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25 Make Ahead Camping Meals to Feed Your Whole Family

Who really wants to spend their whole camping trip trying to whip up gourmet meals?

At the same time, hot dogs on a stick and cans of beans get boring quick and won’t keep your family well fed for very long…

So, what is the alternative?

Just like meal prepping before a busy week, preparing a batch of make ahead camping meals at home makes it quick and simple to make delicious and filling meals at the campsite for your whole family – without much cleanup!

Here are 25 of our favorite make ahead camping meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus a few snacks and desserts!

Make sure to check out my favorite camping kitchen table and my favorite camp cookware set.

The Best Make Ahead Camping Meals

Jump down to our favorite make ahead camping meal ideas by meal type:

Or, keep reading for the full list!

Easy Make Ahead Camping Breakfast Recipes

Because no one wants to start the day with a lot of cooking or tons of dishes to clean, these make ahead breakfast recipes are the perfect way to start your day off right.

Here are some additional easy breakfast recipes for camping for even more ideas.

Mason Jar Parfait

Mason Jar Parfait

Keep your camping breakfast healthy and enjoy this mix of granola, yogurt, oats, and fruit for a sweet start to your day.

Makes 4 Servings

Items Needed: Mason Jars


  • 1 container strawberry yogurt
  • 1 cup muesli
  • 3/4 cup granola
  • 1 apple chopped
  • 1 lb red grapes chopped

Mix all of the ingredients together and separate evenly into pint sized mason jars.

Keep refrigerated or in your cooler overnight to allow the oats to soften.

You can choose to substitute your favorite flavor of yogurt and other fruits like raspberries, cantaloupe or strawberries.

This mix will last 5 days if kept cool.

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Need to get rid of those few overripe bananas that have been out on the counter too long but don’t want to throw them away?

Pre-make some banana bread for a no-fuss camping breakfast.

This banana bread recipe is easy to store and doesn’t need to be refrigerated which really helps when cooler space is limited.

Slice off a piece and throw it on some tinfoil on your campfire grate to get the bread toasted and the chocolate melty on a cool morning.

Items Needed: Banana Bread Pans

Check out the full Chef John’s banana bread recipe.

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

Camping Breakfast Burritos

Freezer burritos are easy to make, help keep the cooler cold, and are easy to toss on the campfire in the morning.

You can have all the comforts of a country style breakfast without the mess of mixing up eggs, frying bacon and washing pots and pans. Just peel back the foil and dig in.

Makes 8 to 10 Servings


  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 large green pepper diced
  • 1 roll of breakfast sausage
  • 1 pound of bacon
  • 1 pound of red potatoes cubed small
  • 16 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pack flour tortillas

Preheat over to 375℉.

Fry up the bacon until it’s crisp. Let it cool and chop it into small pieces.

Now, fry up the breakfast sausage with onion and green pepper. Strain the grease and let it cool.

Toss the cubed potatoes in salt and pepper to taste and paprika. Spread potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 15 min. Take potatoes out and flip them with a spatula. Bake in the oven for another 15 minutes or until soft and browned. Let potatoes cool.

Crack eggs into a medium bowl and add milk. Whisk until light and fluffy. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Pour eggs into pan and scramble until cooked through. Remove eggs from pan and let cool.

Lay one tortilla down flat. Add cheese, eggs, potatoes, and meat with peppers and onions.

Fold the bottom of the tortilla up then fold the right side in. Fold the top down and the left side in.

Lay the burrito seam-side down on a baking sheet. Once you have completed all of the burritos, place the baking sheet in the freezer for 1 hour.

Wrap each burrito in tin foil and place in a large plastic bag and store in your cooler.

When you are ready to eat them you can place them into the outer coals of the campfire or on top of the fire grate to warm them up before serving this delicious camping breakfast.

Blueberry and Peach French Toast in Foil

foil camping French toast

Nothing beats sweet morning comfort food when camping. And this blueberry and peach french toast in foil perfectly fits the bill.

