Is deer sausage high in calories?

Deer sausage, also known as venison sausage, is a type of sausage made from deer meat. Like other types of sausage, it comes in a variety of styles including fresh, smoked, and dried. Deer sausage is leaner and lower in fat and calories compared to traditional pork or beef sausage.

Nutritional profile of deer sausage

The nutritional profile of deer sausage can vary depending on the cut of meat used, how it is prepared, and any other ingredients added. But in general, venison is considered a lean meat that is lower in calories and fat compared to beef or pork.

A 3 ounce serving of deer sausage contains approximately:

  • 120-170 calories
  • 3-8 grams of fat
  • 20-25 grams of protein
  • 0 carbohydrates

By comparison, a traditional pork sausage contains about 280 calories and 24 grams of fat per 3 ounce serving. So venison sausage has about half the calories and a third less fat compared to pork sausage.

Reasons why deer sausage is lower in calories

There are a few reasons why deer meat and sausage is lower in calories and fat than other types of meat:

  • Deer are wild animals that are very active and lean compared to domesticated livestock like pigs and cows. This leanness is reflected in the meat.
  • Deer meat contains less marbling. Marbling is the white fat that runs throughout the meat which adds flavor and moisture, but also more calories and saturated fat.
  • Game meat like venison is typically trimmed of visible fat before being made into sausage. Pork and beef sausages often contain higher fat trimmings.
  • The cuts of deer meat used are usually the leaner loin and hindquarters rather than fattier belly or ribs.

Nutritional benefits of deer sausage

Beyond being lower in calories and fat, deer sausage has several nutritional benefits:

  • High in protein – A 3 ounce serving contains 20-25 grams of protein. Protein helps build muscle mass and provides long lasting energy.
  • Iron – Deer sausage is high in iron with 3-4 milligrams per serving. Iron carries oxygen through the blood and supports a healthy immune system.
  • B Vitamins – Venison provides B vitamins like B12 and niacin which are important for metabolizing food into energy.
  • Lower in sodium – Deer sausage typically contains less sodium compared to other processed meats like hot dogs or salami.

Potential downsides of deer sausage

While deer sausage is generally considered healthy, there are a few potential downsides to keep in mind:

  • Can be high in cholesterol – Venison contains more cholesterol than beef, about 70-90 mg per 3 ounce serving.
  • Risk of parasites/disease – Deer meat may contain parasites or disease if not properly handled. Proper cooking destroys parasites.
  • Gamey taste – Some people find the taste of venison to be too strong or gamey, although proper preparation can help.
  • Drying can increase sodium content – Heavily dried or cured deer sausage may end up high in sodium.

Ways to prepare lower calorie deer sausage

There are a few tips for keeping deer sausage calories low when cooking and preparing it:

  • Choose fresh or smoked sausage over dried varieties.
  • Avoid heavily seasoned or smoked sausage which can be high in sodium.
  • Cook using lower calorie methods like grilling, baking, or broiling instead of frying.
  • Trim off any visible fat after cooking.
  • Avoid adding high calorie condiments like mayonnaise or creamy dips.
  • Try using lower calorie substitutions like mustard or horseradish instead.

Healthy deer sausage recipes

Here are some healthy recipe ideas for preparing lower calorie deer sausage:

Baked deer sausage with vegetables


  • 1 lb fresh venison sausage
  • 1 lb brussel sprouts, halved
  • 1 lb baby potatoes, quartered
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. On a baking sheet, toss vegetables in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. In a separate skillet, cook deer sausage over medium-high heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Cut into bite size pieces.
  4. Add sausage to baking sheet with vegetables and toss to combine.
  5. Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Grilled venison sausage skewers


  • 1 lb fresh venison sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • Wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning


  1. In a bowl, mix balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and Italian seasoning. Reserve 2 tablespoons of marinade.
  2. Thread sausage, peppers, and onion onto skewers, alternating ingredients.
  3. Brush with the marinade. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  4. Grill skewers over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes until sausage is cooked through, turning occasionally.
  5. Brush reserved marinade over links before removing from grill.

Deer sausage stuffed peppers


  • 4 bell peppers, halved lengthwise with seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb ground venison
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Brush cut sides of peppers with olive oil and place on a baking sheet cut-side down. Bake 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, brown venison in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drain excess fat.
  4. Add cooked quinoa, onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Cook 2 more minutes.
  5. Remove peppers from oven. Fill with sausage mixture and top with tomatoes and parmesan.
  6. Bake 20 more minutes until peppers are tender.
Deer Sausage Nutrition Facts Per 3 oz serving
Calories 120-170
Fat 3-8g
Saturated Fat 1-3g
Cholesterol 70-90mg
Sodium 350-450mg
Carbohydrates 0g
Protein 20-25g


Overall, deer sausage tends to be lower in calories and fat compared to beef or pork sausages. A 3 ounce serving of deer sausage contains about 120-170 calories versus 280 calories in pork sausage. This is due to deer meat being much leaner with less fat and marbling.

Beyond lower calories, deer sausage provides a good amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals like iron. Potential downsides can include a higher cholesterol content or gamey taste for some. When cooking deer sausage, choose fresh or smoked varieties over heavily dried and season it simply. Prepare using lower calorie methods like baking versus frying. With some basic preparation, deer sausage can be a flavorful, leaner alternative to beef and pork.

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