When it comes to camping we all have our favorite recipes that have been tried and tested, but every now and again it’s fun to try some new ones.
These make the cut because the ingredients are fairly easy to transport, and most of them only need a cooler for the meat options.
If the recipes call for milk you can always substitute with powdered milk. When it comes to substituting for butter you need to look at the recipe – for griddle cakes coconut oil is good. Other substitutes that don’t need to be kept cool are olive oil, nut butters, and applesauce in a can.
We’ve rounded up all sorts of exciting meals from healthy vegan to decadent grilled meat, breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert ideas, plus a few that will slot in anywhere between waking and closing your eyes after a day outdoors.
1. Breakfast Burritos
For the first morning at camp these breakfast burritos are make-ahead ones so you do all the prep at home then wrap them in foil and bring them along neatly packed in a container to simply heat – no washing pans and plates on the first morning
Packed with ham, cheese, and cilantro, among other goodies, they are super tasty. See how they are done here.
2. Campfire Bacon
There is nothing like the smell of freshly grilled bacon to get a person out of the tent fast, in case they miss out.
This technique makes grilling bacon for a bunch of people a breeze – heck they can even turn their skewers of bacon themselves, so everyone has it how they like it – done but not crispy, crispy but not burnt – you know how fussy people get about the ‘doneness’ of their bacon.
Find out the technique here for that extra smoky campfire bacon. Served the bacon with the Chickpea breakfast hash (see #8 on the list).
3. Southwest Scrambled Eggs
Yes, everyone does scrambled egg and bacon on the campfire, and for kids keep it simple with just salt, but this recipe takes the eggs up a notch with the addition of bell peppers, red onion and, if you can take the heat, some jalapeno.
Baby tomatoes and frozen southern potato hash add even more taste dimensions to this breakfast meal.
4. Blueberry Pancakes
Pancakes are a great morning dish and these blueberry ones are definitely moreish! Drizzled with butter and maple syrup they go down just fine. The recipe calls for fresh blueberries but if keeping them cool is a problem take along tinned ones and drain well.
One can always change out ingredients and instead of blueberries do pecan nut pancakes. Here is the blueberry pancake recipe. All you need besides the ingredients is a warm cast iron skillet over the fire and you are ready to start creating your persona as the pancake king or queen.
5. Cornmeal Pancakes
Another pancake recipe but quite different. Don’t imagine these are going to be heavy and stodgy – there is cornmeal and flour used in these to create little rounds of deliciousness.
The great thing about this recipe is it can be eaten with savory or sweet as there is no sugar in the mix, so combine with bacon or egg for a hearty breakfast or sweeten with blackberry or raspberry preserve, or whatever takes your fancy. See how to make them here.
6. Camp Fire Skillet Breakfast
Bacon, eggs, potatoes, cheese, and onion – what’s not to like about this one that does it all in one pan for a hearty start to the day.
Your cook the bacon first then allow the potatoes and onion to brown in the bacon fat before adding the eggs and topping off with the cheese.
See how to do it here. If you use cast iron clean-up is a breeze – even with the cheese added it just peels off a well-seasoned pan.
7. Cornmeal Mush
This is a quick one pot meal to feed everyone with a hearty dollop of cornmeal before heading off for the morning’s adventures, you can even glam it up for dessert.
Take along a can of fruit, apples, peaches, pears or apricots to add to the cornmeal, and a jar of maple syrup will go down well instead of fresh banana, or butter which are more perishable and not really suited to camping.
Substitute fresh cream with canned cream if you really want it with cream.
Follow the recipe here and remember a very low heat will cook it to perfection otherwise you will have a nasty burnt pot to scrape out!
8. Chickpea Breakfast Hash
Zucchini, onions, sweet peppers and chickpeas make this a healthy option that will keep campers satisfied. Serve it with bacon or eggs or both at breakfast for a gluten free hearty meal.
