When you think about it, not a lot of classic camping and cookout food is vegetarian-friendly—burgers, hot dogs, brats. But if you’re willing to try something new, there are a lot of great alternatives to standard outdoor fare. Even if you’re not a vegetarian, meatless meals can often be easier to pack and prep than meals that use meat. With that in mind, here’s some vegetarian camping food to consider for your next outdoor adventure.
Whether you’re an herbivore or omnivore, it pays to know your whole grains. Can’t tell a farro from a quinoa grain? Check out this quick guide to barley, quinoa, millet, farro, and more. Most whole grains can be used in any recipe that calls for rice but their cooking times and methods vary.
Quinoa Burrito Bowl
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (rinsed and drained)
- 1¼ cup vegetable broth
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
- ¾ cup corn *Try using the chili-lime corn from the recipe below.
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- fresh lime juice
- toppings: salsa, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, avocado
- Combine quinoa, broth, beans, tomatoes, and corn in a medium-sized pot. On a camp stove, bring to a boil. Then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
- Remove from heat. Season with salt, pepper, and lime juice. Serve with toppings.
Breakfast Quinoa With Apples
- 1 cup quinoa (rinsed and drained)
- 3 cups water
- 1½ cups chopped apples
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- brown sugar or honey to sweeten
- Combine quinoa, water, apples, and cinnamon in a medium-sized pot.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Sweeten with brown sugar or honey.
It seems obvious but still worth mentioning: Fresh veggies make an easy snack or side, and you can roast them over the fire for a main dish or quinoa bowl topping.
Pile on the veggies with these foil packets that are cooked in a campfire.
- 1 red onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 zucchini
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- lemon zest
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Chop all the veggies into bite-sized pieces.
- Stir together all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Prepare a campfire and let it burn down to the coals.
- Tear off four sheets of aluminum foil and lay them flat. Scoop veggie mixture into the center of each piece of foil. Fold each one into a packet.
- Set the packets over the campfire coals for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Chili-Lime Corn on the Cob
Eat this corn straight from the cob or slice off the roasted kernels and add them to a grain bowl or pasta dish.
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon lime zest
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 ears of corn (with husks removed)
- Combine everything except the corn in a small bowl.
- Spread the butter mixture on each ear of corn. Wrap each ear in heavy-duty aluminum foil.
- Prepare a campfire and let it burn down to the coals. Place the wrapped corn on a grate 4-6 inches above the goals. Cook for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the corn is cooked.
Fresh fruit is a great topping for oatmeal or as a dessert roasted over the fire. And don’t forget about dried fruit—it makes a great trail snack.
Fresh fruit becomes a decadent dessert when you cook it in a fire. Start with either an apple or a pear. Slice it in half lengthwise and remove the core. Spread about a teaspoon of butter in one of the hollowed out halves of the fruit and sprinkle with a little brown sugar and cinnamon. Put the fruit back together and wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place the foil wrapped fruit in the coals of a campfire and cook for about 25 minutes or until soft.
Hearty and packable, pasta is a versatile ingredient to have on hand. Use the standard dried variety or stock up on all-in-one backpacking pasta.
For a veggie-packed, one-pot pasta dish, check out this pasta primavera recipe.
Beans can provide a much-needed boost of protein to a meal. For a hearty camp dinner, try this vegetarian chili topped with a cornbread crust. You won’t even miss the beef!