Yum! Here’s our favorite holiday-themed Dutch oven recipes

Option A: Take a recipe … any recipe. Make it at home, in your kitchen. Eat it at your dining room table. It probably tastes great.

Option B: Now take those same ingredients and alter the process only enough to make it in a Dutch oven while on a campout. Eat it outdoors by a campfire, surrounded by your family, friends and fellow Scouts.

It’s basically scientifically proven that Option B is going to taste better.

That’s why we thought it appropriate to present our favorite holiday Dutch oven recipes. (If you don’t know how to use a Dutch oven, we’ve got you covered here and here. Click here for information on charcoal safety, and here for information on keeping your food safe.)

Share your favorite recipe in the comments!

Roasted turkey

I come from a ham family myself, but turkey is among the most popular Christmas meats for most Americans.

Think you can’t roast turkey in a Dutch oven? Think again. This deliciousness comes from our friends at Texas Iron Chef.

You’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Three large onions: Two sliced into half-inch-thick rings and one quartered
  • Six large sprigs of fresh rosemary (can substitute 6 tablespoons dried rosemary)
  • Six sprigs of sage
  • Six sprigs of thyme
  • One 12-pound whole turkey, thawed, with giblets removed (size of turkey depends on size of oven)
  • One apple, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Parchment paper, as needed

Then, you’ll need to:

  1. Select a turkey that will fit in your camp-style cast-iron Dutch oven. You’ll want to leave about 1-inch space surrounding the turkey when placed in the oven. (We used a rare 20-inch Maca Dutch oven in the video above.) If you’re having a hard time fitting your turkey within the Dutch oven you’re working with, consider using a spatchcock method to roast the turkey.
  2. Place the quartered onion and apple into the turkey cavity. Rub the turkey with canola oil.
  3. Prepare the Dutch oven by covering the bottom of the oven with two onions sliced into half-inch-thick rings. Fold rosemary sprigs in half and lay around the outside edge of the bottom of the oven. Sprinkle fresh sage and thyme across the top of the onions.
  4. Place turkey in oven on top of herbs and onions.
  5. Sprinkle top of turkey with salt and pepper.
  6. Add chicken stock and cover oven.
  7. Roast turkey at 400 degrees for 30 minutes to brown the skin of the turkey. (We covered the 20-inch oven lid with hot charcoals and made a ring of 18 hot coals underneath.)
  8. After 30 minutes, remove coals from oven lid and add fresh coals, reducing the temperature to 350 degrees. (We made a double ring of hot charcoal around the lid of the 20-inch oven.)
  9. Using an instant-read thermometer, check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the turkey (breast/thigh) every 30 minutes. Rotate oven and lid in opposite directions and replace charcoal as needed. If one area of the turkey is browning faster than other areas, cover with parchment paper.
  10. When the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 160 degrees, remove all charcoal. Let the turkey rest for 15 minutes before serving to allow internal temperature to rise to 165 degrees. Total roasting time should be about 2 hours.

Of course, the best part of any holiday dinner is the sides, which brings us to …

Stuffing

(Serves around 12)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • One large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups celery, chopped
  • One bell pepper, chopped
  • One loaf day-old bread, cubed and placed into large mixing bowl
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • Two eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Place a 12-inch camp-style Dutch oven over a pile of hot charcoal. Add oil, onion, celery and bell pepper. Sauté until vegetables are soft. Remove mixture from oven and place in the large mixing bowl that contains bread. Add raisins and pecans. Toss.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, chicken stock, pepper and salt. Pour over bread and vegetables, tossing lightly until all ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Pour mixture into Dutch oven. Bake at 350 degrees (16 coals around lid and nine coals in a circle beneath the oven) for 30-45 minutes until top is golden brown and eggs are set.

Dutch oven vegetables

Ingredients

  • 8 cups vegetables of your choice, such as broccoli florets, butternut squash, carrots, mushrooms, onions or zucchini
  • ¼ lb. butter
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 8 oz. fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water

Directions

  1. Chop vegetables into bite-sized chunks.
  2. Pour water into 12-inch Dutch oven, filling the bottom to a depth of ¼ inch.
  3. Add vegetables. Season generously with salt and pepper. Place slices of butter on top of the layer of vegetables.
  4. Put Dutch oven on about 24 coals, lid off, until vegetables start steaming.
  5. Using a stick, remove half of the coals from underneath oven. Allow vegetables to steam until tender.
  6. Move oven off coals and remove leftover water in bottom of oven with a baster.
  7. Cover the hot vegetables with grated cheeses and put lid on oven (no need to add coals on top) until cheeses are melted, about 5 minutes.

Cornbread

(Serves around 12)

Ingredients

  • 4-5 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled

Directions

  1. Pour canola oil into Dutch oven.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees by placing 21 hot charcoals on lid and 10 in a circle beneath the oven.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and buttermilk.
  5. Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour egg mixture into the well. Gently fold the egg mixture into the dry ingredients with as few strokes as possible.
  6. Add butter. (It’s OK if there are clumps of dry ingredients. The goal is to not overwork the batter.)
  7. Pour batter into the preheated oven. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and slightly cracked. Edges should also be pulling away from the sides of the oven. Remove from coals.
  8. Using heat-resistant mitts, turn oven over to serve the cornbread on the lid.

Peach cobbler

(Serves around 15)

Ingredients

  • 2 large (32-ounce) cans of peaches
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup tapioca
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Drain peaches, saving the syrup. Combine peaches, brown sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla in Dutch oven.

Topping

  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 package (3 ounces) peach Jell-O
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup cold butter
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Mix flour, Jell-O, lemon zest, baking powder and salt.

Cut in butter until coarse. Add honey and eggs and stir in until just mixed (it will be very thick).

Drop topping mixture by spoonfuls onto peach mixture in Dutch oven (it will look somewhat like dumplings). Cook for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into topping comes out clean.

Remove from heat and make sauce while cobbler cools.

Sauce

  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¾ cup peach syrup
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

In a small Dutch oven, mix flour with peach syrup until smooth (no lumps).

Add brown sugar, salt, butter, and zest. Bring to a boil, stirring often until sauce thickens.

Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Pour the sauce over cobbler in the Dutch oven and serve with vanilla ice cream or half-and-half.

Baked stuffed apples

Ingredients

  • 6 large Granny Smith or honeycrisp apples
  • ½ cup raisins (you can also use dried cranberries)
  • ⅓ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2¼ cups water
  • 6 oz. orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons honey

Directions

  1. Wash and core apples, leaving the bottom of the core.
  2. Mix raisins, almonds, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl.
  3. Stuff each apple with mixture.
  4. Add water, orange juice concentrate and honey to a bowl. Mix well.
  5. Place apples in Dutch oven. Slowly pour orange juice/honey mixture over apples.
  6. Place oven on coals, put on lid and arrange coals on the lid in a checkboard pattern.
  7. Bake until apples are tender, 40-50 minutes.

In the market for some Dutch oven supplies and accessories? Scout Shop has you covered!

About Aaron Derr 265 Articles
Aaron Derr is the senior editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines, and also a former Cubmaster and Scouts BSA volunteer.