Honestly, a Dutch Oven Is Worth Every Penny—Here Are the 12 Recipes I Swear By

One-pot braised chicken with kale and white beans

The Modern Proper

Blame it on the fact that I binge-watched the entirety of Netflix's Salt Fat Acid Heat, a four-part docuseries based on Samin Nosrat's brilliant cookbook, in one sitting, but I finally invested in a Dutch oven. Although I've proclaimed many, many, many times that I don't love cooking, I can honestly say this classic piece of cast-iron cookware was worth every penny. Of course, I didn't need a $300 Dutch oven, but after acquiring a one, my food (and, at the risk of sounding overly dramatic, my life) has drastically improved.

Typically, I cut any and all corners in pursuit of an under-30-minute meal on busy weeknights, but this sturdy pot has boosted my kitchen confidence, inspiring me to attempt recipes that I'd typically shy away from. While I opted to add a pricey Staub Dutch oven to my cookware arsenal, there are plenty of affordable options on the market to choose from, too, including under-$100 Milo and Lodge models. But no matter the brand printed on the bottom of your pot, trust me: You're going to want to bookmark these easy Dutch oven recipes to break it in.

Read on for the best dutch oven recipes to try this week.

01 of 12

One-Pot Braised Chicken With Kale and White Beans

One-pot braised chicken with kale and white beans

The Modern Proper 

The Recipe: One-Pot Braised Chicken With Kale and White Beans

Why I Love It: Ready in about 45 minutes from start to finish, this braised kale with crispy chicken from The Modern Proper is a one-pot meal that actually makes braising seem like an approachable cooking method. I'd consider this a great starter recipe for breaking in a Dutch oven.

Pro Tip: For crispy skins, braise on low for an additional 30 minutes.

02 of 12

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

The Modern Proper

The Recipe: Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Why I Love It: Brimming with fire-roasted tomatoes, smoky enchilada sauce, and spicy green chiles, this chicken tortilla soup from The Modern Proper only gets more flavorful as it bubbles away on the stove.

Pro Tip: Make a big batch on Sunday evening, and ladle individual servings into containers to freeze for later. Come Thursday, you'll be glad you did.

03 of 12

Chorizo Bolognese Pasta With Kale Pesto and Burrata

Chorizo Bolognese Pasta With Kale Pesto and Burrata

Half Baked Harvest

The Recipe: Chorizo Bolognese Pasta With Kale Pesto and Burrata

Why I Love It: Before I discovered this recipe, homemade Bolognese never seemed worth the extra effort. Made with accessible store-bought ingredients like canned San Marzano tomatoes and sun-dried tomato pesto, this chorizo version is delicious proof that I was dead wrong. As an added bonus, stirring up your own pasta sauce makes you feel like Ina Garten, guaranteed.

Pro Tip: Be sure to save as much pasta water as needed to create a sauce, advises Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest.

04 of 12

Braised Chicken Escabèche With Roasted Apples and Grapes

Braised Chicken Escabèche With Roasted Apples and Grapes

Half Baked Harvest

The Recipe: Braised Chicken Escabèche With Roasted Apples and Grapes

Why I Love It: The recipe from Half Baked Harvest might sound fancy (what with the French and all), but this is a one-pan, under-an-hour kind of meal. Made with apples, grapes, and thyme, it's the perfect recipe for putting seasonal produce to good use during late fall / early winter. Plus, it only requires 15 minutes of active prep time.

Pro Tip: Let chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

05 of 12

Smoky Squash Chili With Quinoa, Pinto, and Black Beans

Smoky Squash Chili With Quinoa, Pinto, and Black Beans

The First Mess

The Recipe: Smoky Squash Chili With Quinoa, Pinto, and Black Beans

Why I Love It: This smoky squash chili from The First Mess is so satisfying that my meat-loving boyfriend doesn't even know it's vegan. (Juan, if you're reading this, I guess the secret is out!) Filled with butternut squash, pinto beans, and black beans, this protein-packed chili has that stick-to-your-ribs consistency you really want in a comfort food recipe.

