Camping trips are an excellent way to enjoy nature and spend quality time with friends and family. But sometimes, preparing meals in the great outdoors can be a challenge, especially with limited cooking equipment and resources.
With a little planning and creativity, however, it’s possible to create delicious, easy camping meals that anyone can enjoy.
In this article, we’ll share some straightforward and easy camping meal ideas that require only basic cooking skills and minimal ingredients. These meals are not only satisfying, but they also help campers save time and energy, allowing them to focus on other aspects of their adventure.
Breakfast Ideas for Camping
Camping mornings are best started with a warm and hearty breakfast. Here are some easy breakfast ideas that anyone can make while camping, categorized into single cookware and make-ahead breakfasts.
Single Cookware Breakfasts
1. Camping Breakfast Burritos
A simple yet satisfying meal that requires minimal preparation. Cook scrambled eggs with diced vegetables and cooked bacon or sausage in a skillet. Once done, add the mixture to a large tortilla, top with shredded cheese, and wrap it up.
2. Camping Breakfast Sandwich
Start by toasting some bread or English muffins on a skillet. Cook eggs, bacon or sausage, and add them to the toasted bread. Top with sliced cheese and any desired condiments, like ketchup or hot sauce.
3. French Toast
For a sweet and indulgent breakfast, soak slices of bread in a mixture of beaten eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Fry the soaked bread in a buttered skillet, turning it until both sides are golden brown. Serve with maple syrup or fruit.
This versatile and portable breakfast option can be prepared at home and packed for the camping trip. Combine rolled oats, nuts, and seeds with honey, oil, and spices, then bake until crisp. Store in an airtight container and serve with milk or yogurt and fresh fruit for a nourishing breakfast.
5. Breakfast Quinoa
For a twist on traditional oatmeal, prepare quinoa at home by cooking it with milk, a little sweetener, and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Divide the cooked quinoa into individual containers and pack it for the trip.
To serve, reheat the quinoa and add toppings like nuts, fruits, and yogurt.
On-The-Go Lunch Options
When it comes to camping, finding lunch options that are easy to make, portable, and delicious is essential. This section will explore three types of on-the-go lunch options for campers: foil packet recipes, skewer ideas, and portable casseroles.
6. Mexican Street Corn
Foil packet recipes are ideal for camping trips as they require minimal cleanup and can be cooked over a campfire or on a portable grill. One popular option is Mexican street corn, which is both tasty and simple to prepare:
- 4 ears of corn
- 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
- 1 cup of grated cheese (cotija or feta)
- Chili powder, to taste
- Lime wedges, for serving
To make this dish, spread mayonnaise on each ear of corn and sprinkle with chili powder. Wrap each ear securely in aluminum foil and place them on the grill or campfire coals. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally. Once cooked, carefully unwrap the foil, sprinkle with cheese, and serve with lime wedges. This recipe feeds four adults.
7. Skewer Ideas
Skewers are another portable lunch option that is versatile and easy to customize. For a simple yet flavorful skewer recipe, consider the following ingredients:
- 1 pound of chicken, cubed
- 1 bell pepper, cut into squares
- 1 red onion, cut into wedges
- 1 zucchini, sliced into rounds
- BBQ sauce or marinade of choice
Start by marinating the chicken cubes in the BBQ sauce for at least one hour. Meanwhile, soak wooden skewers in water to prevent burning.
Thread the chicken, bell pepper, onion, and zucchini onto the skewers, then cook over the campfire or grill for 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is fully cooked.
8. Portable Casseroles
For those who prefer a hearty lunch without sacrificing portability, casseroles are a great solution. Tinfoil casserole dishes can be easily packed and carried, while also doubling as cooking vessels. Here’s a simple, no-fuss casserole recipe to try on your next camping trip:
- 1 can of tuna, drained
- 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1 cup of cooked rice
- 1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
- 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
In a tinfoil casserole dish, mix the tuna, soup, rice, and mixed vegetables. Top with cheddar cheese. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and cook on a campfire grill for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through.
These three lunch options demonstrate that camping doesn’t have to mean sacrificing flavor or variety. With a little creativity, campers can enjoy delicious, portable, and easy-to-make meals on their outdoor adventures.
