Chef John’s Italian Meatballs (Venison)

Chef John’s Italian Meatballs ( Using Venison Ground)

Who doesn’t love Chef John! It’s just a few extra steps in this recipe that makes juicy tasty meatballs every time. I have used every wild game meat that I can think of and they always turn out great. I love that these are baked instep of fried as you can do a huge cookie sheet at once. I also freeze these raw individually and then throw them in a freezer bag. You need a quick appt or want meatballs with your spaghetti ..ready in a flash.


  • ⅓ cup plain bread crumbs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground beef ( I used 2 pounds venison ground – any wild ground will work)
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes



  1. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Soak bread crumbs in milk in a small bowl for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir until onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking and stirring until onion is very tender, about 15 minutes more.
  3. Gently stir beef and pork together in a large bowl. Add onions, bread crumb mixture, eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper, Italian herb seasoning, and red pepper flakes; mix together using a rubber spatula until combined. Cover and refrigerate for about one hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  5. Form mixture into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter; arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until browned and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

See Original Recipe

If the link doesn’t work, the recipe came from a physical book.