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Dutch Oven Chicken and Vegetables (Camping Recipe)

Dutch Oven Chicken is a traditional one-pot meal that is easy to make whether you’re camping in the great outdoors or cooking over a campfire in your own backyard. It’s delicious, hearty and will have you coming back for seconds.

hang scooping dutch oven chicken to serve

Dutch Oven Chicken Is The Perfect Camping Meal

Ever since my husband was a little boy, dutch oven chicken was a staple during backpacking and family camping trips. Continuing the tradition, we’ve now been making this delicious campfire meal every summer when we go camping.

This dutch oven chicken is so good, you may even want to make it over some charcoal coals in your own backyard and not wait for that next camping trip!

Check out The Best Camping Meals for Kids! Also give this Dutch Oven Corned Beef recipe a try!

hand with tongs making dutch oven chicken

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It is easy to make – simply prepare your veggies, season your chicken ahead of time and it’s an easy as throwing everything into your dutch oven to cook.
  • It is hearty and delicious – This dutch oven chicken is perfectly seasoned, buttery and hearty. The vegetables are tender and when you pair it with buttered dipped rolls, you’ll have a taste of heaven in every bite.
  • It is a one-pan meal – No need for any additional pans. You just need a single Dutch Oven to cook everything in.
  • It is perfect to take camping – Again, you can prepare the chicken, veggies and seasoning in advance and then travel with the ingredients in a cooler. We recommend cooking it the first night to ensure your chicken stays the correct temperature.
  • It serves a crowd – Depending on the size of your dutch oven, this is a recipe that provides several servings make it a great meal option to serve a crowd.
stirring dutch oven chicken in castiron pan

How to Prepare Dutch Oven Chicken in Advance

There are two main ways that we prepare dutch oven chicken in advance one is for cooking at home in our fire pit and the other is for taking with us to cook while camping in the mountains.

How to Prepare Dutch Oven Chicken for Cooking at Home

If you are planning to cook dutch oven chicken at home over coals, you can prepare your meal in advance like this:

  • Pre-make the seasoning and put it all into a Ziplog baggie until ready to use
  • Pre-line or pre-grease your dutch oven chicken.
  • Get your coals ready in your fire pit ahead of time. Also this would be a good time to dig a whole for your coals (if using this method for cooking).
  • Prewash all the veggies. You can also cut the onions and pieces of butter ahead of time and place into a Ziploc baggie.
  • Prepare the chicken whether this be trimming fatty pieces on the chicken breasts or removing the chicken pieces from it’s packaging. Store in an airtight container or large Ziploc baggie in the fridge.

How to Prepare Dutch Oven Chicken for cooking while camping

The method for preparing your dutch oven chicken ahead for cooking while camping is similar to preparing it to cook at home with a few minor changes. You can prepare your campfire meal ahead of time like this:

  • Pre-make the seasoning and put it all into a Ziplog baggie until ready to use
  • Pre-line or pre-grease your dutch oven chicken.
  • Ensure you have the fire supplies including charcoal coals, a lighter, lighter fluid, and tongs.
  • Prewash all the veggies. You can also cut the onions and pieces of butter ahead of time and place into a Ziploc baggie.
  • Prepare the chicken whether this be trimming fatty pieces on the chicken breasts or removing the chicken pieces from it’s packaging.
  • Store the chicken in an airtight container or large Ziploc baggie (that won’t leak) in a cool with a lot of ice packs or ice. Ensure that your chicken cannot drip raw drippings onto other foods so your other camp food is not contaminated. My biggest recommendation is to have a smaller cooler that is just for the raw meat to keep other foods safe. Also ensure your chicken stays cold and the correct temp for the duration of your trip to your campsite.
dutch oven chicken cooking in cast iron pan

How to Cook Dutch Oven Chicken

Cooking dutch oven chicken requires charcoal coals to heat the top and bottom of the dutch oven pan. However, you can cook it using several different heating methods including:

  • Directly in a campground fire pit
  • In a large hole (large enough for the dutch oven to fit inside)
  • In a backyard fire pit (one that is safe to hold hot coals)
  • In a designated charcoal grill

If you are using your backyard fire pit just make sure it’s on a solid burn-safe surface such as a concrete patio. Here’s an example of how we make ours in our fire pits:

fire pits on fire

If you are using a hole, dig a hole that is roughly 6-8 inches in the ground (and large enough in diameter to fit your dutch oven inside) then place coals inside and the dutch oven on top. If doing this, be careful for buried utility lines or sprinkler lines.

