Wild Recipes

Venison Steak Chili Tamale Pie

Latest posts by Jeff Benda (see all)
4.4 from 13 votes

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This Venison Steak Chili Tamale Pie has everything you need to make a complete and satisfying meal your family will love in less than 45 minutes.

For this recipe I used some bottom round steak from my recent Montana mule deer hunt. But you can use any venison steak, such as antelope or elk.

A richly flavored venison chili filling is enhanced with a cornbread topping that is slightly sweet, providing a perfect contrast with the rest of the ingredients. This layered casserole dish offers an array of different dimensions of flavor. I guarantee all venison steak lovers will feel satisfied with this nourishing meal. In addition, this is a great recipe to make at the start of the week for meal prep, since it packs in several servings that keep well in the refrigerator all week.

This cast iron skillet supper has everything you need for a quick weeknight meal or a weekend comfort food fix. Brown some venison steak and onions together, then add the other ingredients and seasonings – tomatoes, chili sauce, and kidney beans. You can also substitute black beans if you prefer. A package of corn muffin mix is used for the cornbread topping. While it bakes, the cornbread soaks up a lot of the flavorful juices. The venison steak chili filling should still be bubbling when you pour the cornbread batter over it. This will ensure that the cornbread will bake evenly without over-browning on top. 

My wife and I love spicy food, but our 8-year-old daughter does not. If you have young kids you are cooking for, you can omit the pickled jalapeno peppers from one side of the tamale pie to make it more kid-friendly.

If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If you’re looking to freeze this pie, prepare the recipe, but don’t bake it yet! Wrap it up and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, bake at 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes. If you bake at 425 degrees F, the cornbread will over-brown on top because you’re starting at frozen.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves 8

Looking for more chili-inspired recipes? Try out this Venison and Black Bean Chili with Cornbread Waffles!

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Venison Steak Chili Tamale Pie

Recipe by Jeff Benda
4.4 from 13 votes
Course: Wild Recipes


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  • 1 pound venison steak

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 medium -size yellow onion, diced

  • 1 can diced tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup bottled chili sauce

  • 1 can kidney beans

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 package corn muffin mix

  • 1/2 cup whole milk or half & half

  • 1 egg

  • 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese

  • 1/4 cup pickled and sliced Jalapeno peppers


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Place venison steak on a cutting board and tenderize with a Jaccard meat tenderizer. Then, using a sharp knife, cut the steak into 1-inch cubes.
  • Heat olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the steak and onion and sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
  • Stir in diced tomatoes, chili sauce, beans, 1/4 cup water, salt, black pepper, and chili powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the corn muffin mix, milk, egg, and 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese.
  • Sprinkle the top of the venison steak chili with the other 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese. Now pour the corn muffin batter over the hot chili in the skillet, spreading batter to the edges of the skillet.
  • Top the batter with the slices of jalapeno.
  • Bake in a preheated 425 degrees F oven until cornbread is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

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Jeff Benda

Cooking gives me a creative outlet to transform wild game and bring it into traditional recipes from around the world to help expand people's perceptions. My goal is to celebrate local fish and wild game and provide achievable, bright recipes designed to build confidence for new cooks, and inspire everyone to elevate their cooking. I hope that by sharing and celebrating the food I create with the fish and wild game I harvest, I can highlight the great contribution so many hunters and anglers have made to conservation in this country, and reflect the freedom we have to enjoy America's great outdoors.

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