Classic Italian flavors and simple techniques combine with the deliciousness of ground deer meat to create the ultimate venison meatballs recipe. Full of garlic, herbs, and parmesan cheese these meatballs are made tender by the addition of an egg and held together with toasted breadcrumbs.
Who knew homemade meatballs could be so easy?! And delicious?! Full of ground venison, ground pork, and classic Italian flavors these are perfect to pair with a big plate of spaghetti!
Ingredients needed for this recipe:
- Ground Venison
- Ground Pork Sausage
- Italian Seasoning
- Fresh Basil
- 1 Egg
- Diced Onion
- Parmesan Cheese
How do you make venison meatballs from scratch?
- Mix all the ingredients. It’s truly that simple. Throw everything in a large bowl and use your hands to mix all the ingredients together. But! Don’t overmix. That leads to tough meatballs!
- Portion out the meatballs. I like to use a cookie scoop for this to ensure all my balls are even.
- Roll the meatballs. Gently between the palms of your hands to get that perfect, round meatball shape. (Using a portion scoop also helps to form the meatballs!)
- Bake the meatballs. On a parchment lined baking sheet. Baking the meatballs will result in tender, juicy meatballs that are healthier than the fried versions.
- Serve the meatballs. On a bed of sauced spaghetti. Or in a big pan of tomato sauce with garlic bread on the side. Or on teeny buns with cheese for delish meatball sliders!
The trick to tender meatballs
As with any sort of “mixed meat” meal (like a burger or a meatloaf), the trick to making sure meatballs are tender and not tough is that less is more when it comes to mixing and handling. Turn the ingredients in the mixing bowl just enough to combine. Roll the meatballs in your hands just enough to get them to hold together. Too much mixing, too much futzing and the meatballs will be more like meat bricks.
Freezing Cooked Meatballs
This recipe makes 24 venison meatballs. That’s a lot to have in one go. This means one of two things: either you have enough meatballs for a party or, you’ll need to freeze the leftovers. Here’s how:
- When the meatballs are totally cooled to room temperature, place them in even rows in a freezer-safe zip top bag.
- Remove all the air and seal before placing in freezer.
- To thaw the frozen meatballs: either remove them from the freezer and place in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. The next day toss them into your favorite tomato sauce to warm before serving. Or! Microwave frozen meatballs for 90 seconds and place on top of a plate of spaghetti.
Ground Venison Meatballs
- Baking sheet
- Portion Scop
- 1 pound ground venison
- 1 pound ground pork sausage
- ¾ cup plain breadcrumbs
- ½ cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
- ½ cup basil leaves torn
- 2 TBSP minced garlic
- ½ cup diced white onion
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 2 ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place the ground venison and pork sausage in a large glass bowl and add the remaining ingredients to the bowl.
- Gently combine all the ingredients with two (clean!) hands. Mix the meat until just combined, as overmixing will lead to tough meatballs.
- Use a 2 TBSP portion scoop to divide mixture into 24 equal balls. Roll the balls gently between the palms of your hands to ensure they’re even and spherical.
- Place meatballs on prepared baking sheet 1 inch apart and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Serve meatballs on top of a big plate of spaghetti.
- To freeze cooked meatballs: place room temperature meatballs into a freezer-safe zip-top bag, remove the air from the bag, seal, and freeze. Thaw in the fridge overnight before using or microwave straight from the freezer for 90 seconds before serving.