Campfire nachos: A fiery twist on your favorite snack

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There’s no doubt that campfire cooking has a certain charm, but have you ever considered taking it up a notch with campfire nachos? This delicious, shareable snack is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a fun and unique way to enjoy their favorite cheesy dish under the stars. 

Combining the warmth of the campfire with the crispiness of tortilla chips and the rich flavors of your preferred toppings, campfire nachos elevate your outdoor dining experience to a whole new level.

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know to make campfire nachos, from the essential equipment to mouth-watering variations you can try on your next outing.

Essential equipment for campfire nachos

Before we dive into the delicious details, let’s talk about the must-have tools that will help you whip up some scrumptious campfire nachos.

Cast iron skillet, heavy-duty aluminum foil, or Dutch oven

A cast iron skillet is ideal for cooking nachos over a campfire because it evenly distributes heat and is sturdy enough to handle the flames.

Alternatively, you can use a cast iron Dutch oven, which offers the same benefits as a skillet and provides a deeper vessel for layering your campfire nachos.

Heavy-duty aluminum foil will do the trick if you don’t have a cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven or simply prefer a lighter option. Just make sure to double or triple-layer the foil to prevent tearing.

Cooking grate or portable grill

A cooking grate or portable campfire grill provides a stable surface for your nachos to cook on.

Look for one that can be easily adjusted to control the distance between the nachos and the fire, which helps prevent burning.

If you can’t decide between grill and grate, you can actually get both – check our popular options for a campfire grill grate.

Heat-resistant gloves or tongs

Safety first! Use heat-resistant gloves or tongs to handle the skillet or foil packet during the cooking process. These will protect your hands from the heat and make moving your nachos on and off the fire easier.

Learn more about campfire safety.

Spatula or serving spoon

Don’t forget a trusty spatula or serving spoon for dishing out your campfire nachos once they’re cooked to cheesy perfection.

Campfire nachos base ingredients

Now that we’ve covered the essentials, let’s get down to the mouth-watering base ingredients you’ll need for your campfire nachos. 

Tortilla chips

You can’t have nachos without tortilla chips! Choose your favorite brand or flavor, and ensure you have enough to create a hearty base layer for your nachos.

Shredded cheese

Go for a cheese that melts well, like mozzarella, Monterey Jack, or a blend of both. You can also experiment with other types of cheese, like pepper jack or Colby, to add a unique twist to your campfire nachos.

Black or pinto beans

Beans add substance and flavor to your nachos. Rinse and drain canned beans before using them, or pre-cook dried beans before your camping trip to save time.

Diced tomatoes or salsa

Adding diced tomatoes or your favorite salsa provides a burst of freshness and extra flavor to your nachos. If using salsa, be sure to drain any excess liquid to prevent soggy chips.

Optional toppings

Jalapenos, avocado, olives, and sour cream are just a few examples of additional toppings you can include to customize your campfire nachos. Feel free to get creative and add whatever you fancy!

Mouth-watering campfire nachos variations

Why settle for just one type of campfire nachos when you can try these delectable variations on your next outdoor adventure? 

So, use our campfire nachos recipe as a starting point, and feel free to experiment with your own variations and toppings.

Classic Tex-Mex Campfire Nachos

A timeless favorite, Classic Tex-Mex nachos include seasoned ground beef, diced onions, jalapenos, and a blend of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese. Top with a dollop of sour cream and some fresh cilantro.

BBQ Chicken Campfire Nachos

Add a smoky twist to your nachos with shredded BBQ chicken, red onions, and a drizzle of BBQ sauce. You can use store-bought BBQ sauce or make your own with a simple blend of ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, and spices.

Veggie Lovers’ Campfire Nachos

Veggie Lovers’ nachos are loaded with bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and corn for those who prefer a meatless option. Sprinkle with a touch of smoked paprika for an extra kick.

Meat Lover’s Campfire Nachos

Can’t decide between beef or chicken? Go all out with the Meat Lover’s nachos featuring seasoned ground beef, diced chicken, and crumbled bacon. Add a sprinkle of green onions for a pop of color and flavor.

Seafood Campfire Nachos

Try seafood nachos with shrimp, crab, or a combination of both for a coastal-inspired variation. Add a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning for a taste of the shore.

Loaded Campfire Nachos

For the ultimate indulgence, create loaded campfire nachos by piling on various toppings like black beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, green chiles, and plenty of cheese. The result is a delicious recipe that will have everyone asking for seconds.

Step-by-step cooking instructions

Ready to cook up a cheesy masterpiece? Follow these simple steps to create your very own campfire nachos.

Preparing the campfire and cooking surface

First, start a campfire and get it going. Ensure you have a safe and controlled campfire with hot coals and low flames. Place your cooking grate or portable grill over the fire, adjusting the height as needed to prevent burning your nachos. 

Learn more about campfire temperatures here.

Layering the nachos in the skillet or foil

Create a layer of tortilla chips in your cast iron skillet or on a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Then, add your choice of beans, protein, and any additional toppings you desire. 

Finally, generously sprinkle your shredded cheese over the top. If you like your nachos extra loaded, feel free to create multiple layers.

Cooking the nachos on the campfire

Carefully place your skillet or foil packet on the cooking grate, keeping an eye on the heat to ensure even cooking. You may need to adjust the height of the grate or move the skillet around to avoid scorching the chips.

Melting the cheese and cooking toppings to perfection

Cook your nachos for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese melts and gets bubbly. The cooking time will vary depending on your fire and the thickness of your nacho layers, so keep a close eye on them to get perfectly cooked, cheesy nachos every time.

Removing the nachos from the fire and serving

Using your heat-resistant gloves or tongs, carefully remove your skillet or foil packet from the fire. Allow your nachos to cool slightly before serving with a spatula or serving spoon.

Tips for enjoying your campfire nachos

Now that you’ve created a mouth-watering masterpiece, here are some tips to ensure you get the most out of your campfire nachos experience.

Pairing nachos with refreshing beverages

Complement your nachos with a refreshing beverage, like ice-cold lemonade, iced tea, or your favorite soda. For adults, a cold beer or a glass of wine can be a delightful accompaniment to your cheesy treat.

You can also shake up a hassle-free camp cocktail or mocktail.

Serving suggestions and presentation

Presentation is key! Serve your nachos on a large plate or platter, garnishing with extra toppings like avocado slices, chopped cilantro, or a dollop of sour cream. You can also provide individual bowls or plates for guests to enjoy their own servings.

Ensuring food safety while camping

Keep perishable ingredients like cheese, meat, and seafood chilled in a cooler with ice packs until it’s time to cook. Be mindful of safe food storing practices and wash your hands thoroughly before preparing and serving your campfire nachos.

Clean-up and eco-friendly camping practices

After enjoying your delicious campfire nachos, be sure to clean up your cooking area and dispose of any trash properly. If you’re camping in a remote area, pack out all your waste and leave no trace behind to protect the environment.

To sum up

There you have it—a guide to crafting the ultimate campfire nachos for your next outdoor adventure. Whether you’re a classic Tex-Mex fan or looking to try a new variation, these cheesy, crispy delights will surely bring smiles to your fellow campers’ faces. 

Try our grilled nachos recipe on your next camping trip for a fun and satisfying culinary experience.

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