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Dutch Oven Camping Recipes

More from Outdoor Living Newsletter April / May Outdoor Living Newsletter
Dutch oven over fire
Enjoy evenly-cooked dishes on your camping trip

If you're tired of having to eat pre-packaged, instant meals on every camping or RVing trip, you should consider getting a Dutch oven. With a Dutch oven, you can enjoy the goodness of a slow-cooked, home-style meal even in the outdoors. Its cast iron material, with the help of hot coals and a camp fire, allows for even cooking so you get well-cooked meats, veggies, and even baked items. Here are some easy recipes to entice you to do some Dutch oven-cooking on your next outdoor trip:

1.  Cajun Yellow Rice

A flavorful breakfast dish to rev you up for an activity-filled day.

Serves: 4 to 6
Preparation/cooking time: 40 minutes


  • 6 eggs
  • 4 slices of bacon or 4 sausage patties
  • 1/4 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery
  • 1/4 stick of butter
  • 3-4 cups of cooked rice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: 1/2 tomato, chopped


  1. 1.  In a Dutch oven cook the bacon or sausage and remove leaving grease in bottom of pan.
  2. 2.  Chop the meat up into little pieces.
  3. 3.  Add butter to pan.
  4. 4.  While it is melting, add the onion, celery and bell pepper. This is known as the trinity of Cajun cooking.
  5. 5.  Saute these vegetables and in the last two minutes add the cooked rice and meat in the pan and stir vigorously.
  6. 6.  When the rice is warm, move the mixture to the sides of the pan and leave the center empty.
  7. 7.  Crack the eggs, mix well and pour in the center of the pan.
  8. 8.  Once the egg mixture hits the pan, stir the rice and egg mixture well. The rice will turn yellow.
  9. 9.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

2.  Three Bean and Beef Chili

Who says you can't enjoy a thick, rich chili in the woods?

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour and 10 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
  • 2 carrots, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef (90 percent lean)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from the can of chipotles
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed


  1. 1.  Heat the oil in large pot or Dutch oven over moderate heat.
  2. 2.  Add the onion, bell pepper and carrots, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. 3.  Add the cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  4. 4.  Add the ground beef; raise the heat to high and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the meat is no longer pink.
  5. 5.  Stir in the tomatoes, water, chipotle and adobo sauce, oregano and salt and pepper.
  6. 6.  Simmer, partially covered, stirring from time to time, for 30 minutes.
  7. 7.  Stir in the beans and cook, partially covered, 20 minutes longer.
  8. 8.  Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

3.  Dutch Oven Pork Roast

Fork-tender pot roast, perfect for round-the-campfire festivities.

Serves: 7 to 8
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours


  • 4-5 pound pork roast
  • 1/2 cup olive or corn oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and coursely chopped
  • 2 green apples, peeled and cut into large slices
  • 4 large carrots, cut coursely
  • 1 dozen large mushrooms, cut in quarters
  • 4 large red potatoes, cut into large bite-sized pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, peeled and sliced thick
  • Lawry's Seasoning Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 cups chicken stock


  1. 1.  Get a fire going to where you have a bed of long lasting slow-burning charcoals. You may have to check and add more fuel during cooking time.
  2. 2.  In a large cast iron Dutch Oven, heat the oil until it's hot.
  3. 3.  Brown the pork roast, onions and apples.
  4. 4.  Add the chicken stock and spices. Cover and put on the fire (off to the side) to slowly cook over the coals for two and a half hours.
  5. 5.  At the end of two and a half hours, layer the vegetables, carrots and potatoes first (they need more heat). Recover the pot.
  6. 6.  Check after three hours are up and give it your best judgement on doneness (every campfire is different.)
  7. 7.  Serve with good crusty bread and butter.

4.  German Sausage Chowder

Thick, creamy and cheesy!

Serves: 6 to 8
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes


  • 1 pound cooked bratwurst or knackwurst -- cut into chunks
  • 2 medium potatoes -- peeled and coarsely diced
  • 1/2 cup onion -- chopped
  • 4 cups cabbage -- shredded
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shredded aged Swiss cheese
  • Snipped parsley, for garnish


  1. 1.  In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine sausage, potatoes, onion, 1/2 tsp. salt, and dash pepper.
  2. 2.  Add 2 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover; simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are nearly tender.
  3. 3.  Stir in cabbage (and corn if desired); cook 10 minutes more or until vegetables are tender.
  4. 4.  Stir in 2 1/2 cups of the milk. Stir remaining 1/2 cup milk into flour; stir into soup.
  5. 5.  Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly.
  6. 6.  Stir in cheese till melted. Garnish with parsley.

5.  Smores Bars

A classic camp favorite!

Serves: 6 to 8
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 2-(7 oz.) jars marshmallow cream
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • Chocolate candy bars


  1. 1.  Cream butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy.
  2. 2.  Stir in vanilla, salt and baking powder.
  3. 3.  Add flour and crushed graham crackers.
  4. 4.  Line the bottom of a 14" Dutch Oven with parchment paper.
  5. 5.  Spread 2/3 of the dough mixture and spread on parchment paper in oven.
  6. 6.  Place chocolate bars evenly over the dough.
  7. 7.  Cover with marshmallow cream.
  8. 8.  Spoon remaining dough mixture over chocolate bars.
  9. 9.  Bake at 350 degrees (21 coals on top; 11 on bottom) for 45-50 minutes.

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