Wild Recipes

BBQ Venison Cups

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The temperatures are dropping slowly and it’s starting to rain more which means autumn is on its way and hunting season is right around the corner. That also means that football season is starting as well!

It’s time to start making room in the freezer for this year’s harvests, and what better way to do it than by making some game-day appetizers?

Here, I’m using some smoked venison kielbasa that I had left in the freezer and making some bbq venison cups. These delicious cups are simple to make, packed with flavor, and are perfect for a game day appetizer. They are smoky, sweet, crispy, and cheesy too! 

I elevated mine in a couple ways to take it a step above. First, I seasoned some bacon and smoked it for about an hour at 225°F. I wanted it to be a nice color, but not fully crispy before I chopped it up and rendered out the rest of the fat to build the base of the dish. After that, I cooked the onions in that seasoned bacon fat before adding my venison kielbasa, bbq sauce, seasoning, and whisky. I let that all reduce into a nice thick mixture so it wouldn’t make the phyllo dough cups too wet.

I also topped it with a beer cheese sauce that I made, but you can easily top them with just regular shredded cheese or no cheese at all!

You can buy pre-made phyllo dough cups, but I prefer to make them myself. I took the roll of phyllo dough and used 7 sheets for this recipe. For the first layer, I used 4 sheets and brushed them with oil so they stuck together while baking. I cut that into 9 rectangular pieces and laid them into the muffin tin. The next layer was 3 sheets, oiled again, cut into 9, and laid in the opposite direction in the muffin tin. I then baked them on the smoker at 350°F until the edges were nice and golden brown and crispy. 

Looking for more wild appetizer ideas? Why not try these Elk Stroganoff-Stuffed Mushrooms?

Makes: 9 cups
Also Works With: Any wild game sausage

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BBQ Venison Cups

Recipe by Gunnar Emberg
5.0 from 1 vote
Course: Wild Recipes


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  • 1 link smoked venison kielbasa, diced

  • 1 half white onion, diced

  • ½ cup of your favorite bbq sauce

  • 2 tbsp your favorite bbq seasoning

  • ¼ cup whiskey

  • 5 slices bacon

  • 7 sheets phyllo dough

  • 4 tbsp avocado oil for brushing

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or your favorite beer cheese


  • Start by dicing and rendering down the bacon in a pan. When crispy, remove and leave the grease in the pan.
  • Sauté onions in bacon grease until slightly translucent. Next, add in kielbasa and sauté until it starts to get some color on it.
  • Add bbq sauce, seasoning, and whisky. Stir to combine. Allow to reduce until thick. Set aside to cool.
  • Make phyllo dough cups by oiling 4 sheets and cutting into 9 rectangles and placing them into muffin tin. Repeat the process with 3 sheets, laying in the opposite direction to form a cup. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes.
  • Spoon meat mixture into cups evenly and top with shredded cheese or beer cheese if desired.
  • Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until mixture is slightly bubbling. Remove from heat and allow to cool before serving.

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Gunnar Emberg

My love for the outdoors made its way into my home and onto my plate! I strive to make dishes that create a long-lasting memory that keep that animal living forever in your mind! To me, food is great way to bring everyone together for a common goal, to share the eating experience! I started The Hungry Huntsman as a way to teach people that these dishes are doable at home but also to travel as a camp cook to show people that anyone can do this!

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