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The Ultimate Guide to Dutch Oven Recipes for RVers

Amy Leal-profile-image
Amy Leal
June 20, 2024

TL;DR Upgrade your camping meals with these Dutch oven recipes: Biscuits and Gravy, Cheesy Lasagna, Sausage and Potatoes, Wilderness Pizza, Mac and Cheese, Enchiladas, Chicken and Rice, Cowboy Beans, Banana Bread, S'more Dump Cake, Sugar Cookie Bars, Apple Bake, and Blueberry Cheesecake. Enjoy simple, delicious, and healthy dishes on your next outdoor adventure!

The Ultimate Guide to Dutch Oven Recipes for RVers

If most of your camping meals consist of hot dogs, hamburgers, and chips, it’s time to revolutionize meal planning. Cooking at your campsite doesn’t have to be boring or unhealthy. Not that we’re saying dogs and burgers don’t have nutritional value, but why not prepare some fast, fun, and yes, healthy, meals in your Dutch oven? Right here is where the simplicity of outdoor cooking meets the magic of a Dutch oven.

Dutch Oven Cooking Tips

Remember, cooking with a Dutch oven while camping can be a fun and rewarding experience, but always prioritize safety and proper handling of both the pot and the campfire or stove. Here are a few more tips to help make Dutch oven cooking more enjoyable.

Season Your Dutch Oven to create a non-stick surface. Coating the inside with oil and heat. Seasoning makes cooking and cleaning a breeze.

Use the Right Tools like heat-resistant gloves, long-handled tongs, a lid lifter, and a trivet. Make sure the tools are designed for Dutch oven cooking.

Control the Heat to regulate the temperature inside the Dutch oven. Dutch ovens do a fantastic job of retaining heat, which makes it easy to overcook foods. Read through the manual for your Dutch oven as it includes instructions on heat control.

Rotate the Dutch Oven for even cooking, especially if you're using a campfire as your heat source. Rotating the pot helps distribute heat more evenly, preventing hot spots.

Monitor Liquid Levels when cooking soups or stews. Cooking over a campfire can cause liquids to evaporate more quickly, so you may need to add more broth or water to prevent the dish from drying out.

Now, for the recipes!

Dutch Oven Biscuits and Gravy

A perfect breakfast (or lunch) starts with fluffy biscuits and sausage gravy! What makes the recipe simple is the packaged biscuits. You can also use a powdered sausage gravy mix but don’t tell anybody if you do.

Ingredients

  • 1 package jumbo refrigerator biscuits
  • 1 pound ground breakfast sausage
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Bake the biscuits in the Dutch oven for 12-15 minutes. They should be fluffy and golden brown on top.
  2. In a cast iron skillet, cook the sausage until it’s golden brown (don't drain).
  3. Add the flour to the sausage and drippings and whisk until a paste forms—this is your roux. Continue whisking for about one minute until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps.
  4. Slowly add the milk, stirring continuously.
  5. Allow the mixture to bubble gently and cook down, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom.
  6. Once the gravy thickens, season with salt and pepper.

Split each biscuit in half and smother them in sausage gravy. Can you say “comfort food?”

Servings: 8

Cheesy Campfire Lasagna

Who says you can’t have a homemade Italian dinner at the campground? All you need to add to this one-pot meal is a fresh salad and a loaf of French or Italian bread spread with creamy butter.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles (you won’t use the whole box)

Cheese filling

  • 15-16 oz ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces mozzarella plus about 1/4 cup for topping
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley or 4 tsp dried
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Brown the meat with the onions and seasonings.
  2. Drain off excess grease.
  3. Combine the cheese-filling ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  4. Assemble the layers in the Dutch oven, starting with a thin layer of pasta sauce, then noodles, meat, and ricotta mixture, and repeat until you run out of layers.
  5. Add a little water to the pot.
  6. Top with the parmesan and the extra mozzarella.
  7. Cover and cook over the coals for about 25 minutes.
  8. Remove the lid and cook for about 5 minutes.
  9. Let it sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Tip: When you remove the lid, you may notice a little extra water. It will cook down during the last few minutes of cooking time.