Liquid eggs make this recipe super simple since you can avoid traveling with fragile eggs and don’t have to worry about whisking them up at a picnic table.

Just cut up the bread and peaches and store them in plastic bags for the trip.

Learn more about this blueberry and peach french toast foil packet recipe.

Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats for Camping

Overnight oats are the definition of an easy make ahead camping meal!

Anybody who is trying to corral children or organize a busy family is no stranger to overnight oats. They are a quick and easy way to pack in nutrients and vitamins for a fun-filled day on the trail, making them a perfect no-cook camping breakfast.

Overnight oats store easily in mason jars or any container you can seal and there is no cooking required!

We like this chunky monkey overnight oats recipe for camping.

Apple Crumb Coffee Cake

apple coffee crumb cake

Cake for breakfast? How can anybody resist!

This yummy crumble cake is a favorite for kids and adults alike. Make this in a foil pan and put it on your campfire grate for 5-10 minutes to get the juicy apples warmed up.

It’s a perfect pairing with your morning cup of camp coffee too. Don’t expect it to last long though, this recipe usually gets gobbled up quickly.

Here’s one of our favorite apple crumb cake recipes.

Breakfast Casserole

breakfast casserole

If you’re looking for something savory that doesn’t take several pans to make, then give this delicious breakfast casserole a try.

Make it at home in a foil pan and throw it on the campfire grate to warm it up and get the cheese bubbling.

You’ll even be sneaking the kid’s veggies in when they aren’t looking since this one pan camping meal is packed full of peppers, mushrooms, and greens!

Try this make ahead veggie breakfast casserole recipe.

Easy Make Ahead Camping Lunch Recipes

My family usually tries to keep our camping lunches as simple as possible.

When we’re busy hiking, biking, or canoeing, the last thing we want to do is deal with cooking a complicated lunch.

That’s why these easy make ahead camping lunch recipes are so perfect for family camping trips.

Here are some additional ideas for easy camping lunches.

Pie Iron Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Completed Pie Iron Philly Cheese Steak

While not a complete make ahead meal, all you have to do is cook this delicious pie iron meal over the fire.

Your family will enjoy slowing down and cooking their own food over the campfire. And you’ll love the minimal prep time and clean up.

If you want to keep things really easy, prep these Philly cheesesteak sandwiches ahead of time so you can simply place the ingredients into the pie iron and heat them up to perfect!

For the full breakdown, here’s our very own pie iron Philly cheesesteak sandwich recipe!

Crockpot Chicken BBQ Sandwiches

crockpot chicken BBQ sandwiches

This southern style BBQ is served best with some coleslaw and potato chips.

Make the chicken barbeque at home in the comfort of your own kitchen, pack it into some food containers and store it in your cooler until lunchtime.

Serve this BBQ deliciousness on potato rolls or kaiser rolls. This recipe seems to grow so it will make plenty to feed all the hungry mouths at your campsite.


  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 bottle of your favorite bbq sauce
  • Potato rolls

Add the chicken to your crockpot and pour all other ingredients on top.

Cook 5 hours on high.

Using a fork and tongs, pull apart the chicken until it is fully shredded and mix thoroughly into the sauce.

Let cool and divide into containers. Heat in a pan over the campfire and serve on potato rolls!

Double Decker Hot Ham and Cheese Foil Sandwiches

ham and cheese foil camping sandwich

Pub style comfort food meets camping in this simple to put together recipe.

You can serve this stacked sandwich with chips and pickles in summer, a side of soup in autumn or enjoy it all on its own.

This hearty sandwich will keep your families’ bellies full straight through until dinner!


  • 1 loaf white or country bread
  • 1 tomato, sliced thin
  • 1 lb sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 1 lb sliced deli ham
  • Oregano
  • Mayonnaise

Spread a thick layer of mayonnaise on one slice of bread and sprinkle with oregano.

