Deer-Heart Tacos with Sweet-Corn and Pickled-Red-Onion Salsa Recipe

Fast and easy, these tacos are a great way to make use of your deer heart.

By author of Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes Print Recipe
prep time
cook time

If you are still leaving your deer hearts in the woods, you are missing out on some of the highest-quality meat on the animal. Here at Timber2Table, we fry them, roast them, grill them, cure them and turn them into jerky.

This taco recipe combines flash-seared bites of deer heart with a sweet-corn, tomato and red onion salsa. The cast-iron griddle feature on the new Traeger Ranger is the perfect cooking surface for this recipe. Since venison heart cooks quickly, the entire recipe can be finished in a few minutes.

Sear the taco ingredients on the hot griddle, then serve on warm flour tortillas.

To save time, mix up the salsa ingredients before hand and store them in the fridge until its time to grill. To pickle the red onions, simply add the chopped onion to a glass or plastic lidded container, pour over the vinegar, and shake well. Store in the fridge for 1 hour up to overnight. The acidic edge of the vinegar pairs nicely with the sweetness of the corn and red onion.

Mix the pickled onion with the other vegetables.



1 large or 2 small deer hearts, cleaned and diced into bite-sized pieces


1 medium red onion, diced

2 tablespoons white vinegar


1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup fresh or frozen sweet corn, removed from cob

½ cup chopped green chile peppers (or jalapenos if you like more heat)


Flour or corn tortillas

Queso Fresco Crumbling cheese

Sour Cream


Spice blend

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon adobo powder

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon oregano


Cooking Instructions

Start by dicing the onion and pouring over the vinegar. Shake well to coat each onion piece with vinegar and store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to overnight.

Mix the spice-rub ingredients and set aside.

Clean the deer heart by opening it up flat and removing any fat and connective tissue, leaving only lean muscle. Dice the heart into bite-sized pieces.

To prep the heart, simply trim away any fat and connective tissue, then cut into bite sized pieces.

Once the pickled onion is ready, blend it, the peppers, tomatoes and the corn together to form the salsa.

Heat the Traeger Ranger or a cast-iron pan on your grill or stove top to 350-degrees. Lightly oil the surface and add the heart. Sprinkle well with the spice rub. Toss often to sear the surface.

As the heart sears on the hot griddle, sprinkle it well with the spice rub.

Add the sweet corn and onion salsa to the griddle. Stir well to sear all surfaces and begin to caramelize the onions. Sprinkle the salsa with more of the spice rub. Total cook time should be 10 to 15 minutes or until the heart is seared on all sides but not overcooked.

Once the heart has seared, serve it in warm tortillas along with the sweet corn and onion salsa. Top with crumbled queso fresco and sour cream.




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