The way we have always cooked dutch oven meals is by placing charcoal coals at the bottom (bottom of the fire pit, grill, etc.) and lighting them on fire until they are hot. We then place the dutch oven on top and place a few hot coals on top of the lid of the dutch oven so it cooks thoroughly through the top and bottom of the cast iron pan.

coals cooking dutch oven chicken

You allow the chicken and veggies to cook for several hours checking on it regularly to add any additional butter or oil as needed. You can also turn chicken pieces so each edge is cooked thoroughly and gets a bit of a crisp on it.

What You Need to Make Dutch Oven Chicken

  • Fresh chicken – you can use any kind of chicken you like. Our favorites include chicken breasts, chicken thighs (with the skin on), and chicken drumsticks.
  • Vegetables – You can use any vegetables you’d like. We typically use petite medley gourmet potatoes (mini or baby potatoes), baby carrots, bell peppers and white onion.
  • Butter – You can use any butter you’d like. Butter tends to work better and melt better for this dish versus margarine.
  • Seasoning – You can use your favorite seasoning or use the blend of spices we use.
  • Flour – Just regular all purpose flour
  • Olive Oil – Olive oil spray works too
  • Rolls – We prefer the Hawaiian Sweet Rolls but any rolls will work.
raw dutch oven chicken in cast iron pan

Helpful Tips

  • After making this recipe for years, we’ve decided the easiest way to clean it up, is by using dutch oven aluminum liners. Once your meal is finished, allow the dutch oven to cool then throw away your liner. Just ensure you purchase the correct size for your dutch oven.
  • If you are making for a large crowd, you can cook in two dutch ovens at once just double the ingredients and then separate evenly into the pans.
  • This recipe is made in a cast iron dutch oven pan. My favorite is the Lodge Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven
  • The flour mixture sticks to the chicken already with the leftover chicken juices. However, if needed, you can wet your chicken first then dip into the flour seasoning mixture.
  • Once everyone has been dished up, rip open your rolls and dip one side of the rolls into the melted butter mixture. It is honestly the best part about dutch oven chicken.

Dutch Oven Chicken and Vegetables (Camping Recipe)

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How to make Dutch Oven Chicken in a cast iron camp dutch oven
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 6


  • 6 Chicken thighs, breasts or drumsticks
  • 2 sticks Butter 16 oz
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 3 Tbsp Seasoning We typically use 2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp rosemary
  • Potatoes small, red, or fingerling
  • 1 bag Bag Baby Carrots
  • 1 large Onion chopped
  • 1 package Rolls potato or King Hawaiian Sweet
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste


  • Prepare your veggies by washing and drying them. Cut onions into large slices but keep baby carrots and mini potatoes whole.
  • Cut butter into smaller 1/2 blocks.
  • Prepare your chicken by removing from package and removing any fat or unwanted pieces.
  • Next, combine flour and seasoning in a bowl or bag. Stir well.
  • Ignite 20-30 charcoal in safe heat-resistant area using lighter fluid and light. Cover charcoal with lighter fluid. Allow a few minutes for lighter fluid to be absorbed into charcoal and ignite.
  • While coals are heating up, coat chicken with flour seasoning mixture.
  • Place chicken inside the Dutch oven with the skin sides lined up along the sides of the Dutch oven (to get crispy).
  • Place potatoes inside Dutch oven along with chicken.
  • Put cut up pieces of butter on top of chicken and potatoes, add salt and pepper, and close lid.
  • When coals are hot, place the Dutch oven on top of them and put some of the coals on top of Dutch oven lid. Spread out coals evenly underneath as well as on top of Dutch oven.
  • Let chicken and potatoes cook for 45 minutes.
  • At 45 minutes, remove Dutch oven lid and add carrots and onions. Return lid and continue to cook until chicken reaches 165 degrees internal temperature, chicken skin is crisp, and veggies are tender (about 30-45 minutes)
  • When food is done cooking, dish up chicken and veggies.
  • Don’t forget to dip rolls in the tasty melted butter at the bottom of the Dutch oven. The butter is seasoned with everything cooked in the Dutch oven and is absolutely delicious!

Nutrition information is a rough estimate only; actual values will vary based on the exact ingredients used and amount of recipe prepared.

Keyword campfire food, campfire party, camping food, camping recipes, dutch oven chicken, dutch oven recipes
Course Dinner
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