8 Ways to Use Your Dutch Oven on the Stovetop

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

I use my Dutch oven most often on the stovetop — that’s why lives on the back left burner, ready to help with most weeknight dinners. And while there is a seemingly endless list of all the ways it can be used, I never want to overlook how wonderful this pot is when you’re just going about cooking everyday things on the stove. So with that in mind, here are eight everyday ways to use your Dutch oven on the stovetop.

1. Soup, Stew, and Chili

Whether you’re cooking up a quick weeknight recipe or one that’s meant to simmer all afternoon on the back of the stove, heavy Dutch ovens are always our number-one pick for big batches of soup, stew, and chili.

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2. Stovetop Casseroles

Casseroles are not just for ovens. In fact, your Dutch oven is the MVP of stovetop casseroles. These recipes typically make enough to feed a crowd, so feel free to invite the crew over for a comforting dinner.

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3. Sautéed and Steamed Spinach

I will always sauté and steam spinach in my Dutch oven instead of using my biggest frying pan. Spinach cooks down a ton; a good rule of thumb to be sure you cook enough is that if it seems like too much, it’s probably just right. The high sides of the Dutch oven keep all those greens in the pot, rather than all over your stovetop.

(Image credit: Guy Ambrosino)

4. Risotto

There are several cookware options that get the job done for making risotto, but a Dutch oven is my top pick. The large size of this pot means it’s easy to make a lot at once, and you don’t run the risk of food spilling over the high sides.

Get a recipe: Farmers Market Risotto

5. Big-Batch Drinks

Not only do I reach for my Dutch oven every time I start a new batch of kombucha, but its size also makes it a go-to for all my favorite big-batch drinks, like iced tea, hot chocolate for a crowd, and mulled wine.

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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

6. Deep-Fried Foods

Your Dutch oven is the cookware you want to use any time you’re deep-frying, whether it’s chicken, falafel, or donuts. The high sides keep splatter to a minimum, while its heft helps to regulate the oil’s temperature as batches of food go in and out.

7. Pasta

While there are plenty of fancy and involved recipes that put your Dutch oven to work, I use mine most often for the simplest of tasks, like cooking pasta. From spaghetti to ravioli to tortellini, this large, heavy pot is always a good choice.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

8. Sauce

Any time I make homemade tomato sauce (or any big batch sauce, for that matter), I always start with a Dutch oven. This sauce requires a lot of tomatoes, and this weighty pot is a great choice for its size.

5 Great Dutch Ovens

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