Quick & Easy Camping Recipes
We are smack dab in the middle of camping season, and thousands of happy campers are descending on our public forests, beaches, mountains and desert to get in touch with nature. More people are opting outside than ever before, and even first-timers are hitting the campgrounds near Sacramento.
While camping is no doubt a memorable activity for both families and friends, it does require a bit of work. Not only does setting up camp take some elbow grease, the planning and organizing on the back end takes some effort as well. One of the most important elements to consider is meal planning. Figuring out what everyone wants to eat (and how to cook it in the woods!) can be challenging. Some campers prefer to go all-out on their camping meals, even going so far as to make their own ice cream or bake their own pizzas.
But for most folks, simple meals are best. After all, who wants to spend time in the [camp] kitchen when there are songs to sing and snipes to hunt? Quick and easy is the way to go, but it can be difficult to figure out what to make, especially for newcomers. Following are some of the best quick and easy camping recipes that are sure to please the entire group.
Note: Some regional, state and federal areas have restrictions on campfires due to increased fire risk. Please check individual campgrounds before leaving home. Most of the following recipes can be adapted for propane grills or camp stoves, if allowed.
Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches
A little prep is all it takes to guarantee a satisfying, easy meal come morning. This recipe from Homemade Heather sandwiches pre-cooked eggs and meat between bagels, which can be reheated on a campfire or camp stove in minutes. They can also be frozen for longer journeys!
Campfire Breakfast Pizza
Breakfast and pizza are two of the greatest things, so why not combine the two for an easy, delicious camping meal? Our Handcrafted Life uses hash browns as a crust, and tops it with cheese, eggs and sausage. You can easily customize it with whatever toppings you prefer (yes, even pepperoni!)
Make Ahead Breakfast Tacos
Tacos are another favorite food, but there’s no reason to wait until dinnertime to get your fill. In this recipe from Bowl of Delicious, tortillas are filled with eggs, cheese and bacon, then rolled up in foil and reheated over a fire or stove. You can fill them with whatever ingredients you prefer, and top with avocado and salsa for a filling morning meal.
Campfire Monkey Bread
Craving something sweet in the morning? How about some monkey bread cooked over hot coals? Say Not Sweet Anne used a disposable pie tin filled with butter- and cinnamon sugar-dipped chunks of refrigerated biscuit dough. A few minutes on the coals (or camp stove) and you’ve got a mouth-watering morning treat.
Campfire S’mores Granola
Granola is a traditional camping snack, but atop yogurt or mixed in milk, it makes for a satisfying breakfast. This recipe from The Big Man’s World kicks it up a notch by adding marshmallows and chocolate. It can be toasted/melted on the grill or stove for a s’mores-like breakfast — no skewer required.
It’s easy to up your meal game with these nachos courtesy of Champagne Tastes. A cast-iron pan, a grill or a campfire is all it takes to put this together. Just add tortilla chips, pre-cooked meat, cheese, and whatever toppings you like, heat until melted and voila!
Have a big group to feed? It doesn’t get much easier than these walking tacos, especially if you set up a do-it-yourself topping bar. You can use crunched-up single-serve bags of tortilla or corn chips, pre-cooked ground meat, beans, cheese — anything really — for a portable meal-on-the-go, courtesy The Girl Who Ate Everything
Hobo Foil Dinner Packs
Hobo dinners, or foil packets, are a camping staple —veggies and meat wrapped in aluminum foil and heated over a fire or grill. This recipe from Spend With Pennies fills it with potatoes, veggies and a hamburger patty, all of which combine together to make its own gravy right in the pack.
Campfire Mac & Cheese
Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons has tons of kid-friendly camping recipes, and their version of macaroni and cheese is sure to please. You can boil your macaroni noodles ahead of time and add to an aluminum tray with a bit (or a lot) of Velveeta. Bake over the fire or grill until heated through and you have a kid-pleasing meal! You can even add shredded barbecue chicken for some added flavor.
Another recipe from Champagne Tastes features a pizza made right over the fire! Best of all, you don’t have to make your own dough — you can use pre-made dough picked up at any grocery store. Stretched into a cast-iron pan and sprinkled with your favorite toppings (this particular recipe is vegetarian) and you have a satisfying slice within minutes.
Easy Salmon and Potato Packets
Although this recipe from Averie Cooks isn’t specific to camping, it can easily be adapted to cook over a campfire, camp stove or grill. Like the hamburger hobo packets, it encases the ingredients (in this case citrus salmon and potato) in foil. The result is a light, flavorful meal that doesn’t require much tending.
Nothing says camping more than s’mores, but if you’re tired of sticky marshmallow goop all over your kids’ hands (and their clothes), try this easy, make-ahead recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything instead. A simple graham cracker crust, marshmallow fluff and a stick of chocolate makes a bite-size treat with all the same flavors as the original.
Grilled Banana Dessert
You can get all the kids involved in making their own dessert with this recipe from Home Cooking Memories. A sliced banana is loaded with goodies from a do-it-yourself topping bar (think chocolate chips, marshmallows and nuts), wrapped in foil and grilled until melty.
How cute are these campfire cupcakes from Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons? The make-ahead treats use boxed cake mix for ease, topped with orange food coloring, pretzels and, of course, mini marshmallows. They’re sure to impress both kids and adults alike!
Category Home Inspiration
Elizabeth Penney is a content writer for Lyon Real Estate and the Lyon Local blog. A Sacramento native with a marketing background, she shares her insider knowledge on restaurants, attractions and outdoor activities throughout the greater Sacramento area and beyond.