meat is tender.
  2. Add carrots, parsnip, potatoes, celery, and peppers. Cook for another hour or until vegetables are tender, yet firm. 
  3. Mix flour with a bit of water to make a roux, add to the stew and cook until sauce thickens and comes to a slow boil, adding a few drops of browning sauce if desired. Don’t forget to remove the bay leaf.
  4. Mix flour and cold water, stir into stew. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add browning sauce if desired. Remove bay leaf.

Garlic And Mushroom Stuffed Venison Tenderloin

stuffed venison tenderloin
Photo courtesy of Wild + Whole

If you want to take your venison tenderloin recipes to the next level, check out this idea from Wild + Whole that utilizes mushrooms and garlic as stuffing. You can use tenderloin — though the author mentions the eye of round piece works especially well for the recipe.

Find the recipe at Wild + Whole

Venison Tenderloin Sausage

sausage and venison tenderloin recipes
Venison sausage served with pork chops, mushrooms, gnocchi, and bread. anoldent / Flickr (Creative Commons)

If you’ve scrolled through this list of venison tenderloin recipes looking for a way to process and enjoy your meat, later on, consider making sausage!

Related Post: How To Make Sausage

And sausage links aren’t just for breakfast. These venison tenderloin sausages are the perfect complement to pasta, mashed potatoes, chicken, or pork.


  • 4 pounds venison tenderloin
  • 2 pounds fatty pork shoulder
  • 2 tbsp. sea salt (rounded)
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (rounded)
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 c. of brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c. red wine, chilled
  • 15-20 feet of sausage casing


  1. Make sure meat and fat are chilled (37 degrees Fahrenheit or lower) before grinding. Place chunks of meat and fat into a grinder, add salt, cranberries, garlic, sugar, and seasonings. Grind mixture coarsely. Add wine and blend briefly again.
  2. After grinding, place sausage mixture in refrigerator or freezer. The mixture should be good and cold before placing it in the sausage casing. Chill to at least 27 degrees.
  3. Soak hog sausage casings in warm water to make them pliable. Rinse and drain. Pat dry with a paper towel. 
  4. Stuff the sausage in the casings, twisting off links by pinching sausage down and twisting. Tie off every sausage with a length of butcher’s twine. Use a sterilized needle to prick casings to remove air bubbles.
  5. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze until ready to use. 

Mushroom Crusted Venison Loin Recipe

mushroom crusted venison tenderloin
Photo courtesy of MeatEater

Earthy porcini mushrooms pair well with wild game in this crusted venison tenderloin recipe from MeatEater. Some mashed potatoes or homemade pasta would also work well as a side to this main dish.

Find the recipe at MeatEater

Spicy Venison, Raisin, And Brown Sugar Breakfast Sausage

sausage and eggs
alex roberts / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Serve with sourdough flapjacks, maple syrup, butter, scrambled eggs, and a side of fresh fruit for a hearty breakfast to jumpstart the day.


  • 6 pounds venison or other wild game
  • 2 pounds fatty pork shoulder
  • 1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground sage
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 c. of brown sugar
  • 1 c. golden raisins
  • 1 tbsp. dried red pepper flakes


  1. Mix all ingredients together and coarse grind.
  2. Divide into meal-sized portions and refrigerate up to a week or freeze.

Applewood Bacon-Wrapped Venison Loin With Raspberry Sauce

bacon wrapped venison tenderloin
Photo courtesy of Amee’s Savory Dish

While many venison tenderloin recipes are flavorful enough on their own, the addition of some bacon makes this venison even more flavorful. Rosemary adds an herby, earthy flavor that’s the perfect complement to wild game. And sweet raspberry sauce brings the entire dish together.

Find the recipe at Amee’s Savory Dish

Venison Jerky

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Homemade venison jerky fresh out of the smoker. . . . . #jerky #venison #venisonjerky #homemade #homemadejerky #deerjerky #makeyourownfood #hunttoeat #fieldtotable #organic #wildgame #wildgamemeat #glutenfree #freerange #healthyfood #healthylifestyle #youthhunting #ethicalfood #ethicalhunting #knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom #gobecauseyoucan

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If you’re looking for more venison tenderloin recipes for preserving meat, consider making jerky!

Turn thin trimming slices from processing deer or elk meat into a tasty batch of jerky; marinated in a flavorful sauce seasoned with cayenne, jalapeno, and red pepper flakes. 


  • 3 pounds of venison, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. granulated garlic 
  • 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sea salt 
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar (rounded)
  • 2 tbsp. teriyaki sauce
  • 1 c. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 jalapeno peppers finely minced


  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Transfer meat and seasons to a large Ziploc bag and seal. 
  3. Place mixture in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.
  4. When ready to dehydrate the jerky, preheat oven or smoker to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Remove the meat mixture from the refrigerator. 
  6. Drain meat mixture and disregard the marinate.
  7. Arrange meat slices on the grill grate or on a grate placed over a cookie sheet in the oven.
  8. Smoke or slow cook jerky until firm, yet pliant (cook approximately 5 to 6 hours).
  9. Remove from smoker or oven to cook.
  10. When cool, store in an airtight container.

Red Wine Venison Stew

red wine venison stew
Photo courtesy of Cooking My Dreams

If you want your venison tenderloin served a little more saucy, check out this recipe that incorporates a few thickening ingredients to bring this whole stew together.

Find the recipe at Cooking My Dreams

Blackened Venison Tenderloin With Spicy Brussels Sprouts And Cajun Cream Sauce

blackened venison tenderloin
Photo courtesy of A Texas Granola Girl

A little smokey, a little spicy, and full of flavor, this venison tenderloin recipe has everything you’d want for wild game with a Cajun flair. Roasted Brussels sprouts are mixed in for a little bit of green to go along with your venison.

Find the recipe at Tales Of A Texas Granola Girl

How To Properly Prepare Venison

If you are a hunter, knowing how to properly grill a venison backstrap or tenderloin is a skill you need to master. Done incorrectly, venison has a tendency to come out dry, gray, and as chewy as a tough piece of leather.

For the finest flavor, marinate wild game meat for 48 hours. Do not cut the meat into steak or chops until you are ready to marinate or cook.

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For dinner, my wife @foragingthewilds and I made grilled venison backstrap, tenderloin and Canada goose breasts, brushed with a bourbon maple BBQ sauce. For sides, we made a spring salad with freshly-foraged wild chives, wild mint, dandelion leaves, spring beauties (flowers and leaves), coltsfoot flower petals, and romaine lettuce, drizzled with a home-made balsamic vinaigrette, and scalloped potatoes. #deerhunting #venisonbackstrap #venisontenderloin #goosehunting #canadagoose #bbq #foraging #wildedibles #springgreens #springsalad #coltsfoot #wildmint #wildchives #springbeauty #dandelionleaves #fieldtotable #eatlocal #eatnature #cwtf #cwtfederation

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When grilling venison, never cut the backstrap into medallions before cooking. It’s hard to grill them to perfection without drying them out. Leave the backstrap whole and slice into medallions before serving.

Related Post: 20 Smoker Recipes

Grilled whole, every slice will be brown and crispy around the edges and pink and tender in the center. Allow the grilled backstrap to rest, wrapped in aluminum foil, for 15 minutes before slicing.


  • Wild Game, Texas Parks and Wildlife
  • Cooking Wild Game, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
  • Wild Game Cooking 101, Nebraska Land

Source: insteading.com

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