Venison lasagna

Venison lasagna is a delightful twist on the classic Italian dish, infusing it with rich and savory flavors. Lasagna is a versatile dish that can be prepared in advance, reheats very well, and holds up in the freezer. The basic ingredients in a lasagna recipe revolve around noodles, meat, vegetables, cheese and sauce, so it’s up to your imagination as to the direction you take it. This version stays close to a classic lasagna, but substitutes pork Italian sausage for blacktail deer Italian sausage for a venison lasagna. 

Recipes By Marcus Weiner
Makes 16 servings

Blacktail Italian Sausage


  • 1⅓ lb blacktail deer
  • ⅔ lb pork (I use butt or shoulder cuts)
  • 4 tsp Backwoods Sweet Italian Fresh Sausage Seasoning
  • 4 oz water


Grind deer and pork. I then mix the grind together with my hands to better incorporate the meats. Rather than do this, you can choose to regrind the mixture. Combine 4 tsp Backwoods Sweet Italian Fresh Sausage Seasoning and 4 ounces of water, then add to ground meat. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate overnight.

Venison Lasagna


  • 1 lb lasagna noodles (18 noodles)
  • 2 lb blacktail deer Italian sausage
  • 1 lb ricotta cheese
  • 18 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 48 oz tomato sauce (for making the lasagna)
  • 64 oz tomato sauce (for serving with the lasagna)
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 2 oz shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Step 1:

In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water and 1 tbsp of salt to boil on high heat. Add noodles and bring temperature down to medium-high. Cook for about 8 minutes until noodles are al dente. Stir regularly so that the noodles don’t stick together. Drain noodles into a strainer and run cold water over them for about a minute so it stops them from cooking further and makes it easier to handle them without burning your fingers. Separate any noodles that are stuck together.

Step 2:

Add deer sausage to a large frying pan and cook on medium until browned, about 15 minutes. There is enough fat in the sausage that you don’t need to add oil to brown the sausage. Finished chunks of sausage should be about 1/2” x 1/2” x 1/2”. Set aside.

Step 3:

Coarsely chop bunch of basil and combine with ricotta cheese in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Step 4:

To assemble, first choose a pan to use. I use a 14” x 10” x 4”  metal pan handed down to me from my Nana. First add a layer of sauce (about 12 ounces) and coat the bottom of the pan. Then, add a layer of noodles, placing them so that they slightly overlap. My pan requires 5 noodles and then I place a 6th at the end to fill in the remaining open space in the pan. Next, add a layer of ricotta, roughly 1/2 of the mixture, and spread thin with a spatula. Then, add 1/2 of the sausage and spread out evenly. Next, add about 12 ounces of sauce evenly across the lasagna. Last, add 1 ounce of parmesan and 6 ounces of mozzarella cheese. Repeat entire layering process. For top layer, add last 6 noodles, sauce, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.

Step 5:

Preheat oven to 400ºF and cook for an hour. Let sit 15 minutes before cutting into portions. In a large pot on medium-low, heat 64 ounces of tomato sauce. Ladle 4 ounces of sauce over each serving. Pair with a Caesar salad and garlic bread. Enjoy!

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