Let's make the best ground venison tacos using only simple ingredients and your very own homemade taco seasoning mix! I love this easy recipe because it is perfectly suited for savory wild game meat, but you can just as easily use it with ground beef for any taco night!
What is it?
My ground venison tacos recipe is a combination of dried herbs and seasonings that transforms flavorful meat into a savory taco filling when combined with tomato paste and ground deer meat. This recipe is loosely based on my homemade taco seasoning mix, with a few modifications to complement the unique flavor of venison. Best of all, you can feel good about eating it because deer meat is as sustainable as it is delicious!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Ground venison meat - You can substitute any other ground meat.
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion - Feel free to substitute red onion for a stronger flavor. Otherwise, onion powder can be used in a pinch.
- Garlic cloves - You can substitute ¾ teaspoon garlic powder.
- Chili powder - Ancho chili powder is great to substitute.
- All-purpose flour - Masa harina is the best substitute.
- Ground cumin
- Table salt
- Ground black pepper
- Paprika - Smoked paprika would be a great substitute.
- Dried oregano
- Cayenne pepper
- Tomato paste - You can substitute ¼ cup of tomato sauce if needed but you may need to simmer everything a few additional minutes.
- Apple cider vinegar - You can also get some acidity by using lime juice or orange juice.
How to make it
To make the best venison tacos you need to brown your ground meat properly in a large pan. Begin by adding the olive oil to a cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat, then add the ground venison, onion, and garlic. Break the venison into small crumbles as it cooks, but let it sit in the pan long enough to allow the meat to brown.
Once the meat is nicely browned, add the tomato paste, chili powder, flour, cumin, salt, black pepper, paprika, oregano, cayenne, apple cider vinegar, and water. Stir everything well to combine, ensuring the seasonings are well distributed, then bring to a simmer until the mixture has thickened and most of the water has evaporated. Serve your ground venison taco meat with your favorite toppings and my homemade refried beans.
Best Venison Taco toppings
These deer meat tacos can be served on your choice of hard shells, flour tortillas, or corn tortillas along with traditional taco toppings including shredded lettuce, chopped onion, diced tomato, shredded cheese, and sour cream. However, with a few simple upgrades, these can be the best venison tacos you have ever savored. Beyond simply tossing in some fresh cilantro or lime wedges, these are my favorite taco toppings to take taco Tuesday to the next level:
- Pico de Gallo
- Pickled red onion
- Cilantro sour cream
- Roasted tomatillo guacamole
- Carolina reaper hot sauce
Leftover venison taco meat should be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator and enjoyed within five days. The great thing about eating leftover tacos is the meat reheats very easily. I recommend simply microwaving it to return it to temperature.
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Ground Venison Tacos
- Large skillet
- 1 pound ground venison
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ yellow onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup water
- Pour olive oil into a large skillet set over medium high heat on the stovetop, then add ground venison, onion, and garlic. Crumble the venison as it cooks, and let the meat brown well.
- Add all remaining ingredients to the skillet and stir well to combine. Simmer for five minutes, or until the water evaporates out and the taco mixture is thickened.
- Serve with a hard taco shell or on warm tortillas along with your favorite taco toppings such as lettuce, shredded cheese, onion, and tomato.