10 Best Herbs and Spices for Venison Stew

Nothing hits the spot on chilly evenings quite like a steaming bowl of venison stew.

But to elevate this comfort-food classic, you’ll need to add some flavorful herbs and spices.

Luckily, finding the right combination is a breeze with this collection of my best seasonings for venison stew.

Whether you prefer spicy additions or subtle hints of flavor, these top-notch combinations will bring out all the hearty goodness in each spoonful—so what are you waiting for?

venison stew
Credits: missallieskitchen.com

Let’s get cooking!

1. Thyme


Thyme is a great addition to venison stew!

The earthy and slightly sweet flavor of thyme will help bring out the natural flavors of the venison while also adding complexity.

To use thyme in your recipe, start by mixing one teaspoon of dried or two teaspoons of fresh thyme with the other dry ingredients.

If you’re using fresh leaves, you can either chop them finely or add them whole – just remember to remove them before serving.

Adding thyme to your stew will give it a slightly herbal flavor that pairs nicely with other spices and herbs like rosemary, sage, garlic, onion and bay leaves. It also adds an aromatic element that helps round out the overall taste of the dish.

When adding thyme to a recipe, always start small and adjust as needed after tasting.

In this case, I would recommend starting with 1 teaspoon (for dried) or 2 teaspoons (for fresh) for every pound of meat used in your stew.

2. Rosemary


Rosemary is an excellent addition to any stew. It adds a unique flavor and aroma that will bring the dish alive.

Rosemary pairs well with other herbs like thyme, sage, and garlic, so you can use them all together for extra flavor.

When adding rosemary to your recipe, it’s best to add it at the beginning of cooking so that its flavors can fully develop in the stew.

Start with one teaspoon of fresh or dried rosemary leaves per pound of meat (or two teaspoons if using fresh).

You can also add some whole sprigs at the beginning and remove them before serving.

Adding rosemary will give your stew a warm earthy flavor with subtle hints of pine and lemon.

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Its delicate notes make it great for balancing out richer flavors such as red wine or beef stock used in a traditional venison stew recipe.

3. Bay Leaf

Bay Leaf

Bay leaves are a great addition to any stew and provide a wonderful depth of flavor.

The bay leaf will bring out the natural savoriness of the meat, while also adding its own unique aroma.

When using bay leaves for venison stew, it can be helpful to add them towards the beginning of cooking time so that they have enough time to infuse their flavors into your dish.

Generally, about 1-2 bay leaves per quart (4 cups) of liquid is recommended for optimal flavor.

If you’re using dried bay leaves, use slightly fewer than if you were using fresh bay leaves.

Bay leaf adds complexity and herbal notes such as pine and linalool (found in lavender).

4. Oregano


Oregano has a strong, aromatic flavor that pairs well with the richness of game meat.

To use oregano in your recipe, add 1 teaspoon of dried oregano when you’re browning the onions and garlic at the beginning of cooking.

This will give your stew a nice base note of flavor that can be built upon.

Adding oregano to your stew will bring out some earthy notes and add complexity without being overpowering.

The herb also adds an herbal sweetness that complements and balances out the savory flavors of venison perfectly!

You may find that it helps enhance other ingredients as well, like carrots or potatoes.

The amount you should use depends on personal preference – start with 1 teaspoon and adjust according to taste!

5. Salt


Salt is an important ingredient to use when making venison stew as it helps bring out the flavor of the meat and other ingredients.

It also works as a preservative so that your stew can last longer in the fridge or freezer.

When adding salt, you should start with about 1 teaspoon per pound of meat, then adjust according to taste.

As a general rule, you don’t want too much salt – just enough that it adds some extra flavor without overpowering the dish.

Adding salt will help bring out all of the flavors in your stew and make them more pronounced.

It will also help reduce any bitterness from certain vegetables like onions or garlic, and give your stew a richer overall taste.

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6. Onion Powder

Onion Powder

Onion powder is a great way to add the flavor of onion to your stew without having to cut and prepare fresh onions.

It’s much easier to use and it will still provide all the wonderful taste that onions have!

When using onion powder, you can start by adding 1 teaspoon per pound of meat.

This should be enough for a subtle onion flavor, but if you want it more pronounced then simply add more until desired level is reached.

Onion powder adds an earthy and savory dimension to any dish, including venison stew.

The sweetness from the onion also helps balance out some of the gamey flavors in venison while mellowing out sharp spices like pepper or mustard.

With its versatility, it is no surprise why so many recipes opt for this convenient ingredient!

7. Garlic Powder

Garlic Powder

Garlic powder adds a subtle and savory taste that pairs well with the other ingredients in your dish.

Garlic powder can also help enhance the flavors of other spices used in your recipe.

When using garlic powder, you should start by adding 1 teaspoon for every pound of venison used in your stew.

If you find that this isn’t enough, you can always add more until it reaches your desired level of flavor.

Generally speaking, no more than 3 teaspoons should be added for each pound of meat.

Garlic powder will not only bring out the flavor of the other spices but will also provide a delicious aroma to complete your dish!

8. Black Pepper

Black Pepper

Black pepper is a great addition to a stew as it adds an extra layer of flavor and warmth.

Adding black pepper will give your stew a subtle, yet distinct spicy kick that complements the earthy flavors of the venison.

When adding black pepper to your venison stew, start with 1/4 teaspoon and adjust according to taste. You can always add more if you want a spicier flavor!

In addition to its unique flavor, black pepper also helps bring out the natural umami notes in the venison.

This simple seasoning enhances all of the other flavors in your stew while creating depth and complexity in the dish.

9. Parsley

Dried Parsley

Parsley is a great addition to a stew because it adds a bright, fresh flavor and helps to round out the dish.

For best results, you should add roughly two tablespoons of finely chopped parsley towards the end of cooking.

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This will ensure that the herb maintains its flavor and texture throughout the process.

Adding too much can lead to bitterness in your stew, so be sure not to overdo it!

The parsley will add a light herby flavor that complements other seasonings like garlic or rosemary nicely.

The leaves will also provide some color contrast in your finished dish – making it look even more appetizing!

10. Sage


Sage is a great addition to any stew recipe. It has a strong, earthy flavor that pairs perfectly with the meat.

Sage will add an herbal complexity and depth to your dish, as well as some subtle sweetness.

To use sage in your venison stew, you can either chop up fresh leaves or use dried sage powder.

For 1-2 pounds of venison, use about 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon of dried sage powder.

Depending on how strong you like the flavor, you can adjust this amount accordingly.

Adding sage to your stew will not only enhance the flavor but also help bring out more of the natural juices from the meat while cooking.

As such, it’s best added at the beginning of cooking so that it has time to infuse into all ingredients before serving.


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10 Best Herbs and Spices for Venison Stew

Sure, venison stew is already a hearty and delicious meal, but why not take it to the next level with some flavor-boosting herbs and spices? In this article, I'm sharing my top 10 herbs and spices for venison stew that will give it an extra punch of flavor. I'll also provide some tips and tricks for how to use them and how to combine them for maximum taste. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned chef, you'll find something here that'll take your stew from good to great!
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 2 minutes
Course Herbs, Spices, Stew
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 31 kcal


  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Bay Leaf
  • Oregano
  • Salt
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Black Pepper
  • Parsley
  • Sage


  • Pick your favorite herbs and spices from this collection to add to your stew recipe.
  • Prepare the rest of your delicious meal.
  • Enjoy in no time!