Sizzlin’ Sausage and Potatoes

If you love the taste of sausage, onions, and peppers, you’ll love this easy Dutch oven dinner. Add potatoes and beef broth and your family will think you’re a genius!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 brats or mild Italian sausages uncooked
  • 4 medium-sized potatoes washed (not peeled) and cubed
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced
  • 1 - 14 oz can beef broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place the coals under the Dutch oven in a full circular pattern that fills the center. Don’t place coals on the lid.
  2. Heat the olive oil in the Dutch oven.
  3. Add the sausages to the pot and brown evenly for about 5-10 minutes, remove from the pot and set aside.
  4. Add the potatoes, onions, garlic powder, and peppers to the Dutch oven and stir gently.
  5. Add sausages back to the pot and pour the beef broth over everything.
  6. Cover the pot with the lid and let simmer for 30-45 minutes.
  7. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and add salt and pepper, to taste.

Servings: 4

Tip: You may need to add water to the pot during cooking, but don’t lift the lid too often or you’ll need to add to the cooking time. Also, the recipe fits in a 12-inch Dutch oven. If yours is smaller, just adjust the liquid.

Pizza in the Wild

Creating a homemade pizza out in the wilderness might sound like a chore, but this recipe is not only easy, it’s delicious. The secret to simplicity is in the crust—we swapped the traditional yeast dough for a batter-based crust.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground Italian sausage (sweet or hot, your choice)
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 14 oz. jar pizza sauce
  • Italian seasoning to taste

The crust

  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup milk

The toppings

  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 small can sliced black olives

Directions

  1. Heat oil in the bottom of the Dutch oven.
  2. Add meat and brown.
  3. Add the onion and green pepper to the pot. Cook until the onion is translucent.
  4. Add pizza sauce and Italian seasoning.
  5. Remove the meat sauce mixture and set aside.
  6. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, and baking powder.
  7. Add the oil, egg whites, and milk. Stir lightly.
  8. Line the bottom of the pot with a Dutch oven liner or parchment paper.
  9. Spread the batter over the bottom of the liner.
  10. Spoon the meat sauce over the batter.
  11. Top with cheeses and black olives.
  12. Cover and bake for about 30-40 minutes.
  13. Let cool slightly before slicing to serve.

Servings: 6

Tips: The crust will be thick. If you prefer a thinner crust, use half the batter.

Charcoal briquettes work best for this recipe. Place 10 hot coals under the Dutch oven and 19 on top of the lid. Make sure to rotate the pot and lid ¼ turn every 10 minutes to ensure the pizza bakes evenly.

Dutch Oven Mac And Cheese

The base for most traditional macaroni and cheese recipes is a roux. No roux required for our special campfire version of a dish everyone loves. Easy-peasy—rich and cheesy.

Ingredients

  • 1 8 oz. package macaroni
  • 3/4 cup plus ¼ cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup Cheese Whiz
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp prepared yellow mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Cook macaroni in a Dutch oven according to package directions, and drain.
  2. Combine cooked macaroni with ¾ cup of shredded cheese, Cheese Whiz, milk, eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour into the Dutch oven, cover, and bake for about 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid and add ¼ shredded cheese.
  5. Cover and let sit until the cheese topping melts.

Servings: 8

Tip: Like many of the recipes here, we prefer charcoal briquettes for our Mac and Cheese. Place briquettes under the pot and on top of the lid.

Muy Bueno Enchiladas

The beauty of enchiladas is that you can fill them with just about any combination of meat, veggies, beans, and the key ingredient—cheese. Making enchiladas is usually a labor of love, but the Dutch oven version is quick and easy.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
  • ½ yellow onion, sliced thin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 14 oz can enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups cheese
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 4-6 flour tortillas

Garnishes

Black olives, shredded cheese, sour cream, etc.

