When you think of camping meals, you probably think of hot dogs and hamburgers, and of course, there is nothing wrong with those. But why not spice up your next camping meal a bit and try something new? Dutch oven camping tacos are the perfect way to bring some flavor to your campsite menu.
These tacos are prepared in a dutch oven, so they’re easy to make, transport, and clean up afterward. You don’t even have to pre-cook any food since you can do it all over the campfire.
This is one of our favorite camp cooking recipes and it’s something we make just about every camping trip.
Key ingredients for your camping tacos.
There are a few essential things you’ll need for your camping tacos.
First off, we’re going with the assumption that you’re roughing it, and you don’t have a full glamping setup or an RV with a stove.
So for that, the first thing you’ll need is a campfire and a dutch oven.
As for the ingredients, there’s not much to them. Here’s what you’ll need for your dutch oven camping tacos—
- Ground beef. This is for your taco meat, but can be substituted for meat other than ground beef, such as turkey or chicken if you’re looking for a healthier alternative for your taco meat. We also like seasoned shrimp inside the tacos as well.
- Cooking oil. While this isn’t completely necessary, the oil will help bind the taco seasoning to your ground meat mixture.
- Taco seasoning mix. You can find this pre-made or make your own with a few simple ingredients. Regardless, you want your taco meat to be flavorful and delicious!
- Taco shells. For basic camping tacos, we’re sticking with traditional hard taco shells, but you can also use soft shells if that’s more your style.
- Diced onions. These will give your taco meat a little more “pop,” but they are completely optional.
- Shredded lettuce. For topping off your tacos and adding a bit of crunchy texture.
- Shredded cheese. We recommend using cheddar cheese for the flavor and meltability it provides.
- Sour cream or plain greek yogurt. For a creamy topping to your tacos – which personally is my favorite part.
- Tomatoes, peppers, and/or cilantro. If you’re feeling adventurous, then feel free to add in these additional toppings and veggies for an extra flavor boost. The poblano pepper is one of our favorites.
- Salsa. This is the perfect ingredient to spice up your tacos and also serves as a great dipping sauce.
- Avocado. And finally, don’t forget the guacamole. It’s an essential part of any taco night!
Once you have all the ingredients for this recipe ready to go, it’s time to start cooking.
Step-by-step recipe for this delicious treat.
Compared to all other recipes, this one is pretty straightforward and easy. The prep time is minimal, and you’ll enjoy your camping tacos in just minutes.
Prepare your dutch oven.
- Time required: 10 minutes.
- Ingredients: none.
The first thing you need to do is get a campfire going. Once you have a good bed of coals, place your dutch oven in the center and begin to heat it up.
If you have a camp stove and want to skip out on the fun of a dutch oven, then go for it.
Heat up your dutch oven or pot until it gets to medium heat. This is more of an art than it is a science since we’re making these in a more primitive environment.
Brown the ground beef in the dutch oven.
- Time required: 7 minutes.
- Ingredients: ground beef, turkey, or shrimp.
For this recipe, we’re using ground beef in a dutch oven, but as we mentioned, there are other things you can substitute for the taco meat. We just happen to like ground beef the most.
Whether you use ground beef, turkey, or shrimp, this is where you want to cook it thoroughly in your dutch oven.
Mix in the taco seasoning.
- Time required: 2 minutes.
- Ingredients: taco seasoning, onion, cooking oil.
This is where the real magic happens.
The first thing you’ll want to do is add about 1 tablespoon of cooking oil per pound of ground beef. At the same time, toss in your diced onions while stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
If you want to make these camp tacos a little more special, you can add a can of tomato sauce to your taco meat at this time. Of course, tomato sauce makes the camp tacos a little messier so you’ll want to go with a taco in a bag if you go this route.
Throw the meat into your tortillas or shells.
- Time required: 1 minute.
- Ingredients: tortillas or shells.
The taco meat is is done and you’re about ready to enjoy some delicious camping tacos. But first, we have to assemble them.
Grab your taco shells and fill them up with the taco meat mixture. If you’re using soft tacos, then fold them in half so they don’t spill over.
For those that are concerned, we’ll cover gluten free tacos later on in this post. Keep reading!
Add shredded cheese and veggies!
- Time required: 1 minute.
- Ingredients: shredded cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, or hot sauce.
Now it’s time to put it all together and add toppings for some more robust flavors.
Add some shredded cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes for a classic taco experience. Or go wild with sour cream or hot sauce. It’s all up to you.
There are a few alternatives we didn’t mention in the recipe, but they’re still worth mentioning.
- Taco in a bag (walking tacos). If you want to change things up a bit, make a personal-sized bag out of aluminum foil. Like a pouch. Many campers will also use a Doritos bag. And instead of putting all of your taco ingredients in a shell or on a tortilla, you put your taco ingredients in your bag. It’s a great way to make camping tacos if you want a minimal cleanup.
- Taco skillet. Another great alternative is to put everything in one big skillet and just mix it all together with nacho chips. This is like a taco casserole or burrito bowl but with more crunchy ingredients.
- Gluten-free option. This is essential since nobody wants to deal with the fallout of eating gluten when they shouldn’t – especially in the great outdoors. However, one way to make your tacos gluten-free is to forgo the shells or tortillas altogether and use lettuce as a wrap. This can work with any of the above taco options, and it’s a great way to ensure everyone at your campsite can enjoy these delicious tacos.
Add in some sides!
There are also plenty of sides that you can add to your tacos, depending on your taste. Refried beans, black beans, Spanish rice, and corn on the cob are just a few options. Or, you can add some crunch with chips and salsa or guacamole.
Whatever your heart desires, go with it. This is a recipe that goes with just about anything. The sky is the limit with this meal. Personally, I like the idea of chips and salsa as it means I don’t have to cook anything else.
This easy camping meal will attract other campers.
Once you start to prepare your camping tacos in the dutch oven, other campers will smell what you’re cooking, and they’ll come to pay you a visit.
That’s alright because this recipe will make enough for everyone. Plus, there isn’t much cleanup, so you’ll have more time to enjoy the campfire and other activities.
When you’re heading out on your next camping trip, and you’re putting together your camp cooking plan, think about this recipe. It’s an easy camping meal, and who doesn’t like good food?