Dutch Oven Chili

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This Dutch Oven Chili recipe is made in one pot, so serving and clean up is a breeze! Learn how to cook this chili in a cast iron dutch oven at home, or outdoors over a campfire.

colorful bowl of chili with cheese, peppers and limes on top.

The Best Chili Recipe!

Whether you call it dutch oven beef chili or chili con carne, this easy recipe will please the chili lovers in your entire family!

It’s so versatile! Bake this chili recipe in the oven, simmer on the stove, or cook over a campfire.

This flavorful chili is loaded with three types of beans, rich tomato sauce, chipotle peppers and seasoned chuck roast.

The smoky flavor from the chipotle peppers and rich tomato sauce will wake up your taste buds and slap your tongue silly!

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Why You’ll Love This Chili

It’s so delicious! Who doesn’t love a big pot of chili any day of the year? It’s the perfect comfort food in cooler months and a great recipe for campfire cooking in the great outdoors all summer long.

Let the dutch oven do the work so you can spend more time enjoying a delicious and hearty meal!

The best part is the garnish you add to the top of the chili. Our favorite toppings include sour cream, cheddar cheese, jalapeno peppers and crushed tortilla chips.

This recipe is even better the next day when leftover chili turns into nachos, frito pie, chili mac, chili queso or loaded baked potatoes!

colorful toppings on top of chili in bowl.

Ingredients

For this recipe you’ll need a chuck roast, chili seasoning mix, diced tomatoes, mini sweet peppers, cilantro, sweet onion, garlic, chipotles, kidney beans, white beans, black beans, tomato sauce, beef broth, salt and black pepper.

If you prefer pinto beans or another type of white bean, it’s perfectly fine to substitute. You can also leave the beans out completely if that’s not your thing.

See recipe card for quantities.

ingredients needed to make dutch oven chili.

Variations

  • For spicy chili, add your favorite hot sauce, green chilies or red pepper flakes.
  • Make your own seasoning by mixing together teaspoons of chili powder, onion powder, cumin, garlic powder and paprika.
  • Use green bell pepper or red peppers instead of sweet.
  • Substitute lean ground beef or ground turkey for chuck roast.
  • Top with green onions, chopped avocado, banana peppers and more!
  • Make it without beans, or add more veggies to the mix.

Instructions

This is one of those recipes that breaks down the connective tissue of the meat by using the low and slow method.

You basically dump everything into one pot and let it work its magic!

1 – Place chuck roast in a 6 quart dutch oven. On the stove, sear sides of beef over medium heat with a dash of oil. (If cooking over a campfire, cut meat into cubes ahead of time and sear as directed.)

beef being put into the dutch oven.

2 – Add chili seasoning packet, diced tomatoes, peppers, onions, cilantro, garlic and chipotles (optional). Stir in one cup of beef stock. Close lid and bake in oven for 2 hours at 350 degrees (or cook over hot coals). Check liquid level halfway through to ensure meat isn’t scorching.

beef coming out of the oven.

3 – Open lid. With a knife and fork, chop roast into small pieces and stir everything together. (Skip this step for campfire cooking.)

beef stirred in with vegetables.

4 – Stir in the beans, the other cup of beef broth, and tomato sauce. Cover pot and continue to bake (or cook over campfire).

beans added to dutch oven.

5 – Cook 1 more hour until beef and beans are tender. Stir well and serve piping hot in bowls garnished with toppings of your choice.

dutch oven filled with a ladle of chili.

Why Cook In a Dutch Oven?

  • Dutch oven cooking provides more control than a slow cooker or crock pot. It allows better distribution of heat and retains temperature more efficiently than other cookware.
  • Enameled cast iron (ad) is your choice for indoor cooking. It can handle both high temperatures and low heat levels and does not have to be seasoned. The lids are heavy and secure, which creates a good seal that holds in the heat.
  • You can sear, simmer, roast, bake and serve in the same pot! I love to make all types of soups and stews since it won’t scorch the bottom when simmering.
  • Dutch ovens have large capacities, which means they can serve big crowds. I’ve baked a Thanksgiving turkey, as well as an Easter ham and pork tenderloin. You can even make bread in it!
spoonful of chili lifted out of a blue bowl.

