These easy Dutch oven recipes show off the versatility of everyone's favorite cast-iron pot. Use yours to make bread, stew, pasta, risotto, and more!
‘Tis the season of cozy soups, comforting stews…and holiday shopping. If you’re thinking about treating yourself or a loved one to a new piece of kitchen equipment, let me recommend a Dutch oven! This type of heavy-duty pot might seem like a specialty item, but if you cook often, I promise, you’ll use it daily. In fact, I always have one perched on my stovetop, ready and waiting for the next time I cook a soup, pasta, sauce, or whatever other Dutch oven recipes I might have up my sleeve on a given day.
But first: what is a Dutch oven, anyway?
Good question! A Dutch oven is a thick-walled pot with a tight-fitting lid that’s shorter and wider than a stockpot but deeper than a braiser or skillet. It can go from the stovetop to the oven and vice versa, and, thanks to its heavy lid, it’s great at capturing moisture and heat.
Occasionally, you’ll find Dutch ovens that are made of ceramic or stainless steel, but in my opinion, the best ones are cast-iron. I personally like to use an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven. This material is excellent at retaining and conducting heat, but it doesn’t require any seasoning. You can easily clean it with just soap and water!
Basic Dutch Oven Recipes
Below, you’ll find Dutch oven recipes for full-blown pastas, soups, and stews. But these sturdy pots are also great for making the basics! Here are 5 basic recipes I love to make in a Dutch oven:
If you like baking bread, a Dutch oven is an absolute essential. It’ll help you make loaves with a nice rise, a crisp crust, and a perfect soft interior.
Cannellini Beans and Greens
A long, slow simmer transforms these humble white beans into a warming, one-pot meal.
Soup Dutch Oven Recipes
FYI: You can make almost any soup recipe in a Dutch oven, and it’ll come out great. Here are a few of my favorites to get you started:
Butternut Squash Soup
A fall and winter favorite! Ginger, sage, and rosemary fill it with warm, cozy flavor.
Potato Leek Soup
My vegan twist on the classic comfort food! Instead of dairy, blended white beans and potatoes create its creamy texture.
Want to use an entire head of cabbage in one go? Make this soup! Packed with fresh veggies, potatoes, and white beans, it’s deeply flavorful and nourishing.
Sweet Potato Soup
This creamy vegan soup is a new favorite of mine. It’s super simple, satisfying, and filled with sweet and smoky depth of flavor.
Vegan Broccoli Soup
Classic broccoli cheddar soup is one of Jack’s favorite foods, but he’ll still devour a bowl (or two) of this vegan version whenever he gets the chance. It’s thick and creamy, tangy and savory. Who wouldn’t go back for seconds?
Many-Veggie Vegetable Soup
You can easily adapt this recipe to use whatever veggies you have on hand. Sweet potatoes or butternut squash? Green beans or zucchini? Broccoli or kale? Go ahead, toss them in!
Wild Rice Soup
This lightly creamy soup is a perfect one-pot dinner. A secret ingredient – miso – fills it with rich, savory flavor.
Curries, Stews, and Chilis
Because a Dutch oven retains heat so well, these Dutch oven recipes will still be hot when you come back for seconds.
Don’t try to make this recipe in any old soup pot! I start cooking it on the stove and finish it in the oven, so a Dutch oven is essential here.
These easy Dutch oven recipes are good for special occasions and weeknight dinners alike.
Linguine with Lemon and Tomatoes
I love to heat this summery pasta in a Dutch oven and then serve it straight from the pot! It keeps the pasta warm on the table, and it looks pretty, too.
Homemade Mac and Cheese
Have you ever made mac and cheese in a skillet and had noodles flying everywhere? I have! A Dutch oven solves this problem. Make the cheesy sauce right at the bottom of the pot, fold in the pasta, and serve without any mess.
Tagliatelle with Tomatoes and Greens
Make the carrot ragù in a large Dutch oven, and let it simmer while you cook the pasta. When the pasta is just al dente, add it to the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan or vegan Parmesan to take it over the top.
One-Pot Penne Pasta
A Dutch oven is the best vessel for making this one-pot pasta. It’ll trap all the moisture in the pot, creating a light, flavorful sauce to coat the pasta and veggies.
Cherry Tomato Pasta
In this recipe, burst cherry tomatoes, garlic, capers, and balsamic vinegar create a bright, briny pasta sauce. I like to cook the sauce in a Dutch oven and toss in the pasta right at the end to coat it in the sauce and warm it through.
More Favorite Dutch Oven Recipes
Yep, Dutch oven recipes go beyond pasta, soup, chili, and bread! Here are two more dishes I love to cook in a Dutch oven:
Butternut Squash Risotto
Stir, stir, stir, and before you know it, you’ll have made a rich, creamy risotto with just 10 ingredients.
A Dutch oven is famously good for making tender braised meat. Though I don’t cook it in mine, I do make this saucy vegan taco meat out of jackfruit and jerk spices. It’s such a satisfying, flavorful filling for these plant-based tacos!
So, which Dutch oven to get?
Thinking about getting a Dutch oven? Here are some of my favorites:
A few years ago, Jack and I were lucky enough to visit the Staub factory in France, where these pots are made by hand. It was amazing to see the process, especially because I’ve loved Staub’s cookware for years. The cast iron is excellent at retaining and conducting heat, and the enamel coating doesn’t require any seasoning. It’s easy to clean with just soap and water, and it won’t scratch or chip. These pots aren’t inexpensive, but they will last you a lifetime.
Similar to Staub, Le Creuset pieces are an investment, but they’re extremely durable and are meant to last a lifetime. Because they’re enamel-coated, they clean up easily with soap and water. The only downside here is that you can’t use metal utensils in these pots, as they will scratch the enamel coating.
If you’re going to buy just one Dutch oven, go for one of the larger sizes listed above. But if you can swing a second, I recommend getting one of these smaller pots. I reach for them when I’m cooking small-batch recipes or reheating individual portions.
This Dutch oven is more affordable than a Staub or Le Creuset, and it will also stand the test of time. However, it’s not enamel-coated, so it does require proper care and regular seasoning. This isn’t a big deal once you get used to it, so if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, I highly recommend this pot!
Dutch Oven Recipes: Cabbage Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 celery rib, diced
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can cooked white beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 garlic cloves, grated
- 2 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
- 1 small green cabbage, about 1 pound (9 cups chopped)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion, celery, salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes.
- Add the vinegar, stir, and then add the tomatoes, broth, beans, garlic, potatoes, cabbage and thyme. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes and cabbage are tender.
- Season to taste, garnish with fresh parsley, and serve.