Here’s how to make your chickpea breakfast hash.
9. Scottish Bannock Breakfast
The ingredients are mostly dry – flour, baking powder, and rolled oats, the only ingredients you will have to keep cool are the butter and the double cream yoghurt.
These are so versatile – great for breakfast with a fried or scrambled egg and a little of the left-over BBQ meat chopped up – in the recipe you can follow here chopped up Kassler pork chops were used, but you could fry up some bacon or sausages.
10. Breakfast Oats with Baked Apple
Oats are great for diabetics, gluten free and vegan. What you add to them makes for different taste sensations.
This recipe makes oats the usual way over the fire but adds baked apples in foil sprinkled with cinnamon, and pecans and pumpkin seeds toasted in a pan over the fire – all dumped over the oats with some maple syrup.
Yum! I often add some chia seed and raisin to the oats while they are cooking and sprinkle with cinnamon and serve with a dollop of Greek style double cream yogurt drizzled with maple syrup.
11. Healthy Breakfast Egg Parcels
Eggs, tomatoes and all the good healthy stuff is combined in these little foil cups cooked over the coals. Watch here to see how easy it is:
Add some bacon and toast and you have a filling breakfast meal.
You will find a few different breads in this list – bread is so versatile as it can be eaten with spicy food, sweetened with maple syrup, or served with cheese, pickles, and other relishes.
This cornbread is even more versatile… you can find out how to make it here. The recipe requires eggs and milk – take along long-life milk for camping and eggs will last out of the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
13. French Toast on the Campfire
This one was so delicious we just had to include it. It does use whole milk and eggs, but if the fresh strawberry garnish is going to be a problem no one is going to complain if you bring along some strawberry preserve or simply use a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.
I love the fact that is uses a whole loaf of bread so there will be enough for seconds for a fairly good bunch of people round the campfire. Learn how to do it here.
14. Campfire Potatoes
What is so good about this recipe is that the potatoes are sliced up before being wrapped in the foil with all the yummy ingredients.
For anyone who has spent time trying to bake a whole potato on the fire and ended up with a charred outside and just a bit of edible potato in the middle this one will make everyone much happier.
The onion, parsley, cheese and Worcestershire sauce all add to the flavor. See how to make them here. They can be done on their own as a vegetarian lunch or as an accompaniment to grilled meat for dinner.
15. Vegetarian Casserole
After a morning hike that started early to watch the sunrise from a vantage point it’s always good to get back to camp and have a hearty casserole that will be ready within an hour – 10 minutes preparation time and 40 minutes cook time.
Most of the ingredients for this recipe are canned but you’ll need some red and yellow peppers, carrots, and courgettes which may need transporting in a cooler box, and it uses plenty of herbs and spices which can be transported dry – no need for fresh.
Make this vegetable casserole in a Dutch oven or in a heavy skillet over the fire.
16. Dutch Oven Frito Pie
Fritos form the base then you add the chilli and beans and onion then the cheese gets melted all over for this super delicious meal over the fire. If you don’t have time used canned chilli, but this recipe does advocate making the chilli from scratch – whatever you have time for!
This is how to make your Frito pie.
17. Fiery Campfire Veggies
If you take along fresh corn on the cob, sweet peppers, zucchini and other veggies like sweet potato and butternut you can use this recipe but change it out with other veggies.
They are quick and easy to make and so wholesome and good, you won’t even miss meat at this lunchtime meal. In the evening you may want to add a little grilled meat.
The cast iron skillet is what IMHO gives this its special taste, plus of course the spices. For kids you may want to go easy on the spices.
18. Butternut Soup
Butternut soup is always a favorite, and this recipe is suited to camping as you don’t need cream – instead the added flavor comes from a can of chicken stock.
Personally, I’d leave out the celery as it can go limp quickly if not in a cooler, but the potatoes, onion, butternut and carrot all travel and last well. The only ingredient you need to keep cool is the butter.