Add a slice of tomato, two slices of ham and a slice of cheese and cap with another slice of bread. Repeat these steps adding the mayonnaise to the cap slice.

Wrap the sandwich tightly in tin foil, pressing it down. Place sandwich in tinfoil near campfire coals or on a grill grate for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.  

Philly Cheesesteak Puff Pastry

Philly cheesesteak puff pastry

This easy camp recipe offers a compact way to enjoy one of America’s finest food truck delights while you’re in the great outdoors.

You can either bake them ahead of time, wrap them in tinfoil, and reheat them. Or, just leave them unbaked and let them cook for 30 minutes over the campfire before serving to your family.

Here’s the full Philly cheesesteak puff pastry pockets recipe.

Hot Dogs on a Stick

hot dogs on a stick

Keep your camp lunch easy and traditional with this recipe for hot dogs on a stick.

The classic campfire cookout gets a little makeover with the addition of crescent rolls that turn your everyday hot dog into an on the go pig in a blanket.

Quick and easy, you can serve this with some potato salad, chips or just a side of mustard and ketchup.

Check out this campfire hot dog recipe.

Meatball Sliders

campfire meatball sliders

These cheap and easy meatball sliders will hit the spot after a morning of wilderness activity.

Whip them up in a tinfoil casserole dish that you can throw on your campfire grate until the cheese is melty.

Then pull apart the individual sandwiches for a tasty treat.

This recipe makes for a great no-fuss lunch option when you’re trying to get back out on the trail or off to the swimming hole.

Learn more about these easy meatball sliders for camping.

Easy Make Ahead Camping Dinner Recipes

Dinner is when you can sit down after a long fun day and simply enjoy the company of your family. These make ahead camping meals are very easy to prepare and loved by all.

Try these delicious dutch oven camping recipes for even more camp dinner ideas.

Pie Iron Pizza Calzone

pie iron campfire calzone

Who doesn’t love pizza at the end of a long day?

With this pie iron pizza calzone, you can easily enjoy campfire pizza without the difficulty of using a grill, oven, or anything complicated.

By bringing pre-made pizza dough and other pre-made ingredients, this is a make ahead camping meal that you just need to put the finishing touches on.

Here’s our very own time-tested pie iron pizza calzone recipe.

Campfire Kebobs

campfire kebobs

Grab your ingredients and assemble your skewers at home before your trip.

You can lay these kebobs on a baking sheet and wrap them in tin foil or place them in a 9 x 13-inch foil pan with a lid to travel.

If you want to make sure that you don’t end up with underdone meat and overcooked veggies, or tomatoes that are melting off the skewers, try adding only one ingredient per skewer.

When you’re done you can scrape off all the goodies into the pan you brought them in and everyone can grab a plateful.

Try these delicious kebab recipes for more tips on the best ingredients and delicious marinades.

Camp Chili

camping chili

To me, no fall camping trip is complete without a crock of chili bubbling on the fire.

Try this hearty slow cooker chili recipe at home and pack it in soup containers to take with you.

Dump all the containers in a dutch oven and heat it up over the fire. When it’s nice and toasty, you can spoon it back into the containers you carried it in to serve.

Don’t forget to make some cornbread to soak it up!

Here’s our favorite 5-can chili recipe as well as a tasty cornbread recipe.

Shepherds Pie

shepherds pie for camping

The ultimate family comfort food casserole, shepherd’s pie is a delicious and filling dinner idea for a cool evening by a campfire.

Not only is it super easy to make at home, it’s also a no fuss option to fill and warm a lot of tummies without a lot of hassle.

Layer it up in a foil pan and toss it on the campfire grate for 20 minutes or until it’s hot and bubbly.

Here’s one of the best shepherd’s pie recipes we use ourselves!

Shrimp Boil Foil Packet

shrimp boil foil packet

Low country boil is the quintessential southern cookout food so what better meal to enjoy while camping over an open fire.

