Admittedly, cooking during your camping trips can be a challenging feat. With limited resources and appliances, you might be tempted to pass up on cooking tasty foods and settle for canned foods instead.
However, regardless of the minor challenges like minimal equipment and an unfamiliar heat source, cooking can be easy and fun on your camping trips.
Want to enjoy tasty dishes in the middle of the wilderness with minimal stress? We have provided 50 easy yet delicious camping meals to enjoy on your next adventure.
Cooking While Camping
A great camping experience is not complete without delicious yet straightforward gourmet-like meals. Cooking while camping doesn't always have to be complicated. There are more food choices outside marshmallows-on-a-stick you can enjoy on your expenditure.
Camping miles away from civilization with little to no amenities to supplement your cooking requires careful planning and lots of creativity. With limited space, ingredients, and gadgets, it is essential to stick to easy yet rewarding recipes you can enjoy.
Cooking on a camping trip- it doesn't matter whether it is truck bed camping or conventional camping- requires adequate planning before you even arrive at your camping spot. It doesn't matter if you are a newbie or a veteran camper, cooking in camp requires adequate and thorough preparation.
While there are various cooking methods for cooking outdoors, there are essential everyday items you will need to execute.
1. Heat Source
Cooking without a heat source is not feasible. While camping, you can choose between using a small fire pit to create a cooking fire or a portable camping gas.
Cooking over a campfire requires experience to not only start the fire but also keep it going. Adding too much wood can cause the fire to flare up and burn your food but not adding enough will not create enough heat to cook your food thoroughly and quickly.
A gas camping stove, on the other hand, makes outdoor cooking very easy. All you need is a match stick, and you can get your fire going. Gas stoves are also comfortable as they allow you to control the heat with the adjustment knob.
While both are great cooking options, remember cooking fire adds a smoky flavor to foods and lugging a gas stove around is not as easy as it sounds.
On your camping trip, your cooler is your make-shift portable refrigerator. It is the perfect place to store raw foods like meat and other perishable ingredients.
The longer you maintain the temperature in your cooker, the more durable your ingredients are. To help your foods last longer, freeze a few gallons of water instead of loose ice.
3. Cooking Equipment
Pots, pans, kettles, and spoons are essential if you intend to cook while camping. Before you randomly choose equipment to pack for your camping trip, it is essential to note that not all equipment is suitable for outdoor cooking.
While most of your cooking tools will depend on the cooking methods you wish to use, it is crucial to go for heat-proof silicone cooking utensils. Ensure whatever cooking equipment you want to use over a campfire is suitable for use over an open fire.
Cooking Methods To Try While Camping
Since gadgets like your rice cooker and waffle maker are at home miles away, you undoubtedly need to explore new methods to make your recipes come alive. Some of the most popular and handy camping cooking methods include:
Boiling water for coffee, tea, or a hot bath is one of the most basic and simplest cooking methods you will need while camping. With no electric kettle, you need a cooking pot and water from a nearby lake or your water storage. With this method, you can boil eggs and rice and prepare other pre-packaged foods like mac n cheese and instant noodles.
If you want to enjoy tasty camp meals like burgers, steak, and marinated chicken, grills should be your go-to equipment. This will allow you to grill any food you usually will in your home in the middle of the wilderness. Grilling can be done over campfires or coals. You need your grill gate and other necessary utensils like spatula or tongs. Grilling often requires prep work that can be done on-site or pre-packaged from home for ease.
The options are endless with a camp stove. From preparing scrambled eggs to pan-seared steak or even pancakes, cooking with a camp stove is a versatile and efficient option to enjoy cooking outdoors.
Many recipes can be done using a camp stove. You need your stove, cookware like pots and pans, and other cooking utensils like spoons.
If you choose to use portable camping stoves, it is important you implement safety practices as burn accidents from pre-filled gas canisters are a common occurrence.
Using heavy-duty cookware made of cast iron is possibly one of the best cooking methods for being out in the wild. With its non-stick ability, high heat retention, and durability, it is easy to see why a cast-iron skillet remains a camper’s favorite.
Cast iron skillets can be used for sautéing, pan-frying, searing, baking, braising, broiling, roasting, and other techniques your recipe might call for. It is an ideal method for cooking over an open flame on your campfire or over a grill gate. Cast-iron skillets can get very hot, so be careful!
