Sometimes, preparing for your camping meals feels like you have to choose between slaving over a gourmet recipe or roasting basic hot dogs over the fire. With a little bit of prep, these easy camping recipes will give you the best part of a camping trip—sitting around a fire and bonding over a plate of good food—without the hassle. Plus, these camping food ideas, that are anything but granola, will impress your 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 15 easy camping meals that are sure to please on your next camp trip.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Taco Bowls
Who doesn't love tacos?. This version is vegetarian and a super easy meal to make. It calls for dehydrated beef or a Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) but would work well with ground beef or turkey. Other toppings to consider are cilantro, jalapeno, and sour cream. Make it even more satisfying by adding rice. Packets or bowls of pre-cooked, microwavable rice can be found at any grocery store and they cook very nicely in a pan with some oil.
5. 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.
6. Camp Appetizers & 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.
7. 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.
8. Woof 'Ems
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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. Plate-sized Pancakes
The plate-sized pancake is a breakfast idea everyone can get behind. 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.
12. Pineapple Upside Down Cake Kabobs
Dessert skewers. Need we say more?
13. Campfire Pizza
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.
14. 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.
15. 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 chicken 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.