Venison Chili with Tomatillos

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I’m always looking for new and different venison chili recipes. When my husband came home from the store the other night with a few pounds of tomatillos, I thought it was time to make a chili verde. I love the flavor of tomatillos, which are mild but still have a little zest. So I pulled out some ground venison, chopped an onion and pepper, and set about cooking a deer meat version of chili verde.

venison chili with tomatillos

this green venison chili features tomatillos.

Recipe: Venison Chili Verde

Summary: a mild and flavorful venison chili featuring tomatillos.


  • 1 1/2 lb ground venison
  • 2 cup venison stock
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs tomatillos
  • 1 cup salsa verde (mild or hot, your preference)
  • 1 can (15 oz) nopalitos (cactus), drained and chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp habanero sauce
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbs cilantro, chopped


  1. In a large skillet, brown meat. Add the stock, cover, and slow boil for 30 minutes until tender.
  2. Remove the husks from the tomatillos and wash to remove the sticky residue. Coarsely chop the tomatillos and set aside.
  3. In a stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the onion, green pepper, and garlic in oil until tender.
  4. Reduce the temperature to medium and add tomatillos. Saute and stir until the tomatillos are soft.
  5. Add the salsa verde, nopalitos cumin, habanero sauce, salt, and cilantro and stir well.
  6. Add the venison to the tomatillo mixture. Slow boil for 30 minutes. Either serve immediately or turn heat to low and allow chili to simmer longer.
  7. Serve with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

Quick Notes

In the winter, I used frozen cilantro, which comes stored in 1 tbs cubes. If you have fresh cilantro, use about 1/4 cup of it.


This would be a great chili with ground turkey or chicken.

Cooking time (duration): 60

Number of servings (yield): 8

Meal type: dinner

Culinary tradition: Mexican

Microformatting by hRecipe.

tomatillos with husksIf you’ve never cooked with a tomatillo, it is basically a member of the tomato family and is widely used in Mexican food. In fact, they are some times called Mexican tomatoes. I love them! This is what they look like in the store. You just peel off the husks and wash them to get rid of the sticky residue, and you’re ready to go!

2 Comments on “Venison Chili with Tomatillos

  1. I’m always happy to hear from readers when I say something incorrect. Thanks for sharing Kimberly.

  2. I’m sorry to be a stickler for facts but Tomatillo is not actually a tomato or a member of the tomato family it is as follows… tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) is a plant of the nightshade family, related to the cape gooseberry, bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos, referred to as green tomato (Spanish: tomate verde) in Mexico, are a staple in Mexican cuisine. Tomatillos are grown as annuals throughout the Western Hemisphere. Often self-incompatible, tomatillos need a second plant to enhance pollination and guarantee fruit set.

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