I hope you will be as excited about this recipe I am sharing today for Campfire Mac and Cheese as I am. Just because you are away from home and out in the wilderness, that doesn’t mean that cooking and eating can’t be just as exciting as it is at home. With just a tiny bit of prep ahead of time you can still feed your family delicious meals that tick all the boxes of being a family favorite. This fabulous recipe is quick, easy, and incredibly delicious!
All the elements of this recipe are quickly stirred together in a bowl and then spooned into individual foil dishes, ready to wrap, label, pack into the cooler and then transport to your campsite!
This is a real favourite in our house. Even if you aren’t camping you can still cook this in the back yard with your family, so break out the marshmallows for toasting and prepare yourself for a fabulous camp-fire cooking experience that the whole family will enjoy!
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE CAMPFIRE MAC AND CHEESE
You will only need a few simple ingredients to put together this fabulous recipe. Add to that some individual foil pans for baking, as well as foil for wrapping.
|1 ½ cups dry elbow macaroni|
|8 ounces prepared Alfredo Sauce (about half a jar)|
|½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese|
|½ cup grated Parmesan cheese|
|¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese|
|¼ – ½ cup whole milk|
|Salt and black pepper to taste|
|Canola cooking spray|
HINTS & TIPS TO MAKE CAMPFIRE MAC AND CHEESE
Follow my hints and tips to make the best Campfire Mac & Cheese ever!
- Read the recipe through a few times to familiarise yourself with any ingredients, equipment, or steps you will need to follow. This gives you ample time to make sure you have everything you need.
- Assemble all of the ingredients together in one place, along with anything else you might need. This will help to prevent you from leaving out anything integral to the recipe.
- Cook your pasta in a saucepan filled with lightly salted boiling water. Make sure that the saucepan is large enough so that the pasta has plenty of room to move around in the water without sticking together or to the bottom of the pan.
- Make sure your water is at a full boil before adding the pasta and maintains the boil once the pasta has been added. This also helps to prevent the pasta from sticking together and ensures it will cook properly. Stir it frequently to make sure that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Cook the pasta only to al-dente according to the package directions. This will help to make sure you end up with mac and cheese with the proper consistency and bite.
- Drain the pasta well and then rinse under cold running water to make sure you rinse off any excess starch. This also helps to prevent the pasta from sticking together.
- Grate your own cheeses for this dish. I have used 3 kinds, sharp cheddar for flavour, a Parmesan, again for flavour, and some mozzarella to give that goo factor. You can use any combination of cheeses that you wish. Gouda also gives plenty of goo.
- You can use either a bottled Alfredo sauce or a homemade Alfredo sauce. I make my own. (Simply melt 1 1/2 TBS of butter in a saucepan, add 1 fat clove of garlic (minced) and cook without browning until it becomes quite fragrant. Whisk in 1/2 cup of heavy cream, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, seasoning to taste with salt and black pepper. Simmer until the sauce thickens and everything is well incorporated. Use as per recipe instructions.)
- Butter your foil dishes well, along with the foil you are going to use to cover/seal them with.
- Seal the dishes really well so there is no spillage during the transportation. It is also helpful to label the foil packs with the name of what is in them so you know without having to open them up.
- Keep them in a chilled cooler until you are ready to cook them. It is helpful to place them into a large zip-lock baggie before storing it. This will make sure that no melting ice from the cooler compromises them.
- When it is time to cook, do not lay the foil dishes directly on top of the fire. Place a grill rack over top of the coals so that the mac and cheese do not burn on the bottom.
Note – If you really want them to be cheesy, top each serving with an additional sprinkle of grated cheese before sealing the packs up.
HOW TO MAKE CAMPFIRE MAC AND CHEESE
Cook the macaroni, according to package directions in a pot of lightly salted boiling water. Drain well, rinse with cold water and drain again.
