Camping is a fun way to get away from the grind of everyday life. It’s an awesome way to enjoy nature and spend time with family and friends without the distractions of everyday life and responsibility.
But when you go camping, you need to bring everything with you to prepare your meals. You also won’t have access to a lot of the modern-day amenities you’re used to at home. This requires you to get creative about what to eat and cook. Though you might not have access to some of your usual amenities like an oven or microwave you will have access to unique ways to cook like a campfire or grill.
Figuring out what to cook can be a fun adventure and a chance to try something new. We’ve found several recipes for any meal or dessert and snacks. A lot of these ideas can be prepared ahead of time and cooked while you’re at the campsite. You can also save a lot of time prepping ahead of time at home, where you’ll have those modern-day amenities like a full kitchen.
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3 Breakfast Ideas
1. Campfire Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon Rolls are delicious just about anywhere. But they can be cooked fully over a campfire for a deliciously sweet breakfast treat. You can buy a can of pre-made cinnamon rolls or make your own dough if you have a special recipe you like.
All you have to do is roll up the rolls ahead of time and bring them along with you in a container. When you’re ready to eat, stick a roll onto a roasting prong and get it cooking over your campfire. Take it slow and roast it like you would a marshmallow. It should take about 8 to 12 minutes. Remove it carefully and let it cool a bit before eating.
2. Campfire Granola
Granola is a great breakfast or snack. All the essential ingredients are easy to transport and don’t need to be kept cool. Fresh, warm granola is a delicious addition to your camp fare, and it’s certainly worth a try.
You can customize it with any variety of nuts or seeds you like as well. You can make this over a campfire using a cast iron skillet.
If you’re using nuts, toast them first in the pan. Once they smell nice and nutty and toasted, add in some rolled oats. Move the oats around in the pan until they become nice and toasty as well. Then, remove the pan from the heat and add a bit of oil, vegetable oil will work, and some maple syrup or honey for sweetness.
Depending on how sticky you want it will depend on how much you add. Enjoy it warm and keep any leftovers for other breakfasts or snacks.
3. Egg and Potato Scramble
This breakfast is a great way to start your day and keep you full for hours. It’s easy to customize with any veggies or cheese you like as well.
You’ll need eggs, diced potatoes, onion, butter and peppers (or any vegetable you like). You can also make this in a cast-iron pan. Start by melting some butter and then cooking the potatoes, onions, and peppers. Cook until they are tender, which will probably take about 20 minutes depending on your fire.
You can chop up all the veggies before you go as well. Then you can add more butter and add in the eggs. These will cook quickly. Cover the pan and let the eggs set up. You can use tin foil or an actual lid if you have one. The eggs should cook in about four or five minutes.
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5 Lunch and Dinner Ideas
1. Grilled Cheese
This is a super easy meal to make quickly, and you can customize it as you like. You can cook a grilled cheese just like you would at home in a pan, but using a cast iron skill over your campfire will work best.
To get a crispy edge, butter the bread and brown it on one side. Once it’s browned, take it out and put the other bread slice in. Put the cheese on top of this and place the already toasted piece on top. This will help melt the cheese a bit faster.
You can use any kind of cheese you like and even add other items like bacon, pepperoni, veggies or sauce.
Gather some tortillas, cheese, meat, and beans and you’re on the way to a delicious meal. Quesadillas are easy to make over a campfire. If you have a grate that can sit over the campfire, you can even cook it just in foil.
Put the tortilla on foil with the cheese, chicken, or whatever you decide to fill it with. Fold it over and wrap the quesadilla in foil, leaving the ends open a bit. Place it on the grate and let it cook over the fire. Flip it once about halfway through so both sides get nice and crispy.
You don’t even need plates because you can open the foil and eat it right out of there. This recipe is great for groups, too, because everyone can customize what they want in their quesadilla. This can also work on a gas grill if you have that as an option.
3. Foil packet meals
Dinners made in foil packets are absolutely perfect for camping. They can be made on a grill or campfire and only need tin foil. You can even get by a whole trip without using a pan if you make everything in tin foil!
You can make just about any dish in a tin foil packet. Popular options are chicken and vegetables, cajun shrimp, steak and potatoes, or ground beef and vegetables. All you need to do is place a bit of each ingredient, spices and any sauces you like into a packet of foil and wrap it up.
