29 Camping Dutch Oven Recipes (2024)

Expand your camp cooking repertoire with these delicious Dutch oven recipes! A Dutch oven is one of the most versatile pieces of camp cooking equipment you can own. Sauté, steam, simmer, fry, and bake – if you can imagine it, you can make it in a Dutch oven.

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When we first got our Dutch oven a few years back, it opened up a new world of camp cooking to us. Recipes that would have been impossible to make on a camp stove, all of a sudden became entirely do-able.

While it takes a little practice to get good at cooking in a Dutch oven over live coals or embers, the entire process is a lot of fun. There is a bit of experimentation when it comes to different heat levels, coal ratios, etc. But once you get the hang of it, you’re in for a treat.

If you’re new to Dutch oven cooking, we’ve got a short primer to get you started below. If you’re a well-seasoned pro looking for some new recipes to try out, you can skip to the recipes.

Best Dutch ovens for camping

Certain Dutch ovens are made specifically for camping.

Unlike a home Dutch oven, which has a flat bottom and sealed in enamel, a camping Dutch oven is made entirely from cast iron, has support legs on the bottom, and comes with a flat flanged lid. Coals or embers can be placed underneath and on top of the lid, allowing you to heat from both sides.

Camping Dutch ovens also come in two different depths. Shallow Dutch ovens are the most versatile option and are best for baking, while deep Dutch ovens are best for making large amounts of soups, stews, or anything else with a lot of liquid.

Lodge 10” 4 qt: This Dutch oven is the size and dimension as the one that we own. It’s relatively inexpensive, comes pre-seasoned, and is great for somebody just getting into Dutch oven cooking. Ideal for 2-4 people.

Lodge 12” 6 qt (shallow): A slightly wider version, this Dutch oven is ideal for 4-6 people.

Lodge 12” 8 qt (deep): This is a deeper and wider Dutch oven that is great for making larger quantities of soups and stews. Ideal for 6-8 people.

How to cook in a Dutch oven

There are lots of different ways to cook with a Dutch oven, but here are the most common.

For baking, you want to create an even ambient temperature inside the Dutch oven. (Similar to setting the temperature on your home oven) This is achieved by placing hot coals or embers underneath the Dutch oven and on top of the lid. Cast iron does a great job of radiating heat, so by heating from the top and the bottom, you evenly distribute the heat through the inside.

Due to the insulating properties of the ground, you will find you need proportionally much more heat coming from the top than from the bottom. So, you will want to have more coals on top of the lid than you will have underneath your Dutch oven.

You can also use a Dutch oven as a heavy-duty, fire-resistant pot and place it over a campfire. Since it’s made entirely from cast iron, there’s nothing that can melt or warp. You can even use it on a camp stove like a regular pot, provided that legs fit through the grate.

Like we said above, it’s super versatile! You can learn all about Dutch oven cooking in this primer.

Dutch oven accessories

Chimney Starter: Ditch the lighter fluid! A charcoal chimney is a quick, natural way to get your coal lit. This collapsible version is great for camping because they lay flat and come in a carrying case.

Lid Lifter: A lid lifter can be really handy. We own this 4-in-1 lid lifter from Lodge, which functions as a lid-lifter, bail hook, pot stand, and lid stand. It folds up and fits inside our 10” Dutch oven.

Long Metal Tongs: If you’re using charcoal briquettes, a pair of long metal tongs will allow you to move and reposition them with ease.

Heat Resistant Gloves: We’ve tried a lot of different welding mitts, and these heat resistant grill gloves are far superior.

Tripod: If you frequently camp in areas that don’t provide grates over the campfire, you may want to pick up a tripod to hang your Dutch oven over the fire. This will allow you to adjust the height dial in the heat for a perfect low simmer.

Liners or Parchment Paper: One of the secrets to easier Dutch oven baking is to use liners where possible. You can pick up single use, pre-cut liners, but we prefer to make them ourselves out of parchment paper.

The best dutch oven recipes for camping

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Chili mac

Blending the best of both worlds, chili mac combines the smoky and spicy flavor of chili with the rich and creamy texture of mac & cheese. It’s a camping classic that kids and adults will love.

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Dutch baby

A Dutch baby is a light and airy pancake that lies somewhere between a crepe and a pastry. We love it topped with fresh berries and drizzled with maple syrup.

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Dutch oven chili + cornbread

Dinner and a side, all in one pot. Make a quick bean chili, top with an easy cornbread batter, and stick your Dutch oven over the coals. Put your feet up and dinner is ready in just over half an hour.

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Banana bread

Making baked goods at your campsite is half the fun of owning a Dutch oven. This Banana Bread is a fun breakfast treat that’s perfect with a cup of camp coffee.

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Mac and cheese

All you need is 15 minutes to make this super simple Dutch oven mac & cheese. We love to finish it off with crumbled chips for a crunchy topping.

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Dutch oven enchiladas

These enchiladas are pretty fool-proof and a great beginner recipe when you’re learning to use a Dutch oven. Veggies and beans rolled in tortillas, slathered in enchilada sauce and cheese… there’s really no way to go wrong with this meal!

