Cheesy, spicy, and oh so filling – these veggie-stuffed Dutch Oven Enchiladas are one of our new campfire favorites.
We never know when it will strike, but we rarely go an entire week without an Enchilada Night. It’s just such a perfect weekday meal: It uses a lot of staple ingredients, it’s quick and easy to make, and always leaves feeling satisfied (sometimes a little too satisfied, oy!) So it would seem an excellent candidate for a camping meal, if it weren’t for that whole needing an oven thing…
When it comes to campfire Dutch oven recipes, enchiladas is one of the easiest places to start. The reason being: there’s not a whole lot of actual cooking going on. Sure, you are warming ingredients and melting cheese, but that’s all super forgiving stuff. So if you’re new to Dutch oven cooking or thinking about getting into it, kick things off with enchiladas!
How to make enchiladas in a Dutch oven
Now making enchiladas is a pretty straightforward process, but we have a few tips that can make a real difference.
1.) Use flour tortillas, if you can. While we prefer corn tortillas for tacos, for enchiladas we find that extra malleability of flour tortillas is a huge help. (If you are on a gluten-free diet or otherwise must use corn, the best trick to keep them from breaking is to warm them up before rolling.)
2.) Enchiladas are only as good as its sauce. Spicy, bright, and slightly tangy are the flavors we look for. Homemade is obviously the ideal choice, but when camping it’s more likely you’ll be using pre-made sauce. We’ve tried a lot of different canned sauces, some good, some not so good. Here are our favorite store-bought options:
Frontero: Comes in a pouch, so it compacts down in the trash after you’re done using it. Las Palmas: Traditional canned variety that comes in mild or spicy (we prefer the spicy version!). Trader Joe’s: Comes in a glass bottle which may not be ideal for camping, but it has a great taste.
3.) Toppings! Cilantro, diced red onion, a spritz of lime juice, cotija cheese, sour cream, or sliced jalapenos are all excellent ways to take your enchiladas to the next level.
To save yourself some time at the campsite, you can make your enchilada filling at home ahead of time. Store it in a container in your cooler until ready to use.
At camp, just skip ahead to the enchilada rolling step, cover with sauce and cheese, and bake.
Dutch oven cooking equipment
↠ Dutch Oven: This recipe was written to fit a 4qt (10”) Dutch oven. We use this one from Lodge. If you want feed a larger group, scale the recipe up to fit into a 12” oven.
↠ Chimney Starter: If you’re using charcoal instead of embers, a chimney starter will really help get them started. This one packs flat for easy storage.
↠ Lid Lifter: Dutch oven lids get HOT once covered in coals, so using a lid lifter will help keep your hands out of the way when checking on things.
↠ Heat Resistant Gloves: Alternatively, you could use these heat resistant gloves to move your oven around.
Prepare your coals or get your campfire going so that you'll have embers to cook with.
Over medium heat, heat the oil in a Dutch oven. Add the peppers and saute for a few minutes until they are starting to soften. Add the onions and saute until the onions are soft and translucent and the peppers are soft. Add the garlic, cumin, and salt, and saute 30 seconds, until fragrant. Remove from heat and transfer the vegetables to a plate or bowl.
Add 1/2 cup enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of the Dutch oven.
To build the enchiladas, place onions and peppers in a line the center of a flour tortilla. Add a few spoonfuls of black beans and top with cheese. Roll the tortilla around the fillings, then place the enchilada, seam side down, into the Dutch oven. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. This recipe will make 4-6 enchiladas depending on the size of your Dutch oven.
Cover the enchiladas with the remaining sauce and cheese. Place the lid on top.
Return the Dutch oven to your campfire. Place it over indirect heat (the grill grate over the campfire works great) and stack 14-16 coals on the lid. Cook about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
Serve topped with jalapenos, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime & enjoy!
MAKE IT AHEAD
The filling can be made at home ahead of time and packed in your cooler. At camp, start with step 3.