Fire up your taste buds: Dutch Oven Chili recipe

Are you looking for a dish that is hearty, delicious and guaranteed to warm you up from the inside out? Well then, look no further! I’ve got the perfect recipe for you – my Dutch Oven Chili Recipe. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “Chili is chili, what’s the big deal?” But let me tell you, this recipe is truly something special.

As a culinary explorer, I believe that food should not only have flavor but an experience. My Dutch Oven Chili Recipe delivers just that – a feast for your taste buds and your senses all rolled into one. Picture yourself gathered around a campfire with friends, family or even solo cooking out in nature enjoying the sky above filled with stars while eating this warm bowl of goodness – it doesn’t get any better than that.

Whether you’re planning for a cozy night indoors or exploring the great outdoors on your next camping trip, this chili recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser. So let’s dive right in and discover why my Dutch Oven Chili Recipe should be your next go-to recipe for any occasion.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Dutch Oven Chili
Dutch Oven Chili

Are you looking for a hearty and comforting meal that can satisfy your hunger while also indulging your taste buds? Look no further than this Dutch Oven Chili Recipe!

Rich and flavorful, this chili recipe contains all the classic ingredients you expect from a great chili, including ground beef, kidney beans, bell peppers, and chili powder. The dish is elevated to new heights with the use of a Dutch oven, which allows the flavors to really meld together as it simmers to perfection.

One of the main reasons you’ll love this recipe is its versatility. It can be cooked on the stove top, in the oven or even over a campfire! It’s perfect for those cold winter nights where you want to enjoy a warm meal by a fire. And don’t forget to serve it with some cornbread for an extra indulgence.

Additionally, this chili recipe is great for those with busy schedules or tight budgets. It can easily be made ahead of time and reheated later without sacrificing any flavor. This recipe also makes a sizeable batch, so there will be plenty of leftovers for lunches or dinners throughout the week.

So whether you’re camping out under the stars or just cozying up indoors on a chilly evening, this Dutch Oven Chili Recipe is the perfect dish to get your taste buds tingling and your belly feeling satisfied.

Ingredient List

 Browned beef and layers of spices create a hearty aroma that fills the kitchen.
Browned beef and layers of spices create a hearty aroma that fills the kitchen.

Before getting started with this Dutch Oven Chili Recipe, make sure you have all the ingredients on hand.

Below is a list of everything you’ll need:


  • 3 pounds of ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 2 cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups of water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • A 6-quart Dutch oven (you can also use a cast iron skillet if you don’t have a Dutch oven)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife

Make sure to get fresh produce from your local grocery store to ensure the best flavors in your chili.

The Recipe How-To

 Rich, chunky tomato sauce base simmers with tender beans, jalapeños and bell peppers.
Rich, chunky tomato sauce base simmers with tender beans, jalapeños and bell peppers.

Now that you’ve gathered all the necessary ingredients for a delectable Dutch Oven Chili, it’s time to start cooking! This recipe is perfect for those who are new to Dutch oven cooking or those who are looking for a hearty meal to enjoy in a campfire. Let’s begin!

Step 1: Preparing the Dutch Oven

Preheat your 6 quart dutch oven on medium high heat. Once the Dutch oven is hot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and let it heat up.

Step 2: Sautéing the Aromatics

Add diced 1 yellow onion, chopped 1 medium red pepper, and diced 1 bell pepper to the Dutch oven. Sauté them until the onions become translucent, which takes around 5-7 minutes.

Step 3: Browning the Ground Beef

Add 3 pounds of ground beef into the Dutch oven and cook it on medium high heat until it turns brown. Make sure to break down the meat clumps as much as possible while stirring occasionally.

Step 4: Adding More Flavors

Next, add 1 teaspoon of chili powder and stir well until incorporated with the other ingredients in the pot.

Step 5: Mixing and Adding Other Ingredients

Pour two cans of both chopped tomatoes and kidney beans into Dutch oven. Add two or three tablespoons of tomato paste into the mixture, depending on preferred thickness, and pour 1 cup of water over everything. Finally, stir in salt and pepper according to your personal preference.

Step 6: Cooking

Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce heat to low on medium high heat. Cover your dutch oven with lid halfway, leaving some space open for steam to leave. Cook on low heat for approximately two hours stirring occasionally.

Step 7: Serving

Once done, let stand covered for 10 minutes before serving your delicious Dutch Oven Chili with cornbread or desired toppings.

Follow these steps closely and host a fabulous dinner party with this easy-to-follow recipe!

Substitutions and Variations

 A colorful and savory blend of bell peppers, onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin complement each other in this recipe.
A colorful and savory blend of bell peppers, onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin complement each other in this recipe.

