Recipe: venison meatball and orzo traybake

Venison and orzo traybrake recipe - the finished, baked dish photographed from above

Baked and ready to feed hungry mouths - Credit: Archant

Using pantry staples and delicious wild venison, this easy, tasty cheesy venison traybake recipe from Anna Rogers of Very Good Venison is ideal for sharing with friends and family...

Venison meatball and orzo traybake

  • Olive oil
  • 500g venison mince
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1tbsp dry mixed herbs
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 500ml passata
  • 1tbsp tomato purée
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 200g orzo
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 mozzarella ball
  • A sprinkle of Parmesan
  • A scattering of fresh basil
A pate of venison meatballs, uncooked, photographed from above

Venison meatballs, prepared and ready - Credit: Archant


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C while you prepare the sauce.

Make the sauce

  1. Fry off the onion over a gentle heat. Once softened, add balsamic vinegar and tomato purée, stirring thoroughly.
  2. Now pour over the passata. Give the carton a little rinse (filling about a quarter of the box) and add this too.
  3. Bring the sauce up to a simmer while you get going on the meatballs.

Meatball traybake

  1. In a bowl, mix the venison mince with the crushed garlic, dried herbs and a twist of salt & pepper with clean hands (if you have small people in the house, this is the perfect job for them).
  2. Roll into balls a little smaller than a golf ball, making around 16 or so.
  3. Place the venison meatballs on a roasting dish, ensuring they’re evenly spaced out. Once they’re all in the dish, pour over a drizzle of olive oil.
  4. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 7 minutes.
  5. Once the 7 minutes are up, the meatballs should have started to colour.
  6. The next job is to rinse the orzo with water.
  7. Pour the tasty tomato sauce over the orzo and mix the meatballs in. Then, bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Tear up mozzarella and dot around.
  9. Bake for a further 10 minutes.
  10. Grate over the Parmesan and scatter a few fresh basil leaves.
  11. Serve with salad and garlic bread.
    Close up of a venison meatball and orzo traybake

    Simple yet satisfying - Credit: Archant