Our best Dutch oven recipes include recipes for everything from sourdough bread baking in a Dutch oven to how to make pizza in a Dutch oven, along with the usual slow-cooking recipes for soups, braises, stews, roasts, and even baked breakfast eggs. There are good reasons this centuries-old cast-iron cookware is one of the most-coveted kitchen items right now.
Despite the soaring popularity of Dutch ovens in recent years that might lead younger home-cooks to assume they’re a new-fangled cooking vessel, these old-fashioned cast-iron lidded cooking pots have been around forever.
While the much-coveted enamel-coated Le Creuset Dutch oven has been partly responsible for the Dutch oven craze – and is well worth the investment; they will last forever – you don’t need to spend a small fortune on your first Dutch oven. The more affordable Lodge Dutch oven is also a solid choice.
So what is a Dutch oven and is it even Dutch and what makes Dutch ovens so special? Made from cast iron with a wide thick base and well-fitting lid, the weighty Dutch oven retains heat well and maintains a stable temperature, ensuring your food cooks evenly. Which is what makes Dutch ovens so terrific for baking, as well as braising, simmering and roasting.
And Dutch ovens are indeed Dutch, originating in The Netherlands in the 17th century when a ground-breaking method for casting metal was developed and the first cast-iron pots were invented. Dutch ovens are made in many places now, although the nearly century-old Le Creuset cast-iron cookware made in France is perhaps the best-known.
The solid cast-iron body of the Dutch oven means it can not only go on the stove and in the oven, you can take your Dutch oven camping and cook in it over an open-fire, on coals or hung over a fire-pit. Nothing is going to damage this baby.
The Dutch oven is one item that won’t get relegated to the back of the cupboard. The only cookware that gets used more in our kitchen is the wok, but only just. Terence uses the Dutch oven every other day. When he’s not baking bread in the Dutch oven, we’re using the Dutch oven as a soup pot, stew pot, casserole dish, roasting oven, you name it.
Before I tell you about our best Dutch oven recipes, we have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes or other content on the site, please consider supporting Grantourismo. You could buy us a coffee and we’ll use that donation to buy cooking ingredients for recipe testing or contribute to our epic original Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon.
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Best Dutch Oven Recipes for Sourdough Baking, Pizza Making, Slow Cooking, Roasting and More
Recipes for Sourdough Baking in the Dutch Oven
Our Dutch oven mainly gets used for baking sourdough – Terence is lifting a just-baked sourdough loaf out of the Dutch oven every few days – and you’ll find links to some of best Dutch oven recipes in this guide, including a super easy sourdough bread recipe for beginners and our favourite sourdough starter discard recipes.
If you’ve been intimidated by sourdough baking, our guide should inspire you. There’s nothing like the comforting smells of sourdough bread being baked in the kitchen wafting through the entire apartment, its sweet yeasty scent filling it with warmth and love. A tip: if you’re ever renting a holiday house or serviced apartment, the fastest way to settle in and make it feel like ‘home’ is to bake bread. If you’re driving, take your Dutch oven on your next holiday!
If you’re just starting to bake sourdough bread, take comfort in the fact that you don’t need to invest a lot of money in expensive kitchen equipment to make sourdough. In fact, if you cook and bake and already have a well-equipped kitchen, you probably have all the essential sourdough baking tools you need.
The only things we didn’t have in our Siem Reap kitchen when Terence first started baking sourdough seriously some years ago was a Dutch Oven and a banneton or proofing basket. The Dutch Oven was a great investment, because he not only uses it to bake sourdough, we use it for everything from roasting chicken to making Dutch Oven pizzas, which brings us to another of our best Dutch oven recipes.
Easy Nduja Pizza Recipe and How to Make a Dutch Oven Pizza
This easy nduja pizza recipe is one of our best Dutch oven recipes. It makes a gently spiced pizza with the spicy Calabrian spreadable pork sausage combined with tomatoes and tomato paste to make a delicious base. Cooked in a Dutch Oven it manages to have the hallmarks of a pizza made in a traditional pizza oven.
Having conquered the challenge of making sourdough bread in a toaster oven, Terence felt it was time to experiment again. Could he get a pizza with a decent crust and a firm base using the lid of the Dutch oven? It turns out that it is very achievable.
Terence’s first tip for making this ’nduja pizza recipe successfully is to make sure you have a Dutch oven with a lid that has side handles, not the plastic-looking knob or loop handle on top. Hopefully, the reasons why are obvious.
Secondly, note that the shallower the Dutch oven lid, the easier it will be to slide the pizza onto the lid. This is something to keep in mind before you finish topping your pizza – only to find that it’s almost certain that the pizza will get burnt or you’ll unintentionally end up making a calzone.