You can find the recipe here. Serve it with Dutch Oven bread – see the next recipe
19. Dutch Oven Bread
Dutch oven bread brings campers together over the deliciously warm slices slathered with butter and maybe some homemade jam you have brought along. Serve as a side with soup, or to soak up all the delicious juices from a hearty stew – see recipe #32.
Here’s one way to make Dutch Oven Bread and all it needs is 4 ingredients – bread flour, active dry yeast, kosher salt and water.
20. Native American Fry Bread
Some flour, baking powder, salt, and water are all you need for the bread, plus some oil for frying – easy standard ingredients to take camping that require no refrigeration.
Serve the frybreads for breakfast with scrambled egg or bacon, for lunch with beans or soup… or whatever your imagination conjures up. I do notice people crave something sweet on camping trips so a homemade jar of blackberry or strawberry jam would go down well with these hot from the pan.
Check out the recipe here.
21. Red Beans and Rice
The beans will need pre-soaking – do this the night before or in the morning before heading out for a hike or other adventure. The beans will require some time to cook – around 1 ½ to 2 hours, so get the beans going early before the evening hunger pangs set in.
This is a vegetarian recipe but you can easily throw some sausages on the grill, slice them up and add to the beans if campers require meat! The bell pepper may need to be kept in a cooler box but otherwise the ingredients are all pretty much dry ones – even the stock cubes.
Make in a Dutch oven and cook over a slow fire. Cook the rice up just before you are ready to serve so it is warm and fluffy. See how to cook red beans and rice here.
22. Dutch Oven Banana Bread
If you follow the instructions given in this recipe you’ll have delicious slices of banana bread to enjoy with coffee while the fire crackles. What makes it easy is they suggest mixing the dry ingredients at home and putting in a container.
Then all you have to do at camp is add the bananas, eggs, and butter – the bourbon they say is optional!
23. Bobotie – A Cape Malay Recipe
A South African dish with roots in Cape Malay culture Bobotie is made from beef mince and has Indonesian/ Malaysian spices, and fruit to create a dish you’ll be coming back for.
It’s all pretty easy to put together in your Dutch oven, and then you leave it to cook slowly so all the spices permeate the meat, once you have sprinkled the beaten egg and milk over the mince mix. Be adventurous and try it!
Serve with white rice and lentils, or rice cooked with a little turmeric to give it the traditional yellow color. See the steps to making bobotie here.
24. Halloumi Burgers (Vegetarian)
For this lunch recipe you’ll need some fresh stuff like a tomato and lettuce as well as hummus and halloumi cheese to put on the brioche buns – probably a good one to do on the first day of camping before the lettuce starts wilting and the buns go stale. See how easy it is to do here.
25. Bubble and Squeak
The great British favorite is easy to make over the fire in a pot – all you need is cabbage, potatoes, a couple of sausages, a little oil and some spices – and you’ll have a warming, filling meal, particularly good on cooler evenings. Get all the details here.
26. White Chicken Chili
End the day with this dish that is particularly good when the weather is a bit cold.
The recipe calls for the chicken breasts to be roasted first – no problem over a fire in a Dutch oven, then one broken up the recipe calls for them to be added to the crock pot – substitute a Dutch oven over a very slow fire for a great taste.
The sour cream and Monterey Jack cheese will need to be kept in the cooler. See all the steps here.
27. Campfire Pepperoni Pizza
Pizza is always a hit. This one uses refrigerated dough but you can easily make your own dough at camp – see how to make a basic pizza dough here – flour, active dry yeast, a little sugar and olive oil and water.
Then you can use this pepperoni pizza recipe for the toppings. A pizza stone is suggested but, in a pinch, you can use your cast iron skillet.
28. Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork Ribs With Chimichurri
The ingredients list for these delicious pork ribs calls for orange and lime juice. Oranges and limes travel well and have many uses for giving food an extra zing and for snacks and drinks.