You’re probably wondering if you can make this Dutch oven Chili recipe your own. The answer is yes! First, let’s talk about some substitutions you can make.

If you don’t have ground beef on hand, feel free to swap it out for ground turkey or even diced chicken breast. Vegetarians can also use plant-based meat alternatives like mushrooms, lentils or quinoa in place of the ground meat.

I love the hearty texture and flavor that kidney beans bring to this chili recipe, but black beans or pinto beans are great substitutes that will work just as well. You can also swap out regular diced tomatoes for fire-roasted diced tomatoes to add a little bit of smokiness to the dish.

Now let’s get creative with variations. Chili con carne is made only with meat (usually beef) and chili peppers, but you can add in some vegetables for extra nutrition and flavor. Sweet potatoes, carrots, celery or zucchini all work great with this recipe.

If you want to add a little bit of sweetness to your chili, try adding a tablespoon of brown sugar or maple syrup. For additional heat, throw in a chopped jalapeño pepper or some red pepper flakes.

Looking for a Southern twist on this classic recipe? Serve your Dutch oven chili with homemade cornbread or over rice. This will balance the richness of the chili and give you that southern comfort food vibe.

Lastly, if you’re camping or cooking over an open fire, simply use an iron Dutch oven instead of your regular one for that extra smoky flavor reminiscent of campfire chili.

Experimenting with these substitutions and variations will help you create a personalized version of this delicious dish that suits your taste best!

Serving and Pairing

 The Dutch oven chili is topped with creamy sour cream, cheddar cheese, chopped green onions and fresh cilantro.
The Dutch oven chili is topped with creamy sour cream, cheddar cheese, chopped green onions and fresh cilantro.

When I imagine serving up a steaming bowl of this Dutch Oven Chili Recipe, it’s hard not to picture myself cozied up fireside on a camping trip, but no matter where you plan to serve it, there are some excellent pairing options to make the most of your dish.

First and foremost, cornbread is a classic pairing and truly ups the comfort factor. I recommend baking up a batch using your favorite recipe or even picking up some pre-made options from the store. The crumbly, slightly sweet texture pairs perfectly with the chili’s spicy kick.

If you’re looking for something lighter, a crisp salad of mixed greens, cucumbers, and ripe tomatoes could be fresh accompaniments as well. The veggies in this salad can provide a contrasting texture and flavor to the spiciness of the chili. Dress it up with some balsamic vinaigrette or ranch for added zing.

And let’s not forget about toppings! Diced avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, crushed tortilla chips, and sour cream are just a few options that come to mind. Equally important is having your preferred drink on hand to help cool down. A cold beer or citrus drink can be quite refreshing if you prefer those.

Whether served in your coziest cabin on a chilly winter day or savored by the campfire overlooking a beautiful view, dutch oven chili is always an excellent option for campers and homecooks alike.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The sight of the chili bubbling in the Dutch oven is a feast for the eyes.
The sight of the chili bubbling in the Dutch oven is a feast for the eyes.

When it comes to a hearty and delicious Dutch oven chili, it’s always wise to make a big batch so you can enjoy it for days to come. This is especially helpful when you’re hosting a party or attending a foodie gathering in the wild. Here are some tips for making, storing, and reheating your Dutch oven chili:

Make-Ahead: To make it ahead of time, simply cook your dutch oven chili recipe as directed and let the dish cool to room temperature. Transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months. Reheat before serving.

Storing: Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. If you won’t be able to eat all the leftovers within that time frame, consider freezing them for later use. Be sure to label your containers with the date and contents name so that you can keep track of what you have.

Reheating: There are several ways to reheat your chili, depending on your preferences and equipment. The best way is on the stovetop over medium heat, adding additional water if necessary. Alternatively, you can microwave the chili by placing it in a microwave-safe dish and heating it at intervals of 1-2 minutes until heated through.

Remember that flavors will intensify over time as this dish sits in the fridge or freezer, so feel free to adjust seasoning when reheating if necessary. Also, consider pairing this tasty treat with some cornbread for an extra kick of flavor.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Every spoonful of this Dutch oven chili is packed with tender beef bites that melt in your mouth
Every spoonful of this Dutch oven chili is packed with tender beef bites that melt in your mouth

When it comes to making a delicious pot of Dutch Oven Chili, there are a few things that can really make all the difference in ensuring the perfect flavor and texture. As a culinary explorer, I’ve made my fair share of pots of chili, and I’m here to share with you some of my top tips for getting the best results possible when making this recipe.

1. Be Generous with Your Spices

One of the keys to great chili is using plenty of spices to build deep layers of flavor. Don’t be afraid to adjust the spice level to your personal preference, whether that means adding extra chili powder, cumin, or even experimenting with other flavors like smoked paprika or chipotle powder. Just be sure to taste as you go along and add slowly so you don’t end up overpowering the other ingredients.