While there a great choice for versatility, they are cumbersome and are not ideal for backpackers and are better used as a part of your camping or overlanding gear.
Feeling lazy? Simply use a foil packet for your cooking. Foil packets are inarguably one of the easiest cooking methods there is. All you need are aluminum foil wraps and a what source. Although some people argue that cooking with foil packets is unhealthy, research has shown negligible aluminum contamination during the cooking process.
Foil packets can be used to prepare meals like cheesy potatoes, grilled salmon, chicken fajita, and even a simple ham and cheese sandwich. Talk about fine dining! While we applaud a versatile cooking method, it is essential to note you cannot use foil packets over an open flame.
It would be best to use them over coals or a grill. Foil packet meals can be pre-made from home to save time and space.
On A Stick
Cooking food on a stick is a timeless and classic camping cooking method. It is undoubtedly how many campers were introduced to roasting hotdogs on camping trips.
While cooking on a stick requires minimal ingredients, it is a minimal cooking method. Regardless of this challenge, there are various creative recipes you can try with this method.
If you choose to cook on a stick, you can either make do with sticks you find on the campsite or purchase roasting sticks from any camping store. Essentially, food cooked on a stick supplements your camping experience with great food with a smoky texture.
50 Easy Camping Meals For Your Next Adventure
Are you tired of eating the same food over and over again? We have provided 50 easy camping meals to explore on your subsequent expenditure.
1. Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix
This packaged pancake mix only needs water to come alive. They are easy to make and can be prepared in no time.
2. Boiled Egg Sandwiches
They are simple, filling, and delicious. All you need are boiled eggs, English muffins, sliced ham, cheese, and vegetables. To make it easier, you can boil the eggs from home to save time and resources. Heat in a pan if necessary.
3. Peanut Butter And Jelly (PB&J)
PB&J sandwiches are an at-home and camping classic. Everyone loves these tasty sandwiches.
4. Grilled Cheese
Did somebody say cheese? Everyone loves tasty, gooey, and simple grilled cheese sandwiches! All you need are three ingredients- bread, butter, and cheese- and a cast-iron pie sandwich maker or a grill placed directly over coals/a campfire.
5. Shrimp Boil Foil Packets
If you are looking for an easy yet tasty fix that is just as easy to clean up, this meal is your best bet. All you need are the ingredients (shrimp, corn on the cob, zucchinis, or whatever you want) of your choice and some foil packets. Seal your ingredients in the foil and cook them over a charcoal or propane grill!
6. Campfire Scrambled Eggs
Eggs are a classic and straightforward meal. All you need are eggs, water, and butter.
7. Toasted Cinnamon Rolls
You can never go wrong with cinnamon rolls. All you need is your favorite brand of cinnamon rolls and some sticks or a roasting fork. Insert your rolls and a stick and cook over a fire until toasted.
8. Potato And Egg Scramble
This one-pan meal is a great breakfast option. All you need are some potatoes, eggs, onions, peppers, and butter. Melt your butter in a cast iron pan and toss your potatoes, onions, and peppers. Cook until tender before adding more butter and your eggs. A potato and egg scramble takes roughly 40 minutes to prepare, including prep time.
9. Sausage And Potatoes
Prepping your sausage and potatoes from home can go a long way. Cut your smoked sausage into chunks and slice your vegetables. Cut your potatoes in half, throw them in a pan with your carrots, heat until tender, and add the rest of your ingredients. Who knew a nutritious camping meal could be this easy?
10. Shredded BBQ Pork/Chicken
Minimal on-site prep required. Cook, shred, and freeze your pork/chicken at home. Warm it on camp and enjoy it as a side dish or as it is.
Who says Avocadoes don't make great meals? Slice up your avocado, sprinkle salt on it, and enjoy. It could also be paired with sandwiches.
12. Packaged Salad Kits
These can easily be gotten from stores for a few bucks. No prep is required. All you need is a bowl and spoon.
13. Instant Mashed Potatoes
This meal requires no prep! Just add boiling water, mix, and enjoy your simple meal.
14. Precooked Rice
Precooked or instant rice packages are a promise of convenience and ease. Plus, they come as flavored rice varieties too! You have to add your rice and some water to a skillet and heat it up.
