We just LOVE making Dutch oven camping recipes that are warm, old fashioned comfort foods! This easy Dutch oven mac and cheese camping recipe makes the perfect side dish for your favorite cozy camp meals.
How To Make Dutch Oven Camping Mac And Cheese
One of the reasons I really like this campfire Dutch oven mac and cheese is because it uses processed cheeses. I know what you are thinking … and you’re right … I usually don’t use processed food.
BUT, I am making an exception for this recipe for two reasons:
- Processed cheese products melt easier and are creamier.
- They are non-refrigerated (until after you open them, of course) which saves on cooler/refrigerator space.
If you want to prepare this as a make ahead mac and cheese for camping … you will need much more cooler/refrigerator space so I just make this entire recipe at the campsite.
Step 1. Prepare your ingredients. As one of our easy camping meals, there is not a lot of prep work for this recipe.
You’ll need to cube the Velveeta, crush some crackers and melt a little butter.
Step 2. Prepare your cooking equipment. If you are making this as one of our campfire recipes, you’ll want to get your fire going to create some nice coals for baking … you can also use charcoal briquettes.
You will need to pre-heat a 12-inch camp Dutch oven for baking at 350 degrees (25 total coals = 17 top / 8 bottom). If you are using a different oven size, check out our Dutch oven temperature chart to see how many coals you will need.
If you want to make this as one of our camp stove recipes using a Dutch oven dome and heat diffuser plate, get it ready for cooking on a level surface.
Step 3. Prepare the crumb topping. That crunchy topping is one of the best parts of camping Dutch oven mac and cheese!
To create it you’ll just combine the cracker crumbs with the butter and set it aside.
Step 4. Boil the macaroni. You will need to cook the macaroni according to the package directions.
If you boil the pasta too long, it will get mushy when you bake it with the cheese so make sure you only boil it to the point of still being firm.
Camp Cooking Tip: When you are making camping dinner recipes that call for cooked pasta, if you don’t want to make it at the campsite you can boil and drain the pasta at home then freeze it in a plastic food storage bag, defrost it at the campsite … before mealtime … bring it to room temperature and just toss it in your heated sauce when you are ready to eat.
Step 5. Mix the pasta and cheeses. After you drain the macaroni, you will put it in a large bowl so you can mix it with the Velveeta, soup, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, milk, salt, and black pepper.
Camp Cooking Tip: Pasta dishes that have creamy or cheesy sauces make really nice winter camping recipes that will keep you warm when the outside air temperature drops.
Step 6. Bake it. I like making mac and cheese directly in the Dutch oven (rather than using a liner) because it forms a nice texture.
So, you’ll spray the Dutch oven bottom and sides with cooking spray then pour the macaroni and cheese into the prepared oven … then sprinkle the cracker crumb mixture over the top.
It will take about 30 minutes for the mac and cheese to get bubbly as it bakes.
Camp Cooking Tip: When you are baking Dutch oven foods, be sure to turn your oven during the cooking process to ensure even baking … every 10 – 15 minutes, turn the lid and the oven (in opposite directions) about 1/4 turn throughout the entire baking time.
Step 7. Brown the topping and serve. In order to get a nice golden brown color on the crumb topping, just move all of the coals from underneath the oven to the lid.
It will take about 5 minutes to brown the butter crumb mixture. Then, remove the Dutch oven from the coals and let it stand a few minutes before serving.
There are so many yummy recipes that pair well with cheesy macaroni!
This Dutch Oven Meatloaf combines ground beef and ground Italian sausage to make a zesty and juicy loaf of meat. You top it with a few strips of bacon and a simple homemade glaze to put it over-the-top!
Go to your favorite BBQ restaurant and you’ll always find mac and cheese served with smoked meats. Try these Smoked Chicken Legs on a small portable smoker that’s perfect for camp trips!
Want a similar recipe that does not require pre-boiling pasta? Try this Dutch Oven Chili Mac. It is filled with beef, beans, tomatoes and cheese providing carbs, fiber and protein. Warm one pot camping meals are really great for cooler weather trips.
If you like warm and cheesy comfort foods, you’ll love this Campfire Spinach Dip too! It is a great appetizer to serve large crowds.
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Mac And Cheese Dutch Oven Camping Recipe
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- Water for boiling macaroni about 5 quarts
- 8 ounces Velveeta cheese cubed
- 1 10.75 oz can condensed cheddar cheese soup
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup crushed saltine crackers
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- Cooking spray
- Pre-heat a 12-inch camp Dutch oven for baking at 350 degrees (25 total coals = 17 top / 8 bottom). If you use a different oven size, check our Dutch oven temperature chart to determine the number of coals you will need. https://www.campingforfoodies.com/dutch-oven-temperature-chart/. If you are using a propane stove with a Dutch oven dome and heat diffuser plate, get it ready to bake on a level surface.
- Mix the cracker crumbs with the butter and set the mixture aside.
- Cook the macaroni according to the package directions for al dente consistency … you want it firm to the bite so it does not get mushy as you bake it with the cheese.
- Drain the macaroni … then gently mix it in a large bowl along with the Velveeta, soup, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, milk, salt, and black pepper.
- Spray the Dutch oven bottom and sides with cooking spray.
- Pour the macaroni and cheese mixture into the Dutch oven and sprinkle the cracker crumb mixture over the top … cover with the lid and bake it until it is bubbly. This will take about 30 minutes. Camp Cooking Tip: Rotate the Dutch oven and lid 1/4 turns in opposite directions every 10 minutes or so for even baking.
- Now, move all of the coals to the top of the oven to brown the crumb topping to a golden brown color. This will take about 5 minutes.
- Remove from coals and let stand a few minutes before serving.
More Yummy Meal Ideas
If you want to try more easy and delicious camp recipes, we’ve got tons of options!