Dinner Recipes for Campers
9. Child-Friendly Dinners
When camping with the family, it’s essential to have some child-friendly dinner options available. One great option is Grilled Chicken Skewers. marinate the chicken in a mix of BBQ sauce and honey, then skewer with colorful vegetables. Cook the skewers over an open fire or your camp grill.
Another popular choice for kids is Sloppy Joes. Brown ground beef or turkey, mix in a tomato-based sauce, and serve on hamburger buns. This filling dinner can be easily prepared on a single-burner camp stove.
10. One Pot Dinners
Simplicity is key when camping, and one pot dinners reduce the need for multiple cooking vessels. A Shrimp Boil is an easy and delicious option.
Add corn, potatoes, and sausage to a large pot of seasoned boiling water, cook until tender, and then add shrimp for a few more minutes until they are cooked through. Serve with melted butter and lemon, creating a low-effort, high-reward meal.
111. Chili and Stew Recipes
Chili and stews are hearty comfort food options to enjoy while camping. For a classic campfire dinner, try making a Beef and Bean Chili. Brown ground beef with onions and garlic, then add canned tomatoes, beans, and a mix of chili spices. Let it simmer until the flavors meld together. Serve with your preferred toppings such as cheese, sour cream, and chopped onions.
An alternative option is Sweet Potato Peanut Stew for a unique and filling dish. Combine cubed sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and vegetable broth in a pot, then add peanut butter and spices like cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, and serve with a side of crusty bread.
Delectable Camping Desserts
Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, and it is even better when you have delicious desserts to indulge in during your adventure. This section will provide you with recipes and ideas for foil packet and campfire desserts that are easy to make and perfect for your camping getaway.
12. Foil Packet Desserts
Foil packet desserts are an excellent choice for those who want a quick, mess-free option to satisfy their sweet tooth while camping. These desserts can be prepared with minimal ingredients and are cooked directly on the campfire or grill.
- Campfire Apple Crisp: A delightful dessert using apples, granola, and cinnamon. To make it, simply peel and slice apples and layer them in a foil packet. Sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon, and granola on top, then fold the foil to create a sealed packet. Cook on the campfire or grill for about 10-15 minutes, or until the apples are soft.
- Campfire Banana Boats: A versatile dessert that can be customized with various fillings. To make these, slice a banana lengthwise, leaving the peel intact, and stuff with your choice of fillings (chocolate chips, marshmallows, nuts, etc.). Wrap the banana in foil and cook on the campfire for about 5-10 minutes until the banana is soft and the filling is melted.
13. Campfire Desserts
Campfire desserts are perfect for those who want to enjoy a warm, comforting treat by the fire. These desserts require a bit more attention while cooking but are sure to impress your camping companions.
- S’mores: A classic campfire dessert that is always a hit. To make traditional s’mores, you’ll need graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate bars. Roast the marshmallows over the campfire until they’re golden brown and gooey, then sandwich them between two graham crackers along with a piece of chocolate. Alternatively, you can use various cookie and chocolate combinations to create your unique s’more.
- Campfire Cones: A delicious twist on the classic s’more. To create campfire cones, start by grabbing a waffle cone and filling it with your choice of marshmallows, chocolate chips, fruit, or candy. Wrap the cone tightly in foil and heat over the fire for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure even cooking.
By incorporating these quick and easy dessert options into your camping menu, you can enjoy decadent treats that are sure to satisfy your cravings after a long day of outdoor adventure.
Wrapping up Easy Camping Meals for Your Next Adventure
From breakfast items to full-course dinners, these camping meals cover a variety of preferences, dietary restrictions, and flavors. Whether it’s a weekend trip or an extended stay in the wilderness, these recipes offer an effortless approach to outdoor dining, making it more enjoyable and fuss-free for campers of all levels of expertise.
Does a member of your party have dietary restrictions? Check out this list of 95 Amazing Vegan Camping Foods. Many of these recipes are also gluten-free and dairy-free!
- About the Author
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Hey there, I’m Ryan, the face behind Beyond The Tent.
With decades of camping experiences, my journey into the wilderness began on the rustic trails of a farm in southern Minnesota, where my childhood was filled with explorations and camping by a picturesque river.
My family’s adventures across the United States, from the majestic Colorado mountains to the serene national parks and the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Northern Minnesota have given me a broad perspective. With each journey, whether in state parks or private encampments, and through the homely comfort of our camping trailers, we’ve amassed a trove of stories, experiences, and invaluable camping wisdom.