What Should You Cook In A Dutch Oven? [15 Suggestions To Try Out!]

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Your beautiful new Dutch oven is sitting proudly on display in your kitchen. Now you're facing the dilemma of what to cook in this piece of cookware. Whether you know it or not, this pot can be used every day of the week. We have researched some recipes that will put your versatile pot to work.

Dutch ovens can be used to prepare food no matter what time of day. Whether it is breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert, here are 15 suggestions for Dutch oven cooking:

  1. Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal
  2. Breakfast Bake
  3. Macaroni and Cheese
  4. Chicken and Dumplings
  5. Beef Stew
  6. Dutch Oven Pizza
  7. Pot Roast
  8. Fried Chicken
  9. Bread
  10. Chocolate Dump Cake
  11. Hot Cider
  12.  Peach Cobbler
  13. One-Pot Spaghetti
  14. Pot of S'mores
  15. Popcorn

Some of these might sound unconventional for Dutch oven cooking, but continue reading to find out more. Your recipe box can soon be filled with Dutch oven recipes, so that beloved pot will no longer just be a decoration on the stovetop.

Damper bread cooked in camp oven on coals. What Should You Cook In A Dutch Oven [15 Suggestions To Try Out!]

15 Suggestions to Try out in Your Dutch Oven

1. Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Opening a box of cereal and pouring the milk on top is usually the quickest and easiest breakfast to prepare. However, it can leave you feeling unsatisfied and doesn't offer much nutritional value. Steel-cut oats are quickly becoming a more popular type of grain. They are high in fiber and take longer to digest, thus making you feel fuller longer.

This steel-cut oatmeal recipe is an easy recipe with very few ingredients. This recipe requires oats to sit overnight, so factor that into your preparation. The hardest part of this recipe is deciding what toppings to place on your oats. Cinnamon, brown sugar, blueberries, or coconut are all great options. Steel-cut oats reheat very well, so plan on making a big pot for leftovers!

These steel-cut oats on Amazon will work perfectly in this recipe.

2. Breakfast Bake

Breakfast bakes or casseroles combine the many delicious flavors of breakfast into one bite. This breakfast bake can be prepared in your Dutch oven at home or over a campfire.

However, DO NOT PUT YOUR CAST IRON ENAMELED DUTCH OVEN IN THE CAMPFIRE! Only Dutch ovens made of solid cast-iron should be used in campfire cooking.

Breakfast bakes like the one here can also be modified. Throw in your favorite vegetables or substitute in your favorite cheese. Different breakfast meats such as sausage or ham could be used as well.

This cast-iron Dutch oven on Amazon is perfect for campfire cooking.

3. Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese may be the ultimate comfort food. Noodles covered in a creamy cheese sauce are always a crowd-pleaser. No more using powdered orange cheese sauce in your mac and cheese. This recipe is quite easy to prepare and is conveniently made in one pot. Jazz up your mac and cheese by adding sausage, bread crumbs, or hot sauce.

Creamy Chicken and Dumplings with Roast Chicken, Green Peas, Celery and Carrots

4. Chicken and Dumplings

You are craving a hot bowl of chicken and dumplings but think that you have no time to prepare such a tasty dish. Wrong! This hearty dish can be whipped up in no time. Again, it is prepared in one pot allowing for easy clean-up.

Tip: If you don't want to make homemade dumplings, swap them out by using canned biscuits. Simply cut them into small pieces and throw them in the pot.

5. Beef Stew

Classic beef stew is the kind of meal that sticks to your ribs. This dish is a cold-weather essential, and a great way to use those leftover vegetables you need to use up.

As the meat and vegetables simmer in the broth, the flavor intensifies. Also, a longer cooking time allows the meat to become melt in your mouth tender. Prep time is fairly short, but cook time can take as long as three hours. Simply set it and forget it.

6. Dutch Oven Pizza

Who knew pizza could be cooked in a Dutch oven?  Cooking and serving pizza in a Dutch oven will certainly be a conversation starter. The Dutch oven will give the crust the perfect amount of crispiness.

Customize this recipe by using your favorite pizza toppings. Due to the size of your Dutch oven, the crust may be more or less crispy. Swap out the homemade pizza dough for store-bought pizza dough if you're in a time crunch.

7. Pot Roast

Cooking pot roast to perfection can prove to be difficult. Sometimes the meat ends up too dry, and other times it ends up too chewy. The tight-fitting Dutch oven lid traps in moisture, resulting in a juicy, tender piece of meat.

