6 Quick & Easy Camping Meal Ideas
Looking for new camping meal ideas? There are lots of ways to get creative with your camping meals with minimal tools and ingredients.
Here are some of our favorite camping meal ideas that are quick and easy to make. All of the following deliciously simple recipes can be made with a single cooking utensil, or none at all, other than aluminum foil. Most are health conscious and can be easily made to suit a plant-based or gluten-free diets.
Breakfast camping meal ideas
1. Campfire cinnamon rolls
Campfire cinnamon rolls are easy to make in less than 15 minutes. All you’ll need is a can of cinnamon rolls, a roasting fork or stick (preferably with the prongs close together), and a campfire with hot embers.
Roast cinnamon rolls over the campfire. Photo via Flickr Creative CommonsDirections:
- Pop open can and carefully separate the cinnamon rolls.
- Let the campfire burn until you have few flames and lots of hot embers.
- Carefully push the roasting fork prongs through the center of the side of each cinnamon roll so that the cinnamon bun is not going to fall off during roasting.
- Slowly roast the cinnamon roll over the hot embers, rotating frequently and on all sides until it is puffy and a nice golden brown.
- It will take anywhere from 6-14 minutes to roast your cinnamon roll all the way through. Turn frequently to avoid burning.
- Remove from the campfire and allow to cool slightly before carefully removing the roll from the roasting fork.
- Douse in the packet of icing that’s included with the package of cinnamon rolls.
2. Bannock bread
Are you craving fresh bread while you’re out camping but don’t have any? Don’t panic: There’s bannock! Bannock is a super easy-to-make quick bread that can be roasted on a stick, baked in a Dutch oven, or even fried.
Bannock bread. Photo via Flickr Creative Commons
Variations include a sweetened version adding cinnamon and brown sugar, or for a savory treat, mix some cubed cheddar and chopped onions into the dough. Once you’ve had warm bannock roasted over a campfire, you’ll know why it has been a versatile camp food staple for thousands of years.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp oil/melted butter or margarine
- Enough water, milk, or even beer to make a kneadable, non-sticky dough
- Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
- Mix in the oil and add enough liquid to make a dough that is no longer sticky, and kneadable
- Mix thoroughly and knead the dough in the bowl a few times. Don’t knead too much or your bannock with be tough.
Take a piece of dough and roll it until it looks like a 1/2″ rope. Then take a clean stick and wrap the dough around and press it around the end like a bannock dough spring.
Bake over an open fire, turning as needed until it’s golden brown and comes off the stick easily (about 10 minutes). Serve with butter and jam, maple syrup, peanut butter, or enjoy it on its own.Bake in an oven (the best method for cheese and onion bannock):
Grease a cast iron pan with butter or margarine, preheat the oven to 350. Put the ball of dough into the pan and pat it down into a round that’s about 1 inch thick. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until it is golden brown and fragrant. Serve with butter and jam, maple syrup, or enjoy on its own.Fry:
Melt 2 tbsp of butter or margarine in a cast iron pan. Shape the dough into a 1-inch thick disk and place in pan. Fry on one side on medium heat for about 10 minutes then flip, adding more butter or margarine as needed.
Dinner camping meal ideas
3. Caramelized grilled onions
Caramelized onions are a flavor-packed, super simple side dish to accompany any camping lunch or dinner.
Caramelized onions with mushrooms. Photo by Stacy/Flickr Creative CommonsIngredients:
- 1 large sweet onion, or 3- 4 medium-sized sweet onions, cut into large wedges
- 2 tablespoons softened butter/margarine
- 1 teaspoon beef or vegetable bouillon granules
- 1 pinch garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional mushrooms, broccoli, chicken, bacon, etc.
- Preheat barbecue to medium heat or get campfire burned down to glowing embers.
- Place the onion wedges and optional ingredients on a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Dot with butter/margarine, then sprinkle with bouillon, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Fold the aluminum foil into a packet, leaving only a small hole at the top to allow steam to escape.
- Place packet on a preheated grill, and cook until the onions have softened, and cooked to a deep, rich brown, 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the temperature of the grill.
- Stir the onions or flip packet over after the first 20 minutes, or as needed to keep from burning.
4. Grilled sweet potato fries
Sweet potato fries pair great with burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs and beyond. They’re also very simple to make using a few key ingredients.
Looking for camping meal ideas? Try sweet potato fries.Ingredients:
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 packet of ranch dry mix
Wash the sweet potatoes and dry them. Then cut them in lengthwise strips, about 1/3 an inch wide on each side, so they look like fries. The important thing is that they are uniform so they can cook up at the same time. If you wanted to produce a crispier Fry, and you have the time, soak the fries in water for 30 minutes and then let drain for an hour before continuing. If not, that’s fine, they’ll still be delicious.
Take all the ingredients and mix them in a bowl. Try to get an even coverage of all the tasty spices and the dry mix. Lay these fries out on a piece of tin foil that’s over a sheet pan. Place the pan on a grate over an open fire or on the middle rack of a grill. Cook for about ten minutes on each side, flipping once.
5. Hot and spicy hobo packs
Hobo packs are one of those classic camping meal ideas that were part of everyone’s formative camping experiences. Hobo packs are a quick and easy to prepare complete meal that can be cooked on a grill while you cook other meal items. Those who follow a plant-based diet will find this recipe easy to veganize by simply replacing the meat with Beyond Meat spicy sausage.
Hot and spicy foil packets. Photo by author (Lynne Fedorick)Foil packs
- Heavy-duty foil
- 16 ounces Smoked Italian sausage (or Beyond Meat spicy sausage)
- 2 cups baby red potatoes, quartered
- 3/4 cup yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 cup white mushrooms, diced
- 3 small (or 2 large) bell peppers (Whatever variety you’d like! I generally use 1 red, 1 yellow or orange, and 1 green)
- 4 cloves garlic, optional (Leave them whole)
- 4 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium-sized potatoes chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tbsp Italian spice mix
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes optional
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated, or a dairy-free alternative
- Fresh parsley, salt, and pepper
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. When everything is thoroughly combined, spoon the mixture onto 4 sheets of heavy-duty foil and fold each foil sheet into a sealed packet. Grill each packet for about 15 minutes over medium heat.
Popular Youtubers Long, Long Honeymoon share how to make hobo pockets in this video:
For more camping meal ideas, check out these 12 Easy Foil Packet Recipes You Need To Try This Camping Season
6. Chickpea Curry
This chickpea curry has it all: it’s packed with plant-based protein, it’s loaded with flavor, and it’s very filling. The curry is easy to make and perfect for dinner after camping adventures.
Chickpea curry is one of our favorite camping meal ideas. Photo by Jules (Flickr Creative Commons)
- 1 tablespoon oil or ghee
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tbsp good curry powder
- Ground cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
- 1 (14 oz) can chickpeas, drained
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- A handful of cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup yogurt, optional, plain, dairy-free, or Greek
- Heat the oil or ghee in a pot over medium heat and add the onions, sauteing until translucent but not browning.
- Add the curry powder and cayenne, and stir briefly toast the spices so they become fragrant.
- Add the coconut milk, tomato paste, and salt. Stir until the tomato paste is completely blended into the coconut milk, then add the chickpeas.
- Cook over medium to med-low heat, stirring frequently until the sauce thickens to your liking (about 10 or 15 minutes).
- Meanwhile, prepare rice, Naan or Roti for side dishes
- Serve the chickpea curry with a squeeze of lime, a dollop of yogurt (optional), and garnish with plenty of cilantro.