2. Use High-Quality Ingredients

While it’s true that chili is a pretty forgiving dish that’s perfect for using up odds and ends in your fridge or pantry, using high-quality ingredients can take your chili from good to great. Opt for fresh vegetables like bright bell peppers and ripe tomatoes whenever possible, and choose the best ground beef or chuck roast you can find. Trust me – you’ll taste the difference!

3. Take Your Time

Chili is one of those dishes that only gets better with time, so don’t be in too much of a rush when you’re making it. Letting your pot simmer for a few hours (or even overnight) will give all of the flavors time to meld together and create a deliciously complex bowl of chili. Plus, letting it sit overnight gives it even more time to marinate in its own juices – trust me on this one!

4. Customize Your Toppings

One of my favorite parts about eating chili is trying out all sorts of fun toppings – avocado slices, cheddar cheese, sour cream, scallions… the list goes on! Don’t be afraid to customize your serving by layering on your own favorite toppings – after all, half the fun is building your own perfect bowl.

By following these simple tips and techniques, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a delicious pot of Dutch Oven Chili that will impress anyone who tries it!


Before we wrap up, let’s take a look at some Frequently Asked Questions regarding this delicious Dutch Oven Chili Recipe. These cover everything from ingredient substitutions to cooking times, and are designed to help you create the perfect chili each and every time. So, whether you’re cooking in the kitchen or around the campfire, these FAQ are here to support you in creating the best chili possible. Let’s get started!

Is chili better in slow cooker or Dutch oven?

When it comes to creating a delicious batch of chili, there are two cooking methods that stand out: using a Dutch oven or a multi-cooker in slow-cook mode. However, each method requires some adjustments to achieve the perfect consistency and flavor. While using a Dutch oven creates a chili with a rich aroma and bold spiciness, it can sometimes result in a dry texture that may not look as appealing. Additionally, as the chili sits, it may become thicker.

What size Dutch oven is best for chili?

When it comes to making chili, the size of your Dutch oven matters. To ensure you have enough space for all your ingredients, it’s recommended to use a Dutch oven that’s at least 5 quarts in size. If you’re cooking for a smaller group, a 5 or 6-quart Dutch oven should suffice.

Is enamel or cast iron better for chili?

When making chili that includes tomato products, it’s preferable to use an enameled dutch oven rather than a regular cast iron one. This is because the acidity of the tomatoes can lead to corrosion of the latter. So, to avoid any unwanted chemical reactions, it’s best to opt for a safer and more reliable option.

What is the secret to great chili?

Innovative Ingredients: Adding some unique elements to your cuisine can transform it into something truly special. For instance, cocoa powder is a great addition to your chili recipe. Its rich, earthy flavor pairs beautifully with the heat of the peppers, giving your dish an extra depth of flavor. Alternatively, using beer as your liquid base, rather than the usual water or stock, introduces a unique hoppy taste that marries well with many dishes. Another ingredient that might surprise you is coffee; adding it to a meat rub or sauce will give it a distinct texture and taste. Lastly, a sprinkle of cinnamon on top of your latte or pancake can add warmth and aroma, elevating these classic treats to decadent delights.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, there’s nothing quite like a hearty chili to warm you up on a cold night or to enjoy with friends during a campout. And what better way to make it than with the Dutch Oven Chili Recipe! This recipe is not only easy and straightforward to follow, but it’s also delicious and versatile. With its perfect blend of seasonings, meat, beans, and vegetables, you can create a chili that suits your taste buds.

So, go ahead and try this recipe as soon as possible! I guarantee that once you taste this delicious Dutch Oven Chili recipe, it will become your go-to dish for all your future gatherings or camping trips!

Remember to serve it up with some cornbread and perhaps a dash of sour cream or cheddar cheese. Trust me; you will thank me later for recommending this recipe. Happy cooking!

Dutch Oven Chili

Dutch Oven Chili Recipe

I make this over a camp fire and serve with cornbread that is also made on an open flame.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 1535.5 kcal


  • 2 cups water
  • 5 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 (12 ounce) cans kidney beans
  • 2 (12 ounce) cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages chili powder


  • Pour water in a large dutch oven and wait until the water starts to steam.
  • Brown the beef.
  • Add the beans, chopped tomatos, tomato paste, and chili powder.
  • Boil, covered, for 30min.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 643gCalories: 1535.5kcalCarbohydrates: 85.2gProtein: 116.8gFat: 89.8gSaturated Fat: 31.9gCholesterol: 339.3mgSodium: 2840.6mgFiber: 44.7gSugar: 21.3g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Beans, Meat
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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