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Creamy Venison Lasagna with Cottage Cheese

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Course: Mains
Cuisine: Italian
Difficulty: Medium

Creamy Venison Lasagna with Cottage Cheese is a traditional lasagna made with deer meat. This hearty pasta dish makes enough for a crowd!

Slice of lasagna showing off all of the creamy layers

Get ready to make the lasagna of your dreams! If you are intimidated by cooking with deer meat, don't be! You cannot taste the difference between ground venison and traditional ground beef in this recipe. And, if the idea of cooking with deer meat bothers you, substitute the ground venison for ground beef!

This recipe feeds a crowd. I swear this lasagna weighs 5 pounds. If you are looking for another crowd size meal, try my Sweet and Spicy Venison Chili.  Another venison dish, this chili is full of vegetables and spices and slowly cooks all day. It is perfect for football parties! Or, try these Crockpot Chicken and Vegetable Enchiladas! The meat and vegetables cook in the slow cooker and then are baked to a cheesy perfection!


What does Venison Lasagna taste like?

Venison Lasagna tastes like a cheesy, meat pasta dish flavored with traditional Italian spices in a tomato sauce combined with a creamy cottage cheese layer and layered with mozzarella cheese. In other words, venison lasagna tastes just like traditional beef lasagna!

I can't tell you how many times I have served venison and people stop in their tracks and say that they don't like or eat venison. But, if I never mention that the meal is venison, EVERYONE loves it! Heck, my Sweet and Spicy Venison Chili won second place in a Crock Pot Cook Off and half of the people who attended told me they didn't like venison! Trust me, this Venison Lasagna is a winner and tastes like a traditional lasagna. Delicious!



Level of Difficulty: Medium! I give this a medium rating not because it is a difficult recipe to make but because there are multiple steps to make Venison Lasagna. I promise, these steps are simple and worth it!

Flavor: This lasagna has traditional Italian flavors combined with a spicy pork sausage. The creamy cottage cheese layer adds a smoothness to the dish.

Time: From start to finish, this lasagna takes around an hour and 20 minutes to prepare and cook. The meat simmers for 30 minutes. During that time, you can make your cottage cheese layer. After the lasagna bakes, it will need to sit for at least 10 minutes to congeal.


Venison Lasagna Ingredients: mozzarella slices, parmesan cheese, ground venison, spicy sausage, parsley, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, eggs, cottage cheese, mushrooms, onion, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes and lasagna noodles

Ingredients and Substitutions

While the ingredient list for Venison Lasagna may seem long, most ingredients are pantry staples. This lasagna will feed your family for days so all of the ingredients are worth it.

  • Ground Venison: Substitute ground beef. To keep this recipe similar to the Venison Lasagna, I recommend using a very lean ground beef.
  • Hot Pork Sausage: Substitute mild pork sausage. The spiciness does not shine through in this lasagna due to all of the flavors.
  • Mushrooms: Use white mushrooms or substitute a mild flavored mushroom. The mushrooms cook with the meat and will take on the flavor. They cook down so much that most people (even toddlers) don't know that they are there.
  • White Onion: A sweet onion could be used in place.
  • Garlic: Use as much garlic as your heart tells you. If you don't have garlic cloves, use garlic powder.
  • Crushed Tomatoes: Tomato sauce would work in a pinch!
  • Diced Tomatoes: I like to use diced tomatoes that are fire roasted or that have spices for a little extra flavor.
  • Tomato Paste: I don't recommend substituting anything for tomato paste. The tomato paste thickens the sauce.
  • Dried Basil, Oregano, Parsley: Any mix of herbs that you enjoy will work.
  • Salt
  • Crushed Red Pepper: If your family doesn't enjoy spicy, omit the crushed red pepper.
  • Cottage Cheese: Substitute ricotta cheese if going a traditional route.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Use freshly grated if you have it!
  • Eggs
  • No Boil Lasagna Noodles: I love using no boil! If you don't have no boil, use traditional lasagna noodles and cook according to the package.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: Slices, shredded or mozzarella balls will work!

Let's Get Cookin'!

