This technique for grilled venison loin couldn’t be simpler. Or more straightforward. Here, the loin—easily the most tender cut of easy-to-overcook venison—is cooked rare to medium-rare over a grill and accompanied by tart crème fraîche or sour cream to tone down the meat’s richness of the venison.Renee Schettler Rossi

A wooden cutting board topped with sliced loin of grilled venison with horseradish cream sauce on the side.

Grilled Venison Loin with Horseradish Cream Sauce

4.86 / 7 votes
This grilled venison loin with horseradish cream sauce is first marinated in herbs and olive oil and then grilled to tender perfection. An easy and elegant entrée that’s perfect for entertaining.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories463 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time30 minutes


For the venison loin

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds venison loin, trimmed of all silver skin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped herbs, such as thyme, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, savory, and/or flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

For the horseradish cream sauce

  • 1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated or prepared horseradish, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chopped chives or flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Juice and grated zest from 1 lemon, preferably organic
  • Salt to taste


Grill the venison loin

  • Season the venison with the salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix the herbs with the oil and spread all over the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to overnight.
  • Make a hot fire in a charcoal grill or set a gas grill on high heat.
  • Grill the meat, without moving it, until nicely browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Then rotate the venison 90° and leave it for just a minute to make grill marks.
  • Flip the venison and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more, again rotating the venison if grill marks are desired. You want to aim for a good, deeply charred outside but a nice and rare or medium-rare inside. Transfer to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 10 minutes while you make the sauce.

Make the horseradish cream sauce

  • Mix the crème fraîche, horseradish, chives, lemon juice, and zest together in a small bowl and season with salt.

Serve the grilled venison loin

  • Thinly slice the loin against the grain, pile it onto plates or a platter, and serve with the horseradish cream sauce.

Adapted From


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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 463 kcalCarbohydrates: 3 gProtein: 53 gFat: 26 gSaturated Fat: 10 gMonounsaturated Fat: 11 gCholesterol: 164 mgSodium: 175 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 2 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2012 Jesse Griffiths. Photo © 2012 Jody Horton. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I’ve never been much of a fan of venison, but this recipe won me over. I appreciate the pure taste of venison and the cooking technique; the meat was so mild that I really wanted seconds—okay, thirds.

With or without the horseradish cream, this can be served to family or guests to rave reviews.

We eat a lot of venison so I’m always looking for a good recipe. This one was easy and tasty. The timing was perfect, as the venison was just past rare (if you overcook venison it quickly becomes tough).

After marinating for 6 hours, the flavor of the rub was still very mild, so next time I’ll let it sit overnight to have a little more flavor from the herbs.

The sauce was lovely and not overpowering—a nice complement to the meat. So many venison marinades use Worcestershire, garlic, or bacon, so this was a nice change.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is definitely a five star! I love the simplicity of the ingredients and the surprisingly delicious sauce that totally compliments the venison. Everything came out perfectly and tasted perfectly! Thank you for sharing.

    1. You’re welcome, Gigi. Thank you for taking the time to comment and share how much you loved it.