We love having campfires year-round (in fact, fall and winter campfires tend to be my favorite). And easy meals around the campfire make it even more cozy to bring the family together. These campfire nachos are a family favorite.
I love that they are so easy to customize, are an easy appetizer or full meal and mix up the flavor of campfire cooking. Check out our other tips on using cast iron and our favorite recipes in our Outdoor Kitchen section of the blog.
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Dutch Oven Campfire Nachos
While it’s certainly possible to make these in a large skillet, we love making them in a cast iron dutch oven to be sure the cheese melts really well.
Caring for Cast Iron
Cast iron is as TOUGH AS NAILS. We’re talking about a seamless slab of solid iron. This means that, unlike other pots or pans, you can use it on a stovetop, in the oven, or over a campfire. It also means it lasts forever and is really, really hard to damage.
However it does require some care to make it work really well. Check out this post for more tips on how to take care of it (and why you NEED cast iron in your outdoor kitchen!)
Easy Cast Iron Dutch Oven Clean Up for Campfire Nachos
The trick is lining your dutch oven so when they are done, you can easily pull them out and set them on a tray for family snacking.
When I was taking the photos for this recipe, I used tin foil to line the dutch oven, BUT I actually think parchment paper made specifically for dutch ovens works even better. They are super cheap, make clean up extremely easy and don’t rip like tinfoil has a tendency to. Plus personally I always question cooking food in tin foil, though there is no proven adverse side effects.
Custom campfire nachos
Just like when you’re making nachos in the oven, campfire recipes can be customized for exactly what your family loves. We’ve made vegetarian nachos before and nachos with tons of meat. The key is lots of layering, even heat (more on that below) and filling up the Dutch oven.
Start with chips and layer a scoop of tomatoes, a scoop of black beans….
…a bit of the roasted green chilies, a sprinkling of olives, and handful of avocado and ¼ of the cheese.
See how precise we are here? The perfect recipe for cooks like me that sort of just throw everything in and see how it comes out.
Sometimes I choose to top the campfire nachos with limes and cilantro before they cook and sometimes after. Really both ways work because they’re only cooking long enough to melt the cheese.
Cast Iron Dutch Oven Cooking
The key to even heat is to get really good coals first. First make a fire and let it burn down to good coals with mostly no red. This could take as long as 45 minutes so plan accordingly.
Then layer coals under the dutch oven and on top of the lid. Obviously the more coals you use, the hotter it’s going to be.
See how when the campfire nachos come out (photo below) the cheese is melted and the sides are just beginning to crisp up.
Plate the Nachos
I love just pulling these out of the Dutch oven and placing them on a platter. I LOVE this enamel platter since it’s indestructible for outdoor eating.
- 3 cups Shredded Mexican Cheese
- 1 bag tortilla chips
- 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can roasted green chilis
- 1 can black olive pieces
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 2 avocados, cubed
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Heavy duty tin foil or Dutch oven parchment liners
- Line your Dutch oven with tin foil or Dutch oven parchment liner to cut down on mess
- Spread a layer of chips, a scoop of the tomatoes, a scoop of the black beans, a bit of the roasted green chilies, a sprinkling of olives, and handful of avocado and ¼ of the cheese.
- Repeat these layers until you run out of ingredients...about 2 more times.
- Add any remaining cheese to the top and sprinkle with cilantro.
- Cover with the Dutch oven lid and place on the campfire grill for about 15 minutes to melt the cheese.
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