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Love camping, but hate stressing about camping meals? You’re in the right place! Here at Des Moines Outdoors, we’re all about easy camping food. So, we’d like to share some tried and true meal ideas with you. Below we share ten easy no-fuss camping recipes that everyone will love.
These recipes are fully customizable and super versatile meals. Their simplicity and flexibility will have you coming back to them over and over again!
Easy Camping Food Tips
Before you leave home, meal planning and food prep will make cooking faster and easier at the campsite.
Make a simple camping meal plan
If you’re like us, you don’t like detailed schedules or plans. We just figure up how many meals we’ll need and take food for the number of meals we need. Then, when camping, we make whatever works best – and sounds tasty – on any given day.
We tend to make the easiest meals on the first day and last day of our camping trip.
Do food prep at home.
Do some quick food prep before you leave home to save time at the campsite. Here are a few things to do before you leave home that save time later:
- Chop veggies
- Shred cheese
- Marinate veggies & meat
- Portion out ingredients
- Mix spices for recipes & store in small bags or containers
Pre-make your camping meals
If you have an adventure-filled camping trip or want to kick back and relax more – pre-make your camping meals and warm them at the campsite. Foil pans and packets make it easy to cook on the camp stove or fire – and cleanup is a breeze.
Take along a lunch bag or cooler.
You’ll want to pack a lunch if you’re out exploring during the day. So, don’t forget to pack a lunch bag or cooler to take food with you.
When camping with other groups, take turns providing the evening meal. That way, everyone has less to prep since it’s often easier to make one large meal than five separate meals.
Easy Camping Food Recipes Everyone Will Love
Below are ten versatile no-stress camping food ideas for your next camping adventure!
Garbage Skillet Breakfast Plate
This is called a “garbage” skillet because you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand. It’s best to use the potato and egg, but the rest of the ingredients are up to you!
Chopped veggies (onion, peppers, garlic, broccoli, etc.)
Meat or beans (ham, bacon, sausage, beans, etc.)
4-6 potatoes (peeled and sliced thin) or frozen hash browns
If you’re using bacon or sausage, brown it first and remove it from the pan. Then saute all veggies except the potatoes in butter or oil and remove them from the pan. Next, brown the potatoes or hashbrowns in the skillet with butter or oil. When the potatoes are almost done, toss the other veggies, meat, and/or beans into the skillet. When everything is done, add in the eggs and stir until eggs are cooked through. Top with salsa and cheese if you like.
One Pot Mac and Cheese
Here’s an easy crowd-pleaser that comes together quickly at the campsite! It’s a simple, five-ingredient meal that cooks in one pot.* We like this recipe from Tasty: Easy One-Pot Mac ‘n’ Cheese.
*It’s meant to cook over medium-high heat, so be careful if you’re cooking this over the campfire. You’ll want to stir frequently to ensure the milk and pasta don’t burn on the bottom.
Foil Packet Dinner
Here’s another super versatile camping meal! And depending on what ingredients you choose, it can be made ahead of time and packed into the cooler. It’s as simple as gathering ingredients, seasoning them, wrapping them in foil, and cooking them over the fire. Plus, cleanup is a breeze.
Meat or Seafood: chicken, sausage, steak, ground beef patties, shrimp, fish
Veggies: small potatoes, onions, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, carrots
Make individual packets for each person. Spray squares of foil with cooking oil, add veggies, top with meat, and wrap up tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Use tongs for cooking over the fire for 20-30 minutes until cooked.
If you need some foil packet meal inspiration, here’s an article with 45 Foil Packet Recipes for Camping.
Quesadillas are a quick, simple meal that can be cooked in a skillet over the campfire or camp stove. Or they can get wrapped up in foil and placed over hot coals. They can be made ahead and only take a handful of customizable ingredients.
Of course, you can make your quesadillas to taste. But if you’d like a super simple base recipe, here’s The Boy Scouts Campfire Quesadilla recipe.
The walking taco ingredients can get prepped ahead and packaged in individual containers. Then, everyone can make their own at the campsite. What could be easier than that?
Here are our suggestions ingredients:
- Single serving bags of Doritos or tortilla chips
- Taco seasoned cooked ground beef or seasoned black beans
- Shredded cheese
- Other taco toppings: tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole
Chili Your Way
Chili might not be your first choice for a hot summer day, but it’s perfect for cool weather camping, especially in the fall. There’s nothing better than a hot bowl of hearty chili enjoyed on a crisp fall day.
You could make up your famous chili recipe ahead of time and pack it along. Or you can put together a simple chili right at the campsite. The nice thing about chili is that you just need a few basic ingredients.
For a simple yet super tasty chili, check out this recipe for Five Can Chili!
Here’s a great recipe idea that’s a hit among kids and adults alike! Make it ahead or at the campsite – it only takes a few ingredients and comes together quickly over the campfire.
Ingredients can include only french bread, pizza sauce, and cheese. Or you can add other pizza toppings, like pepperoni, peppers, mushrooms, and more. Check out this Make Ahead Camping Recipe for French Bread Pizza. Or this one for making it in a foil pan.
One Pot (or Pan) Sausage and Veggies
This is one of our favorite recipes for camping (and at home)! It’s easy to prep the ingredients before your camping trip. And it can get cooked in various ways – in a dutch oven, sheet pan, or wrapped up in foil.
To make it even easier, we use sliced precooked polish sausage. We mix it with cut-up veggies, like peppers, onions, potatoes, and broccoli. Then we add a little salt, pepper, and oil and cook until the veggies are done. If cooking it in a dutch oven, add a little broth to keep everything from sticking to and burning on the bottom.
Here are a few recipes to check out:
Campfire “Baked” Potato
There’s nothing easier than a campfire baked potato! Here’s how to make them:
Coat large russet potatoes in oil or butter and a little salt and wrap them up in two layers of heavy-duty foil. Place the wrapped potatoes in the hot coals of your campfire. Turn the potatoes with tongs a couple of times. Cook for about 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of the potato and how hot your coals are. Then, you can remove them and check for doneness with a knife or skewer. Serve with salt, pepper, and butter, or add your favorite baked potato toppings.
The great thing about a charcuterie board meal is its simplicity. And it’s a “meal” that satisfies even the pickiest of eaters. Plus, there doesn’t even have to be much prep, especially if you buy pre-cut veggies and cheese. But, even if you don’t buy pre-cut options, you can do all the prep work before heading out on your camping adventure.
Camping charcuterie board food suggestions:
- Deli meat
- Cheese (cubed, sliced, or sticks)
- Bread (crusty bread, rolls, pita bread, naan, etc.)
- Veggies (carrots, snap peas, olives, pickles, etc.)
- Fruit (grapes, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, etc.)
- Dip and/or spreads (hummus, veggie dip, peanut butter, jelly, etc.)
There you have it – super simple, easy, and flexible camping food ideas for your next camping adventure! Less cooking = more time enjoying nature!