18 Easy and Delicious Recipes for Your Dutch Oven

Dutch ovens are hefty, pricey, and often reserved for wedding registries. But some version of this colorful cooking vessel has been used for hundreds of years, and for good reason. It's great for low and slow cooking as well as searing and frying, and can be utilized on the stove, in the oven, on the grill, in the freezer, and even on the campfire.

If you have a Dutch oven living in your kitchen cabinets, here are just a few of the many things you can make.

1. No-Knead Bread

Yes, you can make artisan bread! Just mix up four ingredients, let the dough sit and rise for up to 24 hours (no kneading required), form it into a ball, and bake it in your Dutch oven for a perfect round and crusty loaf.

2. Tortilla Soup

A Dutch oven is the perfect vessel for making big batches of soup, and you can often do everything in one pot. This chicken tortilla soup uses several ingredients, but they're all affordable and contribute to its excellent flavor. Plus, you can use any leftover ingredients for a taco night.

3. Wings

To make really crispy chicken wings, you have to fry them, and fry them twice. A high-quality Dutch oven is perfect for frying, since it holds heat well and has high sides to prevent splashes. Don't over-fill your pot with oil, and check to make sure your brand of Dutch oven is good for frying.

4. Fruit Cobbler

Fruit cobbler is an easy and delicious dessert and can be made with most kinds of fruit, whether it is fresh, frozen, or canned. Berries and stone fruit work best, and if you have a non-enameled cast iron Dutch oven, it can be cooked on an open fire.

5. Cornbread

Don't have a cast iron skillet, or at least one the right size? Use your Dutch oven! This green chile cornbread adds Southwestern flavor with cheese and green chiles, and goes great with chili.

6. Beef Stew

Stew is a labor of love, but most of the time required is passive cooking time — meaning you can sit and read a book and drink a glass of wine while it bubbles away. A big, thick pot is essential for such low and slow cooking, making a Dutch oven ideal for beef stew.

7. Clafouti

Homemade clafouti is a type of cake from southern France that's similar to a thick crepe. The traditional fruit filling is black cherries, and it's often made in a cast iron pan, meaning you can bake the dessert in a Dutch oven as well.

8. Pot Roast

A classic and largely hands-off Dutch oven recipe, pot roast is a guaranteed family favorite. After a couple of hours of slow cooking, you'll be rewarded with succulent meat and flavorful, juicy vegetables.

9. Beans

Cooking dried beans is cheaper and more flavorful than the canned versions. Luckily, it's also easy. Unless you're making chickpeas or large beans, you don't even have to soak them. Just put the beans along with water and aromatics in a pot, place in a preheated oven, and bake.

10. French Fries

Make delicious, crispy fries at home! For the best results, soak your cut potatoes in water and fry twice. Using a thermometer is key, since the oil temperature can make the difference between soggy and crispy.

11. Ribs

A Dutch oven is great for making braised short ribs. After a little prep work on the stove, leave them to cook slowly in the oven for tender, flavorful ribs that any meat-eater will love.

12. Gumbo

Shrimp gumbo is a richly spiced stew with sausage, veggies, and shrimp. It might take a little time and attention, but it's all done in one pot and will feed a crowd. Serve with rice.

13. Risotto

A Dutch oven is great for making the standard risotto, which requires quite a bit of attention and constant stirring, but yields creamy results. You can also bake your risotto, great for a dinner party or when you're feeling a little lazy.

14. Coq Au Vin

This traditional French dish of chicken cooked in red wine with bacon and mushrooms has wonderful flavor. It's the kind of dish Dutch ovens were made for, and goes great with a crusty baguette.

15. Oatmeal

A Dutch oven is ideal for making oatmeal — the enamel prevents sticking, and it cooks evenly. Start with a basic recipe and add maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, and/or fruit and nuts for a tasty breakfast.

16. Carnitas

For delicious tacos, you need tender and juicy meat. You can make homemade carnitas by only spending a few minutes at the stove before slow roasting in the oven. It's also made with a bone-in pork shoulder, which is a typically low-cost piece of meat.

17. Mac and Cheese

For a perfect potluck dish, make a baked casserole like mac and cheese with your Dutch oven. The thick pan will keep your casserole warm until served. Before you get started, make sure that your size Dutch oven corresponds to size pan called for in the recipe.

18. Donuts

For a decadent and fun treat, make your own homemade donuts. When frying, cook in batches and don't overload the oil. This is a fun dessert to make with kids, who can help you decorate the freshly cooked donuts before digging in.

What do you use your Dutch oven for?

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Guest's picture

Great recipes! What dutch oven do you have? I want to buy it but I don't know what to choose. I read that Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Oval Dutch Oven and Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven are the best dutch ovens at bestadvisor.com and amazon. com What of the dutch ovens can you recommend?