Dutch Oven Enchiladas

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Cheesy, spicy, and oh so filling – these veggie-stuffed Dutch Oven Enchiladas are one of our new campfire favorites.

Enchiladas in a dutch oven on a table

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…

But never fear, a cast iron Dutch oven is all you need!

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!

Enchiladas in a dutch oven on a table
Two enchiladas on a plate

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.

Pre-trip prep

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.

Two enchiladas on a camping plate

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.

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  1. Loving your website!! Getting ready for an epic Oregon Coast and Redwood NP adventure while trying to get my family to eat better and create healthier camping habits……..

  2. I love your recipes and am planning to try several of them when we camp in the Wallowas in late September.

    I will say, though, with this recipe, I do not agree that flour tortillas are better for enchiladas. They are too absorbent. To make corn tortillas, either put them, individually in warmed sauce, before rolling them. Or warm them in a steamy towel. I will admit that I have access to a microwave in my Aliner tailer, so I use a tortilla warmer in the microwave. I prefer the taste of corn tortillas and they are used in traditional recipes. Flour tortillas are more typically used in burritos.

    I have used a camp stove up until now. I’m really excited about cooking over a campfire and with coals. Should be fun!

    1. While we vastly prefer fresh corn tortillas, the factory corn tortillas we find at most grocery stores tend to tear way too easily. We will have to give the soaking technique a try to see if that helps. We turned to flour tortillas just to save ourselves the frustration but would love to switch back to corn if it were possible.

  3. Flour tortillas? What madness is this?! Corn or go home!!!

    Actually, I bet the flour tortillas make the prep more than a bit easier at the campsite; I soak my corn ones in the heated sauce, one by one, and then fill and roll. I’m pretty sure the soaking is because the corn tortillas tend to be less pliable to begin with. Flour tortillas would actually remove that step at the campsite! I’m all about easy at the campsite!

    Can’t wait to try this as I’ve never had flour tortilla enchiladas (sort of a wet flauta, no?) and I’m wondering what the absence of the masa flavor will allow to blossom!

    Thanks again,

    1. If they were fresh corn tortillas, we would absolutely say go with corn. But when we’re camping, we seem to only be able to get our hands on factory-made corn tortillas to tear way too easily. So to save ourselves the frustration we switched to flour. But we agree with you, if you can get fresh corn tortillas, there is no comparison.

      1. We make these with corn tortillas BUT, we cheat. I recommend you skip the rolling, quarter the tortillas, and layer them into a casserole with the other ingredients. That’s the only change we make. We LOVE this recipe.5 stars

  4. Hello!! I had a great time looking all around your websdite/blog. Your recipe for Dutch Oven Enchiladas caught my eye. I happened to have all the ingredients on hand, even to the fresh cilantro from our herb garden down behind the condo. I used Maui onion, green chile enchilada sauce, flour tortillas and grated cheddar cheese. This gave me a chance to use my new Dutch oven!! The recipe turned out great … was very, very yummy. Thanks for sharing!5 stars

  5. I made these camping a few weeks back and my partner RAVED about how good my camp meals are. I credit it all to you!

  6. We LOVED these and will make them often! This website is becoming my “go-to” for camping recipes! My husband looked up from his enchiladas last weekend and commented “Man, we sure eat good when we’re camping!” Thank you!

    1. First, we’d recommend going with chicken thighs. They’re fattier and won’t have the same risk of drying out. Pound them relatively flat and pan-fry them with a little bit of oil in the bottom of the Dutch Oven first. Once they’re cooked through, remove them and chop into chunks. Then proceed to cook the peppers and onions just like the recipe says. You can then add the chicken as a filler with the peppers and onions.

    1. 20 minutes at an oven temp of 375 F seems to be the consensus for enchiladas. You’re really just melting the cheese and bringing all the flavors together. All the ingredients should either be pre-cooked (chicken, thickly sliced peppers) or doesn’t need to really be “cooked” (like black bean, cheese, cilantro)

  7. Flavorful, easy and even my five year old gave it thumbs up. I prepped the veggies at home and made for a quick meal over the fire.5 stars