Place the cooked macaroni in a bowl. Stir in the Alfredo sauce along with the three cheeses and just enough milk to keep things loose. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Spray four individual pie tins with non-stick canola oil spray. Much like with the campfire potatoes, your kids will appreciate having their own tin. Have ready four sheets of aluminium foil large enough to cover each pie tin completely. Spray the shiny side of each with canola cooking spray.
Divide the mac and cheese mixture evenly between each pie tin.
Seal each one tightly with a sheet of aluminium foil, greased side down. Chill until ready to cook.
Prepare your campfire or grill. If using a campfire, allow it to burn down to the coals. You don’t want flames. Place a cooling rack over the coals, leaving 2 to 3 inches between the rack and the coals. (Alternately use an outdoor grill.) Place the filled pie tins on top of the rack over the hot coals and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until heated completely through.
Remove from the fire/grill and serve immediately!
This Campfire Mac & Cheese is so very tasty! You might not want to prepare it just for camping! You can also spoon this version of Mac & Cheese into one buttered glass baking dish, sprinkle some extra cheese on top, and then bake in a 350*F oven for 25 to 30 minutes until heated through and ooey gooey delicious!
WHAT GOES WELL WITH CAMPFIRE MAC & CHEESE
Bring along a foil-wrapped loaf of garlic bread that you can heat over the campfire along with the mac and cheese while it is cooking. You can either buy this readymade or make it yourself. To make it yourself, simply take a loaf of French bread and cut it in half horizontally. Slather both cut sides with garlic butter and put the cut sides back together.
Slice into serving-sized pieces and then reassemble as a loaf on a large sheet of foil. Wrap airtight, ready to pop onto the fire. You can also add some grated cheese to the middle if you wish. Bring along large zip lock baggie of mixed salad and a separate jar of dressing. When ready to eat, throw the dressing into the bag with the salad, give it a good shake and its ready to serve. Don’t forget to pack the marshmallows, graham crackers, and bars of chocolate so you can enjoy S’mores with the family when you are done!
One thing for sure, this is a dish your family is going to enjoy whether you are at your favourite campsite or in your own back yard!
Have you ever noticed that food cooked and eaten out of doors always tastes better??? I am not sure what the reason is behind this fact, but I do know that for us at least, it’s completely true!
I do so hope that you will want to try this fabulous Campfire Mac & Cheese. Prepare yourself for a whole new level of wonderful deliciousness!
- 1 ½ cups elbow macaroni
- 8 ounces prepared Alfredo Sauce (about half a jar)
- ½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese
- ¼ - ½ cup of whole milk
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Canola cooking spray
- Cook the macaroni, according to package directions in a pot of lightly salted boiling water. Drain well, rinse with cold water and drain again.
- Place the cooked macaroni in a bowl. Stir in the alfredo sauce along with the three cheeses and just enough milk to keep things loose. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Spray four individual pie tins with non-stick canola oil spray. (Or one large one.) Have ready four sheets of aluminium foil large enough to cover each pie tin completely. Spray the shiny side of each with canola cooking spray.
- Divide the mac and cheese mixture evenly between each pie tin. Seal each one tightly with a sheet of aluminium foil, greased side down. Store in a large plastic storage bag in a chiller or food cooler until ready to cook.
- When you are ready to cook it, prepare your campfire. Allow the flames to burn down to the coals. Place a cooling rack over the coals, leaving 2 to 3 inches between the rack and the coals. (Alternately use an outdoor grill.) Place the filled pie tins over the hot coals and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until heated through completely. Remove from the fire/grill and serve immediately!
You can also bake this at home in a casserole dish. Place in the oven at 350*F for 20 to 25 minutes. It’s incredibly delicious and makes for a quick weeknight side dish.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 445
Marie Rayner is a retired Chef, freelance writer, recipe developer, food blogger, and Cookbook author. She makes her home in Chester, UK, where she lives with her husband, Todd, and their much beloved English Cocker, Mitzie. Her motto is “Life is far too short to eat bad food,” and her goal is to share delicious and easy recipes which anyone can enjoy and cook in the comfort of their own home.