This is Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, and I'm about to start cooking!
In the meantime, if you're one of our American readers, it's time to start planning your menu. And if you're like many of our family and friends, you'll be firing up your slow cooker, Instant Pot, air fryer, and other kitchen appliances. (Did you know we have a huge American family too? Yup - mostly down in Michigan.) But don't forget about your trusty Dutch oven.
We've rounded up some of the BEST Dutch oven Thanksgiving recipes to try this year.
All your favorites are here. Starting with the turkey, we've found yummy recipes for the whole turkey, a turkey breast, or drumsticks.
Tired of turkey? No problem.
You'll find delicious ways to prepare ham, chicken, Cornish hens, and chicken drumsticks instead.
And yes, classic Thanksgiving side dishes like green bean casserole and mashed potatoes can also be made in the Dutch oven.
You'll even find a few drool-worthy desserts like pumpkin pie dump cake and apple pie.
What are you waiting for? Let's get cooking!
Delicious Turkey Recipes in the Dutch Oven
Dutch Oven Turkey Breast
Planning a small Thanksgiving dinner? A turkey breast is just the right size for feeding a small group — plus, you can make it in the Dutch Oven, which is much easier to handle than a large roasting pan.
This technique ensures the moisture stays in the turkey, making the meat tender and juicy.
The garlic herb butter with lemon zest and juice is flavor perfection. Get the recipe for this soon-to-be family favorite from Joyous Apron.
Oven Braised Turkey Legs
Don't fuss with a whole turkey when you can serve these delicious turkey legs and thighs from Blackberry Babe instead.
If you've traditionally just gone for turkey breast, give the dark meat a try. It's way more flavorful and so juicy.
These drumsticks are seared on the stove top and then cooked in apple cider and turkey broth along with apples, onions, and warming spices like nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon.
Whole Turkey In a Dutch Oven
Enjoy Thanksgiving in the great outdoors!
You can cook a whole turkey in a Dutch Oven with the help of a meat thermometer (to check the internal temperature at the thickest part of the turkey breast) and some charcoal briquettes.
The bird is stuffed with onions and apple slices while it sits on top of onions, herbs, and stock.
Putting the lid on top with some hot coals keeps all the moisture in for a tender bird.
Follow the instructions for the roast turkey from Must Have Mom to try it for yourself.
Or adapt it for a regular oven if you're cooking indoors.
Tip: Try this with my homemade no cook Cranberry Relish. Delicious!
Dutch Oven Turkey Breast With Cranberry Orange Glaze
Serve an easy dinner for 6 by making this delicious turkey breast with a flavorful cranberry orange glaze from The Healthy Epicurean.
It's incredibly juicy with loads of flavor from the glaze and fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme.
Stuffed Turkey Breast
An entire Thanksgiving meal in one dish? Now, that's convenient!
Cast Iron Recipes has a terrific dish for stuffed turkey breast that combines several dishes into one.
The turkey breast is rolled with stuffing and green bean casserole and cooked with cream of mushroom soup on top.
When it's done, drizzle cranberry sauce over the top and sprinkle some crispy fried onions.
Tired of turkey? Serve up a main dish from this list as a tasty alternative.
Dutch Oven Whole Chicken
A Dutch oven is the easiest way to cook a whole chicken that's tender and juicy totally effortlessly.
The Typical Mom's recipe calls for stuffing the chicken with veggies like carrots, celery, and onions, which get perfectly tender during the cooking process.
Potatoes cook underneath the chicken for a complete meal.
Dutch Oven Honey Ham
Get your spiral ham ready for dinner guests quickly in the Dutch oven.
It also works for ham that's not yet sliced, but a spiral sliced ham is way better because the glaze gets into all the nooks and crannies.
It'll be ready in a little over an hour!
Lemon Butter Chicken Drumsticks
This dish from Frugal Mom-Eh is easy enough for a weeknight dinner but impressive enough for holidays.
The drumsticks are tender on the inside with perfectly crispy skin on the outside.
They're cooked in butter, herbs, seasonings, black pepper, thyme, smoked paprika, garlic, and lemon to be ultra-flavorful.
Remember to leave the lid off the Dutch oven if you're cooking meat with the skin on so it can get crispy.
Maple Bourbon Glazed Ham
Finish a precooked ham in your Dutch oven on the grill. The maple bourbon glaze is what really takes this from an ordinary ham to a delicious holiday meal.
The glaze is made with maple bourbon, brown sugar, apple juice, lemon juice, herbs, seasonings, and a handful of other ingredients.
If you're making this meal while camping, prepare the glaze at home to make things easier!
Easy Cornish Hens
Here's a meal that looks spectacular but is way easier than baking a large turkey. With Cornish hens, every person gets their own individual-sized chicken.
Cooked along with onions, lemon, sage, rosemary, and plenty of seasonings, it has all the smells and rich flavors of Thanksgiving.
It's easy to double the recipe to feed 6 instead of 3!
Thanksgiving Side Dishes in the Dutch Oven
Some people may go straight for the bird or the meat, but the sides are what makes the meal, in my opinion.
Here are some delicious sides to make in a Dutch oven that are sure to be crowd pleasers.
Make Ahead Turkey Gravy
When you're serving turkey, gravy is a MUST.
You can make this turkey gravy ahead of time, which is such a relief when you're busy enough in the kitchen as it is on Thanksgiving.
You'll cook turkey wings, carrots, celery, onions, and garlic to get those delicious turkey drippings to start the gravy.
Although it's a bit of work making homemade gravy, it's completely worth it for the flavor factor. Serve over your turkey and mashed potatoes.
Candied Sweet Potato Casserole
It's almost sweet enough to be a dessert, and this sweet potato casserole is sure to become one of your favorite side dishes.