Pro Tip: You can swap out squash in favor of sweet potatoes; they'll take the same amount of time to cook, explains The First Mess.

Below, here are 7 more recipes the MyDomaine team loves to make the best use of our Dutch ovens:

06 of 12

Classic Chicken Paprikash

Classic chicken paprikash

Salt & Wind 

The Recipe: Classic Chicken Paprikash

Why We Love It: This traditional Hungarian dish is creamy and spiced with paprika. Follow Salt & Wind's lead by browning chicken in a Dutch oven; then sauté onions, add spices, potatoes, and broth before adding chicken back in.

Pro Tip: Remove chicken to finish reducing the sauce, add in sour cream, adjust salt and pepper to taste before returning chicken to pot.

07 of 12

Pancetta Pea Asparagus Farro Risotto

Pea asparagus farro risotto

 Salt & Wind

The Recipe: Pancetta Pea Asparagus Farro Risotto

Why We Love It: A smoky and sweet flavor profile makes this Salt & Wind risotto recipe a classic springtime dish. Crisp pancetta in a Dutch oven, remove, then add leeks, farro, white wine or vermouth; simmer. Add parmesan.

Pro Tip: Garnish with pancetta, herbs, squeeze of lemon and drizzle of olive oil to serve.

08 of 12

Herbed Baked Fish With Rainbow Bell Peppers

Herb baked fish with rainbow bell peppers

Minimalist Baker 

The Recipe: Herbed Baked Fish With Rainbow Bell Peppers

Why We Love It: Fish, bell peppers, and herbs make Minimalist Baker's recipe—which was inspired by a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico—"light and flavorful." Season fish with citrus and cilantro, basil, rosemary, and thyme. Sear fish on the stovetop, then throw everything in the Dutch oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Pro Tip: After baking for 10 minutes, "Remove foil and bake for 3-5 minutes more to allow the top to get slightly browned," writes Minimalist Baker.

09 of 12

Slow-Roasted Lamb Shawarma

Lamb shawarma

Feasting at Home 

The Recipe: Slow-Roasted Lamb Shawarma

Why We Love It: A medley of spices like cumin, coriander, sumac, cardamom, and cinnamon make this lamb roast recipe from Feasting at Home hearty and comforting. Add a bit of water to the Dutch oven, place marinated lamb on a bed of onions and roast at 350 for a few hours.

Pro Tip: This recipe can be enjoyed in many ways; make a rice bowl, shred and stuff tacos, or wrap it up in a pita.

10 of 12

Jalapeño Dutch Oven Bread

Dutch oven jalapeño cheddar bread

The Chunky Chef 

The Recipe: Jalapeño Dutch Oven Bread

Why We Love It: Forget the bread machine and make The Chunky Chef's bread recipe in a Dutch oven. Create a dough from flour, yeast, salt, cheddar cheese, and jalapeños. Let the dough rise, then bake for 50 minutes.

Pro Tip: "All purpose flour may be used instead of bread flour, but may result in a denser loaf," explains The Chunky Chef.

11 of 12

Baked Orzo With Feta and Spinach

Baked orzo with feta and spinach

 Le Petit Eats

The Recipe: Baked Orzo With Feta and Spinach

Why We Love It: For Le Petit Eats's recipe, you'll need a Dutch oven (or other baking dish) for the baking part. Before that, you'll use a skillet to cook up the orzo, garlic, onions, tomato, herbs and other flavorings like garlic, and red wine vinegar.

Pro Tip: If you want the breadcrumb and feta topping crisped up, "Broil for another 3–5 minutes if browning is desired," recommends Le Petit Eats.

12 of 12

Gumbo

Gumbo

Darling Down South 

The Recipe: Gumbo

Why We Love It: Darling Down South's gumbo recipe uses a Dutch oven to host a powerhouse of spicy flavors. Chicken, kielbasa sausage, shrimp, bell peppers, and okra are doused in a ton of herbs like oregano, thyme, and parsley; while Worcestershire sauce and jalapeños add flavor.

Pro Tip: Shrimp should cook through in 10–15 minutes, depending on how much room you have left in your dutch oven, advises Darling Down South.

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