This campfire lasagna with sausage is cooked in a cast-iron Dutch oven. Use meat or plant-based sausage in this camping or cookout dish!
Last fall, we went camping with friends in Kentucky's Red River Gorge.
It was a gorgeous fall weekend, the kind of weather that is just absolute perfection for camping and campfires.
When we were planning out meals for the weekend, I offered to make campfire lasagna. Or, as our friend Wendy laughingly put it, "the most complicated meal ever."
Happily, this lasagna only looks complicated! It's actually fairly straightforward to make.
This campfire lasagna with sausage is an easy variation of my original vegetarian campfire lasagna with spinach, but with meat (or plant-based meat!) added for some variety.
What Cooking Equipment Will I Need?
You'll need a campfire Dutch oven. These specialty Dutch ovens have feet to hold the pot above the heat, and a flat lid for piling coals on.
I also like to line the Dutch oven with these parchment paper Dutch oven liners (for easier cleanup).
Do I Need a Camping Cooler for This Campfire Lasagna with Sausage?
Yes, unless you're camping close to a grocery store. The meat and cheese will need to stay cold until you're ready to cook.
We use this Igloo BMX cooler.
Can I Use Regular Ground Meat Instead of Sausage?
Yes, but the beautiful thing about using sausage is that it’s already seasoned. Using sausage instead of regular ground meat is a delicious shortcut!
We especially enjoy this lasagna with plant-based Impossible sausage, because it's a little bit spicy!
If you swap ground meat for sausage, you’ll need to season the meat while it cooks.
How to Make Campfire Lasagna with Sausage
Start by heating coals in a campfire ring. Scoot aside about 15 coals that you'll be adding to the Dutch oven lid later.
Add the sausage to the pot and cook until browned.
Scoop the sausage out of the pot and set the pot aside (off the heat).
Meanwhile, mix together ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, (drained) canned spinach and the seasonings. Taste the cheese mixture, and add extra seasoning if the cheese tastes bland.
Next, you'll start layering ingredients to assemble the lasagna.
Add a layer of cheese to the bottom of the pot, and then top it with pasta sauce and sausage.
Top the sauce with no-boil lasagna noodles.
I've tried this with both standard no-boil noodles and these Barilla gluten-free lasagna noodles, and both work well.
Repeat twice with more layers of cheese, pasta sauce, sausage and noodles.
It's okay if the noodles don't look perfect.
Add a little extra liquid to the lasagna. Either use water and/or the drained liquid from the spinach.
Top the lasagna with extra shredded cheese.
Add the lid to the Dutch oven and set it on the hot coals.
Carefully use tongs to set about 15 hot coals on top of the Dutch oven lid, and cook for about 25 minutes.
Finally, remove the lid and continue cooking about 5 more minutes, or until most of the liquid has boiled off and the cheese is golden.
Let the lasagna cool for a few minutes before serving, and then dig in and enjoy your extra-fancy campfire dinner!
Campfire Lasagna with Sausage
- charcoal briquettes
- long metal tongs (for moving coals)
- pot holders
- mixing bowl
- mixing spoon
- measuring cup
- knife (for cutting lasagna)
- can opener (if cans aren't pop-top)
- parchment paper dutch oven liners Optional, for faster cleanup
- 14 ounces ground breakfast sausage (not in casing) I like Impossible sausage, but this will work with meat sausage as well
- 1 package no-boil lasagna noodles Use gluten-free no-boil noodles if needed
- 15 ounces full-fat ricotta cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella (fresh preferred), divided
- 15 ounce can spinach, drained (reserve liquid)
- 28 ounce jar pasta sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning Or use your favorite herb mixture, such as Herbs de Provence
- Prepare Coals: Preheat campfire coals until very hot. Once coals are hot, set aside around 15 coals aside for easy access (you'll be setting them on top of your Dutch oven).Add the sausage to the Dutch oven pot and set the pot on the coals. Cook until the sausage browns, and then remove from heat. Scoop the sausage into a bowl.
- Meanwhile, mix ricotta, 1-½ cups mozzarella, spinach, salt, and herb mixture together. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary. Optionally, line the Dutch oven with parchment paper (for easier cleanup).Add ⅓ of the cheese mixture to the bottom of the Dutch oven and spread it out to cover the pot.
- Top cheese with ⅓ of the pasta sauce and ⅓ of the cooked sausage. Add one layer of lasagna noodles. Break noodles as necessary to fit into the round pot. Repeat twice with remaining spinach cheese mixture, pasta sauce, sausage, and noodles (you may have some noodles leftover).
- Pour reserved liquid from spinach can into a measuring cup, and add water until you have ¾ cup of liquid total. Pour liquid into lasagna along the edge. Top mixture with remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Place the lid on the Dutch oven. (If your Dutch oven is not a campfire-style oven with a flat lid, you'll need to set the lid on upside down so it can hold the coals.) Place Dutch oven directly on the main batch of coals. Using tongs, set reserved coals on top of lid, and let it bake for about 25 minutes.
- Next, remove lid, and leave the Dutch oven on the fire uncovered for about 5 more minutes. The excess liquid should boil off. If needed, let it cook a few more minutes until any extra liquid has thickened.
- Remove Dutch oven from heat. Allow lasagna to cool slightly before serving.