Guides

Delicious Dutch Oven Lasagna Camping Recipe

by Carlin FrimmelJan 20, 2023

Get ready for layers of gooey cheese and marinara meat sauce with pasta noodles. This Dutch oven lasagna is a delicious and satisfying camping meal that is sure to impress! 

person holding a scoop of dutch oven lasagna

Is there anything more comforting than a big slice of warm, gooey lasagna? Now imagine sinking your fork into that while snuggled up in a blanket next to a roaring campfire. It’s like a hug from the inside and outside, if you ask me. 

Some people consider lasagna a more “hands-on” dish to make and therefore might avoid making it outdoors. However, this lasagna recipe is simplified down to be as easy as possible to make and enjoy while camping. Keep reading for tips and tricks on how to execute this easy-breezy dutch-oven lasagna recipe while adventuring outside.  

camper adding layers of pasta noodles to dutch oven lasagna recipe

Ingredients:

  • Oven-ready lasagna noodles – Using oven-ready noodles means you don’t have to worry about cooking the noodles before assembling the lasagna. A step fewer means a step easier!  
  • Pasta sauce – Choose a pasta sauce that already has herbs and spices in it so that you don’t have to spice the sauce yourself. You can’t go wrong with a classic Italian pasta sauce. 
  • Ground beef – Substitution options include ground chicken, spicy Italian sausage, a plant-based meat alternative, or crumbled firm tofu.
  • Cottage cheese – To add some extra creaminess and protein. Can be substituted for ricotta cheese.
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese – You simply cannot forget the cheese! Buy pre-shredded cheese or shred cheese at home before heading outdoors to save on time and mess. 
  • Egg – Helps bind everything together.
  • Parsley (optional) – Herbs bring a delicious fresh touch to this comforting meal. Feel free to omit if you don’t have space to store fresh herbs. 
  • Italian seasoning (optional) – Feel free to omit if you’re using a flavored pasta sauce.

The Dutch Oven Campfire Lasagna Recipe 

Makes 6 servings 

  • 500g lean ground beef
  • ½ yellow onion, diced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced 
  • 700ml jar of pasta sauce 
  • 500g cottage cheese 
  • 1 egg 
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped 
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 
  • 300g oven-ready lasagna noodles (approx. 12 sheets)
  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese 

Instructions:

1. Prepare the coals: Start the campfire at least 20 minutes ahead of when you want to start cooking to produce hot coals. If you are using wood, you may want to budget for more time. If you’re using coals/briquettes, it will likely take a little shorter than wood, approximately 20 to 30 minutes. 

2. Prepare cottage cheese filling: In a small bowl or the cottage cheese container, whisk in one egg and ½ cup chopped fresh parsley. 

3. Prepare the pasta sauce: Place the Dutch oven over 5 to 6 hot coals (pull coals away from the fire to regulate the heat), then add one tablespoon of olive oil, the onions, and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes, then add the ground beef and cook until browned. Once browned, add the pasta sauce and Italian seasoning.

TIP: if pasta sauce already has spices/herbs in it, you can omit the Italian seasoning in this step. 

4. Assemble the lasagna: Transfer most of the meat sauce from the Dutch oven into a separate bowl, leaving approximately ½ cup in the bottom (this will be your first layer of the lasagna). Then layer the ingredients as below: 

  • Base: ½ cup meat/marinara sauce 
  • First layer: pasta noodles (you may want to break them apart to fit in the Dutch oven better) + ½ cup meat sauce + half the cottage cheese mixture + ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • Second layer: pasta noodles (you may want to break them apart to fit in the Dutch oven better) + ½ cup meat sauce + half the cottage cheese mixture + ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Top layer: pasta noodles (you may want to break them apart to fit in the Dutch oven better) + ½ cup meat sauce + ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
person layering ricotta cheese onto dutch oven lasagna camping recipe

5. Bake the lasagna: Place the lid on the Dutch oven. Replace the coals underneath the pot with 5 to 7 fresh, hot coals. Then place 15 to 20 hot coals on the lid of the Dutch oven and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the noodles are cooked through and the cheese is bubbling and slightly browned. Let cool for five minutes before serving.

Note that cooking time may vary depending on the type of coals you’re using, wind speed, outside temperature, and other factors.

person layers coals onto dutch oven

How to Meal Prep and Store Lasagna Leftovers

Save time when cooking outdoors by preparing the meat sauce at home, then storing it in an airtight container in the fridge or cooler for up to four days or in the freezer for up to three months. 

To store leftovers, transfer to a separate sealable container and store in the fridge or cooler for 3 to 5 days. It is not ideal to store leftovers inside the cast iron Dutch oven as the moisture from the food might lead to rusting of the cast iron.

Add this delicious, comforting Dutch oven lasagna recipe to your camping menu the next time you head out. Your friends and family will thank you!  

Carlin is a lover of all things outdoors, adventure, and food! She is an avid outdoor enthusiast and enjoys activities like camping, hiking, biking, snowboarding, and surfing—especially in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta and BC, Canada. She combined her passion for food and the outdoors and decided to start her outdoor food blog, Camp Kitchen, where she shares easy, delicious, and approachable recipes for the outdoors. 

Image credit: Carlin Frimmel