Two Versions of Venison Tacos

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Venison Tacos, Two Ways

Hellooooo, warm weather! We missed you so much!

It’s finally looking like springtime here in Traverse City! White cherry and apple blossoms are giving way to green leaves in orchards all over the area, and brightly colored tulips in gardens everywhere are a sight for sore eyes. All the vibrancy and excitement that comes with nature waking up after a long rest makes us want to dance… salsa dance to be specific.

We whipped up a delicious recipe for venison tacos, and as an afterthought (or stroke of genius), we added one simple ingredient to make a world of difference. Photos of both versions below. Trust us, the venison taco meat alone is delicious, but adding a can of refried beans is a great way to add more flavor and texture to your dish. Bonus: it’s also a great way to stretch your buck (get it?!) since this one ingredient will take the serving size of the recipe from 4 people to 6 people!



Taco Meat

  • 1 lb. ground venison
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbs. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 15oz. can refried beans (optional)
  • 1/3 c. water (if adding refried beans)


Pico de Gallo

  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, finely diced
  • 1/3 c. red onion, minced
  • 1/4 c. fresh cilantro, minced
  • Juice from 1/2 of a ripe lime
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of white pepper


Other Ingredients

  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Freshly grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 6″ flour tortillas – pack of 10 is enough for 4


Combine all pico de gallo ingredients in one bowl and set aside. In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, brown the ground venison. After meat is browned, add taco meat spices and mix thoroughly. Once spices have been mixed in, add optional can of refried beans and water. Mix thoroughly and remove from heat. On a plate, prop two tortillas against each other, assemble and garnish as desired, and enjoy!

Photos and Feedback:

This recipe was so simple, took less than 30 minutes from start to finish, and tasted great! If we were to do it again, we would make a bigger batch of pico de gallo! The cool, fresh flavors were a crowd-pleasing compliment to the venison taco meat.

Suggested beverage pairing: We tried out some new drinks that looked tropical and festive, but we would have preferred to enjoy those super-sweet beverages on another occasion  perhaps as dessert. There’s so much flavor already going on with the dish that water with a slice of lime would be great, or your favorite light to amber beer.

Suggested substitutions: If you’re a fan of smokey flavors, adding 1/4 tsp. chipotle pepper would be tasty. If you or someone you’re serving is not a fan of refried beans, you could mix in a can of whole black beans or even have beans on the side as an optional layer. Do you have your own tasty tweaks to this recipe? Let us know! We’d love to hear! In the meantime, check out these photos:


The home-made version is so much better than store-bought!

Chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. Chipotle powder would also make a nice addition.

First layer: venison taco meat. Looks good already!

Second layer: freshly grated extra sharp cheddar cheese

Third layer: a couple avocado slices per taco

Top it all off with the pico de gallo!

Feel free to add a can of refried beans to the venison taco meat to better suit your Mexican food craving (and feed more mouths, too)!



Venison tacos with refried beans


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2 Responses

  1. Copper says:

    Great recipe! I added some Worcestershire and tabasco sauce to the meat as it was cooking for extra flavor and to help the ground venison stick together. I also doubled the amount of cilantro for the pico de gallo since I love cilantro. It came out great and even my picky wife loved it!

  2. Jeff says:

    Those look amazing! Going to try them this evening. Love the avocado too. I got a really good mixture of venison burger this time so I’m hoping they turn out as good as these look! Thanks for sharing!

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