26 Dutch Oven Recipes to Soothe Your Soul

Classic Beef Stew Dutch Oven Recipe
Photo: Greg DuPree

When it comes to comfort food, Dutch ovens are ideal for creating deep flavors, delicious roasts, and crave-worthy meals. A good cast iron Dutch oven is a must for any serious home cook. Whether it's a holiday or a typical weekday, this cookware will have your meals making the grade and then some. Using the right size and shape can make or break a Dutch oven dish (see: Which Dutch Oven Size Should You Buy). Go for the tried-and-true Le Creuset vessel or an on-trend Staub cocotte — no matter the style, any Dutch oven will open up endless recipe opportunities. Create beautifully braised meat, pot roasts, hearty beef stew, healing chicken soup, or the creamiest mac and cheese. Use it like a slow cooker, a bread maker, or a pot for frying perfectly crispy doughnuts. These are our favorite recipes to cook in a Dutch oven.

01 of 26

Bò Kho (Vietnamese Beef Stew)

Viet Beef Stew with Star Anise and Lemongrass
Greg DuPree

Baguette and bò kho are great friends, but you also can serve the stew over pasta — try it over boiled egg noodles or rice noodles (select pappardelle-size noodles). Add a green salad for a complete meal.

02 of 26

Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice
Photo by Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

"Everyone with roots in southern Louisiana, where red beans and rice is a staple, thinks that their mom makes the best version," says 2019 F&W Best New Chef Kwame Onwuachi. "But I'm the only one who's right. Growing up, my mom used this recipe as a base, sometimes adding in smoked turkey necks or smoked, spiced, and cured tasso ham, in addition to the ham hocks and andouille sausage that impart their smoke, fat, and spice to the Holy Trinity (celery, bell peppers, and onions) and, of course, the sturdy red kidney beans."

03 of 26

Braised Brisket Potato Tot Casserole

Braised brisket tater tot casserole
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

This homey recipe from The Stray Dog in Minneapolis takes the classic Minnesota hot dish to new levels. Tender brisket is braised in stout beer, while brown sugar helps caramelize the brussels sprouts. A creamy mushroom béchamel brings everything together, while the truffle-laced potato tots cap things off.

04 of 26

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Manhattan Clam Chowder
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

This recipe for Manhattan Clam Chowder — known for being tomato-forward with a broth base — has layers of flavor, from the clam broth spiked with white wine to the tender vegetables that are cooked in bacon fat. Half of the clams are roughly chopped, while the other half are left whole in their shells for contrast. As the chowder comes together towards the end, gently mashing some of the baby Yukon gold potatoes with a wooden spoon helps thicken the broth.

05 of 26

Short Rib Ragù with Orange-Parsley Gremolata

Short Rib Ragu
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

This ragù stands apart from most with the addition of fennel seeds, ground allspice, and habanero hot sauce. Like most great braises, it tastes even better after a day or two in the fridge, making it a fantastic do-ahead dish for entertaining. Be sure to look for meaty short ribs; they can sometimes be skimpy, consisting of mostly bones. The ragù is topped with gremolata for a bright, fresh finish.

06 of 26

Lamb Barbacoa with Masala Adobo

Lamb Barbacoa with Masala Adobo
Greg DuPree

For this dish, chefs Saqib Keval and Norma Listman of Masala y Maíz in Mexico City draw from Indian and Mexican cooking techniques for a one-of-a-kind flavor profile. The restaurant version uses bone-in lamb wrapped in maguey leaves. We found that you can cook the dish in a smaller Dutch oven if you use boneless lamb and omit the leaves — the results are just as spectacular.

07 of 26

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

In her version of the classic Italian dish Chicken Cacciatore, chef Karen Akunowicz of 2019 F&W Best New restaurant Fox & the Knife in Boston builds sautéed vegetables, mushrooms, red wine, chicken, and tomatoes into a hearty braise. To round out the meal, serve alongside slow-cooked greens, rice, or polenta.

08 of 26

Dutch Oven Classic Beef Stew

Classic Beef Stew Dutch Oven Recipe
Greg DuPree

There's nothing better than coming home to a simmering pot of this warming stew on a cool fall or winter day. Hearty chunks of beef turn tender after a low and slow trip in your favorite Dutch oven; potatoes join the party during the tail end of cooking to retain their texture. Cut potatoes into similar-size pieces to guarantee they cook evenly.

09 of 26

Lemon-Oregano Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Olives

Lemon-Oregano Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Olives
Sara Bolla

Tangy roasted Meyer lemons pair beautifully with quartered potatoes, olives, oregano, and chicken in this simple one-pot recipe.

10 of 26

Root Vegetable Minestrone

Root-Vegetable Minestrone
Michael Turek

This minestrone is exceptional because it's packed with so many great vegetables — carrots, parsnips, broccoli stems, and butternut squash — and delicious toasted angel hair pasta. Pecorino cheese is stirred into the soup for even more flavor; be sure to pass around extra cheese to dust individual bowls at the table.

11 of 26

Sourdough Country Bread

Sourdough Boule Recipe
Caitlin Bensel

This sourdough bread recipe is ideal for beginners and expert bakers alike. The toughest part? Waiting for your bread to cool before slathering it with salted butter.