Filled with shrimp, corn, potatoes, sausage, and spices that will leave your taste buds tingling this recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

And forget cleaning up the big boiler pots, this meal comes in individually wrapped foil packets for easy cooking and no cleanup.

Here’s our favorite shrimp boil foil packet recipe.

Campfire Enchiladas

campfire enchiladas

Have a campground family fiesta with this south of the border recipe.

Bake these delicious enchiladas in a tin foil pan over an open fire until the sauce and cheese are bubbly.

Make sure to bring along some sour cream to add a dollop before you chow down!

Use our favorite cheesy chicken enchiladas recipe to whip up this scrumptious camp dinner.

Easy Make Ahead Camping Dessert Recipes

C’mon now, you just can’t forget about dessert! These no make desserts for camping will take care of your sweet tooth without nary any effort.

Don’t forget to check out our list of 21 more delicious campfire desserts!

No Bake ‘Smores Bars

easy no bake smores bars

What family camping trip would be complete without ‘smores?

But if you aren’t keen on finding a semi-clean stick and then dealing with sticky hands, feet and hair for the rest of the evening, we recommend giving these yummy no bake treats a taste.

They are the perfect alternative to traditional ‘smores as they offer all the flavor without all the mess. And as a bonus, they don’t require any baking!

Learn more about these easy no-bake s’mores bars.

‘Smores Bark

camping smores bark

Another delicious alternative to the traditional camp ‘smores is bark – a perfect mix of graham, marshmallow, and chocolate in a bite-sized piece.

Simple and quick to make and easy to store for your next camping road trip, you can pull them out after dark for a sweet end to your evening.

While they don’t need to be kept in your cooler, don’t let them sit in the sun or in a hot car, or you might come back to a melted mess.

This is a fantastic s’mores chocolate bark recipe.

Campfire Cones

campfire cones

While bringing ice cream in your camping cooler may prove a little bit difficult, campfire cones are a unique substitute.

Have your kids help you assemble them at home for a fun craft to get them in the camping spirit.

Heat these cones up in tin foil over the campfire for a yummy snack to go along with your ghost stories.

Here’s more info on how to make campfire cones on your next trip.

Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

monkey bread for camping

This pull-apart dessert is the perfect centerpiece for the picnic table, as long as you bring along some wet wipes.

Instead of using a bundt pan, make this recipe ahead in a foil pan with a lid that you can put on the campfire grill grate.

Keep the fire low and cook the monkey bread slowly. Remember to store this in your cooler until you’re ready to cook it.

Learn more about making this camping monkey bread recipe.

Easy Make Ahead Camping Snack Recipes

Snacks are essential for any camping trip. If you’re out on an adventure, you’re going to need some snacks for energy. We like to prepare these snacks to eat while on the trail, in our canoe, or just around the campsite.

Homemade Trail Mix

camping trail mix

Sweet, savory, spicy or crunchy. No matter how you like it, trail mix is the go-to snack for campers, hikers, and backpackers.

Often called GORP in the outdoor world, trail mix packs a big nutritional punch, is easy to pack on the go, and doesn’t require special storage.

But the best part is it fills you up in between meals even when you’re burning calories on a hike or playing tag at the campsite!

We love that the possibilities are endless when it comes to mixing up your favorite trail mix. Choose from fruit and nuts to chocolate and wasabi peas – anything goes.

Here are 21 trail mix recipes for a healthy camping snack.

Tex Mex Dip

tex mex dip

Cheesy doesn’t even cover it!

Make this layered dip in a 9 x 13-inch foil pan ahead of time and toss it on your campfire grill grate until it’s hot and bubbly.

Serve with corn chips and don’t forget the beer and soda for this tailgate favorite. This is best served with a metal spoon to avoid the inevitable broken chip.


  • 2 packs of cream cheese
  • 2 cans of Hormel no bean chili
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 jar pickled jalapeños (optional)
  • 1 (8 oz) bag finely shredded Mexican blend cheese

Sliced 1 inch thick piece of 1 cream cheese bar and layer the bottom of the foil baking pan.

