Nachos are one of the easiest meals to cook in a cast iron dutch oven. If you’re new to dutch oven cooking, this is a great recipe to start with. Depending on available ingredients, nachos can work as an appetizer or a full meal when you’re camping.
This recipe serves about four people for an appetizer or two people if you want to make it into a satisfying lunch or dinner.
How to make Dutch Oven Nachos
Serving: 2-4 | Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time: 10-15 min | Total Time: 30 min + Fire Preparation
- 1 bag of tortilla chips (9-12 oz)
- Cheddar cheese, shredded
- Tomatoes, diced
- Avocado, diced
- Jalapeño, thinly sliced
- Cilantro, chopped
- Black olives, sliced
- Sour cream
- Start a campfire. Let it burn down for approximately 20 minutes, or until you have some hot coals in the fire to work with.
- In the dutch oven, spread a thin layer of tortilla chips followed by a layer of cheese. Repeat this layering a few more times. If using a 4-quart dutch oven, you can fit about three layers of chips and cheese inside. Cover with the lid.
- Set aside 4-6 coals from the fire (about 2 inch wide pieces) and place the dutch oven on top of them. Next, place roughly double the number of coals on the dutch oven lid. Cook for about 8 minutes.
- After 8 minutes, check on the cheese. If it’s not fully melted, add more coals to the top of the dutch oven.
- Cook for another 5 minutes and check again. The cheese should be melted. If not, add fresh coals underneath the dutch oven and on top of the lid, then wait a few more minutes before checking again.
- Once the cheese has fully melted, remove the dutch oven from the fire pit and add your toppings. Serve immediately!
Additional Tips For Delicious Camp Nachos
- The key to dutch oven nacho success is all in the layers: you must have several layers of chips and cheese!
- When cooking, you want to use campfire coals to create heat in the dutch oven. Don’t put the dutch oven directly on an open flame as this will likely result in burnt nachos. Use metal tongs to take coals on and off, and you’ll have much more control over the dutch oven temperature.
- Cook time will vary depending on how hot your coals are. Be patient. In general, low and slow is better for this recipe. (No one wants burnt nachos!)
- Charcoal briquettes can also be used to heat the dutch oven and melt the cheese.
Fire Safety Disclaimer
CAMPING & OUTDOOR FIRE SAFETY
Fire safety is incredibly important--now more than ever.
Always check local fire and burn restrictions before starting a fire. Use designated fire pits or follow local regulations for open campfires. Don’t stoke fire higher than needed. Keep a shovel and bucket of water nearby at all times. Never leave a fire unattended.
How to properly extinguish a fire
When you’re done with your fire, completely extinguish all wood and coals. Use the “drown, stir, and feel” method: drown the fire with water, then stir around the fire area with your shovel to wet any remaining embers and ash. Make sure wood is wet on all sides. Fire area should be wet and cool to the touch when finished.
Amanda is an outdoor blogger and YouTuber. She specializes in adventure travel, camp cooking, and outdoor skills. On her blog, you’ll find camping recipes and tips that help campers go from confused and overwhelmed, to confident and well-fed in the outdoors. Learn more on the Amanda Outside Blog.