31 Essential Dutch Oven Recipes

From Meaty Mains to Hearty Soups

Braised Oxtails

The Spruce

The Dutch oven is easily the most essential all-purpose piece of cookware a home cook can own. Made of cast-iron or cast-aluminum with a heavy bottom, thick sides, and tight-fitting lid, this kitchen workhorse provides constant, even, multi-directional radiant heat to whatever food is cooked inside of it. Because it can stand up to even the highest home oven and stovetop temperatures, the Dutch oven is an ideal vessel for braising meats, slow-cooking soups and stews, boiling pasta, deep-frying, poaching, and almost any other cooking task you can think of.

Do watch your cooking temperatures when using a Dutch oven because this pot conducts heat so well. Always begin with medium heat and increase as needed, to avoid scorching food (yes, even when searing). To avoid scratching your Dutch oven, you may also want to use silicone or wood utensils versus metal ones.

Once you buy a Dutch oven for your kitchen, there are countless delicious ideas for what to make in one. Here are some of our favorites to inspire you to get cooking.

  • 01 of 31

    Stovetop Moroccan Chicken With Preserved Lemon and Olives

    Stovetop Moroccan Chicken With Preserved Lemon and Olives

    Debbi Smirnoff / Getty Images

    Upgrade your usual weeknight chicken dinner with this delicious Moroccan-inspired entree. Start by marinating chicken pieces in the fridge for a few hours or overnight with onion, garlic, herbs, and spices. Then braise the meat in a Dutch oven on the stovetop with a flavorful sauce made with onions, herbs, preserved lemons, and olives.

  • 02 of 31

    Oven-Braised Country-Style Pork Ribs With Apple Cider

    Oven-Braised Country Style Pork Ribs With Apple Cider

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Pork ribs seasoned with apple cider make a delicious alternative to barbecue ribs when it's too cold to grill outdoors. Use a Dutch oven to slow-braise meaty, country-style ribs and vegetables in an apple cider-spiked broth, until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender.

  • 03 of 31

    Meaty One-Pot Penne Alla Vodka

    Meaty Penne alla Vodka

    EzumeImages / Getty Images

    One-pot penne alla vodka makes a great romantic dinner for two and takes only 45 minutes to make. Brown the beef and onions on the stovetop, adding crushed tomatoes, vodka, cream, and chili flakes to create a velvety sauce for hot cooked pasta.

  • 04 of 31

    Savory Oven-Braised Lamb Shanks

    Savory Oven Braised Lamb Shanks

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Oven-braised lamb shanks in rich red wine sauce make a wonderfully warming family meal. Start on the stovetop, using your Dutch oven to soften aromatics and brown the seasoned lamb shanks. Then add red wine, tomato sauce, chicken and beef broths, and vinegar, and place in the oven for a couple of additional hours, until the lamb is meltingly tender.

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  • 05 of 31

    Easy French Beef Burgundy (Boeuf Bourguignon)

    French Boeuf Bourguignon

    rudisill / Getty Images

    The Dutch oven is the preferred vessel for making French beef burgundy. Don't be tempted to skip the step of browning beef cubes well on all sides, which is important for creating depth of flavor in the finished dish. This easy, impressive stew takes only 90 minutes and tastes even better the next day.

  • 06 of 31

    Deep Fried Clams

    Deep Fried Clams

    James Baigrie / Getty Images

    With its heavy bottom and high sides, the Dutch oven makes an effective deep-fryer and tends to conduct heat more evenly than the electric variety. Use it to deep-fry delicious clams dredged in a spicy breadcrumb coating, which can be enjoyed as an appetizer or a light lunch with a salad.

  • 07 of 31

    Duck Confit

    finished confit

    Elaine Lemm

    When important guests are expected, that's the time to make duck confit. The name of the dish refers to the French technique of cooking meat in its own fat, but you can use olive oil as a good substitute. The resulting duck meat is extremely soft and delicious, and makes an excellent topping for crostini.

  • 08 of 31

    Fresh Salmon Chowder

    Fresh Salmon Chowder

    The Spruce

    A creamy salmon chowder filled with cheese, potatoes, and other vegetables, is a fantastic way to get your family to eat fish and takes under an hour to make. Fresh salmon chunks would be delicious, but you can use canned salmon in a quick pinch.

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  • 09 of 31

    Basque Seafood Stew

    Basque Seafood Stew

    Sarka Babicka / Moment Open / Getty Images

    Basque seafood stew makes a stomach-warming meal for colder days. Use your favorite fish and shellfish for this tomato-based stew, which is ready in less than an hour. Top with garlicky croutons for lunch, or serve in larger portions with crusty bread for dinner.