Add one can of no-bean chili and half the can of black beans.

Add the second bar of cream cheese in 1 inch thick pieces spread over the beans.

Add the second can of no-bean chili and put a layer of jalapeños on top.

Put a thick layer of shredded cheese on top and cover with foil.

Place on your camping grill grate for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly and serve with corn chips.

Energy Bites

energy ball bites for camping

Don’t leave the campsite without these energy ball bites.

These sweet little treats are filled with healthy ingredients that will give you the energy to keep the kiddos entertained all day. Always make a bunch of these because it’s so hard to just eat one!

Easy to carry in a plastic bag, these morsels don’t need to be refrigerated or cooked. Just mix, roll and they are ready to go.

Try these energy bite recipes to have a variety of flavors to choose from on your next family camping trip.

Crispy Chickpeas

crispy chick peas

If you need a guilt free snack that you can chow on without cutting and storing vegetables, look no further.

These crispy chickpeas will feed that salty or sweet craving and you don’t need to worry about enjoying another handful.

Best of all, you can make them just the way you like them – sweet with a drizzle of honey, spicy with some cayenne or Old Bay seasoning, or savory with just a hint of sea salt and garlic powder.

Here’s exactly how to make this crispy chickpea snack for camping.

Fruit Leather

fruit leather

Remember fruit snacks?

Every kid loves the gummy, fruity sweetness that tastes like candy and is healthy too. Instead of reaching for the box at the store try making your own at home.

It’s as easy as blending up your favorite ingredients and baking it.

Try these fruit leather recipes to sweeten up your afternoon.

What Are Your Favorite Make Ahead Camping Meals?

These make ahead camping meals are honestly some of the easiest camping meals for family trips.

We love them because they make it so you don’t have to stress over cooking and deal with minimal cleanup but still have delicious camp meals to share.

What about you? What’s your favorite make ahead camp meal? Let us know in the comments below!

Learn More About Camp Cooking!

Check out our complete camping food list for even more ideas.

Happy Camping!

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Make Ahead Camping Meals


Monday 22nd of October 2018

Most of these require a campfire, which, out here in the West, is not possible most of the year. Can you do a similar article for those of us forced to use Jet Boil type and Coleman 2-burner type camp stoves?


Tuesday 23rd of October 2018

Love the idea. I'm putting that on our list for future content! Thanks Will!


Sunday 29th of July 2018

Can the meatball subs be prepped and frozen in advance or does that make the bread soggy?

Leah Kohlstrom

Saturday 11th of August 2018

Yes, I am curious about this as well. No one likes soggy bread! :)


Wednesday 11th of July 2018

We have a camp on the river in NH, kind of remote area, no cell service or cable. We also only have a grill and one hot plate. I love your ideas, I'm going to make the breakfast burritos, I think that would make my wake up call so much easier. Thanks, Joceline

Clare waldoch

Tuesday 17th of April 2018

Thanks Ryan. I’m planning a trip from the Midwest all the way out to Southern Alaska via truck with my dog. I have been pre-prepping some food the last couple days thanks for the great ideas! Happy trails :-)


Thursday 19th of April 2018

You're welcome Clare! Hope you have a great trip!

The Complete Camping Food List for Planning, Packing and Cooking - Beyond The Tent

Thursday 6th of April 2017

[…] might want easier and more hassle free options when you are keeping up with kids. Try some of these make ahead camping meals so you can avoid the mess and clean-up at the […]

Dan Vincent

Monday 24th of June 2019

I agree. My options are anything you can make ahead and freeze in ample freezer bags. EX: Chili, homemade chicken noodle soup, sloppy joe, pulled pork, meat balls, etc.. It serves a dual purpose - the frozen, pillow like bags placed in the bottom of coolers will also serve as "ice" to keep the entire cooler temp down over several days. Make Ahead may seem like a lot of work prior to the camping trip, but it's a lifesaver when you can have dinner ready in 30 minutes.