Venison Burrito Orbs (Meatballs)

The best of all worlds'… low-fat venison and refried beans all rolled up together and tastes like burrito filling. Cut the meatballs in half and put in large taco shells or eat them on their own - with or without salsa!

Cook's note: These are delicate in texture…handle them gently!

Yield: about 30 Meatballs


Olive oil
2 pounds Ground Venison
1 can (16 oz.) Refried Beans
2 Tablespoons dried cilantro
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs
⅓ cup Taco Bell Hot Sauce (or hot sauce of your choice)
1 cup Panko (Asian Breadcrumbs) plain

Special Equipment: #16 scoop (or ¼ cup scoop of your choice - keeping the meatballs consistent in size)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil sided baking pan with olive oil; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the ground venison, refried beans, cilantro, salt, cumin, garlic powder, eggs, hot sauce, and panko; mix well. Chill mixture if possible (it will help hold shape of your meatballs).

Using a #16 scoop (¼ cup), make a meatball and roll with hands to keep it as round and firm as possible. Wet hands in-between if necessary.

Continue scooping and making balls (until all the meatballs are made). As you make each one, gently place meatballs into the oiled/sprayed baking dish so they are lined up evenly in rows and each meatball is touching the one next to it like a grid.

Place pan of meatballs in oven; cook until the internal temperature of the meatballs are at 165°F and browned. Remove from oven and serve with taco shells, flour tortillas or on their own. Add side dishes to make it a Mexican Soiree or sides of your choice.

Ruth Mossok Johnston