Panko Deer Nuggets

Panko Deer Nuggets

There are lots of ways to fix deer backstrap and anyway you fix it, it’s going to be good. I love to make a pot roast with a backstrap or wrap it in bacon and throw it on the grill or make pulled BBQ sandwiches. It also makes great sliced deer jerky! Okay, I’m getting hungry now. Let me get back on the subject–my Panko Deer Nuggets. 

Most people have fried sliced backstrap, but they typically use a flour mixture to coat it. Panko crumbs are more commonly used in Asian cuisine. It has larger flakes, which creates a flakier recipe and they absorb less oil, which I’m all for.

So, have I sold you on panko crumbs yet? If so, try my Panko Deer Nuggets recipe. We eat them like chicken nuggets around here but believe me they are much healthier and taste better than any chicken nugget I’ve ever had. Kids love them, too!

Panko Deer Nuggets

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4 Cups

Serving Size: 1/2 Cup

Calories per serving: 363

Fat per serving: 16.3

Panko Deer Nuggets


  • 2 lb of backstrap
  • 2 cups of Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. of ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. of salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. of garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. of onion powder
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil for frying


  1. First, remove all of the sinew and anything else that isn’t beautiful red meat from the deer backstrap. Then slice it very thin–about 1/8 of an inch like you would for making jerky. If it’s too wide or long, cut the slices in half. Bite-sized nuggets are the best.
  2. Place the deer nuggets into a large bowl and pour in the two cups of milk. Make sure the milk covers the backstrap well. Let it set and soak in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but you can let it soak overnight as well.
  3. Next, add all of the dry ingredients in a dish and mix it together. Get the deer nuggets out of the fridge. Do NOT drain the milk from the backstrap, but let the milk drip from it. Roll each piece of deer backstrap in the panko crumb mixture and lay them on a piece of wax paper or a plate for later.
  4. Pour about a 1/2 of a cup of vegetable oil in the skillet and bring it to medium-high heat, which should be around 325 degrees.
  5. Once the deer nuggets are all coated in panko crumbs and the skillet is heated, start gently laying the deer nuggets in the frying pan. Fry until they are lightly browned. This will only take a few minutes.
  6. Remove the deer nuggets with tongs and place them on paper towels to drain all of the excess oil.

Panko Deer Nuggets

See how simple they are to make? These go great with just about anything you can think of and they’re great for dinner or breakfast. Try them in a salad or on a hoagie with melted Swiss cheese. Okay, I’m still hungry!

The good, the bad and the delicious…

  • Panko Deer Nuggets have no cholesterol and are low in sugar.
  • They are also very high in sodium and maybe a little too high in fat for some.

Panko Deer Nuggets Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Grade: C

Yields: About 4 Cups Serving Size: 1/2 Cup
Calories 363
% Daily Value*
 Total Fat 16.3g 25%
 Saturated Fat 3.0g 15%
 Trans Fat 0.0g
 Cholesterol 0mg 0%
 Sodium 1944mg 81%
 Total Carbohydrates 22.7g 8%
 Dietary Fiber 1.9g 7%
 Sugars 2.5g
 Protein 29.1g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 6%
Iron 10%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


To make this recipe more diet-friendly…

  • Omit the salt, which will bring the sodium down to 199mg, which is only 8% DV instead of 81% DV.
  • Use olive oil instead of vegetable oil, which will drop the calories 12 points.
    • These two changes will raise the nutrition grade to C+, but it’s still not very diet-friendly.

Our friends at Whackstar Hunters shot a video of how to cook my Panko Deer Nuggets. Check it out and subscribe if you’d like. They have awesome videos!

Share the Love

2 thoughts on “Panko Deer Nuggets”

  1. I plan to use this recipe when my husband brings home another deer. Thanks for sharing your recipes. I have never tried panko, but it looks very good.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *