Best Dutch Oven Camping Recipes to Make Over a Campfire

Dutch oven camping recipes are all the rage now! They’re delicious, super easy to make and cleanup is a breeze. The best part is these one pot wonders can be cooked over a campfire, your camp stove or grill! All you need is your cast iron dutch oven, some ingredients and a bed of piping hot coals to stew up these tasty one pot meals and desserts. I promise, these dutch oven camping recipes are sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters!

Each of these one pot meals made in a single dutch oven is as easy to make as they are to eat. We hope these will inspire you to plan your next camping meal sensations.

We”ll show you a delicious collection of dutch oven camping recipes from some of our favorite camping food bloggers worldwide.

Dutch Oven Camping Recipes - Always On Liberty

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Best Dutch Oven Camping Recipes to Make Over a Campfire or on a Camp Stove!

What is a Dutch Oven?

Cast Iron Dutch Oven for Camping

The Dutch Oven actually dates back to the Middle Ages.  Iron was mined and forged into cooking vessels and kettles to withstand the rigors of high heat and hardened nomadic lifestyles.

And even centuries later, they were a necessary cooking item in the pioneer days.

There’s one tool that you’ll want to bring RVing, camping or glamping; a campfire dutch oven! Be aware though, campfire dutch ovens are different than an enameled dutch oven that you use in your home or RV kitchen.

A cast iron dutch oven can simmer, stew, and braise! With the lid off, it sautés and sears any meat like a cast-iron skillet. These high heat cooking vessels are perfect for cooking soups and stews, breakfast, lunch, dinner and even desserts!

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What is the best Dutch oven for campfire cooking?

Before thinking you’re going to use one of those colorful enamel-finish dutch ovens for campfire cooking, think again. While they’re perfectly fine for cooking over even a gas burner or hot oven, they aren’t really intended for cooking over a campfire. They’re going to get banged around and accumulate soot and baked on ash.

Instead, you want to invest in a sturdy cast iron dutch oven made to withstand extreme high heat as well as the rigors of camping.

Today, there are several different cast iron dutch oven brands out on the market. Honestly, we believe Lodge cast iron products are best because they are proven winners everywhere we cook with them.

We prefer the Lodge brand 8 quart cast iron dutch oven and lid set with lifter. The dutch oven’s large size allows us to make plenty for crowds or enough for leftovers.

The cast iron lid is recessed to allow stacking charcoal briquettes without them falling off. And the iron lifter is essential in removing the lid carefully without risking burns from the flames or hot coals.

How to cook in a Dutch oven over a campfire

Cast Iron Dutch Oven in Campfire Coals

If you think you can just throw your dutch oven over your campfire, be prepared for disappointment. There’s a little more to it than that.

While using firewood is great for cooking, it’s bulky to carry and may be hard to get or replenish once you’re at your campsite.

This is why camp chefs prefer using long-lasting charcoal briquettes to produce even consistent heat for their dutch oven recipes.

Where and how to place your charcoal briquette coals for optimal dutch oven cooking

Simmering – Place most of coals underneath your dutch oven.

Baking – Place most of the coals on the the lid of your dutch oven.

Boiling or Frying – Place all hot coals on under your dutch oven.

Roasting – Put equal numbers of coals on the lid and underneath your dutch oven.

That said, it does take a bit of skill of how and where to place the hot coals in conjunction with your cast iron.

A good rule of thumb is to multiply the diameter (inches across) of your dutch oven by 2. That’s how many charcoal briquettes you’re going to need.

In other words, if your cast iron dutch oven is 12″ in diameter, you’re going to need 24 charcoal briquettes.

You’re only going to place 12 of those coal bricks in a layer for your dutch oven to sit on. Then, you’re going to spread out the remaining 12 hot briquettes evenly on top of the recessed lid. This will then, equate to that of a 350° oven.

Now, if you’re going to be cooking all day, you will need to replenish your charcoal coals to sustain the regulated heat for cooking. So, it’s important to time your coal making to not interrupt consistent cooking temperatures.

So, while you’re preparing your dutch oven camping recipe, get your campfire started along with those charcoal briquettes.

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Dutch oven cooking isn’t just for campfires

Cast Iron Dutch Oven Camping Recipes - Baked Chicken

Although these types of one pot camping recipes are typically cooked over a hot campfire, you don’t actually need a campfire to make them!

They can easily be made on your camp stove, on the camp grill, or even at home on your kitchen stovetop or in your oven. Just a steady source of heat and a little patience and VOILA!

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So, now that we got the basics of cast iron cooking out of the way, it’s time to check out some of the best dutch oven camping recipe ideas! Grab your shopping list and let’s start planning these one pot hot shots for your next outdoor adventure!

New England Boiled Dinner

New England Boiled Dinner Camping Recipe - Always On Liberty
Photo courtesy of and recipe by: Always On Liberty©

If you’ve been following us for some time, you’d know that we’ve spent many years stationed up in New England. Which is why our New England Boiled Dinner dutch oven camping recipe is one of our family favorites!