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French toast bake

This Dutch Oven French Toast Bake is a great breakfast idea when feeding a crowd! Toasty edges and tender on the inside, it’s everything you love about French toast – just a lot more of it!

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Dutch oven pizza

Pizza is another classic camping Dutch oven recipe. We’ll show you the technique and offer a variety of delicious topping combinations in this recipe.

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Dutch oven peach cobbler

Make the most out of summer’s best produce: peaches! This easy Peach Cobbler is a wonderful Dutch oven dessert that is perfect for cooking over the campfire.

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Pull-apart garlic bread

If you’re looking for a great appetizer or side dish, this pull-apart cheesy garlic bread is super easy to make and is good for sharing with a group. All you need is a round loaf of bread, shredded cheese, olive oil or butter, and garlic (lots of garlic!).

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Campfire Nachos

Some would call nachos an appetizer, we often call it dinner! Tortilla chips loaded with beans, avocado, onions, salsa, and melty cheese, this happy hour classic is a snap to make at the campsite.

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Chicken Marbella

A gourmet meal with easy camp-friendly preparation, this take on the hit 1980’s dinner party favorite is full of great flavor thanks to a punchy marinade that can be made ahead.

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Dutch oven apple cobbler

If you’re not up to making a homemade pie on a camping trip, this apple cobbler is the next best thing. Juicy apples, under a buttery, biscuit topping spiked with cinnamon and sugar, this is the perfect end to any camping meal.

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Dutch oven lasagna

This lasagna is a great family-style meal. This easy vegetarian preparation is pretty low fuss and could be easily customized with different fillings. It’s a great recipe that takes advantage of the Dutch oven’s baking capabilities.

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Sweet potato peanut stew

his West African-inspired Sweet Potato Peanut Stew is one of the most popular Dutch oven recipes on our blog, for good reason! It’s super satisfying and full of flavor. While it happens to be vegan, this is definitely a stick-to-your-ribs meal that is perfect for cooler nights.

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5 can chili

This easy chili is as simple as opening five cans (black and kidney beans, tomatoes, chipotles, and beer) and chopping up an onion. It’s spicy, flavorful, and you don’t have to spend the whole evening cooking.

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Dutch oven cinnamon rolls

These cinnamon rolls can be prepared at home before your trip and then baked in the Dutch oven in the morning for a truly gourmet camp breakfast!

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Dutch oven vegetable stew

Loaded with mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, and onions, this Dutch oven vegetable stew is a hearty vegan-friendly take on stew. It’s a great one-pot camping meal to keep you warm all night long!

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Red beans and rice

Smoky, spicy, and deeply satisfying, this hearty one-pot meal is a camp-friendly adaptation of red beans and rice.

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Steamed clams

If you’re looking to class up your camp menu, try these campfire steamed clams. We love to make this when we’re camping near the coast. The garlic and white wine sauce is perfect for dunking grilled bread in, too.

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Dutch Oven Blueberry Cobbler

Delicious blueberry filling, a fluffy biscuit topping, topped off with dollop of whipped cream, this Blueberry Cobbler is a perfect summer time camping dessert.

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Dutch oven biscuits

Bake these biscuits from Sunset to serve as a side with chili or stew. You can make them at home ahead of time and store them in your cooler until you’re ready to cook them.

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Dutch oven chicken cacciatore

This Chicken Cacciatore from Family Spice is a camp-friendly take on a traditional Italian “hunter’s stew” using chicken thighs. It’s packed with mushrooms, olives, and basil, simmered in a tomato-wine sauce.

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BBQ chicken and potatoes

Chicken and potatoes are cooked together in BBQ sauce in this Dutch oven meal from Clarks Condensed. Serve with a side of vegetables and dinner is done!

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Dutch oven jambalaya

This jambalaya combines shrimp, sausage, chicken, and rice in a flavorful one-pot meal that is packed with flavor.

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Stuffed pork chops

Pork chops stuffed with breadcrumbs and apples, then glazed with a spiced orange sauce, this recipe from Lodge is a next-level Dutch oven meal.

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Campfire chile verde

Pork simmered in tomatillos and green chiles, this Chili Verde recipe from Lodge is a super flavorful meal.

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Mountain man breakfast

This “Mountain Man” breakfast is a classic casserole combining hash browns, sausage, eggs, and cheddar cheese. This recipe from Lodge is a great base to which you can add all sorts of extras (think, bacon, onions, chiles, mushrooms… go wild!).

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Sopa de Lima

This zippy chicken soup from Barebones is flavored with fresh lime juice, jalapenos, and tomatoes. Topped with avocado, tortilla strips, and cilantro it’s a fresh and warming meal for cooler nights.

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

Whether you’re in search of camping breakfasts, camping dinner ideas, easy camping meals, or campfire desserts, we have you covered! See our full recipe index here.

