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Technique

Our 14 Favorite Dutch Oven Recipes

Go Dutch with some of our cold weather favorites.

By Rachel Baron
Jan 24, 2024
slow cooker vs dutch
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Just like pulling our warm sweaters out of storage, breaking out our Dutch ovens for the first time in months feels symbolic: Now is officially the time for soups, braises, and other hearty fare. And while you’ve probably got plenty of recipe ideas in mind already, it doesn’t hurt to shake things up a bit.

Here, you’ll find some of our favorite cold weather dishes, ranging from crispy-topped mashed potatoes (yup, you can do that) to the best kale you’ve ever tasted, all perfect for being prepared in our French-made, hand-enameled Dutch oven.

Spaghetti Bolognese

No need to clear your entire afternoon for this bolognese: developed by Chef Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel of Birdie’s in Austin, this knockout of a sauce comes together in under an hour. Use all that extra time to make your own pasta.

Chicken Posole

Also stylized as "pozole," this is a traditional Mexican stew made with meat (typically pork or chicken) and hominy, or nixtamalized corn kernels. This recipe, courtesy of Chef Chris Shepherd, is the ideal recipe for cold weather cooking—warming, cozy, and makes enough for leftovers.

Braised Pork Belly

So many foods are described as melt-in-your-mouth, but few of them actually earn that descriptor. This braised pork belly, which cooks in a barely-hot oven for sixteen hours (yes, actually), practically dissolves upon first bite.

Poppy Seed Country Sourdough Loaf

The thick walls and heavy lid of a Dutch oven make it a fabulous tool for baking bread, as it emulates the steamy oven of a commercial bakery. This gives the dough plenty of time to rise before developing a crust, resulting in beautiful round loaves of sourdough and other types of crusty bread.

This particular recipe comes from Nora Allen, owner and Head Baker of Mel, one of New York’s best bakeries. We love everything about it, from the subtle crunch of poppy seeds to the earthy blend of rye and whole wheat flours in the dough.

Chili Colorado

Other than having the word “chili” in the title, this sultry Mexican stew has very little to do with the classic American dish. Chef Edgar Rico of Austin’s Nixta Taqueria cuts no corners with his version, toasting three varieties of dried chile before blending them into a brick red purée, which gives the dish both its name (colorado means “colored red” in Spanish) and its signature hue.

Green Chile Pork Filling for Tamales

Green chilies and tomatillos add complex heat and acidity to this hearty braise. Chef Rick Lopez of Austin’s La Condesa uses lean pork belly, which turns meltingly tender after a slow simmer and makes for a sensational tamale filling.

Dutch Oven Dinner Rolls

These plush, Parker House-inspired rolls from Culinary Creative Director Rhoda Boone bake up tall and feathery-light in a Dutch oven. Rhoda tops the rolls with melted butter and flaky salt right before the rolls are done baking, giving them a golden-brown finish as well as a little added crunch.

Mulled Wine

We’re not sure if “turning your kitchen into a German Christmas market” was on your to-do list this season, but this sweet mulled wine will definitely get you there. With brown sugar, whole spices, and whole fresh oranges (among other delicious add-ins), it’ll melt even the iciest of hearts.

Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Fennel and Garlic

Love twice-baked potatoes? This dish is basically a large-format version of that. Chef Melissa Perello of Frances and Octavia in San Francisco mashes Yukon golds with heavy cream and butter before baking it lid-off in the oven, resulting in a crispy golden crust.

Risotto Bolognese

Creamy, rich, and perfectly al dente, a good risotto is unimpeachable. Chef Brooke Williamson kicks things up even further by simmering the rice in a rich bolognese sauce, allowing it to absorb all the beefy, tomato-y flavors as it cooks.

Braised Kale with White Beans

Kale is an excellent braising green, mellowing and softening as it cooks while retaining its hearty texture and deep mineral-y flavor. Chef Peter Nguyen of Houston’s Riel uses white wine and chicken broth for the braising liquid, adding white beans to turn it into a full meal. 

Tomato and Fennel Dal

With its celery-like crunch and subtle anise-y vibes, fennel definitely deserves a spot in more recipes. Chef Anita Jaisinghani of Houston’s Pondicheri puts it on display in this bright yellow dal, which is also redolent with cumin and whole curry leaves.

Apple Cider Cake Donuts

Heavy, insulated, and virtually tip-proof, Dutch ovens are the ideal vessel for at-home deep frying. All that is to say, if you have a Dutch oven, you’re legally required to make these apple cider cake donuts from Chef Audrey Schieb of The Salty Donut—we don't make the rules.

One-Pot Roast Chicken with Vegetables

Yes—you can absolutely make bronze, crispy-skinned roast chicken in a Dutch oven, and here’s the recipe to prove it. This Poulet Rôti Grand-mère—aka grandma-style roast chicken—is heady with herbs, which perfume the bird from the inside as it roasts. Plus, the vegetables underneath absorb all those juices and fat, making for an equally wonderful side dish.

Ready to Cook?

If you own a Dutch oven, you already know that these pots are worth their (considerable) weight in gold—capable of simmering, searing, roasting, and deep frying, they’re probably the closest thing we can think of to an all-purpose tool. These recipes are a great way to maximize your Dutch oven’s abilities—and to keep your winter cooking routine fresh.

Looking to buy your first Dutch oven, or add to your collection? Make sure to check out our line of French-made enameled cast iron Dutch ovens. Available in both traditional round and oval shapes, plus a range of classic colors, they’re almost as pretty to look at as that Spaghetti Bolognese—almost.