Eggs Potatoes and Chorizo Breakfast Skillet Recipe
This eggs potatoes and chorizo breakfast skillet recipe makes our favourite take on the classic American country skillet breakfast made in a cast iron skillet that’s also called a cowboy skillet breakfast or farmer’s skillet breakfast. Instead of bacon or ham, we make this hearty breakfast with spicy chorizo sausage and specifically soft Mexican-style chorizo.
This eggs potatoes and chorizo breakfast skillet recipe has its origins in the hearty ‘cowboy skillet breakfasts’ of the ‘Old West’ and American frontier on the cattle herding trails of the 1860s, when cowboys needed a big filling breakfast to sustain them through the day.
Breakfast was baked in enormous cast iron pots over an open fire and typically consisted of big pots of spicy beans and biscuits doused in gravy – ‘biscuits’ being something more akin to what Australians, New Zealanders and British call ‘scones’, rather than what we call ‘biscuits’, which are ‘cookies’ to our American readers.
I only have a few tips to making this eggs potatoes and chorizo breakfast skillet recipe. My best tip is to use a 25cm (10″) cast iron skillet. A cast iron skillet heats evenly and is also oven safe, which is important, as we need to melt the cheese under a grill. And if you don’t have a skillet your Dutch Oven lid works exactly like a skillet.
Eggs in Purgatory Recipe from Southern Italy
This eggs in purgatory recipe for uova al purgatorio in Italian makes the Calabrian rendition of this Southern Italian specialty. A centuries-old dish of eggs poached in a rich tomato sauce, it originated in Naples, and it’s another of our best Dutch oven recipes.
Our recipe for the Calabrian rendition makes a fantastic version of this dish with ’nduja, the spicy spreadable sausage from Spilinga in Italy’s southernmost province. In Calabria it’s also known as uova fra diavolo (eggs between the devil) and uova ca ’nduja (eggs with spicy Calabrian sausage).
It’s a cousin of another breakfast eggs dish you might be familiar with: chakchouka, also spelt shakshuka, a Tunisian baked eggs dish cooked right across North Africa and in parts of the Levant.
While you can use a 26 cm frying pan (it must have a lid), we prefer to use our round dutch oven because of the even heat transfer across the bottom of the pan. The dish can also be served directly from the Dutch oven at the table.
Braised Pork Belly Recipe with Ginger, Black Pepper, Palm Sugar, Star Anise and Peanuts
Our braised pork belly recipe with ginger, black pepper, palm sugar, star anise, and peanuts makes a comforting melt-in-in-your-mouth slow-cooked Cambodian pork belly dish that locals here in Cambodia call a pork stew or khor sach chrouk – also spelt kaw sach chrouk.
The palm sugar caramelises the pork and combined with ginger gives it a sweet fragrance, while the peanuts add crunch. It’s an incredibly delicious dish and it’s not only one of our favourite pork belly recipes, it’s one of our favourite pork recipes.
Along with rice and soups, stews are some of the oldest dishes eaten here in Cambodia and while they were traditionally cooked in a clay pot over fire, the Dutch oven is absolutely perfect for this dish, making it another of our best Dutch oven recipes.
Back in the day, this dish would have been cooked in a clay pot on a traditional hearth inside the home or outside in a lean-to kitchen on a traditional clay brazier or perhaps even over an open fire. The way that many Cambodians cook in rural areas today isn’t so different.
We use the Dutch Oven for this dish as it’s perfect because of its wide bottom and even heat distribution. This means the pork gets cooked very evenly with pieces making contact with the bottom of the Dutch Oven.
Slow-Cooked Pork Stew Recipe With Ginger and Star Anise for Khor Cheung Chrouk
This slow-cooked pork stew recipe makes Cambodia’s khor cheung chrouk or pork leg stew and it’s a delicious, hearty, aromatic dish that you’ll have a greater chance of eating in a private home in Cambodia when you travel to the country than you will in a restaurant or local eatery unfortunately – which is all the more reason to make it at home.
It takes some patience to make but it will fill your kitchen with the amazing aromas of pork, star anise and ginger. If you’re a pork lover and you’ve cooked and enjoyed our pork recipes before, we know that you will love this pork stew recipe as much as we do.
We often find that the meat won’t sit right down in the bottom of the wok evenly to cook, meaning that we need to add extra stock, so we prefer to use the Dutch Oven to make this dish and place a glass saucepan lid on top instead of the Dutch Oven lid so we can see how much stock is left in the oven.
It’s a dish that can easily be enjoyed simply with steamed rice and a plate of stir-fried Asian greens or morning glory or it could become the star attraction of a Southeast Asian feast. However you serve it, it’s easily another of our best Dutch oven recipes.
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make any of our best Dutch oven recipes as we’d love to know how they turn out for you.