This delicious pasta meal is filled with cheese, meat, or other options. Cook in (salted) boiling water, drain it and serve with salad, garlic bread, or any other side dishes of your choice. It can also be eaten as it is.
16. Roasted Marshmallows Or S'mores
A delicious camping classic! It is an excellent daily dish or enjoyed around a campfire at night.
17. Tortilla Roll-Ups
Get creative with your tortilla. Fill tortillas with caramel, chocolate chips, Nutella, nuts, peanut butter, or anything you like and warm over a fire.
18. Banana Boat
They are fun and easy to make. Cut a lengthwise slit in a banana with its peel still on, and fill the slit with chocolate chips, marshmallows, or any delicious filling you want. Wrap your boats in foil and warm them upright over a campfire. Unwrap the foil and enjoy the delicious boats with a spoon.
19. Baked Apple Slices
Slice some apples, sprinkle them with sugar and cinnamon, wrap them in foil, and heat over a fire. This is an easy yet healthy fix.
20. Foil Packet BBQ Chicken And Black Bean Nachos
Another delicious and easy foil packet recipe. Toss your tomato, black beans, spicy beef, chips, green chilis, and cheese in foil and cook on your grill.
21. Campfire S’more Nachos
Who says there is only one way to enjoy S’more? This easy meal is mind-blowing and easy to make. Toss graham crackers, mini marshmallows, crumbled fudge brownies, milk chocolate morsels, peanut butter, and whipped cream in foil and cook over your grill.
22. Cowboy Stew With Sausage And Beans
This one-pot meal is nothing short of mouth-watering. A combination of tender meats, veggies, Ben's, and delicious spices, the cowboy stew is bursting with flavor and nutrition. All you need to do is saute the onions, add ground beef, follow up with the other ingredients, and cook on low to medium heat for about an hour.
23. Campfire Potatoes
Potatoes, bacon, cheese, onions, and peppers never go wrong. Stick your sliced ingredients in foil packets and cook over a campfire for a delicious and easy-to-clean meal.
24. Campfire Pizza
There's no active pizza delivery service in the wilderness, so what? Who says you cannot create your equally delicious pizza on camp? All you need are your pre-prepared pizza crust, pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, bell peppers, and any other topping you would like to add. Your campfire pizza can be prepared over a cast-iron skillet or pizza stone.
25. Pull-Apart Campfire Garlic Bread
Posted with minced garlic, cheese, and parsley, the pull-apart garlic bread is easily a campers’ favorite. There are various ways to prepare this delicious meal, with many of these recipes requiring a Dutch oven.
26. Campfire Taco In A Bag
Not in the mood for lengthy food prep? Simply prepare the taco bags at home and heat them at the camp. Pair meat with cheese, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and chips for the ultimate campfire meal.
27. Crispy French Toast
Bring French toast on the go with you using a portable camping girdle. A crispy French Toast is an excellent camp breakfast meal option that can be paired with any topping.
28. Grilled Corn On The Cob
Campfire corn grilled with heavy cream, butter, sour cream, paprika, and parmesan cheese is not your regular con-on-the-cob. It is fast, easy, and hands-down one of the most delicious campfire meals there is.
29. Dressed Up Baked Beans
Baked beans are a regular meal on many camping trips but not baked beans like this one. Filled with crispy bacon, sausage, onion, mustard, maple syrup, ketchup, molasses, and cider vinegar, the dressed-up baked beans are many steps ahead of your regular baked beans.
30. Campfire Chili Cheese Fries
With just a few ingredients that can be prepared from home, you can fix yourself a deliciously hearty meal of chili cheese fries. If you choose to pre-cook your ingredients, you will save time and warm the foil packs and chili over the campfire.
31. Dutch Oven Cornbread
All you need to do is mix your ingredients with water, pour it into a Dutch oven, and cook for about 30 minutes, Voila! You will have steaming hot and fresh cornbread.
32. Grilled Pineapple Chicken Kebab
Chunks of meat, veggies, and pineapple provide a perfect mixture of sweet, tangy, and delicious meal textures you are bound to live. All you need is a skewer and a grill, and you will be rewarded with one of the best camping meals you have ever had.