The fresh mint and cilantro called for may be a little more difficult on a camping trip. I learnt from people who went on three month camping trips in a large RV – the woman took along well-established pots of rosemary, mint, cilantro and parsley, so they kept growing and she could keep picking for the various meals during their trip.
Make the ribs according to the recipe here, then sit back and enjoy the compliments.
29. Grilled Steak Kebabs
These take a bit of time to thread on the skewers – but make it a group thing as you sit around the campfire with a drink in hand. The steak will have been pre-marinaded during the day – all the marinade ingredients come in bottles and don’t need refrigeration.
The recipe does suggest keeping the marinaded steak cool but that can be popped into a cooler bag in its zip lock bag until you are ready for threading. The vegetables suggested in this recipe include red onion, bell peppers and mushrooms.
If you don’t have room to keep fresh mushrooms cool then omit them and perhaps include pineapple pieces from a can or a fresh pineapple. Nectarine or mango also work well and will last for a few days out of the refrigerator.
30. Campfire Trout
We said these recipes were relatively easy and delicious and this one fits the bill for fish you may have caught on the trip.
You can include some lemon slices and add a few more seasonings but it’s a basic tasty recipe that allows the flavor of the fresh caught trout to dominate.
31. Turkish Lamb Kofta Kebabs
This is an easy recipe requiring lamb mince (you can substitute with beef) dried spices like cumin and red pepper flakes, plus the magic ingredient of pistachio nuts for that middle eastern flavor.
The recipe does require a yogurt drizzling sauce with lime – so keep some room in the cooler for the Greek double cream plain yogurt. See how to make kofta kebabs here.
32. Campfire Nachos
Who says you need an oven – the cheese melts beautifully over the fire in a Dutch oven and the best part is there is no cutlery needed – just pull apart the nachos straight from the pot with their accompanying layer of ooey-gooey melted cheese. Find out how to make them here.
Heed the recipe recommendation for layers and more layers. You’ll need a fresh avocado – I find the easiest is to take a couple that are not quite ripe and have the dishes that require avocados on the evening they become ripe – talk about the food dictating the menu!
33. Hearty Venison Stew
So often when camping people go hunting and have deer or other venison to share. Here’s what to do this your venison using this venison stew recipe If you are in the right area you may even be able to pick fresh juniper berries, if not take along a can of them.
This recipe calls for red wine – both for the cooking and drinking along with the meal! There is quite a list of ingredients but the bacon is important – you can play around with the spices a bit.
The best thing about this kind of stew is that if left over a very small fire overnight just to keep it heated it tastes even better the next day for a late breakfast or lunch.
34. Fish in White Wine and Garlic
Putting the fish in foil packets for cooking keeps all the flavor in and makes for easy clean up. A great way to enjoy the fish caught by enthusiastic anglers on the trip.
The recipe calls for basil and tomatoes. Take along a small pot of fresh basil for your camping needs so you always have fresh, or if you don’t have space then use dried basil.
35. Beef and Barley Soup
Make this hearty soup in your Dutch Oven fairly early so it can cook slowly and the beef chunks are tender come nightfall. Don’t be afraid to substitute the fresh herbs for dried herbs, and although this recipe is for a crockpot it will do well in your Dutch oven over a slow fire.
See how to do it here. Just remember to take along the cup of barley – it’s not mentioned in the list of ingredients.
36. Cowboy Casserole
Bacon, beans, and beef – the three B’s – make for a hearty meal with plenty of nutrition. It’s easy too, no wonder the cowboys favoured it after a long day in the saddle!
This recipe calls for a refrigerated biscuit dough but you can serve it with rice, cornmeal mush (see #7), mashed potatoes, or couscous if you do not have room to keep dough cool.
37. One Pot Tandoori Quinoa
One pot meals go down well with both the cook and the guests. The cook because clean-up is easy and for the guests because the meal is super tasty. This is a vegan recipe with loads of spices and really healthy ingredients.