Directions

  1. Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the peppers and saute until they begin to soften. Add the onions and saute until they’re translucent. Add the garlic powder, cumin, and salt, and saute for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
  2. Add 1/2 cup enchilada sauce to the Dutch oven.
  3. To build the enchiladas, place onions and peppers down the middle of a flour tortilla. Add a few spoonfuls of filling and top with shredded cheese. Roll the tortilla around the filling, then place the enchilada, seam side down, into the Dutch oven. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Cover the enchiladas with the remaining sauce and shredded cheese. Place the lid on top.
  5. Place the Dutch oven over indirect heat and stack 14-16 coals on the lid. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
  6. Garnish with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Servings: 4-6 depending on the size of your Dutch oven

Tip: Cook ground beef or chicken are the best meats to use in this dish. If you prefer, you can use the beans as a solo protein. Any shredded cheese works, but Monterey Jack or Colby is a favorite.

Decadent Dutch Oven Chicken and Rice

For a lot of us, baked chicken and rice brings back memories of weeknight dinners around the family table. When you’ve been camping for several days and feel like you miss home, prepare this quick and easy one-pot comfort food meal.

Ingredients

  • 4 halved skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups of dry, long-grain rice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 package onion soup mix
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • Sliced fresh or canned mushrooms

Directions

  1. Line your Dutch oven with a Dutch oven liner, parchment paper, or foil
  2. Brush the liner with oil.
  3. In a large bowl, combine chicken broth, cream of mushroom soup, and 1 1/2 cups of water.
  4. Combine dry onion soup mix, paprika, and pepper.
  5. Pour the rice into the Dutch oven and spread it over the bottom of the pot.
  6. Pour broth, soup, and water over rice and mix.
  7. Spread the rice mixture over the bottom of the pot.
  8. Place chicken pieces on top of the rice
  9. Sprinkle the onion soup mix and spices over the chicken
  10. Cover the Dutch oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  11. Add mushrooms and stir after 30 minutes of cooking time
  12. Replace the lid and add an extra 5-10 minutes to the total cooking time, to replace the lost steam
  13. Serve with a dollop of sour cream

Servings: 4

Million Dollar Highway Cowboy Beans

If you plan to travel Colorado’s infamous Million Dollar Highway in an RV, you’ll need nerves of steel. A hearty one-pot meal of bean deliciousness afterward will make the white-knuckle driving worth it! This is a favorite campfire meal for those chilly mountain evenings, but it works just as well if you’re camping in the desert.

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2-28 oz cans baked beans
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard

Directions

  1. Cook bacon, drain grease, and set aside.
  2. Brown ground beef, onion, bell pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder. Drain excess liquid.
  3. Add cooked bacon, brown sugar, baked beans, barbecue sauce, and mustard. Stir.
  4. Cover with lid and add 12-14 hot coals on top.
  5. Stir every 15 minutes and cook for one hour.

Servings: 8-10

Tip: You can add cubed ham to the mix for a delicious twist!

If you’ve hesitated to use your Dutch oven to bake desserts, what are you waiting for? Sure, you may need to keep an eye on baked items, but with a little extra attention, you can bake bread, cakes, and other sweet treats. The key is to place hot coals above and below the pot! Dutch ovens have thick walls, which help distribute the heat evenly, making it easy to perfectly cook baked goods.

Dutch Oven Banana Bread

We love a warm piece of banana bread slathered with butter! This quick bread goes just as well with coffee in the morning as it does with a glass of cold milk later in the day.

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 chopped walnuts or pecans

Directions

  1. Mash the bananas.
  2. Beat in butter and sugar.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix flour and baking soda.
  5. Add to banana mixture and gently fold in nuts.
  6. Pour batter into a lightly greased loaf pan and set on a trivet in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Cover with lid and place coals on top.
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes. Bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Dutch Oven S'more Dump Cake

Nothing says “camping trip” like S’mores, but this isn’t your average S’mores recipe. It’s gooey, rich, and takes a favorite campfire treat to another level!

