This vegetarian spinach campfire lasagna is cooked in a cast-iron Dutch oven, and is perfect for camping meals and cookouts.
Camping trips can leave you full of dilemmas.
You’re starving, you’ve been hiking all day, and yet just as you want one of the biggest, most filling meals ever, you find yourself without electricity, refrigeration, or even an oven.
What’s a hungry hiker to do?!
I’ll tell you what you’re going to do– you’re going to eat!
With a little planning and preparation, you can find yourself chowing down on some delicious camping meals, like a campfire shrimp boil, campfire pizza, camping fish curry, campfire pasta with vodka cream sauce, or (of course) this campfire lasagna.
This Dutch oven lasagna is vegetarian, simple to prepare, and delicious.
It’s also a fantastic way to eat a few more carbs than normal, especially before or after a big hike.
The first time, we managed to eat the entire batch all by ourselves. The second time, we shared our lasagna with friends.
Meal planning for your trip? Check out more of my camping recipe ideas!
What Type of Dutch Oven Should I Use on a Campfire?
Use an non-enameled Dutch oven. Do not bring your pretty, expensive, enameled Dutch oven on a camping trip.
Ideally, use a Dutch oven made specifically for campfires. These specialized cooking pots have a flat lid (for piling coals on top) and feet (to raise it above the coals). They’re ideal for lots of camping recipes.
If you have a regular, non-enameled Dutch oven (without feet or a flat lid), you can use that instead.
How to Bake in a Dutch Oven
To use your Dutch oven as an oven, and not just a soup pan, heat a campfire with coals.
Arrange the coals into a ring a little smaller than your Dutch oven.
Set the pot (full of whatever you want to bake) on the campfire coals with the lid on.
If you’re using a regular Dutch oven, and not a campfire Dutch oven, set the lid on upside-down.
Use long-handled tongs to add some hot coals to the top of the Dutch oven, and bake according to your recipe directions.
Campfire Lasagna ingredients
You’ll need cheese for this recipe, which you can store in a cooler, or swing by a market after hiking to buy some. We use an Igloo BMX cooler.
Everything else in this recipe is shelf-stable, and will be fine waiting on you in your car while you explore nature.
I’ve used no-boil lasagna noodles here instead of standard noodles, because I didn’t want to deal with boiling noodles while camping.
If you have access to fresh pasta (I didn’t), or want to pre-boil your noodles– go for it.
The no-boil noodles worked very well for me in this recipe, however, and they’re easier. Just remember to add the extra liquid after putting the lasagna layers together.
Making Campfire Lasagna in a Dutch Oven
Begin preparing the campfire (or have your camping buddy do that part), and then start assembling the lasagna.
Mix together cheese with some canned spinach, spices, and salt.
Assemble the lasagna inside the Dutch oven. Layer the a third of the cheese mixture, pasta sauce and enough noodles to cover the sauce.
It’s totally fine to break the noodles as needed to fit them in the pan.
Next, repeat the process two more times with more cheese, sauce and noodles.
Add a little water to the pot and top the noodles with extra cheese.
If you like, you can add even more cheese than the recipe calls for. Because we all need a little extra cheese in our lives.
Set the lid on the Dutch oven, and then move it over to the coals.
Use long-handled tongs to move some coals to the top of the oven. We used about 15 coals.
Let your lasagna bake for about 25 minutes, and then carefully remove the lid.
There will probably be a little extra water in the lasagna.
Let it cook uncovered a few more minutes, until the excess liquid has boiled down.
Remove the lasagna from the heat, and let it cool down for a few minutes. Dig in, and enjoy your camping trip.
Campfire Lasagna (Vegetarian)
- 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)
- 1 package no-boil lasagna noodles
- 15 ounce 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).Meanwhile, mix ricotta, 1 ½ cups mozzarella, spinach, salt, and herb mixture together. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.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.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, 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 be boiled 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.