Spicy Venison and Collard Green Meatballs

Whether you serve them over pasta or by themselves with some grilled bread, these meatballs make a perfect meal or appetizer

By author of Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes Print Recipe
prep time
cook time
5-9
serves
31
ingredients
Medium
difficulty

I’m a big fan of meatballs. This recipe cooks entirely on our Traeger Grill, making it perfect for hot summer days because the cooking is kept outside. We serve them over pasta for a main course, or by themselves as an appetizer. We like the texture of the meatballs when we mix half venison and half ground pork, but you can make the recipe entirely with venison if you prefer. The collard greens give the meatballs a bit of a southern twist; just pick your favorite canned brand and squeeze the moisture from them before dicing and adding them to the meatball mixture.

Add fresh basil, crumbled feta and sliced mozzarella cheese for the last few minutes of cook time.

Ingredients

MEATBALLS

1 pound ground venison

1 pound ground pork

2 large eggs, beaten

1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

1/2 large yellow onion, diced

3 garlic cloves (minced)

1/3 cup sundried tomatoes (diced)

9 ounces canned collard greens, squeezed dry and chopped

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)

2 tablespoons fresh basil (chopped)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces grated parmesan cheese

 

Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 garlic cloves (minced)

1/2 large yellow onion, diced

1 14-ounce crushed tomatoes

28 ounces (2 cans) diced fire roasted tomatoes

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (crushed)

8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

 

 

Cooking Instructions

Start by squeezing the moisture from your favorite brand of canned or home-cooked collard greens, then give the greens a rough chop before adding them to the meatball mixture.

Squeeze the moisture from your favorite canned collard greens before dicing.

Use your hands to mix all meatball ingredients, except the olive oil, in a large bowl.

Blend all meatball ingredients well in a large bowl.

Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a large Lodge Cast Iron skillet. Roll the meatballs slightly smaller than a tennis ball and place them into the skillet. It’s okay if they touch. Place the skillet on a 350-degree pre-heated grill. Cook for 30 minutes or until the meatballs are well browned. 

Form the meatballs and place in a cast iron skillet to grill.

While the meatballs cook, blend all sauce ingredients except the fresh basil, mozzarella and feta cheese.

While the meatballs grill, mix the sauce ingredients.

Once the meatballs have browned, pour over the sauce and return the pan to the grill or oven. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes.

After the meatballs have cooked for 30 minutes, pour over the sauce and continue to grill.

Top the mixture with crumbled feta, sliced mozzarella, and torn fresh basil. Continue grilling for another 15 minutes until the cheese has melted and lightly browned. Serve over pasta or with a grilled baguette.

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