Chuck roast is recommended because of its marbling throughout. Marbling equals flavor. Soon, you can cook this recipe and be devouring this succulent piece of meat.

Plate of Delectable Golden Brown Crispy Fried Chickens on Wooden Background

8. Fried Chicken

You don't need to own a deep-fryer to make golden crispy fried chicken. A Dutch oven is a perfect vessel for frying chicken. It keeps the heat at an even temperature and produces consistent frying results.

It is, however, important to monitor the temperature of the oil regularly to prevent burning. Frying chicken in a Dutch oven will generally result in a crispy, crunchy outside and moist and juicy inside.

9. Bread

Nothing beats the smell of homemade bread baking in the oven. However, the process of making homemade bread is laborious and doesn't always produce desired results. Have no fear! This artisan-like bread can be mastered even by a novice baker.

The perfect environment for baking bread is the result of a tight-fitting lid trapping steam inside. It will create a crusty golden shell and a moist and tender center. Plus, no kneading is required with this recipe

10. Chocolate Dump Cake

Making a dazzling dessert could not be easier than this delicious chocolate cake recipe. The best part is it uses a cake mix! If you can open a cake mix and operate a can opener, then you can make this recipe.

Your favorite pie filling can be substituted in place of the cherry pie filling. Serving ice cream on the side takes it to the next level. This recipe is also great to try while camping. Just remember, don't put an enameled cast iron Dutch oven in the campfire - only solid cast iron.

Hot apple cider healthy traditional winter christmas or thanksgiving holiday beverage

11. Hot Cider

Whether you're hosting a holiday party or cozying up by the fire, a hot cup of cider is the perfect drink. The aroma from the simmering spices will fill your home with the most alluring smell. Additionally, homemade cider is much more flavorful than the powder found in a packet.

12. Peach Cobbler

What could be a more perfect way to end a hot summer day than savoring the flavors of fresh juicy peaches? This peach cobbler recipe is as simple as they come but packs a flavorful punch.

Peaches are the star ingredient in this recipe. Fresh peaches work best, but canned or frozen peaches can also be used. Throw all of the ingredients in your Dutch oven, bake, and dig in!

Spaghetti, tomato and basil in a white plate

13. One Pot Spaghetti

Spaghetti is oftentimes a dish people turn to when they need a quick weeknight meal. This recipe makes cooking spaghetti even easier. All of the ingredients are cooked in one pot.  No need to boil the noodles separately. The noodles soak up the deliciousness of the sauce as they cook resulting in a flavorful meal.

14. Pot of S'mores

Not everyone has easy access to a campfire and sometimes you crave that glorious combination of graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate. This recipe combines those yummy ingredients into one big pot of goodness.

A wooden bowl of salted popcorn at the old wooden table

15. Popcorn

While this may be the most unconventional way to use a Dutch oven, it is definitely the most fun. Kids of all ages love to watch those tiny popcorn kernels turn into fluffy pieces of popcorn. Top this freshly popped popcorn with a little salt and butter (or maybe a lot of butter) for the perfect snack!

Can Le Creuset Dutch Oven Go on a Stove?

Enameled cast-iron Dutch ovens can be safely used on all kitchen stovetops. Many of our suggestions above require the Dutch oven to be used on the stove. Of course, always keep an eye on your pot and manage heat levels.

Does Food Cook Faster in a Dutch Oven?

According to Linda Carucci, author of Cooking School Secrets for Real-World Cooks, foods cooked in a Le Creuset Dutch oven can cook faster than in a regular pot. Why? The Dutch oven's ability to retain heat and maintain a steady temperature creates the optimal cooking environment.

What Can You Not Cook in Enameled Cast Iron?

We were unable to find any food that should absolutely not be cooked in enameled cast iron. However, use caution when preparing these foods in enameled cast iron: delicate fish, smelly foods, or eggs and sticky things. Also, remember to NEVER use enameled cast iron cookware in campfire Dutch oven cooking.

In Closing

These are just a few suggestions on what to cook in a Dutch oven. As you begin cooking with this versatile piece of cookware, you will see why it lives on the stovetop in many kitchens. Don't be afraid to try these and many other recipes in your Dutch oven. You will love the results!

Click on the following links for Dutch oven cooking tips:

Can You Fry In A Dutch Oven? [And How To]

How To Cook Chicken In A Dutch Oven

Leave a Reply