33. Bean Chili With Cornbread Topping
Cornbread and bean chili is a campfire match made in heaven. If you've never baked your cornbread in the same pot you cook your bean chili in, you are in for a pleasant surprise. All you need is a Dutch oven for this one-pot meal wonder.
34. Foil Pack French Dip Sandwich
This is another on-the-go sandwich recipe with premade ingredients that will make camping more pleasant. Assemble your ingredient, wrap them in foil, grill, and enjoy a crispy, gooey French sandwich.
35. Campfire Nachos
Whip out your Dutch oven for another delicious one-pot meal. Pair your avocado, tortilla chips, Mexican blend cheese, black beans, onions, fresh cilantro, and delicious spices in your trusty Dutch oven to enjoy campfire Nachos in no time.
36. Dutch Oven S’mores Cereal Bar
S’mores paired with peanut butter, marshmallows, mallow bits, chocolates, cereal of your choice, and any topping is comfort food you would love.
37. Bacon And Cheese Pull-Apart Loaf
Bacon makes everything better, and this meal is proof. All you need are dinner rolls, butter, grated cheddar cheese, and of course, bacon in a Dutch oven.
38. Caramelized Onions
Caramelized onions can be enjoyed by themselves or as a side dish for meals like hash browns and burgers. They take about 40 minutes to cook in foil with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
39. Pineapple, Ham, And Cheese Sandwich
Pineapple once again makes an appearance in this delicious meal. Simply assemble a sandwich using French rolls, ham, cheddar cheese, mustard, sliced pineapples, and a drizzle of honey. Wrap your assemblage in foil and grill for about 20 minutes.
40. Seared Sausage, Cabbage, And Apples
Oil, Italian sausage links, lady apples, red onions, apple cider, salt, and pepper in a cast-iron skillet yields one of the most delicious camping meals today.
41. Maple Chorizo
Chorizo, potatoes, eggs, and vegetables covered in maple syrup are inarguably one of the most delicious dishes today. Cooked in a skillet and seasoned to perfection, Maple Chorizo is one of the simplest and most filling dishes you can reward yourself with out in the wild.
42. Berry-Peach Cobbler
If you've never prepared a cobbler over a campfire, this is your cue to give it a try. With its simple ingredients, the campfire berry-peach cobbler is one of the most leisurely campfire meals you can try today.
43. Jalapeño Popper Dogs
Are you tired of plain old hotdogs? Try Jalapeño Popper Dogs instead. All you need are large Jalapeños, cheese, hotdogs, hotdog buns, and mustard to serve.
Who says you need a microwave to prepare popcorn? Campfire popcorn is just as tasty and easy to make as any other popcorn. Feel free to get creative and prepare spiced popcorn with paprika, garlic salt, chili flakes, salt, and pepper.
45. Grilled Asparagus
This meal is as simple as it sounds. Toss your asparagus over a grill or in a grill pan, drizzle some oil, and season it with salt and pepper.
46. Grilled Food Skewers
Create a healthy and delicious dessert from peaches, strawberries, and pineapples. Cut and skewer the fruits, drizzle with oil, and season to taste with salt. Grill your fruits on both sides and drizzle with honey.
47. Spicy Grilled Salmon
Prepare delicious salmon glazed with spicy Sriracha. Because you need to let the salmon fillets marinate, you will need a 3-hour head start to prepare. Regardless of this length of prep time, your delicious salmon will be grilled and ready in minutes.
48. Sausage And Pepper Foil
Wrap peppers of your choice, sausage, and onions seasoned to taste in foil and pop them on the grill. It is easy to prepare and even easier to clean up.
49. Skillet Beer Cheese
Need a cheese dip for your bread? Get the party going with this delicious meal created from cheddar cheese, cream cheese, garlic, beer, salt and pepper.
50. Grilled Watermelon
Are you feeling lazy? Grill some watermelon. This tasty food can be enjoyed alone or paired with other dishes.
Enjoy Tasty Meals While Camping
We love roasted Marshmallows, but there are tons of easy food recipes to explore on your camping trips. These meals are convenient, delicious, and easy to make.
To spice things up, create a meal plan to last your camping duration. This will help you enjoy delicious and nutritious meals while reducing wastage.
If you are looking for more ways to bring the heat to your subsequent camping trips, check out our detailed tips on how to create your own affordable diesel heater for rooftop tents.