We love Dutch oven camping recipes that make good happy hour appetizers! These camping nachos are the perfect start to Mexican themed easy meals.
You can use three different methods to cook this recipe.
- Easy Campfire Recipes: Use good coals from your campfire that are hot and uniform in size (or charcoal briquettes) to create the heat. You’ll need more coals on the lid of the Dutch oven than under the bottom of the pan. 15 coals should be sufficient to produce medium heat (5 below, 10 above).
- Camp Stove Recipes: Use your Dutch oven dome and heat diffuser plate for convection-type heat cooking with your propane camp stove.
- Camp or RV Oven: Fully pre-heat the oven to avoid uneven heating and burning.
Campfire Nachos Recipe
Here’s how you make this yummy camping treat.
Step 1. Prepare your campfire for cooking.
It will take much longer to develop the coals than it takes to put your ingredients together for this simple recipe. You’ll want to get out your camping fire starters and get your firewood burning early so you have hot coals for cooking.
Step 2. Prepare your Dutch oven
If you build these cheesy nachos in a “naked” Dutch oven, they will stick to the bottom of your cast iron pot. To prevent sticking, add a generous layer of vegetable or olive oil to the bottom of your Dutch oven … or use an aluminum or parchment paper liner.
Step 3. Layer ingredients in your Dutch oven.
As one of our favorite vegetarian camping recipes, you’ll make layers of nacho ingredients using tortilla chips, refried beans, onion, green chile peppers, fire roasted tomatoes, cheddar cheese and black olives.
Step 4. Bake your exceptional nachos!
You are broiling as well as baking this recipe so you will need about 10 coals on top of your Dutch oven and 5 on the bottom. You are just heating the ingredients and melting the cheese which will take about 10-15 minutes which makes this recipe perfect for easy camping lunches!
Step 5. Garnish and serve.
Use a lid lifter to remove your Dutch oven from the heat and add the nacho toppings. I wanted to stay with a simple concept to make this a really easy recipe so I topped with sour cream and cilantro for serving.
If you want to get more elaborate, consider also topping with some Fresh Guacamole or just plain diced avocado, green chiles, red onion, Sweet Onion Salsa, green onions, hot sauce, sriracha and slices of small limes for garnish.
Substitutions For Limited Cold Food Storage Space
It’s great to create your menu plan so you are eating recipes that require very little cooler space at the end of your trip. Do you know how to make campfire nachos with shelf-stable ingredients? The majority of the ingredients in this recipe are canned. Exchange the shredded cheddar cheese for a jar of queso cheese dip and eliminate the sour cream and cilantro.
Alternate Outdoor Cooking Methods
If you don’t have a Dutch oven or it is being used to cook other campfire food, you’ve got other options that’ll get you the same end result.
Use tinfoil packets, aluminum foil pans, foil pie plates or a large cast iron skillet with a propane grill, charcoal grill or lower temperature campfire cooking method. Foil is less tolerant, compared to cast iron, to direct open flames so be cautious. Cover the pans and pie plates with a piece of foil so the ingredients get warmed and the shredded cheese melts. Clean-up is easiest with disposable foil products.
Use a large skillet on a propane stovetop. This is the easiest way to cook in the great outdoors when open fires are prohibited because of campfire restrictions. If you use a single pan that doesn’t have a lid, just like with foil pans, you’ll need to cover the skillet with tin foil to trap the heat to melt the cheese and heat the other ingredients.
Make It A Main Dish
This beloved happy hour classic has always been considered irresistible bar food to be enjoyed with a cold beer. I’ve turned it into a lazy weeknight dinner on our summer camping trip vacations by adding a quick protein tossed with a little taco seasoning. You can use the traditional taco meat, ground beef, shredded or ground chicken, or use ground pork or turkey. These loaded campfire nachos become a full meal.
If you like this delicious recipe, try these easy camping meals too.
You don’t have to wait for dinner if you make these Cast Iron Skillet Breakfast Nachos! You layer nacho chips with scrambled eggs, black beans, Monterey Jack cheese, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, avocado and sour cream to make a great recipe that is a real crowd pleaser.
My Cheesy Stuffed Baby Bells Campfire Appetizer is one of our family favorite recipes when we are in the mood for gourmet-ish heavy appetizers. You brown some Italian sausage, add 2 cloves garlic, a bit of onion, cream and cheddar cheeses then stuff the mixture into baby bell peppers. The colorful mini yellow and red peppers are the secret to this pretty finger food.
Try these Dutch Oven Camping Tacos when you want a fast dinner. You’ll only have to do a little prep work and the mess is minimal. This dinner will be on your table in 20 minutes. That’s why it’s a camping staple on our menu when we have action-packed, busy camp trips.
Kids love making Mexican-flavored pie iron campfire pizza pies. Butter 2 slices of bread, place them in the pie iron cooker (buttered side down), then start building the stuffing by spreading on queso cheese and let them add their favorite toppings found on nachos. Close the cooker and heat over campfire coals until the bread is golden brown.
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Camping Nachos Dutch Oven Camping Recipe
- Approximately 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 (10 oz) bag corn tortilla chips
- 1 (16 oz) can refried beans
- 1/2 small onion diced
- 1 (4 oz) can diced green chile peppers
- 1 (14 oz) can diced fire roasted tomatoes NOT drained
- 1 (2.25 oz) can sliced black olives drained
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Small bunch cilantro chopped
- Prepare heat for cooking with your 12-inch cast iron Dutch oven over your campfire.
- To prevent sticking, apply a generous layer of vegetable oil to the bottom of your Dutch oven … or … use an aluminum or parchment paper Dutch oven liner.
- Layer half the tortilla chips, refried beans (dropping as dollops), onion, green chile peppers, fire roasted tomatoes, cheddar cheese and black olives.
- Now layer them again using the remaining ingredients.
- Place the Dutch oven lid on the oven and use approximately 5 coals on the bottom and 10 coals on top of the lid (you can easily use campfire coals or just use charcoal briquettes).
- Heat your camping nachos for 10-15 minutes until the ingredients are heated through and the cheese is melted. *See note below.
- Remove your Dutch oven from the heat, then top your nachos with sour cream and cilantro for serving. Enjoy!