  1. Cook ingredients. Grab a large soup pot (a soup pot not a pan). Turn the heat to medium and allow the pot to warm. Add ground venison, ground beef, mushrooms, onion and garlic. Break up the meat as it browns in the pot and stir to combine all ingredients, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Create Meat Layer. Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 tsp dried parsley, basil, 1 tsp oregano and salt to the pot. Stir to combine. Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down and allow sauce to simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Make Cheese Layer. Add cottage cheese, eggs, parmesan cheese and 1 tsp of dried parsley and 1/2 tsp dried oregano. Stir to combine.
  4. Layer ingredients. Start by spreading a large spoonful of the meat to the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Place 4 lasagna noodles on top. Spread out the cottage cheese layer. Repeat with meat, noodle, cheese ending with the meat on top. Layer with mozzarella cheese slices.
  5. Bake. Bake Venison Lasagna at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. To determine if the lasagna is done, touch lasagna noodles in the middle of the lasagna to make sure they are soft.
  6. Let lasagna rest. The lasagna may appear watery on the sides when you remove it from the oven. Let the lasagna rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. This will allow the lasagna to come together and it will not be runny.
Venison Lasagna before baking topped with mozzarella cheese


Help! My lasagna is watery. The lasagna may look watery when you remove it from the oven. Once the lasagna sits, the sauce will continue to absorb into the noodles and other ingredients. Letting the lasagna rest will help the lasagna to stay together when you slice.

What does cottage cheese taste like in lasagna? Cottage cheese tastes just like ricotta cheese in lasagna! I like to use cottage cheese because it adds a little extra creaminess to the cheese layer.

Where can I purchase ground venison? If you don't have hunters in your life (like I do), you can purchase ground venison online from Wild Fork. They offer specialty wild game at reasonable prices!

Can I freeze venison lasagna? Yes, you can freeze lasagna. In fact, whenever I make this lasagna, I make two! One to eat now and one to freeze. Assemble the lasagna in a foil pan. Do not bake. Let the lasagna completely cool. Wrap tightly with two layers of tin foil. Freeze on a level surface. I have not kept the lasagna in the freezer for longer than 1 month.


Expert Tips

Use a BIG pot. It may seem strange to use a pot to cook the meat but, trust me, you need a large pot! There are lots of ingredients that go in here and you don't want to have sauce spilling over a saute pan.

Try No-Boil Lasagna Noodles. While these noodles may not be the most authentic, they are easy and will save you one less pot when doing dishes.

Add veggies! If you're trying to get more vegetables into your diet or your kids diets, add some extra veggies to the sauce. Chopped peppers or diced carrots would cook well in the sauce!

Make two lasagnas! One to enjoy now and one to freeze! If you are going to get out all of the dishes and make the mess, you might as well knock out two meals. This lasagna is the perfect freezer food!


This recipe has been adapted and altered from The Pioneer Woman's Best Lasagna. 

Venison Lasagna with extra parmesan and parsley on a plate
Creamy Venison Lasagna with Cottage Cheese

Creamy Venison Lasagna with Cottage Cheese is a traditional lasagna made with deer meat. This hearty pasta dish makes enough for a crowd!

Slice of lasagna showing off all of the creamy layers
Preparation Time:
30 mins
Cooking Time:
40 mins
Ready in:
80 mins
Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 80 mins
Ready in: 80 mins
Servings: 8 mins
Course: Mains
Cuisine: Italian
Difficulty: Medium
1 lb Ground Venison
1/2 lb Spicy Pork Sausage- Ground
8 oz Mushrooms- Chopped
1 Small White Onion- Chopped
4 Garlic Cloves- Minced
28 oz Crushed Tomatoes
14.5 oz Can Diced Tomatoes
6 oz Can Tomato Paste
1 tsp Dried Basil
2 tsp Dried Parsley (divided)
1 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano (divided)
1 tsp Salt
Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper
3 Cups Cottage Cheese
2 Eggs
1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
10 oz No Boil Lasagna Noodles
6 Slices Mozzarella Cheese
9 x 13 pan
Large Pot
Mixing Bowl
Step 1.
Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add ground venison, pork sausage, mushrooms, onion and garlic. Brown meat, stirring often to break up the meat and combine with other ingredients.
Step 2.
Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil and salt to pot. Stir together. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
Step 3.
While the meat sauce is simmering, mix together the cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, eggs, 1/2 tsp parsley and oregano.
Step 2.
In a 9x13 pan, layer meat sauce, lasagna noodles, and cheese mixture. Repeat. Finish with meat sauce on top.
Step 3.
Top with mozzarella cheese slices.
Step 4.
Bake at 350 degrees covered with foil for 40 minutes. Remove foil during last 5 minutes of baking to allow mozzarella cheese to melt.

3 Responses

  1. Love love love venison lasagna! I make it just like this, and add whatever veggies I have on hand, onions, sweet peppers, zucchini, squash. I like a lot of sauce, and sometimes add a quart bag of blanched frozen garden tomatoes. The extra moisture is great for the no boil noodles as they will absorb it. I’ve split the recipe into (2)8×8 pans so cooking for 2, can eat one now, freeze 1 for later. This recipe is a winner! 😋

  2. Love this! As a family of hunters, the freezer is always full of ground venison this time of the year. Adding the pork and the mushrooms was a new spin for me. YUMMY. Thanks.

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