12 of 26

Pork Braised in Milk

Pork Braised in Milk
Christopher Testani

The late cookbook author Marcella Hazan popularized this Italian method of slow-cooking pork shoulder in milk, which yields a velvety sauce for spooning over the pork and sopping up with bread.

13 of 26

Posole Rojo

Posole Rojo
Victor Protasio

This long-simmered tomato- and pork-based soup was food journalist Priya Krishna's hangover cure when she lived in Mexico. "Choose from a selection of toppings: finely chopped onions, sliced avocado, lime, radishes, lettuce, queso fresco. Go big, or keep it simple," she says. "That's the true beauty of posole: No two bowls look or taste exactly alike."

14 of 26

Ragù di Salsiccia (Sausage Ragù) with Tajarin

Ragù di Salsiccia (Sausage Ragù) with Tajarin
Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Sausage and veal come together in a lightly sweet and aromatic ragù with tajarin — a Piedmontese fresh pasta that gets its gold color from a high ratio of egg yolks to flour. At Casa di Langa in Piedmont, chef Daniel Zeilinga uses tomato water made from fresh tomatoes strained overnight in the ragù; this streamlined version uses a mixture of tomato juice and water, making the dish achievable on any evening at any time of year.

15 of 26

Jambalaya with Andouille Sausage, Chicken, and Shrimp

Jambalaya with Shrimp and Andouille Sausage
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Missie Crawford

Smoky, gently spiced andouille sausage and a spoonful of Creole seasoning give deep flavor and mild heat to this jambalaya, while the trinity of onion, green pepper, and celery provide a classic aromatic base to the dish. Parboiled rice is perfect for this recipe, since it cooks to tenderness just as the andouille, chicken, and shrimp reach doneness.

16 of 26

Gateway Cassoulet

Gateway Cassoulet
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

By cooking several recipe components separately in the same pot before combining them all to meld in the oven, cookbook author Sylvie Bigar reduces the active cooking time for cassoulet to a little over an hour, while retaining the long-cooked, richly developed flavor of the traditional recipe.

17 of 26

Spicy Kimchi Tofu Stew

Spicy Kimchi Tofu Stew
Christopher Testani

Stop by a Korean market on the way home for your kimchi, gochujang, and gochugaru, and you can have this soothing, vibrant dish on the table in just 30 minutes. Serve the stew hot with steamed rice.

18 of 26

Warm Sausage and Lentil Salad

Warm Sausage and Lentil Salad
Christopher Testani

This earthy French classic with smoked sausages, green lentils, and pungent mustard vinaigrette is great for winter weekends in front of the fire. Updated twist: Toasted walnuts add great crunch.

19 of 26

Poulet Mafé

Poulet Mafe
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

In Senegal at the Keur Moussa monastery, a typical meal includes poulet mafé, a thick peanut sauce with chicken, root vegetables, and cabbage served over rice, fonio, or millet couscous. For chef Pierre Thiam, poulet mafé is the ultimate comfort food. His advice: "Be patient when cooking mafé. Let the stew simmer slowly until the oil rises to the surface."

20 of 26

Three-Chile Beef Chili

Three-Chile Beef Chili
Fredrika Stjärne

With coffee, dark beer, smoky bacon, and three kinds of chiles — ancho, New Mexico, and chipotle — this is one deep, rich, spicy pot of beef chili. Serve it with sour cream, grated cheddar, and tortilla chips.

21 of 26

Hanukkah Doughnuts

Hanukkah Doughnuts
John Kernick

These fried treats are simply made from balls of yeast dough that get tossed in cinnamon sugar and filled with chocolate, cream, curd, or jam.

22 of 26

Turmeric Chicken Stew

Turmeric Chicken Stew
Abby Hocking

Swap in hominy instead of noodles for this version of chicken stew. Fresh turmeric and lime juice add an irresistible deep flavor, though you can substitute ground turmeric if you can't find fresh.

23 of 26

Gochujang Cioppino

Gochujang Cioppino
David Cicconi

This zippy dish with shrimp, squid, mussels, and cod gets a lively Korean twist with tofu and gochujang (Korean red pepper paste). It's garnished with sliced scallions and served with rice crackers or steamed rice.

24 of 26

Stout-Braised Short Ribs

Stout-Braised Short Ribs

Braising short ribs in beer makes them super tender and adds a slightly bitter note. Choose your favorite dark beer, such as a stout, porter, or brown ale.

25 of 26

Easy Chicken and Dumplings

Easy Chicken and Dumplings
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

This satisfying one-pot meal of silky chicken and tender dumplings starts with searing chicken thighs to render fat to cook the mirepoix in, building a flavorful base for this classic dish. Self-rising flour, buttermilk, and butter are the only ingredients in the pillowy dumplings, which come together in the final minutes, cooking right in the creamy soup.

26 of 26

Fisherman's-Style Seafood Stew

Fisherman's-Style Seafood Stew
Con Poulos

Chef Fabio Trabocchi says the key to this brodetto-inspired recipe is to cook the fish and shellfish in stages. The crusty ciabatta toasts make this seafood stew a warming winter meal.

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