What To Serve With Venison – 45 Side Dishes


This article was updated on 31/7/2023 for clarity and freshness.

If you’re wondering what to serve with your venison dinner, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I list 45 of the most popular side dishes for venison.

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

The best side dishes to serve with venison are steak fries, creamed spinach, cauliflower casserole, and baked beans. You can also include risotto, mac and cheese, dinner rolls, and asparagus. For healthier options, try serving cucumber salad, orzo salad, broccoli slaw, and roasted carrots.

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

Great flavor pairings for venison

Venison is a game meat with a robust, slightly sweet flavor. Traditionally hunted but now also farmed, this lean and protein-rich meat pairs beautifully with a range of flavors:

  • Fruity flavors – Tart, dark fruits like blackberries, cranberries, or cherries can balance the rich taste of venison. They can be used in a marinade, cooked into a sauce, or served alongside venison to add a fruity twist.
  • Herbaceous flavors – bold herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and sage lend their fragrant notes perfectly to venison. They’re robust and aromatic enough to complement the strong, gamey flavors of venison.
  • Warming spices – pepper, cloves, and cinnamon can give venison a lovely depth of flavor. They can provide a little bit of heat and complex layers to the venison’s rich, earthy notes.

Steak fries

Give your juicy venison the classic steakhouse treatment with a serving of these garlic parmesan fries!

What sets them apart from your regular French fries?

They’re cut thicker and more similar to wedges, giving you more fluffy potato goodness to every bite. How to Feed A Loon also leaves the skins on the spuds for a more authentic look, but you can always peel them off if you prefer.

These golden delights are a treat with a spicy aioli, but you can also dip them in your venison steak’s gravy. Delish!

Featured recipeGarlic parmesan steak friesMake it low-carbBaked jicama friesAnother steakhouse classic

Braised German red cabbage

Round off your venison meal with a side of hearty braised German red cabbage!

This classic veggie side dish has the right balance of sweet and sour that helps offset the rich, gamey taste of your venison.

And don’t be intimidated by the almost hour-long cook time. Most of it requires the cabbage to simmer in the cooking liquid and will only need occasional stirring. You can also make this in advance if you’re in a rush. It tastes even better the next day!

Featured recipeBraised German red cabbageMake it quickSautéed cabbageKeep it freshSavoy cabbage salad

Mashed rutabaga

I love classic mashed potatoes, but this version made with rutabaga may give it a run for its money.

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What’s special about it? This humble root vegetable gets a major flavor upgrade with a hint of bright lemon, a mix of fragrant herbs, and a dash of nutty parmesan.

Now, don’t get scared off by Rutabaga’s earthy taste – the cream and butter in this recipe soften its bitterness and bring out a delicate sweetness.

Pair this with your venison, and you’ve got yourself a meal that’s a true celebration of earthy, hearty flavors.

Featured recipeMashed rutabagaFire up the ovenOven-roasted rutabagaMake it decadentRutabaga gratin

Roasted carrots

Carrots are one of my favorite to roast because they require less prep than other root vegetables. Simply peel and season them, no need to chop them into little pieces.

Their sweetness pairs well with the gaminess of venison meat, but Closet Cooking takes things a step further by tossing them in maple dijon glaze jazzed up with soy sauce, garlic, and miso paste.

The results? Savory-sweet caramelized carrots with a delightful umami kick, ideal for adding an Asian twist to your venison meal.

Featured recipeMaple dijon roasted carrotsSkip the ovenGlazed stovetop carrotsMake it no-cookPickled carrots

Asian cucumber salad

Looking to freshen up your venison dinner? This Asian cucumber salad is the side dish for you.

This. salad is as simple as it can be, but there are two essential tricks to perfect it: scoring the cucumbers, then salting them. The first allows the vinaigrette to cling better to the cucumbers, while the second one draws out excess water, ensuring the cucumbers stat crisp.

Feasting At Home also adds scallions to the mix for extra freshness, but I like mint much better when pairing this salad with venison.

Featured recipeAsian cucumber saladAdd more vegCucumber radish saladGo GreekShirazi salad

Creamed spinach

This steakhouse classic’s rich, creamy goodness is what you need with a lean, gamey meat like venison.

Katerina from Easy Weeknights Recipes used baby spinach to make this, but I’ve tried this with regular spinach leaves and it still worked out fine. I simply have to give them a rough chop before cooking to trim the stems and leaves a bit.

And the best part? It’s all made in one skillet, so you won’t have a pile of dishes to clean. You might even forget about your venison for a while, because this side is so good it could be the main event.Pro-tip: use almond, cashew, or soy milk to make this side dish dairy-free.

Featured recipeSteakhouse creamed spinachPreheat the ovenSpinach gratinSkip the spinachCreamed kale gratin

Pan-fried zucchini and mushrooms

Elevate your venison feast with a delightful side of sautéed zucchini and mushroom.

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This dish begins with a quick sauté in olive oil and butter, but Diethood kicks things up a notch by adding veggie broth and dried herbs for an even more savory flavor.

