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9 Weeknight Dinners (1 Dutch Oven Required)

a one pot dutch oven meal in a red glazed dutch oven
Will Vaultz/Shutterstock

We all want a home-cooked meal after a long day, but none of us want to scrub two pots and a pan post-dinner. Let’s ditch the dishwashing and talk about Dutch oven dinners, instead.

One-pot meals are everyone’s favorite because, honestly, no one enjoys washing dishes. And, if you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, “Hmm, I like a good dishwashing session,” we’re not sure we can help you. You are, however, welcome to our dish piles anytime.

For everyone else, let’s look at a few recipes that require one Dutch oven, and very little clean-up!

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Chicken and Dutch ovens belong together. Recipes abound for whole roasted chicken and deep-fried delights. Sadly, neither of those options result in a complete one-pot meal as you still need side dishes. Of course, there are a few genius recipes out there that give you chicken, a starch, and a whole lot of veggies in one container.

Here are a few we’re fans of:

  • Mushroom and Chicken Risotto: Risotto is a classic choice for a Dutch oven. Luckily, with just a few additions, you can make it a complete meal. We’re partial to this mushroom and chicken risotto from Food and Wine.

Get the Recipe: Mushroom & Chicken Risotto from FoodandWine.com

  • Chicken & Biscuit Casserole: Biscuits and gravy in a casserole—that’s the essence of this genius one-pot dinner. And, if you’re anything like us, you can’t wait to try it.

Get the Recipe: Cozy Chicken and Biscuit Casserole from Feast And Farm

  • Chicken Pot Pie: With help from a little puff pastry, you can turn your Dutch oven into a giant pot pie. It’s the perfect meal for a family, without the drudgery of forming individual pie crusts.

Get the Recipe: Food Network’s Chicken Pot Pie in a Dutch Oven

Meatless Mains

A Dutch oven full of campfire nachos.
Campfire Nachos are a fast, simple dutch oven meal the whole family will enjoy. Fresh Off the Grid

Creating a hearty, comforting dinner sans meat can be a challenge, but it’s one we’re up to! Dutch ovens are perfect for creating rich, creamy vegetarian meals that won’t leave you wondering when the main course is coming.

Here are three of our favorites:

  • Campfire Nachos (in a Dutch Oven): You can absolutely make these in the oven, but we love this fresh take on outdoor cooking.

Get the Recipe: Fresh Off The Grid’s Campfire Nachos

  • Vegetarian Thai Curry: You won’t even miss the meat when you try this curry. It’s packed with yummy vegetables, like artichoke hearts and green beans. Plus, Maggie Zhu, who created the recipe, gives a helpful tutorial about how you can save even more time if you use frozen, precut veggies.

Get the Recipe: Vegetarian Thai Curry from Omnivore’s Cookbook

  • Vegetarian Pho: Not just for carnivores! This vegetarian version gives you all the flavor, without the beef.

Get the Recipe: Vegetarian Pho from theKitchn.com

Beef, Pork, and Seafood

A bowl of red jambalaya.
Creole-Style Red Jambalaya. Vicky Wasik

Dutch ovens are known for braising short ribs, but that’s not all they’re good for. These creative beef, pork, and fish-filled, one-pot meals will feel like a feast, without the mess.

Here are a few of our faves:

  • Ground Beef Lasagna: We’re big fans of this one-pot lasagna because you can use inexpensive ground beef. We also love the liberal amount of cheese, but who wouldn’t?

Get the Recipe: Ground Beef Lasagna from Pinch of Yum

  • Creole Style Red Jambalaya: An incredible one-pot meal that can satisfy everyone. It has chicken, sausage, and seafood, all packed into one Dutch oven. Plus, it makes great leftovers!

Get the Recipe: Creole Style Jambalaya from Serious Eats

  • Dutch Oven Shrimp Scampi: You know we had to include a pasta dish somewhere on our list. This one from Whitney Bond has been all over the internet and for good reason. It’s fairly quick to throw together, and it’s sure to hit the spot!

Get the Recipe: Dutch Oven Shrimp Scampi by Whitney Bond

Whether it’s a casserole, a risotto, nachos, or pot pie, a one-pot, Dutch oven meal is sure to be a favorite for cooks and dinner guests alike. It’s comfort food at its finest!

And the most comforting part is there’s only one pot to clean afterward.

Lauren Sakiyama Lauren Sakiyama
Lauren Sakiyama is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry. She has managed restaurants, country clubs, and large-scale event operations, but her passion has always been about the food. Read Full Bio »
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