If you’ve never made pizza while camping before, then this campfire pizza Margherita is the perfect place to start!
We know what you’re thinking: Making pizza from scratch is daunting enough at home, but at a campsite? Impossible, right? That’s what we thought too! Until we developed this super simple way to make pizza using just a cast iron pan. Now you can enjoy the simple joys of hot pizza and cold beer while spending some quality time in the great outdoors.
Check out our article “How to Make Campfire Pizza From Scratch” where we share our recipe for the dough and talk about the proper cooking technique.
When making our own pizza, we can easily get carried away – especially since we’re not being charged an extra $1 per topping. Yet despite the limitless possibilities, one of our favorite styles is still the classic Margherita.
We love Margherita style pizza because it’s not trying to do too much. Instead of overwhelming with a bombardment of different flavors, it’s perfectly content to let its three ingredients shine through. While there’s nothing particularly exceptional about mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil on their own, when combined, they come together to form something extraordinary. Imagine the most delicious Caprese sandwich you’ve ever had. Now imagine that as a pizza.
This is one of those recipes where it really pays to use the freshest of fresh ingredients. Since we don’t travel with a cooler, we end up having to pick up any perishable food we want to use the day of anyways. So once we decided to make pizza for dinner, we popped into the local market and picked up a fresh ball of mozzarella, a few locally grown tomatoes, and some extra perky looking basil. Less than 3 hours laters, we were enjoying a couple of delicious pizza slices back at our campsite.
Even if you’re planning on being out for a couple days, this pizza will still taste great. Just focus on buying quality ingredients from the get go and store the cheese and basil in a cooler or refrigerator until you’re ready to use them. The tomatoes should be kept out, but just be careful not to knock them around too much.
So for your next camping trip, go for cast iron chef gold and try making some pizza pies!
- FOR THE CRUST
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 packet rapid rise yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided (2 tbsp + 3 tbsp)
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 8 oz. mozzarella ball, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
- 1 large tomato, cut into ¼ inch slices
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into ribbons
- In a mixing bowl or pot, add the flour, yeast, and salt. Briefly mix with a fork to distribute the ingredients.
- Add the warm water and 2 tablespoons oil to the dry ingredients and mix with a fork until the ingredients begin to form a dough.
- Knead the dough a few times (you can do this in the bowl or on a lightly floured surface) so that all the ingredients are well incorporated and the dough comes together.
- Cover the dough and let it rise for 20 minutes.
- After the dough has risen, turn it out onto a cutting board and divide the dough into two equal pieces.
- To form the crust, add 1 tablespoon oil into a 10" cast iron skillet and swirl to coat the surface. Place one of the dough halves in the skillet, and using your fingers, press and push the dough towards the edges of the skillet. Drizzle ½ tablespoon oil along the edge of the skillet.
- Place the skillet on a grate over your campfire, or on your camp stove at fairly high heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the bottom has firmed up and begins to turn golden brown (you'll want to lift the side up around the 3 minute mark to see how it's doing and determine how much longer it should remain on the heat).
- Pull the skillet off the fire and place on a heat-safe surface. The skillet will be HOT, so take care with the next few steps.
- Using a pair of tongs, lift the crust out of the skillet and flip it so the uncooked side is face down in the skillet.
- Spread ¼ cup tomato sauce across the top of the pizza, then layer the sliced mozzarella and tomatoes. Sprinkle the basil across the top.
- Return the pizza to the campfire or stove. Cook the pizza for an additional 3-5 minutes until the bottom is golden brown. Remove the lid/foil after a few minutes, once the cheese has melted, to let the steam escape for the remainder of the cooking time.
- Remove the skillet from the heat, carefully transfer the pizza to a plate, and repeat with the second half of the dough.
Equipment Used in this Recipe:
Mixing bowl – We used the titanium pot that we use for backpacking, but any bowl will do.
Fork – We have enamel handled silverware from GSI Outdoors, but a fork is a fork.
10″ cast iron skillet – Our go-to pan for camping, a cast iron skillet can be endlessly re-seasoned, used on a camp stove or open fire, and easily cleaned.
Tongs – If you’re cooking over an open fire, a pair of tongs are invaluable.
Chef’s knife – An essential part of any kitchen, camping or otherwise, a quality chef’s knife is an absolute must.
Cutting board – Bring along a small, portable cutting board, to make food prepping safe and sanitary.