  • 10 of 31

    Soy Sauce Chicken With Shiitake Mushrooms

    Soy Sauce Chicken With Shiitake Mushrooms

    Sodanie Chea / Flickr / CC2.0

    Chicken thighs get a deeply satisfying umami flavor from soy sauce and shiitake mushrooms in this recipe. Allow at least four hours for marinating chicken thighs, before browning in hot oil and simmering in their marinade—plus onions and reconstituted dried mushrooms—until succulent and saucy. Serve with steamed rice.

  • 11 of 31

    Braised Oxtails

    Braised Oxtails

    The Spruce

    Oxtails, despite the name, are actually the tails of cows and are intensely flavorful and tender when cooked low and slow. Create a rich, saucy stew that starts on the stovetop. Brown the oxtails and soften the vegetables, then add tomatoes and seasonings and transfer to the oven for a few more hours of hands-off cooking.

  • 12 of 31

    Dutch Oven Pot Roast

    Dutch Oven Pot Roast

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Use a rump roast, brisket, or lean chuck for this easy, simmered pot roast that makes a great Sunday meal. Root vegetables cook along with the meat for a filling one-pot dinner with tons of flavor and nutrition. Use condensed beef broth for the cooking liquid or make your own at home.

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  • 13 of 31

    Wild Boar Ragu Bolognese

    Wild Boar Ragu Bolognese

    Xsandra / Getty Images

    Wild boar ragu is a popular Italian restaurant pasta with a rich, creamy, rib-sticking appeal that makes it perfect for frosty winter nights. Start this recipe the day before serving to allow optimal time for marinating the meat overnight and produce a sauce with the ultimate savory flavor and texture.

  • 14 of 31

    Chicken Curry in Coconut Milk

    Chicken Curry in Coconut Milk

    supercat67 / Getty Images

    Fill your kitchen with the fabulous aroma of creamy coconut chicken as this curry bubbles away on your stovetop. Simmer Indian-spiced chicken pieces with potatoes, tomatoes, and aromatics, adding coconut milk right at the end of cooking, for an indulgent chicken dinner that is ready to eat in less than an hour.

  • 15 of 31

    Turkey Taco Soup

    Turkey Taco Soup

    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

    Create an easy taco night treat with this turkey soup. Combine shredded cooked turkey in the Dutch oven with vegetables, poultry broth, and Mexican seasonings, and simmer until heated through. Top bowls with tortilla chips, diced avocado, or other taco toppings.

  • 16 of 31

    Oven-Roasted Pulled Pork

    Oven Roasted Pulled Pork on a bun

    LauriPatterson / Getty Images

    Make barbecue-style pulled pork without a grill with this foolproof Dutch oven recipe. It takes 12 hours of low-temperature cooking, but results in amazingly tasty, fork-tender meat. Use a pork shoulder, coating the meat with spice rub ingredients and liquid smoke, before placing in the oven. Serve on buns with your favorite BBQ sauce.

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  • 17 of 31

    Italian-Style Braised Rabbit

    Italian-Style Braised Rabbit

    Philippe Desnerck / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    Rabbit meat is treasured by Italians, who have developed many wonderful ways to enjoy its tender, delicate goodness. Create a dinner party-worthy entree with this braised rabbit that's flavored with fresh rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Season the rabbit generously with kosher salt before browning, for flavorful, moist meat.

  • 18 of 31

    Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo

    Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo

    Lauri Patterson / E+ / Getty Images

    Cajun-spiced chicken and smoked sausage gumbo—brimming with chunks of green bell pepper, okra, onion, celery, and garlic—is a fantastic, filling one-pot meal. Begin by making a roux on the stovetop, adding vegetables, meat, chicken broth, and seasonings, and simmering to blend flavors. Serve ladled over hot cooked rice.

  • 19 of 31

    Korean Short Ribs

    Korean Braised Short Ribs

    ALLEKO / Getty Images

    Braised Korean short ribs are sweet, savory, and incredibly delicious. Use a Dutch oven on your stovetop to simmer ribs in a sauce that includes sesame oil, rice wine, soy sauce, and Asian pear. Potatoes and carrots cook along with the meat, for a filling, one-pot main dish.

  • 20 of 31

    Pork Ragu

    Pork Ragu

    Jennifer Perillo 

    Made with pork shoulder, a cut that benefits from a long, slow cooking time, this ragu is cooked completely in one pot, both on the stove in the oven. The pork is browned, aromatics, wine, and tomatoes are combined, and the pot is placed in the oven to cook for several hours. The pork is shredded and the rich-tasting ragu is spooned over pasta for a hearty dish.

