When it comes to eating locally or living with the land, elk is a great meat to add to your cooking rotation. Packed with more protein than beef and less cholesterol than chicken and pork, wild game such as ground elk meat may not be found easily in your grocery store, however, these baked elk meatballs are worth the trouble.

Prepared like a traditional meatball recipe, this elk recipe can be substituted for other wild game meat such as ground venison with an addition of some fat. You can also make this party appetizer with ground beef, but what's the point?

Where to Find Ground Elk

Piles of rounded ground meat ready for packaging.
Getty Images

Before you can start salivating over this appetizer, you need to gather your ingredients, and if you are more a gatherer than a hunter, there are a few options that'll get ground elk in your hand without putting on camo.

Before you step out your door, call your local grocery stores, Co-ops, or butchers to see if they have any elk in stock. Whole Foods sometimes sells elk, but your best bet would be to call ahead to save you a headache and a trip.

If no stores nearby sell elk, it's time to head to the computer and order some online. This option is great because it gives you the ability to order a variety of wild game that your local butcher might not carry. However, be prepared for a higher cost since meats require fast shipping along with ice packs. Some online suppliers include Fossil Farms, Wild Fork Foods, and Dr. King's Farm, which also happens to be local to me!

How to Make Baked Elk Meatballs

homemade meatballs on a sheet tray
M Treasure

Once you've acquired your ground elk, its time to make this wild game recipe.

These baked meatballs take almost no prep time and just a short baking time. While the oven preheats, mix the ground elk meat, onion, breadcrumbs, minced garlic cloves, eggs, ketchup, salt, black pepper, and parsley together in a large bowl. It's important not to over mix the ingredients, so go easy.

Form the mixture into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet that you've sprayed with cooking spray. Place the sheet into the oven and bake until the elk meatballs are browned and cooked through, which should take a total time of about 15-20 minutes. To finish this fun meatball recipe, toss the baked meatballs in your favorite barbecue sauce. Serve on toothpicks, or over egg noodles to make it a complete meal.

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Elk Baked Meatballs 

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes

servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb ground elk
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp minced parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 400ºF and spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a large bowl mix together the ground elk, onion, breadcrumbs, garlic, eggs, ketchup, salt, pepper, and parsley. Mix until just together, making sure not to overmix.

Form into 1-inch balls and place on the baking sheet. Bake until browned and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Pour the barbecue sauce into a large bowl and toss the meatballs in the sauce. Serve on toothpicks.

Nutrition Facts
Elk Baked Meatballs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 154 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 72mg 24%
Sodium 640mg 27%
Potassium 272mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 4g
Protein 13g 26%
Vitamin A 5%
Vitamin C 10%
Calcium 3%
Iron 12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.