This venison enchilada recipe is the perfect Midwestern dinner! They’re full of flavorful venison, melted cheese, and a homemade red enchilada sauce that is so easy!
Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list in this recipe. Please! First, most of them are spices, so that’s just flavor. Second, going the homemade route with this enchilada recipe makes all the difference. Trust.
Venison Enchilada Components
- Enchilada Sauce (The red kind. The homemade kind!)
- Ground Venison
- Onions, Garlic, and Green Chilis
- Tortillas (Flour. But you can use corn, I wouldn’t hate it.)
- Shredded Cheese (Wisconsin’s finest.)
- Fun Toppings! (Think sour cream, avo, and tomato, etc.)
Be a Deer
There’re all kinds of enchiladas out there. Veggie, chicken, tuna (whut?). This venison variation uses ground deer meat in the same way that a classic beef enchilada recipe uses ground beef. It’s my favorite way to use venison! Find a recipe that uses beef, and sub in venison. That’s how I wound up making the best darn burgers to ever grace a grill.
If your venison supply is limited (or nonexistent) ground beef can absolutely be substituted into this easy recipe. Or chicken or turkey. Go crazy. Or! Cut a venison roast into 2-inch chunks, cover in a thin layer of beef broth, and bake at 325 until the meat easily shreds apart – about 2 hours. (Ok, now I need to make them that way!)
How to make this easy enchilada recipe
- Make the red enchilada sauce. It’s so quick! And flavorful! You’ll never do storebought again!
- Brown the venison. With some onion, garlic, and green chilis. And lotsa spices. Flavor!
- Assemble the enchiladas. A little sauce in the pan. A little sauce on a tortilla. A lotta filling in a tortilla. Roll ‘em up and cover them in more sauce and the most cheese.
- Bake and enjoy. The cheese will get so melty. And the fresh toppings add crunch and cool and creamy and contrast. Don’t skimp on these!
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Work ahead – From the sauce to the filling, all of these components can be prepped ahead of time! And! The enchiladas themselves can be prepared ahead of time.
- Freeze! – Because this dish can be prepared ahead, it’s a great option for weeknight dinners! Fill up the pan and instead of baking, wrap it in plastic wrap, cover in tinfoil, and throw in the freezer for later. The night before serving, thaw the enchiladas in the refrigerator and bake as directed the following evening.
- Shred it – For the love of all that is good in this world, shred the cheese by hand! It makes a world of difference! First of all, many pre-shredded bagged cheeses have additives to keep them from clumping. Unfortunately, this also keeps them from melting smoothly and creamily into the dish. You want the smooth. And the cream. You want to shred the cheese. As a bonus, bulk blocks of cheese are usually cheaper than the pre-shredded bags!
What other venison recipes would you like to see from me? Leave a comment below to let me know!
Venison Enchilada Recipe
For the Red Enchilada Sauce:
- 3 TBSP grapeseed oil
- 3 TBSP flour
- 2 TBSP chili powder
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 TBSP kosher salt
- 1 TBSP fresh oregano (or ½ TBSP dried)
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- 2 cups chicken stock
For the Enchiladas:
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- ¾ tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. chili powder
- ¼ tsp. coriander
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 small white onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 pounds ground venison
- 4 ounces diced green chilis
- 8 flour tortillas
- 1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 ½ cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
- Sour cream for serving
- Tomatoes for serving
- Avocados for serving
- Cilantro for serving
For the Red Enchilada Sauce:
- In a medium sauce pot heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Whisk in flour to form a roux. Cook, stirring constantly until roux is light brown, about three minutes. This cooks the raw flour taste out!
- Add all of the spices and stir to combine. Let the spices warm for a minute to “bloom” and release their flavors. Stir in the fresh oregano and tomato paste until combined. Whisk in the chicken stock until smooth.
- Cook the enchilada sauce for five or so minutes, until it has thickened slightly. Taste, and adjust seasoning accordingly.
For the Venison Enchiladas:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, chili powder and coriander. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, stirring to coat, and cook for three minutes, until they begin to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute.
- Add in the venison and cook until completely browned, about 7 – 9 minutes. Sprinkle in the seasoning mixture and cook for another minute before stirring in the green chilis. Remove from heat and set aside.
To assemble the Venison Enchiladas:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread about ½ cup of enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
- Place a tortilla on a plate and smear a small dollop of enchilada sauce over the entire surface. Flip the tortilla and coat the other half with more sauce. Spoon 1/8 of the venison mixture onto the tortilla and roll into a tight tube. Place in prepared pan, seam side down, and repeat the process with the remaining tortillas.
- When all eight enchiladas are in the pan, pour the remaining red sauce over the top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheeses.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melted.
- Remove from oven and top with sour cream, avocado, tomatoes, and cilantro before serving.
- To store leftover enchiladas, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to three days.