29 Camping Dutch Oven Recipes (2024)

FAQs

Is a Dutch oven worth it for camping? ›

Dutch ovens, like the Camp Chef Classic Dutch Oven, have been used for wilderness cooking for ages and are a wonderful way to cook nourishing food in the great outdoors. They retain heat and enhance the transfer of heat through the food.

What to cook in cast iron Dutch oven over campfire? ›

Dutch Oven Recipes to Cook Over the Campfire
  1. Dutch Oven Bread. Total Cook Time: 45 minutes. Servings: 1. ...
  2. Dutch Oven Pot Roast. Total Cook Time: 4 hours and 10 minutes. Servings: 10. ...
  3. Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler. Total Cook Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes. Servings: 6 to 8.
Jan 23, 2024

Is there anything you shouldn't cook in a Dutch oven? ›

Don't cook acidic foods

If your Dutch oven is enamel coated, then you can easily use it to cook homemade tomato sauce or any other acidic foods. However, it's not a good idea to simmer these types of foods when you're using any type of kitchen kit made from cast iron.

How big of a camping Dutch oven do I need? ›

The 1.5 quart dutch oven is perfect for side dishes and desserts, but we recommend a 3 quart or 4.5 quart for people living alone and cooking mostly for themselves. The larger size will fit most recipes for 1-2 people and can better accommodate one-pan meals.

Can you bake in a Dutch oven over a campfire? ›

Dutch ovens can also be suspended over a campfire using a tripod, placed on a campfire cooking grate over a fire, or placed directly on top of embers. Depending on your stove, it is also possible to use a Dutch oven on a camp stove.

Why do you put coals on top of Dutch oven? ›

But when you add coals to the top of a Dutch oven, you're introducing heat from the top and bottom. It reduces cook time, and keeps the bottom of the dish from getting burned. It also helps bread products brown more evenly.

How many charcoal briquettes to use for Dutch oven? ›

Take your oven's diameter in inches and double it. This is the number of high-quality, standard-size charcoal briquettes you will need to heat your oven to 325 degrees every time. For a 10-inch oven, you need 20 briquettes. For a 12-incher, you need 24 briquettes, and so on.

What size Dutch oven do I need to bake bread? ›

You just need a lid to cover it and the proper heat-conducting cast-iron material, and your bread will come out perfectly every time. Size & Shape: Look for a 6- to 7-quart, round Dutch oven. Anything much bigger will cause the bread to spread out and go flat.

Why does everything stick to my Dutch oven? ›

Sticking. The Cause: Occasionally food may stick to your cast iron cookware. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as not using enough fat or oil when cooking, using cookware that isn't well seasoned, or when breaking in new cookware that hasn't built up additional layers of seasoning.

Why does my Dutch oven burn everything? ›

If it's too hot, the pot can scorch or the food can burn and stick to the surface. Cooking at medium heat is what works best with this pot. I would recommend cooking on medium or low heat, even if you're frying or searing meat.

What foods Cannot be cooked in cast iron? ›

4 Foods You Shouldn't Cook in Cast Iron
  • Acidic foods (unless you make it snappy) ...
  • Fish (particularly delicate varieties) ...
  • Eggs. ...
  • Skillet brownies (if you just fried a batch of chicken last night) ...
  • A lot more (if your skillet isn't properly seasoned)
Mar 11, 2023

What size Dutch oven do most recipes call for? ›

Medium-sized is the most universal

Anywhere between a 5- to 7-quart Dutch oven is the right all-purpose size for most cooking tasks.

What is the most commonly used Dutch oven size? ›

The most popular size for a Dutch oven is somewhere between five and seven quarts.

What is the most popular size of Dutch oven? ›

A 5–7 quart Dutch oven is the sweet spot for most home cooks. This size is great for cooking for four people (often with leftovers). Representatives from both Staub and Le Creuset tell us that their most popular size is 5 1/2-quarts, and that's the size most Epi editors have at home, as well.

Is it worth investing in Dutch oven? ›

The best Dutch ovens are good for so many things: braising meat, stews, sautéing, deep-frying, heck, even baking bread. And while we think you should consider getting a stainless-steel stockpot, one of these will work in a pinch. Regardless of which one you choose, though, a Dutch oven will prove an investment.

What is so special about Dutch ovens? ›

What makes Dutch ovens (also sometimes called French ovens) so enduring is their versatility. The sturdy build helps store and maintain heat, the heavy lid traps condensation and allows for more efficient heating, and the single-piece construction means Dutch ovens move easily between the cooktop and the oven.

What is the hype with Dutch oven? ›

The Dutch oven—or as I like to call it, the analog crock pot—is a favorite among those who love cooking. The hype around Dutch ovens exists for good reason: They are highly effective, beautiful, dynamic, and durable pieces of cookware.

Can you use an enameled Dutch oven on a campfire? ›

Material and Finish. Home Dutch ovens (such as those made by Staub and Le Creuset) are made of cast iron and sealed in enamel. This enamel, which is beautiful and makes for easier cleaning, can become damaged when exposed to the high direct heat of an open campfire.

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