Recipe: Italian Venison and Feta Bake

posted on July 10, 2021

A small batch of Italian sausage with your favorite pasta is tantalizing enough, but add fresh tomatoes and feta cheese, and you have a meal fit for a king. There are many types of feta cheese available that have unique and bold flavors. Feta cheese is made from sheep, goat and cow’s milk and varies in creaminess, tanginess and brininess. Next time you are at the deli counter, ask for samples to know the variations that can inspire mouth-watering dishes for meal planning.

The fresh ingredients in this recipe make a big difference. The basil and spinach add color, texture and earthy notes. A host of fresh herbs could be used as a substitute or in creating a combination.

Choosing pasta can be the most challenging decision. Farfalle (bowtie) pasta was a natural at our place, but anything from macaroni, conchiglie (shells), rigatoni to more robust forms like penne are great options.

Having so many options allows you to get creative and make one recipe several different ways. Experiment with your favorite cheese, herbs and pasta to create your signature dish.

• 1, 8-oz. block of feta cheese
• 1½ lbs. cherry or grape tomatoes
• ¼ cup olive oil
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
• ½ tsp crushed red peppers 
• 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
• 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
• 1 large handful of fresh baby spinach
• parmesan cheese, shaved or grated for topping
• black olives, sliced (optional)
• 8 ozs. uncooked pasta of your choice (prepared al dente with instructions on package)

Italian-Spiced Venison Ingredients
• 1½ lbs. ground venison
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
• 1 tsp sage, ground
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp coriander, ground
• 1 tsp sugar
• 1 tsp cracked fennel seeds (fennel seeds crushed in mortar and pestle or spice grinder)
• 1 cup very cold water

Italian Venison and Feta Bake Before Placing in Oven to Cook

Meat Directions

1. Blend the spices and hand mix them into the meat with water until spices are evenly distributed. Place in the refrigerator for one hour.

Cooking Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).

2. Place the block of feta cheese in the center of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Evenly distribute the ground meat around the cheese to cover the bottom of the dish. Evenly place the tomatoes amongst the meat. Drizzle the olive oil over the mixture. Stir the meat and tomatoes lightly to cover the ingredients with the oil—season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.

3. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes have burst and are nice and juicy.

4. When the baking dish mixture has 15 minutes of cooking time left, cook the pasta al dente as instructed on the package—reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta.

5. Remove the baking dish from the oven and add the garlic and basil. Stir the mixture together, creating a creamy feta sauce with the melted cheese. Add in the cooked pasta and spinach and stir until the spinach begins to wilt. Add the reserved starchy pasta water ¼ cup at a time until the sauce is creamy and smooth.

6. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and olives and serve warm.

For more delicious wild-game recipes, click here. 


Main20e CZ 457 Varmint Precision Chassis Green With Orange Trigger Guard 1 1
Main20e CZ 457 Varmint Precision Chassis Green With Orange Trigger Guard 1 1

First Look: 457 Varmint Precision Chassis MTR in 22LR

On the heels of CZ’s introduction of the 457 Varmint Precision Trainer MTR comes the 457 Varmint Precision Chassis MTR in 22 Long Rifle. 

2022 Gear of the Year: FORLOH AllClima Softshell Clothing w/RECCO

FORLOH is an all-American gear company formed in 2020 with the express intent of delivering high-quality technology to the outdoor world. It stands at the cutting edge of clothing technology—and it does so with all-American-made products.

#SundayGunday: GForce Arms LVR410

Get a closer look at GForce Arms LVR410, the latest addition to our #SundayGunday series.

2022 Ammo of the Year: Winchester 6.8 Western

Any way you cut it, this cartridge is a long-range winner. It maintains its energy at distance, and it’s plenty accurate, too.

Pioneering Wild Turkey Research Underway

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is helping fund a new wild-turkey research project conducted by Mississippi State University and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

2022 Optic of the Year: ATN ThOR 4 Thermal Riflescope

ATN Corp. sits at the cutting edge of consumer-based thermal technology, and its ThOR 4 Series 640x480 2.5-25x50mm is the best such riflescope it offers.


Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.