The marshmallow-y, brown sugar topping is the best part. Even the kids will love it.
Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
No Thanksgiving table is complete without loads of mashed potatoes. They're the perfect vehicle for the gravy, after all.
Make sure you use an enameled Dutch oven for this recipe — you don't want to use traditional a cast iron Dutch oven for boiling water.
Four types of cheese (cream cheese, Gruyere, gouda, and cheddar cheese) herbs, and butter make these fluffy potatoes from Cast Iron Recipes rich, delicious, and oh-so-cheesy.
Spicy Chorizo Sage Cornbread Dressing
Have you always found stuffing to be a little, well, boring? I did, but you can't say that at all about this spicy chorizo cornbread stuffing.
It's good enough to eat on its own, no turkey needed. But it's a great complement to your Thanksgiving meal.
One Pot Mushroom Rice
One pot dishes like this mushroom rice are such a time saver on special occasions. Who doesn't love minimizing dishwashing?
Mushrooms, rice, onions, garlic, thyme, and broth cook together to make a creamy rice dish that pairs beautifully with any type of meat you're serving on Thanksgiving, from turkey to chicken to ham.
Oven Roasted Leeks and Potatoes
This budget-friendly dish is healthy, too. Leeks taste like onions and garlic combined and add incredible flavor to potatoes.
You can make this recipe on a sheet pan or in a large Dutch oven; it's up to you.
Try it with turnips or parsnips instead of potatoes if you're watching your starches.
Classic Green Bean Casserole
A classic Thanksgiving side dish, the Dutch Oven is the perfect kitchen tool to make this time-honored casserole.
You can start with cooking the green beans on the stove top, and after draining them, finish with the rest of the ingredients in the oven.
Creamy, crunchy, and just what you need to help round out your meal.
Creamy Butter Beans
For a scrumptious side to accompany your ham, try these creamy butter beans from Spicy Southern Kitchen.
Thick, creamy, and packed with smoky ham, they'll become a new, non-traditional holiday favorite.
Planning a fancy meal with multiple courses? Start off with some homemade pumpkin soup.
It's a yummy way to warm up your belly before the main course. The crumbled bacon and toasted pumpkin seeds on top are perfection.
Breads and Desserts
A piece of homemade bread to go with the meal and a delicious dessert afterwards — what could be better?
Crusty Dutch Oven Bread
If you think homemade bread is difficult, think again.
This no-knead artisan bread requires only 4 ingredients (or 3 if you don't count water).
Slather it with honey butter or serve a toasted piece of it with your pumpkin soup.
Garlic Rosemary Bread
Another crusty artisan bread, this one amps up the flavor with garlic and rosemary.
This easy, no-knead bread is terrific with salted butter, soup, or alongside your meal.
Dutch Oven Blueberry Bread
Serve our yummy blueberry bread for dessert or as a snack for the kids while they wait on the meal to finish cooking.
Frozen blueberries work beautifully for this recipe since they're not in season during Thanksgiving.
With a hint of lemon to brighten the flavor, it's the perfect amount of sweet.
Dutch Oven Pumpkin Pie Dump Cake
You don't have to be on a camping trip to enjoy this pumpkin pie cake. Thanksgiving is the perfect occasion to make it.
The recipe is for a dump cake that starts with a boxed cake mix that's jazzed up with pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and crunchy walnuts.
Serve this delectable dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel.
Dutch Oven Apple Pie
With a flaky crust and flavorful apple pie filling, your camping companions will be delighted with this rustic apple pie.
Though it's a challenging recipe with a lot of steps, it'll be worth it to taste it and see those happy faces.
Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler
For another campfire dessert, make this homemade peach cobbler over the campfire.
Grab a couple of cans of peaches, yellow cake mix, butter, and cinnamon to pull it together. Yes, it's really that simple! If you like this, you'll also enjoy our Cookie Crumb Peach Cobbler.
Recipes for Leftover Turkey or Ham
What are you going to do to turn those leftovers into something more appetizing? We've got a few ideas for you!
Leftover Turkey Soup
Turn leftover turkey breast into turkey soup. It's just like chicken noodle soup but made with turkey instead.
Double or triple the batch to freeze some for later in the winter. It'll be a welcome meal when you're under the weather.
Leftover Turkey Gumbo
This hot and hearty dish is packed with flavor. Though it's not a traditional gumbo (no seafood here), you'll get plenty of yumminess from the turkey and andouille sausage in a dark brown roux.
Serve it over rice for a meal that'll fill you up for hours.
Turkey Butternut Squash Chili
There are no beans in this warm, comforting turkey chili recipe. Instead, you'll enjoy lots of dark meat turkey, butternut squash, onions, and carrots in a delicious blend of spices and seasonings.
Sweet potatoes would be tasty in this recipe, but they'll take longer to cook than the squash.
Leftover Hambone Soup
Use your leftover ham to make a cozy soup to enjoy for days after Thanksgiving is over. It's also a clever way to use leftover veggies!
Made with white kidney beans, ham, corn, carrots, and more, it's packed with protein and other good-for-you nutrients.
Pin this list of Dutch Oven Thanksgiving Recipes to come back to next year on Turkey Day. You may just find a new family tradition in cooking with your Dutch oven!
More Easy Dutch Oven Recipes
- Dutch Oven Soup Recipes
- Best Dutch Oven Chicken Breast Recipes
- 20+ Ground Beef Dutch Oven Recipes to Simplify Dinner
More Thanksgiving Recipes
- Homemade Dinner Rolls
- Canned Pumpkin Recipes for Leftovers
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (a great breakfast Thanksgiving morning)
- Cranberry Orange Loaf