You have chickpeas, quinoa, sweet potatoes and a whole lot more goodness in this easy recipe that uses canned or dry goods mainly – there are a couple of fresh ingredients but they’re ones that don’t need refrigeration.
38. Campfire Paella
If you happen to be near places where you can buy fresh seafood on your camping trip (like on the Oregon Coast) then this recipe could be included.
Perhaps this is not for everyone as seafood does have a way of tainting a cooler if you’re not going to use it at once. Mussels, clams, shrimps and prawns go into this tasty mix – and it’s even better if you have collected them yourself.
39. Campfire Mock Risotto
We all know how long it can take to cook a risotto but this one had been adapted to camping by using canned mushroom soup and can be made in a Dutch oven. The chicken breasts are the only thing that will need to be kept cool.
See the easy steps here.
40. Eisbein on the Campfire
This is a South African recipe for those who love German eisbein – smoked pork hock. The method here is to boil it in a potjie (a three-legged pot) ,but boiling in a Dutch oven is fine, until you roast it over the coals for that crispy finish with a honey glaze.
It’s worth the time, especially on an overcast cooler day when drinking a few beers with mates (beers and German food go well together) while supervising the cooking. Read about how to make eisbein on the fire here.
41. Roast Lamb in a Dutch Oven
Lamb takes a while to get super tender, Greek style, so leave plenty of time for this recipe.
It’s an ideal dish to do if you get back to camp well before lunch and can spend the afternoon preparing it while swapping stories so it is ready for the evening meal with all its succulent tenderness.
42. Jaffles with Slow Roasted Pork
Jaffles used to be two pieces of bread in a jaffle iron with maybe some butter and apple filling and that was it. Now people have come up with all sorts of ingenious fillings to put in the jaffle iron to turn this simple campfire treat into a gourmet meal.
Try the slow roasted pork jaffle for a taste sensation. See how to slow roast pork in a Dutch oven, below.
43. Slow Roasted Pork in a Dutch Oven
Although the recipe is done in a Dutch oven it is roasted in a conventional oven – to adapt this recipe for camping make sure you have sufficient coals below and some coals on top of the lid, and the Dutch oven is out of the wind – you can dig a hole in which to put the coals and pot, and, after a few hours, your slow roasted pork should be done to perfection.
44. White chocolate and Raspberry Jaffle Served with Custard
Quick, easy and super tasty this recipe will satisfy sweet cravings. You will need raspberries in a can, boxed custard, white chocolate and ricotta cheese.
45. Cowboy Jaffle
Bacon and beans give a hearty filling to this simple jaffle. See how to make it here.
This recipe is ideal if you don’t have a load of ingredients and need a quick meal after along day out hiking.
46. Campfire Banana Boats
I find that bananas don’t seem to last well if it’s warm, so it’s best to make this super treat early into the camping trip – perhaps a first night taster of all the good food to come in the following days. See how to build your banana boats here.
You can swap out ingredients and get creative with the toppings underpinned by that delicious roasted banana.
47. Campfire S’mores ‘Nachos’
Get as creative as you like with these – graham crackers, s’mores and chocolate melted in an aluminium tray over the fire. Pull apart yumminess. As the recipe mentions you can add all sorts of other meltable treats to rev up the taste sensation.
This is a great one for people who don’t fancy toasting their own marshmallows on a stick, and young kids who find the toasting process a challenge.
48. S’mores Dip
The recipe for s’mores dip is similar to the one above. It’s fairly easy – the trick is in not burning the cholate layer at the bottom.
It could get a little messier than the traditional s’mores on a stick, so maybe keep this treat for adults, perhaps add a little bourbon to the mix for a kick, and leave the kids to the traditional s’mores.
49. Camp Oven Roast Chicken
Watch this video to learn how to do roast chicken with ‘sacrificial potatoes:
The chicken is boneless, making it easy to carve, and comes out moist – just serve it fairly soon after removing from the Dutch oven otherwise it will dry out.
