Our 5 Favorite Dutch Oven Recipes

When we say the Dutch Oven is a versatile piece of cookware, we mean it. Here are some of our favorite things to cook it in.

By Team Made In
Jan 28, 2022
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An Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven is the one of the most versatile tools to have in your kitchen. There is no end to the one pot meals you can create, and there are plenty of different kinds. We’ve put together this list of some of our favorite recipes to christen your new Dutch Oven and chances are, you’ll probably make them again and again.


With the ability to build depths of flavor throughout the cooking process, a Dutch Oven excels at making all kinds of soups. Since stews benefit from being cooked for hours at a time, the heat retention of a Dutch Oven makes it wonderful to leave on the back burner while you prep sides to go along with it.

Chef Julia Sullivan of Henrietta Red loves her Dutch Oven “because of its heavy bottom, which helps conduct heat throughout, and ensures you barely have to stir.”  Her Bouillabaisse may seem complicated at first because of its long list of ingredients, but with the Dutch Oven, it becomes a streamlined one pot meal. The steam-trapping lid comes in handy here when cooking the shellfish, allowing the delicate flavors of saffron and orange to infuse as they cook. Your home will smell delicious and your weeknight meals will be elevated by this beautiful dish.

Spaghetti Bolognese

A Dutch Oven, specifically an Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, is one of the best ways to cook pasta sauce. Not only will you be able to brown chunks of meat and slow cook them in liquid, but you can also make tomato sauces to your heart’s content without worrying about it stripping the surface of the pan. Plus, its 5.5 Quart capacity gives you plenty of room to toss and mix.

Chef Tracy Malecheck of Birdie's uses a combination of pork and beef in this take on the classic. Unlike with some pans (looking at you Unfinished Cast Iron), with the Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, you won’t have to worry about damaging the seasoning, so you can simmer away to your heart’s content.

Alubia Blancas With Clams

At long last, beans are finally getting the love they deserve and now you finally have the perfect piece of cookware to prepare them as well. If your beans need to be soaked before you cook them, simply put them in the Dutch Oven, covered with a few inches of water and leave them there overnight. Just as with soups and stews, you can also serve your bean dishes out of the Dutch Oven as well.

Rancho Gordo’s Alubia Blancas with Clams is a two-part cooking process. First, you will use the Dutch Oven to cook the beans in the Rancho Gordo manner (and believe us, you will never want to cook beans any other way) and then once again, the steam-trapping lid makes the addition of shellfish simple. Make sure and have some fresh bread for this one. You’re going to want it so you don’t miss out on any of that broth!

Braised Pork Belly

A Dutch Oven is the ultimate piece of cookware for braising. Its cast iron composition gives it excellent heat retention capabilities, allowing your liquid to slowly cook and break down the tough cuts of meat. Plus, you don’t have to worry about switching pans to finish off your meat in the oven.

In his Braised Pork Belly, Chef Steve McHugh of Landrace skips the sear and opts instead to rest the pork belly atop a bed of vegetables. It will take all day but when you try the end result, it will all be worth it. This is the ultimate low and slow recipe, yielding super tender meat, which can then be used in a variety of other dishes, including these pork tacos.

Poppy Seed Country Sourdough Loaf

A Dutch Oven is a great baking tool for multiple reasons, including its ability to maintain a constant heat level, its versatility of being oven safe, and its tight-fitting lid, which effectively traps steam. You get a doughy interior and a browned, crisp exterior once you pop the cover off during the last few minutes of cooking.

This Poppy Seed Country Sourdough Loaf from Mel the Bakery benefits from having the perfect contrast of crunch and chew from being baked in a Dutch Oven. Plus, you don’t have to fuss with shaping the loaf and when you’re all done, the cleanup is minimal. It is a multi-day process and certainly a labor of love but you will be rewarded with a beautiful loaf, which is wonderful when slathered with butter and/or jam. If you have the time and energy, this bread is also great served alongside any of the other previous dishes to sop up flavorful broths and sauces.

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