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  • 21 of 31

    Tuscan Ribollita Soup

    Ribollita Soup

    leonori / Getty Images

    Ribollita is a Florentine soup chock-full of creamy cannellini beans, hearty kale, and nutritious vegetables. Make it the day before serving and place in the fridge overnight to allow the broth to thicken and become a true ribollita. Serve hot, poured over bowls lined with sliced Italian bread.

  • 22 of 31

    Swiss Steak

    Tender Braised Swiss Steak

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

    Use inexpensive beef round for this saucy, rich-tasting steak and tomatoes dish. Start by browning whole steaks on the stovetop using a Dutch oven. Then add vegetables, beef broth, and seasonings, and transfer the pot to the oven. Cook for another 90 minutes until meat is ultra-tender and the sauce has thickened.

  • 23 of 31

    Oven-Braised Corned Beef With Beer

    Oven-Braised Corned Beef With Beer

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Take your corned beef to a new level for St. Patrick's Day with this easy corned beef that includes beer. Start with a pre-braised corned beef, placing it in a low-temperature oven to cook all afternoon long, with a mixture of beer and beef broth, plus a few simple seasonings.

  • 24 of 31

    Braised Cabbage With Apple and Onion

    Braised Cabbage With Apple and Onion

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Braised cabbage with apple and onion makes a tasty, traditional accompaniment to corned beef, or a holiday side dish to serve with baked ham. Make it on the stovetop, simmering buttery cabbage in a in a heavy Dutch oven until very soft and tender, with apples, onion, cider vinegar, apple jelly, salt and pepper.

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  • 25 of 31

    Vegetarian Pasta E Fagioli With White Beans and Basil

    Pasta E Fagioli

    YelenaYemchuk / Getty Images

    Pasta e fagioli is a hearty, meatless, 20-minute Italian soup that makes a great vegetarian entree. Boil pasta in the Dutch oven, then drain and return to pot. Saute onion, garlic, and herbs in another pan, then add to pasta with canned beans and tomato sauce, and simmer briefly to heat through.

  • 26 of 31

    Roasted Chicken Thighs With Brussels Sprouts and Pears

    Roasted Chicken Thighs With Brussels Sprouts and Pears

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    Using a Dutch oven instead of a skillet for this colorful, sweet and savory one-pot chicken dish yields more evenly-cooked, juicy meat. Cook Brussels sprouts, bacon, and pears on the stovetop, using the same Dutch oven to sear bone-in chicken thighs until golden. Brush the chicken with honey mustard sauce, and combine all of the ingredients to finish cooking in the oven.

  • 27 of 31

    Quick and Easy One-Pot Spaghetti Dinner

    Quick and Easy One-Pot Spaghetti Dinner

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Easy one-pot spaghetti makes a great family meal with minimal clean-up. Use prepared marinara sauce as a shortcut, combining it with browned beef, vegetables, and seasonings to make a beefy stovetop sauce. Extra water is added before tossing in the pasta, which absorbs the cooking liquid, for perfect, al dente results.

  • 28 of 31

    French Pot au Feu

    Pot au feu recipe

    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

    Pot au feu is a classic French comfort food stew made with various cuts of beef, plus the bones of beef, and root vegetables, in a highly-seasoned sauce. You are meant to scoop the soft, cooked marrow from the beef bones at the end of cooking, for spreading on slices of toasted bread.

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  • 29 of 31

    Baked Risotto

    Easy Baked Risotto

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

    A Dutch oven makes it easy to prepare delicious baked risotto with all the flavor of the traditional dish, but less stirring required. Feel free to add a splash of vermouth or white wine to the rice before placing the pot into the oven. Some chopped cooked ham or grilled shrimp would go nicely on top.

  • 30 of 31

    Coffee Pot Roast

    Coffee pot roast with mashed potatoes and carrots

    Julie Rideout / Stocksy

    Strong black coffee flavors the beef in this delicious oven-braised pot roast. Brown the pot roast on all sides, as directed, before combining with other ingredients in the Dutch oven and placing in the oven to cook for a couple of hours, until the meat becomes divinely tender.

  • 31 of 31

    Dutch Oven Refried Beans

    Refried pinto beans topped with cheese

    StephanieFrey / Getty Images

    Refried beans are easy on the budget, full of protein, and satisfyingly filling. Make them to use in burritos and tacos with this simple Dutch oven recipe. Lard or bacon drippings are traditionally used, but you may substitute condensed chicken or vegetable broth, to achieve the desired consistency.