50. Camp Scones in a Dutch Oven
This recipe uses lemonade to give scones a great texture. Serve with whipped cream from a can and some fresh strawberry jam and you could imagine you’re in a café in the country, not out camping. Find out how to make the scones here:
51. Oxtail on the Camp Fire
Oxtail has to be one of the best stews ever – tender and delicious but it takes a bit of time and some effort to season and prepare correctly. See how to do it here for a special outcome:
52. Western Fried Chicken
Watch here if you are craving some good fried chicken on your camping trip:
To save cooking time I pre-boil the chicken before adding the spices and flour for a fried chicken meal outdoors – for me there is nothing worse than getting a chicken piece that is a bit raw inside!
53. Grilling Steak
You may wonder why we put in a “recipe” for grilling steak. It isn’t as easy as it seems and for anyone who has been a bit disappointed in their steak then follow Master Chef Robert Del Grande’s tips here for fire temperature, the optimum time to add salt and some other little insider tips on grilling a pretty good steak:
54. Campfire Fish Tacos
Tortillas, a salsa with corn and cilantro, and the grilled fish make for a great flavor combination in this recipe. To make grilling the fish easy you’ll need a campfire broiler basket – the wire frame opens up for placing the fish, clamps shut and makes for easy turning.
55. Campfire Cinnamon Rolls
The aroma of these cooking on sticks over the fire with cinnamon wafting through the air is enough to whet the appetite. Try this recipe that takes around 15 to 20 minutes to toast on a stick.
The rolls are frozen and will need to kept cool until you are ready to take them out to cook over the fire.
56. Campfire Eclairs
These are super easy and kids will love getting them toasted over the fire. The filling suggested here can be swapped out.
I’d definitely keep the Nutella, and maybe instead of the vanilla pudding, some whipped cream or a firm custard to go inside when you use this recipe.
57. Six Can Chicken Tortilla Soup
This is a great recipe for one of those days when you get back to camp late after adventuring and need something in a hurry to feed the hungry! Six can, open, mix, and heat for 20 minutes over a fire – easy-peasy.
See the ingredients here.
58. Greek Island Chicken Shish Kebabs
One more kebab recipe here, this time with chicken. The grilled cherry tomatoes give a lovely pop of flavor.
If you think the mushrooms aren’t a good idea for camping and won’t keep fresh then leave them out, and just use the onion and bell peppers as well as the tomatoes threaded with the chicken.
59. Black Bean Burritos
Black beans are just so good and this vegetarian recipe is tasty with the addition of peppers, cilantro and cream cheese.
This recipe calls for the tortillas to be placed in the oven but you can wrap them in foil and place on the grill over the coals to warm up, then do the rest of the ingredients in a skillet over the fire.
60. Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken
If it’s in a can you can take it camping, so campfire food doesn’t just have be about beans and bacon. This recipe has canned artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes in a jar and will lift the chicken dish to a gourmet camping meal. And it’s all done in a skillet or a Dutch oven.
So.. Which One Will You try First?
We hope this list has given you inspiration or planning camping meals. If you have any suggestions of campfire recipes you enjoy, then let us know, so we can test them out and add them to this list. And don’t forget to save this article on Pinterest for later!
Traveler, photographer, writer. I’m eternally curious, in love with the natural world. How people can survive in harmony with nature has fueled my food safety and survival gardening practices.
At the age of 12, I found a newspaper advertisement for a 155-acre farm at a really good price and showed my parents one Sunday morning. They bought it and I happily started planting vegetables, peanuts, maize and keeping bees with the help of the local labor.
Once I married wherever we moved it was all about planting food, keeping chickens and ducks, permaculture and creating micro-climates. I learned how to build wooden cabins and outdoor furniture from pallets, and baked and cooked home-grown produce, developing recipes as I went along.