Lasagna is not something many people associate with a camping trip. But with a Dutch Oven, you can cook just about anything over a fire, including Dutch Oven lasagna. None of the Lasagna recipes I found in my cast iron cookbooks were done quite the way I like it, though. This is my dutch oven recipe for lasagna, based on a number of different lasagna recipes, as well as my wife’s method of making it in the oven. And it includes notes specific to preparing it in a dutch oven over a fire or charcoal. If you want to enjoy lasagna while camping, you are in the right place.
Dutch Oven Lasagna Preparation
I take the hamburger and Italian sausage and brown them ahead of time at home in a skillet, and then pack it in a ziplock to take to the campout. If you have time, you can freeze the meat in the zip lock.
You can lightly oil the dutch oven if it needs it, but if it’s got a good coating of oil from the last use/cleaning it should be OK.
Put some sauce on the bottom of the dutch oven, then start layering the noodles (uncooked), meat, cheese, sauce. Save some mozzarella cheese for the top. You need to creatively break the noodles to fit them together in the round pot. When you get to the top layer pour the water over it, then put the last of your mozzarella cheese on
it, and top with the Parmesan cheese. To make clean up just a little easier, you can pour the 3/4 cup of water into the sauce jar and shake it up, then pour that on the lasagna before adding the final layer of cheese, to make use of every last bit of the sauce!
To cook with charcoal, put 10 briquettes under the dutch oven and 13 on the lid, then cook for 45 minutes. I have learned over time, my Camp Chef dutch oven needs a pretty good bed of coals under it, such as a single layer that is under the whole oven and a similar number on the top. It usually needs a lot more heat than a recipe calls for. So until you get the hang of how many coals your oven needs just keep an eye on things, checking occasionally. See our charcoal temperature reference for more information.
Optionally, you can mix the cheese all together with an egg, I don’t normally do that because there is one more bowl to clean. I just layer everything in the dutch oven. If you wanted to take a gallon zip lock and add all the cheese, and an egg, and shake it up, that is also an option. But it comes out fine without the egg.
Most recipes I’ve seen only call for 1 lb of ground beef, and some use cottage cheese instead of ricotta. I’ve always used ricotta, and I like my lasagna with more meat in it, so I changed it up, but you can use whatever variation you like.
Note: This recipe also works in a large crockpot if you want to do it at home someday, but I leave out most of the water, just putting a little in the sauce jars to clean them out some and dumping that in the crockpot. I then cook it on low for about 4 hours.
Dutch Oven Meaty Lasagna
- Dutch Oven
- 1 lb hamburger
- 1 lb ground italian sausage
- 1 lb Lasagna Pasta 1 box
- 32 oz Spaghetti Sauce or Marinara 1 large jar. Can use 2 24 oz jars if you want more sauce in your recipe
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 12 oz ricotta cheese Some people use Cottage Cheese instead of Ricotta
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 egg optional, to mix with the cheese
- Brown the hamburger and sausage in a heated skillet, or your dutch oven. This can be done ahead of time at home to simplify preparation at the campsite. If you are doing it ahead of time, let the meat cool and pack in a ziplock back and freeze, or store in the refridgerator.
- Lightly oil your Dutch Oven. Optionally, a dutch oven liner can be used.
- Optionally, you can mix the egg in with your ricotta cheese. If you want to do this, you may be able to do this ahead of time at home and repackage the cheese/egg mixture and keep it cold until you use it. I don't normally use the egg.
- Put some sauce on the bottom of the dutch oven, then start layering the noodles (uncooked), meat, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and sauce. Save some mozzarella cheese for the top.
- You need to get creative to put the uncooked noodles in a round dutch oven. Break off corners to fit against the round sides, break some in half, etc. Do your best, and once it's all layered and cooked you won't know the difference.
- Slowly pour the water over the top. To make cleanup just a little easier, you can pour the 3/4 cup of water into the sauce jar and shake it up, then pour that on the lasagna to get every bit of the sauce.
- Top with the last of your mozzarella cheese, and the parmesan cheese.