Camp Oven Tips

  • If cooking this recipe over a campfire, be sure to use an outdoor camp dutch oven (ad) made for an open flame. Do not use an enameled pot over a campfire.
  • The best camp stoves have legs that sit directly over a campfire instead of down into them.
  • Purchase a pre-seasoned camp stove (ad) with no synthetic chemicals. The more you use it, the better it becomes.
  • Prepare meat and veggies ahead of time by cutting into cubes. This avoids having to stand over a hot fire and chop it later.
  • Get your coals ready by setting them up in a flat circle so your camp oven will fit on them without rocking. Once they are hot enough and have turned gray, set the camp stove on the hot coals. Need more info? Visit Fresh off the Grid for expert tips on how to cook with a camp stove.

Recipe FAQS

Is this chili recipe spicy?

No, this is a very mild recipe. You can make it even milder by leaving out the chipotle peppers. Or, you can spice it up by adding jalapenos, sriracha sauce or red pepper flakes.

What size dutch oven should I buy?

For best results, plan on 1 quart per person whether you’re using enameled cast iron or a cast iron pot. So, for a family of 6, you would need a 6 quart vessel. The smaller 3 quart size is great for 1 to 2 people.

How can I make my own seasoning?

To make your own seasoning, mix together 1 teaspoon each of the following ingredients: chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of seasoning on meat as directed in recipe.

limes and peppers on top of a bowl of dutch oven chili.

Serving Ideas

What sides go best with chili?

What type of toppings work well?

  • cheddar cheese, shredded gouda, pepper jack
  • sour cream, cilantro, sweet peppers, lime, Tajin
  • jalapeños, salsa verde, guacamole, avocado
  • tortilla chips, french fried onions, green onions

How to Store Leftovers

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze leftover chili for up to 3 months in an airtight container.

If you love this recipe, try these other dishes that are sure to please…

Recipe Card

chili made in a dutch oven topped with cheese, chips, peppers and limes.

Dutch Oven Chili

This Dutch Oven Chili recipe is made in one pot, so serving and clean up is a breeze! Learn how to cook in a cast iron dutch oven at home or outdoors over a campfire.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dutch Oven, Main Dishes, One Pot
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 409kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 pound chuck roast
  • 1 packet chili seasoning mix (or make your own)
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 4 mini peppers (diced)
  • ¼ cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 2 small onions (wedged)
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon chipotle peppers (optional)
  • 1 can kidney beans (15.5 oz)
  • 1 can northern beans (15.5 oz)
  • 1 can black beans (15.5 oz)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • 2 cups beef stock (divided)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Place chuck roast in dutch oven. On the stove, sear sides over medium heat with a dash of oil. (If cooking over a campfire, cut beef into cubes ahead of time and sear as directed.)
  • Add chili seasoning packet, diced tomatoes, peppers, onions, cilantro, garlic and chipotles (optional).
  • Stir in one cup of beef stock.
  • Close lid and bake in oven for 2 hours at 350 degrees (or cook for 2 hours over hot coals). Check liquid level halfway through to ensure meat isn't scorching.
  • Lift dutch oven out of the oven. With a knife and fork, chop roast into small pieces and stir everything together. (Skip this step for campfire cooking.)
  • Stir in the beans, the other cup of beef stock, and tomato sauce. Cover dutch oven and place back in oven (or continue to cook over campfire).
  • Cook 1 more hour until beef and beans are tender. Stir well and serve piping hot with your favorite toppings.

Notes

What type of toppings work well?
  • cheddar cheese, shredded gouda, pepper jack
  • sour cream, cilantro, sweet peppers, lime, Tajin
  • jalapeños, salsa verde, guacamole, avocado
  • tortilla chips, french fried onions, green onions
How do I cook this recipe on the stove?
  • Follow the directions above, but instead of baking the chili in the oven, cook it over medium heat on the stovetop. 

Nutrition

Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 1159mg | Potassium: 1386mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I have always wanted to learn how to make chili in a dutch oven. I love your tips for cooking over a campfire too. Thanks for a great recipe!

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