Deer Meatloaf with Herb Crust

This recipe works with any ground antlered game meat. Whether grinding it yourself or having it ground for you at the processor, make sure the meat is coarsely ground. The thicker the grind, the better the meatloaf. Ingredient measurements don’t have to be exact! Donny likes this one with “yeller” mustard.

Deer Meatloaf with Herb Crust


  • 1 pound ground venison
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 pound ground spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 1/2 cups onion finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups tomato salsa
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder I prefer ancho or chipotle powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs I prefer Japanese “panko” breadcrumbs

Herb Crust

    You can substitute any herbs for this crust. In a pinch, you can substitute dried herbs or herb blends like Italian seasoning.

    • 1 cup butter melted
    • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
    • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves minced
    • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme minced
    • 1/2 cup onion finely diced
    • 4 cloves garlic minced
    • 1/3 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    In a bowl, blend together all ingredients.


      • Combine ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well with your hands. Place into a well-greased baking dish and form into a rectangle, about 3 inches tall. Spread Herb Crust over top of meat. Place dish into a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature is 160 – 170 degrees.

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