Just because we are out camping, doesn’t mean we have to settle for predictable camp food every meal. While we do have hot dogs for lunch and we’ll have bacon cheeseburgers for dinner one night, I like to mix it up when I am the camp chef. I like to make things that are a little unexpected. Who would have anticipated smelling lasagna cooking over an open fire in the middle of nowhere?
Turn traditional lasagna on its head by making Dutch Oven Lasagna over your campfire!!
We are huge lasagna fans, so the idea of trying to do a Dutch Oven Lasagna over the open campfire was something of any easy yes for me. Worst case scenario, we’d be eating Smores for dinner. I do know if you can make something in the oven, with a little practice you can make the same thing over a campfire using a Dutch oven. The unique thing about a Dutch oven is it is very heavy duty. It can sit on the coals and it has a flat lid that has a ridge around it, allowing you to place hot coals on top, creating an oven atmosphere. I am actually using my favorite Camp Chef 14 inch iron skillet as a Dutch Oven because it is the perfect size, the lid is flat, so it will hold my coals without problem, so I still call this my Dutch Oven Lasagna.
The key to baking your Dutch Oven Lasagna is to know how many coals to place under and on top of the Dutch oven. There are a ton of articles, websites and even apps devoted to answering this very question. It does depend on the size of your Dutch oven and the temperature you are trying to achieve. I did discover, a very basic number to achieve a temperature of 350 degrees, you generally need 15-16 hot coals on top and around 10-12 hot coals on the bottom.
Create a new campfire favorite with Dutch Oven Lasagna!!
Knowing Dutch Oven Lasagna was on the menu, I prepped the items for this at home. In my last blog post, I talked about my food and meal prep prior to hitting the road (check out that post on Meal Prep for Camping for reference). All my ingredients (shredded mozzarella, parmesan cheese, no-boil noodles, cooked sausage, ricotta or cottage cheese and sauce) were prepped and ready to assemble once we got to the campsite.
I placed 1/2 cup of water on the bottom of the Dutch oven, added a thick layer of sauce, a little more sauce on top of the no-boil noodles, then cooked sausage, ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Then, I started again with another thick layer of sauce, always making sure the noodles were completely covered and repeated the preceding steps, ending up with several layers of lasagna. Because I am using a no-boil noodles we needed to use added water in the bottom first. I am also using a bit more sauce than I would if I were making it at home.
Dutch Oven Lasagna
- 4 cups pasta sauce
- 2 cups ricotta can use cottage cheese instead
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1 pound Italian sausage, cooked
- 16 ounces shredded, mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup water
- In a 10-12 quart Dutch oven, pour 1/2 cup of water. Add 1/2 cup sauce to the bottom of the pan. Top with 3 noodles, (you may need to break them to fit). Pour 1 cup of sauce over the no-boil noodles, spreading to cover all of the noodles.
- Sprinkle 1/3 of the cooked Italian sauce over the sauce, then spread several dollops of ricotta over the the meat.
- Sprinkle 1/3 of the parmesan cheese over the ricotta and then 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese of this. Repeat the layers 2 more times, finishing with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese. Cover with lid.
- Place the Dutch oven over 10-12 hot coals, then place 15-16 hot coals on the lid. Cook for 60 minutes or until noodles are cooked and cheese and sauce are bubbly.
- Take the Dutch oven off the coals, carefully remove the lid and set aside. Cut or scoop up servings of your campfire lasagna and enjoy!
Once you have assembled Dutch Oven Lasagna, cover with the lid and place the Dutch oven on top approximately 10-12 coals. Make sure it is sitting level and then place about 15 hot coals on top of the Dutch oven lid and let bake for 60 minutes or until noodles are cooked and cheese is melted. Once done, remove the Dutch oven from the fire, and carefully remove the coals and the lid, then dish yourself up a delicious serving of Dutch Oven Lasagna. Grab a piece of garlic bread, pull your chair a little closer to the campfire and enjoy your dinner under the stars!
What do you make over the campfire that may surprise people?