How to Prepare Lasagna on the River | AVA Rafting
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How to Prepare Lasagna on the River

dutch oven over fire

Get ready to cook up some rapids on your next whitewater rafting adventure! While the adrenaline rush of the rapids may be the main attraction, let’s not forget about the importance of fueling up with tasty meals to keep us paddling strong. After a long day of white-water rafting, there’s nothing better than settling down to a hearty dinner by the riverside. While it may seem like a challenge to cook a delicious meal with limited resources, fear not! With a little bit of creativity and some pun-derful cooking skills, you can whip up a dinner that’ll have your fellow rafters feeling like they’re dining at a five-star restaurant.

chopping veggies outside

A nice, hot, filling dinner will have you sleeping well and refueled for another day of rapid fun. My personal favorite is Dutch Oven Lasagna. This is a lasagna like no other that will have you shouting, “Pasta la vista!”



  • 1 pound ground beef/turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jar (24 oz) spaghetti sauce
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

cooking veggies on fire


  1. In a Dutch oven, cook the ground meat, onion, and garlic over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink. Drain any excess fat.
  2. Add the spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper to the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Break the lasagna noodles into smaller pieces and stir them into the sauce. Cover the Dutch oven and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the noodles are tender.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, and the chopped parsley.
  5. Spread the cheese mixture over the noodle mixture in the Dutch oven. I like to mix part of it into the noodle mixture before sprinkling the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top.
  6. Cover the Dutch oven and let it cook for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Serve hot and enjoy!


dutch oven over fire


  • You can also add other vegetables to the sauce, such as mushrooms, zucchini, or bell peppers.
  • Pre-chop all your veggies the morning before you hit the river so there’s less prep that night.
  • Make sure to check the lasagna frequently to prevent it from burning on the bottom. You can add a layer of aluminum foil to the bottom of the Dutch oven to help prevent burning.
  • Clean up properly: Make sure you clean up after yourself properly to avoid attracting animals or leaving a mess behind. Bring biodegradable soap!

As you can see, cooking on the riverside while whitewater rafting doesn’t have to be a stressful experience!  And who doesn’t love lasagna? Not only is it easy to prep for ahead of time, but it’s also versatile and can be customized to suit your preferences. Whether you’re a meat lover or a vegetarian, you can create a lasagna that’s delicious and satisfying.

Overnight Rafting Trip in Browns Canyon

And the best part? You don’t have to sacrifice flavor for convenience. With a little bit of planning and creativity, you can whip up a delicious meal that will satisfy everyone after a long day out on the river. So on your next rafting trip, don’t settle for boring snacks and sandwiches. Instead, grab your ingredients, let your creativity (and puns) flow, and cook up a meal that’ll have everyone saying “Wow, that was the Zest“. Happy cooking and happy rafting!

Written by Madison McLeod, Contributing Member of the Sales and Marketing team

Edited by Rosa Canales, Marketing Specialist


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