Ingredients

  • 2 boxes instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 sleeve graham crackers broken up
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Mini marshmallows
  • 1 chocolate cake mix
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • Big marshmallows

Directions

  1. Line the Dutch oven with parchment paper.
  2. Mix pudding, milk, and water.
  3. Pour the pudding mixture into the bottom of the Dutch oven.
  4. Put graham cracker pieces on top of the pudding.
  5. Sprinkle half the chocolate chips over the crackers.
  6. Sprinkle mini marshmallows over the chocolate chips.
  7. Pour the chocolate cake mix over the marshmallows.
  8. Cut the stick of butter into squares and dot them on top of the cake mix.
  9. Cover the Dutch oven with a lid.
  10. Use 6 coals under the pot and 12-14 on top.
  11. Cook for 35-45 minutes.
  12. Add mini and regular marshmallows on top.
  13. Replace the Dutch oven lid and add fresh charcoal on top.
  14. Cook until marshmallows are toasted.

Sweet Dreams Sugar Cookie Bars

Who doesn’t love a cookie (or two) and a glass of milk? To make this recipe even more fun, give everyone colored frosting and sprinkles for decorating the cookie bars.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Line the bottom of the Dutch oven with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Mix butter and sugar.
  3. Blend in egg and vanilla.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and mix.
  5. Spread cookie dough over bottom of Dutch oven.
  6. Cover with foil and cook for 30 minutes over indirect heat.
  7. Cookies are done when edges are brown and middle starts to set.

Dutch Oven Apple Bake

Baked apples make an elegant, but fun campfire desert. Any baking apple works, but a tart variety like Granny Smith is a favorite and works well to balance the sweetness of the other ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 6 apples
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Wash, dry, and core apples. Be careful not to cut all the way through.
  2. Combine raisins, cranberries, pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Divide filling into 6 equal portions and stuff apples.
  4. Dot the top of each apple with butter.
  5. Place apples upright in bottom of a lined Dutch oven.
  6. Cover with lid and place charcoal briquettes on top of lid.
  7. Bake 30 minutes or until apples are soft.

Blueberry Cheesecake Dutch-Oven Style

Cheesecake usually requires several steps, a springform pan, and setting up a bain marie. Well, this isn’t your usual cheesecake—it’s a dump cake. Psst…if you don’t like blueberries, you can use strawberries or raspberries. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh blueberries
  • 1 block of cream cheese
  • 1 vanilla cake mix
  • 12 oz sparkling water or lemon-lime soda
  • 1 stick butter

Directions

  1. Light and prepare 25+ pieces of charcoal to heat the Dutch oven.
  2. Line the Dutch oven with parchment paper.
  3. Wash blueberries and leave them whole. Place in the bottom of the lined pot.
  4. Layer the berries with cut-up pieces of cream cheese.
  5. Sprinkle the cake mix over the berries and cream cheese.
  6. Slowly pour 12 oz of the sparkling water or soda on top. Make sure to cover the cake mix.
  7. Cut the butter into small pieces and dot on top of cake mix.
  8. Put the lid on the Dutch oven.
  9. Place eight pieces of charcoal in a small circle. Place the Dutch oven over the circle.
  10. Spread 17 pieces of charcoal on top of the lid.
  11. Bake for 50-60 minutes, rotating the lid and the pot a ¼-turn in opposite directions every 15 minutes.
  12. Serve warm.

We hope you’ll enjoy trying these Dutch oven recipes. We’d love to hear which ones you try! As always, Harvest Hosts is here to help you get the most from your RV camping experiences. If you’re not a member, we’d love to share more about our hosts and locations.

About Harvest Hosts
Harvest Hosts is a unique RV camping membership that offers self-contained RVers unlimited overnight stays at over 5,657 small businesses across North America with no camping fees. Boondock at farms, wineries, breweries, attractions, and other one-of-a-kind destinations throughout North America, and you’ll get peace of mind knowing that a safe place to stay is always nearby!
Amy Leal-profile-image
Amy Leal
I’m a free-spirited travel and lifestyle writer who loves the RV life. I spent several years living in my vintage Holiday Rambler and exploring the beautiful United States. Today, I live in a casita on the Sea of Cortez and take shorter road trips. I’m excited to trace new maps with stories of Mexico’s sun-soaked magic and the joy of roaming without borders.