What makes this easy one pot recipe the ultimate camping favorite is because it takes as few or as many ingredients as you want. Even better, because it’s all made in a single cooking vessel! And that means cleanup is quick and easy so you you’re not heaped with a ton of pots and pans to wash!

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Dutch Oven No Boil Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs

Dutch Oven No Boil Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs - OutsideNomad
Photo courtesy of and recipe by: OutsideNomad

This is the definition of comfort food! And when better to serve it up than on a cool day while camping outdoors! They really nailed it with this easy one-pot dutch oven spaghetti and meatball dish where you don’t even have to boil the noodles. Just pair this amazingly delicious one pot camping meal with some hot garlic bread and this simple classic will be a favorite of the entire family. Oh! And don’t forget the wine!

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Campfire Steamed Clams

Dutch Oven Steamed Clams - FreshOffTheGrid
Photo courtesy of and recipe by: FreshOffTheGrid

Embrace the coastal vibe while enjoying some local seafood prepared right at your campsite! This garlic-butter steamed clams dutch oven recipe is one of the easiest and foolproof ways to do it.

We love this steamed clam dutch oven recipe because it is super versatile. All you need are a couple of basic ingredients, a campfire bed of coals and of course, your trusty cast iron dutch oven to pull it off. This clam boil will work with just about any type of clam or mussel.

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Dutch Oven Barbecue Ribs

Best Dutch Oven Barbecue Ribs Camping Recipe
Photo courtesy of and recipe by: cooking-outdoors

Don’t these dutch oven barbecue ribs look Ooolalalicious?! These are lip-smacking ribs are super juicy! The meat falls right off the bone. Just cook them up in your dutch oven with some peppers, onions, bbq sauce and your favorite beer!  You and your dinner mates won’t need napkins because they truly are finger licking good!

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Dutch Oven Mac & Cheese

Dutch Oven Mac and Cheese
Photo courtesy of and recipe by: Fresh Off the Grid

If you’ve got kiddie campers, then you can’t ever go wrong with serving up some good ole fashion dutch oven macaroni and cheese! But, there’s sort of a hidden secret about what kind of cheese to use in this palate pleaser!

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Dutch Oven Pizza

Dutch Oven Pizza for Camping
Photo courtesy of and recipe by: Fresh Off the Grid

On your next camping trip, step up your camp chef skills to the next level by making dutch oven pizza. Make it with your own variation of toppings. And look Ma! No pot to scrub! But you’re surely going to want to find out how this camping food blogger made it. Something about using metal skewers?

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Campfire Dutch Oven Roast Chicken

Campfire Dutch Oven Roast Chicken
Photo courtesy of and recipe by: The Hedgecombers

Yes Virginia, there IS a Santa Clause! And he’ll leave you sometime extra if you can leave this for him instead of cookies! Cooking this amazing dutch oven roasted chicken over the hot embers of your campfire will make Santa and your friends very happy! Word of caution, you’re going to want to cook two! One for dinner and the other for chicken salad or soup for the day after.

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Sausage & Bean Dutch Oven Stew

Sausage and Bean Dutch Oven Camping Stew
Photo courtesy of and recipe by:

This amazing sausage and bean dutch oven stew is a perfect belly warmer for those cold weekend campouts. It’s super easy to throw together! This hearty dish uses cooked sausages, cannellini beans and garbanzos. Just make sure you leave a tent fly open when you go to sleep!

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Dutch Oven Jambalaya

Easy Dutch Oven Jambalaya
Photo courtesy of and recipe by:

Spring and Fall are by far some of the best times to camp outdoors. Realizing there’s going to be some chilly days and nights and hungry bellies. So, what better to serve your hungry campers something delicious and rib-sticking that will warm their tummies! This super-easy Dutch Oven Jambalaya dish is always a big-time, go to choice for all.

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Camping Beef Stew

Camping Beef Stew in a Dutch Oven
Photo courtesy of and recipe by: Let’s Camp S’more

C’mon now, camping isn’t camping unless dutch oven beef stew is on the menu! There’s nothing like a mugful of chunks of beef and colorful veggies mixed into a thickened beefy broth. It’s perfect for those cold blustery Autumn days or after snowshoeing through the woods. Serve it up with some delicious cornbread and you have a rib-sticking meal!

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Dutch Oven Campfire Nachos

Dutch Oven Camping Nachos
Photo courtesy of and recipe by: Amanda Outside

Seriously, who doesn’t love nachos! These are one of the most simple campfire snacks any camp chef can make in a cast iron dutch oven. It’s so easy to make too! Just bring tons of tortilla chips, cheese and your favorite nacho toppings! This scrumptious campfire snack will surely be a hit during storytelling hours.

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Cast Iron Sweet Cornbread

Cast Iron Sweet Cornbread
Photo courtesy of and recipe by: Dutch Oven Daddy

You seriously didn’t think we’d leave out a delicious dutch oven cornbread recipe that’s made over a campfire, did you? I mean, cornbread goes with everything! It’s even delicious served in the morning with hot coffee, in the afternoon with chili or that amazing beef stew above! You can’t go wrong serving this at every camping meal!

