Sometimes, preparing your meals for camping feels like you have to choose between slaving over a gourmet recipe or roasting basic hot dogs over the campfire. We're here to say: That's definitely not true.
With a little bit of prep, these easy camping recipes can give you the best parts of a camping trip—sitting around a fire, bonding over a plate of good food—without the hassle. They're only slightly more work than noshing on a bag of granola, but much more impressive to fellow campers.
The first step to prep for your camping meals is to understand how you will be cooking and how your gear works. As campfires might be prohibited (and can make cooking tricky), a portable stove is a great option for your next camping trip. Camp stoves are a lot quicker than an open fire and operate more like cooking at home. Of course, if you'd like to cook over a campfire use a cast iron skillet, which won't be ruined by the fire and will heat evenly throughout the skillet. Here are some awesome Dutch oven and cast iron meals to cook.
To make things simple for your camping trip, do as much work at home as possible. Measure out exactly how much of everything you will need, pack ingredients together (think black beans and cheddar cheese for nachos in one container) and chop veggies. The goal is to throw everything into a pan and relax.
With that in mind, explore these 19 easy camping meals that are sure to please on your next camp trip.
Cheesy Venison Taco Rice Skillet
This cheesy, hearty taco skillet is sure to become a camping favorite. Take some ground venison, rice, and Rotel and cook in a skillet with broth and some seasoning for about 20 minutes. Stir every now and then so your rice doesn't stick. Once ready, serve with cheddar cheese, cilantro, and jalapenos. If you wish, you could also add a dollop of sour cream!
Hawaiian Wild Turkey Kabobs
Kabobs are the signature dish of many a BBQ and campout and these Hawaiian Turkey Kabobs are sure to become a quick favorite. Mix the marinade and drop in your turkey at home to make it easier. Let it sit in your cooler until you are ready to assemble. Layer pineapple with bacon and cubed wild turkey and bell pepper. Cook over the fire and enjoy.
Asian Venison Lettuce Cups
Looking for a light dinner after trekking around all day? These Asian Venison Lettuce cups fit the bill. Since you don't want to take a bunch of unnecessary ingredients with you can make the sauce ahead of time at home. Mix your ingredients together over the skillet, scoop into lettuce cups and serve.
Campfire Apple Bourbon Cobbler
There is nothing better than a tasty apple cobbler. Even though it's not super practical for a camping trip. However, this version is the perfect addition to your camping menu. Slice apples, add in some brown sugar, a splash of bourbon, and some granola and you're all set to enjoy a tasty desert.
Sun-Dried Tomato Couscous
Couscous gets a major upgrade, and with a backcountry nutritionist's stamp of approval. This Sun-Dried Tomato Couscous is a tasty, one-pot meal that is calorie-dense and requires very little prep. It is a great lightweight option for backpacking or an easy dinner recipe for car camping. The best part is that this can be made with cold or hot water.
Curry Cauliflower Grill Packets
These curry cauliflower foil packets add all the flavor in an easy way. Prep the foil packets at home and then throw them on top of a campfire grate. By covering veggies like cauliflower in foil, you actually aid in steaming them, creating the perfect texture. Of course, you could also cook this recipe in a pan and score some nice texture on the veggies as well.
One Pan Sausage and Peppers
This recipe can be cooked on skewers, in a pan, or in tin foil. However, cooking this recipe in a pan will allow for thorough seasoning and a nice crispness on the veggies. Sausage is an easy protein for camping, as many can be found fully cooked in stores. Peppers add flavor and potatoes make this feel like comfort food. The hearty, yet simple recipe is perfect to enjoy after a long hike.
Campfire Taco in a Bag
Who doesn't love tacos? This version couldn't possibly be easier to make and it's kind of a fun twist. Grab your favorite bag of chips, some ground beef or ground venison, and add in your favorite toppings. Choose from shredded lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream or salsa, or add in it all!
One Pot Breakfast Beans
This one-pot, easy camping breakfast delivers nonstop flavor to the campsite. Featuring eggs, sausage, baked beans, and bacon, it fuels whatever adventures lie ahead. The best part is that the leftovers can be thrown into a tortilla and made into an easy lunch.
Camp Appetizers and Side Dishes
Baked brie cheese at camp? Oh yes, these side dishes prove that just because you are camping doesn't mean you can't indulge in decadent (but very easy to make) appetizers.
Campfire Salmon Couscous Bake
Utilizing a Dutch oven, this recipe brings a freshness to camp cooking. It calls for salmon, but if you are the fishing type, you could easily sub with fresh trout.
Arguably the most important part of a camp meal: dessert. These woof 'ems are a great alternative to the typical marshmallow sweet without adding too much hassle to your day. We especially love that "pre-made" dough is on the ingredient list.
Hot Ham and Pineapple Campfire Sandwiches
A hot, cheesy sandwich with a tropical flair and the ease of aluminum foil. This pineapple ham tin foil recipe swaps the typical ham and cheese sando for a flavor explosion. Note: the recipe calls for crispy buns to avoid sogginess as the sandwiches cook.
Sausage Breakfast Sandwiches with Sriracha Honey Sauce?
These breakfast sandwiches make getting out of the tent in the morning SO much easier. Plus the tasty sriracha honey sauce makes them feel more special than a breakfast burrito. The savory flavors pair well with a cup of coffee and the balance of protein and carbs sets you up for a brilliant day.
The pancake is a breakfast idea everyone can get behind. It's simple, easy, and tasty. Prep before your trip by slicing and dicing fresh fruits like strawberries, kiwis, bananas, and apples, plus packing nuts, seeds, chocolate, coconut, or whatever else tickles your fancy - you can even opt for savory ingredients like bacon bits. Top with honey, maple syrup, or a drizzle of peanut butter.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Kabobs
Dessert skewers. Need we say more? This simple to make spin on the pineapple upside down cake is sure to be a crowd favorite. Not to mention... It's incredibly simple to make. The pineapple and cake can be sliced ahead of time, but we don't recommend assembling until you are ready to eat!
The best camping dinner idea has to be pizza. As with the plate-sized pancakes recipe, this is an opportunity to allow fellow campers to customize their meals. Tip for this one: bring a little bit of extra dough and use it for easy, cast iron cinnamon rolls the next morning.
Chipotle Chicken Skewers
But, of course, we couldn't forget easy dinner skewers. This is truly campfire cooking at its best. The Mexican-inspired chipotle marinade makes this layered-up camping meal idea feel restaurant-inspired but without all the hassle.
One Pan Italian Sausage Orzo
This recipe can be adapted to an easy camping dinner idea by subbing a few ingredients. For example, use a bouillon cube and water instead of beef stock and garlic powder instead of minced garlic. Note, it would not be recommended to cook this in a cast iron skillet as the orzo will stick to the pot.
READ MORE: The Best Camp Kitchens of 2023
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