This dish is straightforward, but brings a refreshing lightness that balances the robust, rich flavors of venison. But if you’re craving for a bit of indulgence, you can sprinkle a little parmesan on top before serving.

Featured recipeSautéed zucchini and mushroomsDitch the zucchiniWine braised mushroomsFire up the ovenGarlicky roasted mushrooms

Cauliflower cheese casserole

Bring a British touch to your venison feast with a healthy helping of cauliflower cheese.

Most recipes start off with boiling the florets, but RecipeTin Eats takes a different route by roasting them instead. This enhances the cauliflower’s natural nuttiness and also prevents the risk of the florets watering down the sauce.

And speaking of the sauce, it’s the epitome of decadence — a béchamel base loaded with Red Leicester and Gruyère. Absolutely sinful.

Featured recipeCauliflower cheeseMake it basicGarlic butter cauliflower riceMake it cozyRoasted cauliflower soup

Baked beans

These baked beans are the way to go if you want a more filling side dish.

Baked beans have a sweet-smoky flavor that makes them irresistibly delicious. They’re so tasty, you can skip making a sauce for your venison. Smother the venison with these baked beans and you’ll be good to go.

Daring Gourmet offers up two methods for making these: oven and slow-cooker. Go for the second one if you want a hands-free approach!

Featured recipeOld-fashioned baked beansGo GreekProvencal white beansAdd leafy greensSun-dried tomato, kale, and white bean skillet

Mediterranean orzo salad

Orzo salad is an excellent side dish to serve with venison. It’s a light dish that will fill you up but won’t make you feel bloated.

To make my orzo salad even healthier, I like to add some vegetables like baby spinach, bell peppers, cucumbers, and olives.

Not a fan of either those veggies? No worries. The beauty about this salad is its flexibility. You can add leafy greens like arugula or spinach or even sun-dried tomatoes for an umami kick.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Mediterranean-style anymore, but it’ll still taste fabulous with your grilled venison.

Featured recipeMediterranean-style orzo saladMake it creamyTuscan orzoAdd a fruity twistOrzo pasta salad with cranberry and pomegranate

Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus

Blanching and steaming asparagus is a quick way to get them on your plate, but you have to admit that can get a bit boring.

So, why not switch it up and make prosciutto-wrapped asparagus instead? This recipe is just as a quick and easy to make. Plus, the prosciutto adds a salty, smoky dimension to the slightly earthy, grass asparagus spears.

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You have the option to bake, grill, or fry the wrapped spears, but I highly suggest baking them for a completely effortless side dish.

Enjoy these prosciutto-wrapped asparagus bundles with your venison steak and a spoonful of warm gravy.

Featured recipeProsciutto-wrapped asparagus bundlesFire up the grillLemon and feta grilled asparagusBack to basicsLemon garlic roasted asparagus

Italian herb dinner rolls

These Italian herb dinner rolls will hit the spot for when you want to keep things simple.

They’re lightly flavored with a classic Italian herb blend and Grana Padano cheese, making them delightfully savory.

These are great on their own, but they’re even better alongside freshly grilled venison steak. Imagine using these soft fluffy rolls to mop up your venison’s flavorful juices?

Featured recipeItalian herb dinner rollsMake a copycatTexas roadhouse rollsMake it fancyPull-apart garlic parmesan rolls

Mac and cheese

Mac and cheese is a delicious dish to serve with venison.

It’s also a safe choice if you’re cooking for kids. Venison has a different taste from typical meat that kids eat, so they may not immediately like it. But trust me, they won’t notice it when you have the venison smothered in the gooey, cheesy sauce.

The Chunky Chef uses a classic combo of cheddar and gruyere for this recipe, but I personally like using Monterey jack and mozzarella cheese for the ultimate cheese pull.

Featured recipeCreamy baked mac and cheeseAdd vegButternut squash mac and cheeseDitch the ovenOne-pot stovetop mac and cheese

Broccoli slaw

Tired of the boring old salads? Switch things up with this broccoli slaw!

It’s light, fresh, and crunchy, with a delightful zesty bite and bursts of fruity sweetness that pairs well with the gaminess of venison.

DetoxInsta uses the fresh stem of a whole head of broccoli for this recipe, but I’ve also had success using those bags of pre-shredded mix from the grocery store. I’m all about convenience here.

Featured recipeBroccoli slawDitch the broccoliHot honey apple fennel slawMake it basicApple cider vinegar slaw

Mushroom risotto

Dazzle your friends at the next dinner party by serving a delicious mushroom risotto with your venison steak.

You might be thinking it’s difficult to make a tasty risotto at home, but it’s actually quite straightforward. You only need a tiny bit of patience and keep a keen eye over your pot while your rice cooks.

And in 20 minutes, you’ll have warm, creamy risotto ready to be served.

Ever Kitchen uses sautéed mushrooms to beef this up, but you can also use sautéed greens or other roasted veggies.

Featured recipeMushroom risottoMake it spring-inspiredSpring pea risottoAn Italian classicRisotto Milanese

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>