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Camping Dutch Oven Cinnamon Buns

Camping Dutch Oven Cinnamon Buns
Photo courtesy of and recipe by: Campfire Foodie

These dutch oven cinnamon buns are sure to become the ultimate camping breakfast favorite not only for your waking campers but the camp chef too! Why? Because you literally need only 1 ingredient, one pot and a simple piece of parchment! Cleanup will be a breeze leaving you more time for that mid-morning hike or paddle!

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Campfire Dutch Oven Berry Cobbler

Photo courtesy of and recipe by: Family Spice

Your camping dessert shouldn’t be limited to just s’mores. This Campfire Dutch Oven Berry Cobbler is the perfect closer to enjoying any one of these other dutch oven meals! You can use any type of berry or even substitute with peaches, plums, apples or pears. 

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Chocolate Cherry Lava Cake

Cherry Chocolate Lava Cake Dutch Oven Camping Recipe
Photo courtesy of and recipe by: letscampgsmore

Ahhhh, you had me at chocolate, cherry and cake! Only 4 ingredients is all it takes to make this sweet and sinful dutch oven campfire dessert. The best part is this cast iron one pot dish requires very little preparation. And simple cleanup deserves accolades too; leaving you more time to enjoy a sunset hike!

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Dutch Oven S’mores Cake

Dutch Oven Smores
Photo courtesy of and recipe by: Polka Dot Chair

There’s many ways to make s’mores, and this is one you can make right in your dutch oven! This super appetizing dutch oven s’mores cake is just the ticket to keeping your campers corralled around the campfire! It only takes 3 simple ingredients and 10 minutes to make this traditional campfire dessert favorite!

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✰ RELATED ✰  How to Make the Award Winning S’mores on Your Camping Trip!

Gluten Free Camp Brownies

Dutch Oven Gluten Free Seven Layer Brownies
Photo courtesy of and recipe by: The Touring Camper

Oooey gooey delicious! Campers who have special dietary requirements should never have to sit out dessert time! This scrumptious gluten free dutch oven brownie recipe will fill that void that everyone can enjoy! Your regular eaters won’t even be able to tell it’s even gluten-free! Yep! These dutch oven brownies are that good!

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So, don’t those dutch oven camping recipes look like the bomb? While they are single pot recipes, you will need a few accessories to help put these campfire meals together.

Must Have Dutch Oven Campfire Cooking Accessories

Anytime you cook over a campfire using any cast iron cookware, including your dutch oven, you’re also going to need a few necessary campfire cooking accessories. 

Grill Gloves – Protect your hands when working around the campfire; whether it’s moving your charcoal briquettes or hot coals, lifting the lid to stir your dutch oven masterpiece or throwing another log on the fire. A good pair of grill gloves that can withstand extreme heat are what we recommend.

Long Metal Tongs – You’ll need long handle metal tongs to move your charcoal briquettes around.

Long Metal Skewers – Not only are these great for making shish kabobs on the grill, long metal skewers are also wonderful for placing between the top of your dutch oven and the lid. This allows airflow to get inside or for steam to escape.

Parchment Paper – For some dutch oven recipes, parchment paper liners are time savers for cleanup! Or you can use white parchment paper cut down to size if you’d like. Personally, I prefer unbleached, chlorine-free parchment paper.

Charcoal Chimney Starter – Lighting charcoal using a charcoal chimney starter is incredibly faster.

Lid Lifter – A lid lifter allows you to safely lift hot lids full of coals and move dutch ovens from the fire to the table.

Lid Stand – A cast iron folding lid stand can be used in three ways. It can hold the lid while you’re stirring or adding contents to your dutch oven. You can turn your dutch oven lid upside-down to use as a griddle! Or, you can use it as your dutch oven trivet to protect the table surface. It can withstand high temperatures, heat-resistant trivet to set your cast iron cookware.

Campfire Tripod – Some campfire pits may not have grates or you may have to set up your own fire pit. A tripod allows you to hang your cast iron dutch oven from its’ handle over the campfire. An adjustable tripod also allows you to choose the height between your pot and heat source for optimal cooking temperature.

Pan Scrapers – Durable polycarbonate cast iron cookware pan scrapers make cleaning the stuck on food from cast iron cookware a breeze. They are designed to safely scrape without scratching.

Cast Iron Scrubber – A Lodge chainmail scrubber is how you’ll clean your cast iron cookware. It, along with plain water removes tough, cooked on food without removing seasoning.

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Final thoughts on dutch oven camping recipes

One pot wonders are a fantastic way to feed the troops without a heck of a lot of cleanup!? Much of the prep work can be done at home and brought with you to dump in your dutch oven.

Whether your tent camping, RVing, vanlifing or glamping, these simple dutch oven camping recipes are just as easy as throwing everything into a crock pot at home. But, cooking these in an an old fashion dutch oven over a campfire makes them taste so much better! And cleanup is easy as 1-2-3!

More delicious camping recipes!

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15 Cast Iron Skillet Recipes for Campfires, Stoves or Ovens

10 Quick & Easy Fall Camping Recipes for Campfires or Grills

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