Most tin foil dinners will cook in 10 or 15 minutes. Just make sure you open the sides a bit so steam can escape, and you don’t have soggy food. This is a great way to use seasonal veggies and get a complete meal.
You can also prepare things ahead of time like chopping your veggies and marinating your meat.
4. Macaroni and cheese
This recipe requires a bit of make-ahead prep work, but the results are so amazing.
Find small foil tins at a dollar store or discount store. Cook up some elbow macaroni and mix it with jarred alfredo sauce, a bit of butter, some shredded cheese, and half-and-half. Season with salt and pepper.
Mix up all these ingredients and add a bit more shredded cheese to the top. Scoop it into a foil tin and wrap with aluminum foil. When you’re camping, warm this macaroni and cheese up over your fire on a cooking grate.
Since everything is ready to eat, you just need to warm it up. The cheese should melt and be heated through in about 10 minutes. The ooey-gooey cheesy macaroni is bound to please anyone.
5. Walking Tacos
Foil comes in handy again here. Walking tacos are taco meat and toppings all wrapped up in a foil packet. You can cook any meat you like, beef, chicken or shrimp, and taco seasoning in a foil packet.
You can also cook rice or beans alongside it if you like. Once that’s all cooked over your campfire, open the packet up and the top and top with cheese, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, salsa, chips or whatever else you like.
These are easily customizable based on everyone’s likes and dislikes as well. These are sure to be a crowd-pleaser, and they have super easy cleanup. You eat them right out of the packet so no need for plates!
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3 Dessert Ideas
Now the important stuff – sweets! The obvious camping dessert is s’mores. But there are many unique variations you can do to this classic dessert. Try peanut butter cups or peppermint patties instead of chocolate or use chocolate graham crackers or cinnamon ones.
You can also bake up cookies ahead of time and use them as your crackers to hold a marshmallow. There are so many things you can do with s’mores! Try something new on your next trip, and it may become a new tradition.
1. Banana Boats
If you’re looking to add some fruit to your dessert, try making grilled banana boats.
These are an easy way to make a dessert with aluminum foil over a campfire. All you have to do is slice a banana lengthwise and drizzle Nutella, peanut butter or sprinkle chocolate chips or candies across the top and wrap it up. Warm the banana on the fire for about five minutes to warm it up and melt the toppings. Eat it with a spoon and enjoy!
2. Upside Down Cake
This recipe uses foil again and the results are delicious. Upside down cakes are sometimes tricky to make, but with these simple tricks, it’s a great camping dessert.
Buy some premade pound cake and canned fruit, and along with a few other baking supplies, you’re good to go. These can also be assembled ahead of time. Start by placing the fruit in a foil packet and add the pound cake on top.
Add a dollop of brown sugar and butter on top and wrap it up. Place it on a grill grate and let the campfire do the work for you. In about 15 minutes, the brown sugar and juices will warm up and mix and create a tasty dessert. You can use any fruit you like from pineapple to peaches.
3. Dough Boys
Dough boys take pre-made biscuit dough to a new level. They can be cooked over a campfire to perfection. All you need is store-bought biscuit dough, cinnamon, sugar, and butter. Spread the butter over each biscuit and coat with the remaining ingredients.
Stick them onto a skewer or roasting stick and get it roasting over a fire. Once it’s done, you can coat it in more toppings. Enjoy it warm, and prepare to be amazed. They’re so simple but oh so delicious.
These can also be customized as you like. You can top them with ice cream if you feel like eating them with a spoon. The mix of warm and cold is so delicious too.
There are so many simple and delicious meals you can make while you are hanging out at a campsite or trip. Simple ingredients are typically the best way to go. You don’t want to overcomplicate anything.
A campfire is a great tool for some delicious meals, and there are endless ways to be creative and make these recipes your own. It’s easy to customize these ideas with your likes and dislikes as well. The possibilities are endless.
Also consider bringing some ready to eat snacks like jerky, granola bars, chips and crackers and fruits, and vegetables. Camping is an active vacation usually so you’ll be hungry as you work on setting up camp, prepping things and having fun.
Make sure to pack a good balance of food you need to cook and food that’s ready to eat, so there’s always something ready to grab. Making and planning ahead can help you enjoy your trip and make things go smoothly.