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Venison Stuffing Balls

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Venison Stuffing Balls are a perfect holiday appetizer. With a bold combination of venison, cranberries, and seasonings, these are sure to be a hit with your guests. Easy to make and ready in under 30 minutes, you can also make the filling ahead and bake as needed.

This post and recipe card updated November 18, 2019
close up shot of finished venison stuffing balls on a white plate with a bowl of cranberry sauce in the background

Until a few years ago I wouldn’t have been caught dead eating game meat. I’m from Maryland, and very few of my friends ever hunted or even ate game meat.

Once I finally gave in and tried it, I became a believer. Now I’ll choose bison burgers if they’re on the menu at a restaurant, and I always have venison in my freezer.

Venison Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes are a fantastic twist on the traditional sandwich, and it has been in the Top 5 recipes on the blog for the last 3 years.

In the spirit of the holiday season, I wanted to create an appetizer that combined the flavors of the season and gave me a new way to prepare venison, so I created Venison Stuffing Balls

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
  • You can make the mixture ahead and roll/bake as needed
  • They’re great as appetizers or a snack during the holidays
  • They’re easy to make and ready in about 30 minutes
overhead shot of finished venison stuffing balls on a white plate with a bowl of cranberry sauce at top

Venison Stuffing Balls are so delicious! The mild flavor of the stuffing works really well with the sharp cheddar cheese and tart cranberries. The first time I made them I devoured them in record time. By myself. And that’s why I avoid making them unless it’s for a crowd.

WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT VENISON?

Yes, I know, venison can be intimidating, and I wouldn’t even consider trying it for a LONG time. As a matter of fact, the first time I cooked venison to test for my Venison Cheeseburgers I closed my eyes and took a deep breath before the first bite. But I’m so glad I took that leap.

Venison, and game meat, in general, are very lean meats. So yes, you do have to add fat as you cook or it will be dry. But a little bit of fat goes a long way. Venison is also:

  • high in iron, so it may help people who are iron deficient
  • lower in calories than beef or pork
  • much lower in fat than beef
INGREDIENT TIPS FOR VENISON STUFFING BALLS

I buy frozen ground venison at Sprouts Farmer’s Market. I’m sure other specialty and smaller markets have it as well.

For this recipe, you really need to use Dry Stuffing Mix rather than leftover stuffing. I prefer cornbread flavor, but you can use your favorite.

To add moisture to the Venison Stuffing Balls I add egg and Homemade Vegetable Broth. If you’re using store-bought broth, look for low sodium or no salt added.

With my other venison recipes, I use bacon to add fat and flavor to the meat. But Venison Stuffing Balls don’t need bacon at all. Yikes…I can’t even believe I just said that! But the other ingredients add more than enough flavor.

IMPORTANT: After combining all of the ingredients, let the mixture rest for about 5 minutes. This allows the egg and broth to absorb better, so the balls stay together once rolled.

Use a Small Cookie Scoop to form the Venison Stuffing Balls. I use a 1 5/8″ scoop and yield 36 balls from the full recipe.

close up shot of finished venison stuffing balls on a white plate with a bowl of cranberry sauce in the background
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Cook venison in a skillet with a little bit of butter until venison is just browned through. Add onion, celery, onion powder, garlic powder, and oil, and cook for about 5 minutes

overhead process shot: venison, onion and celery cooked in a black skillet

In a large bowl, combine stuffing mix, cheese, and cranberries

When the meat mixture is cool, add to the bowl. Add broth and eggs, combine well, and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes

overhead process shot: venison stuffing balls mixture in a glass bowl

Use a small cookie scoop to form the mixture into balls. Transfer the scoop to your hands and squeeze the mixture slightly to help keep the balls together. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

overhead process shot: 9 venison stuffing balls rolled on a piece of parchment paper

Bake for 12-15 minutes, and serve immediately

overhead shot of finished venison stuffing balls on a white plate with parsley in the top left hand corner

Venison Stuffing Balls are best right out of the oven and trust me, they won’t last long. I serve them with Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce for dipping.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use something other than venison? Try breakfast sausage, pork sausage, or turkey sausage.

Can you prep ahead? Absolutely! When the mixture is fully combined with the broth and eggs, transfer it to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 1-2 days. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before rolling into balls

MORE VENISON RECIPES
MORE DELICIOUS APPETIZER RECIPES
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Venison Stuffing Balls - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Venison Stuffing Balls

Yield: 36 stuffing balls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Venison Stuffing Balls are a perfect holiday appetizer. With a bold combination of venison, cranberries, and seasonings, these are sure to be a hit with your guests. Easy to make and ready in under 30 minutes, you can also make the filling ahead and bake as needed.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces ground venison meat
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or canola oil)
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup aged cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 box stuffing mix
  • 4 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 cup broth (vegetable or chicken)
  • 2 large eggs, whisked

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add venison and cook until browned and cooked through. As meat cooks, break up into small pieces. Add onion, celery, onion powder, garlic powder, and oil, and cook for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent and celery is tender. Remove and set aside to cool
  3. In large bowl, combine stuffing mix, cheese, and cranberries. When meat mixture is cool, add to bowl. Add broth and eggs, combine well, and allow to rest for 10 minutes
  4. Use small cookie scoop to form mixture into balls. You may also want to transfer scoops to hands and squeeze mixture together to help keep balls together. 
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until breading is golden brown and mixture is cooked through. Serve immediately
  6. YIELD: 36 stuffing balls

Notes

For this recipe, you really need to use a dry stuffing mix rather than leftover stuffing. I prefer cornbread flavor, but you can use your favorite

IMPORTANT: After combining all of the ingredients, let the mixture rest for about 5 minutes. This allows the egg and broth to absorb better, so the balls stay together once rolled.

Use a small cookie scoop to form the balls. I use a 1 5/8″ scoop and yield 36 stuffing balls from the full recipe

Serve the venison stuffing balls with a whole berry cranberry sauce for dipping

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use something other than venison? Try breakfast sausage, pork sausage, or turkey sausage.

Can you prep ahead? Absolutely! When the mixture is fully combined with the broth and eggs, transfer it to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 1-2 days. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before rolling into balls

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 9 Serving Size: 4 stuffing balls
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 233Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 206mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 21g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients, etc

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