When you’re camping, mealtimes can involve a lot of work—especially if you’ve got a family to feed. Without running water (and a fully equipped kitchen), you might be tempted to eat hot dogs and chips for every meal. While there’s nothing wrong with that, there are plenty of ways to eat well on a camping trip that don’t involve a lot of time and effort. Here are our favorite easy camping meals for a family.
Make-Ahead Dinners and Meals
One of the secrets to enjoying easy and delicious meals at camp is to prepare them at home. Then simply freeze or refrigerate the meals, pack them in a cooler when it’s time to leave, and reheat them at the campsite. Fill your camping menu with make-ahead meals like these and you’ll be eating in no time.
Blueberry Breakfast Cookies
There’s no better time to have cookies for breakfast than when you’re camping. Fortunately this healthy-ish recipe includes ingredients that will fuel your outdoor adventures too.
- 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- Add the almond milk, egg, and vanilla extract and mix well. Fold in the blueberries.
- Use a 1/4 cup to scoop the cookie batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Each cookie should be a couple inches apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cookies are firm in the middle and starting to brown. Cool completely before putting in storage containers.
This tasty breakfast recipe offers a lot of flexibility. Try the ingredients we’ve listed here or swap in some of your favorites.
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 lb. roll breakfast sausage
- 1 lb. shredded cheese
- 12 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8-10 flour tortillas
- In a medium saucepan, cook the onion, green pepper, and breakfast sausage until the vegetables are soft and the sausage is browned. (Be sure to use your spoon to break up the sausage into smaller pieces.) Drain excess grease. Set sausage and vegetables aside.
- In medium bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. In a large frying pan on medium heat, cook the eggs and scramble them until they’re fully cooked. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Assemble the burritos: Lay tortillas flat on a cutting board or other work surface. Divide the sausage mixture, scrambled eggs, and shredded cheese among each one. Fold up the bottom of each tortilla, then fold in the right side. Next fold down the top of each tortilla, then fold in the left side.
- Place each burrito seam-side down on a baking sheet. Place the burritos in the freezer for at least one hour. Then wrap each burrito in aluminum foil and place them together inside a gallon plastic bag. Store the burritos in a cooler.
- At camp, remove the foil-wrapped burritos from the plastic bag and place them on a grate over the campfire. Cook until they’re heated through, turning occasionally.
BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
This crowd-pleasing easy camping recipe for a family is the perfect summertime dinner. Serve it on sandwich buns or try it on tortillas.
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, thawed
- 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 bottle BBQ sauce
- Sandwich buns
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the Italian dressing, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and BBQ sauce.
- Place the chicken breasts in a slow cooker, and pour the sauce mixture over the top. Replace the lid and cook on high for 5 hours.
- Once the chicken is cooked, use a tongs or two forks to shred it. Let cool, then store in sealed containers in a refrigerator or cooler.
- When it’s dinnertime at camp, heat up the chicken on a camp stove or over the fire. Serve on sandwich buns.
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Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Try the taste of baked potatoes in a hearty soup.
- 4 large russet potatoes
- 12 slices bacon
- 1/2 cup flour
- 6 cups milk
- 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Toppings: sour cream, diced green onions, extra bacon bits and cheddar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the whole potatoes in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
- While the potatoes are baking, cook the bacon in a large pot over medium heat until it’s crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and allow to drain on a rack or paper towels. Keep the drippings in the pot.
- Add the flour to the bacon drippings and stir. Cook for about one minute, stirring constantly. Slowly add the milk to the flour mixture, stirring the whole time. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often.
- Cut the cooked potatoes in half and scoop out the insides. Add the scooped potatoes into the flour mixture. Use a spoon to stir the mixture and mash the potatoes. (You’ll want to leave some potato chunks.)
- Slice the bacon into small pieces and add to the soup. Then add the cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool slightly.
- Store soup in a resealable container in the freezer, and pack the frozen soup in the cooler when you go camping. Then thaw and heat the soup on a camp stove or in a pot over the fire. Top with sour cream, diced green onions, or extra cheddar and bacon bits.
Easy Campsite Meals
If you don’t mind cooking at camp, here are some easy recipes with minimal mess and prep.
Customize this simple oatmeal recipe with your own mix-ins and toppings.
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Toppings such as fresh fruit, dried fruit, or granola
- In a large saucepan, combine the oats, milk, water, salt, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir occasionally so the oatmeal doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Drizzle honey over each serving and top with fruit or granola—or both!
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One-Pot Spaghetti – An Easy Camping Meals For a Family Dinner Favorite
This recipes has a longer list of ingredients but you can make the whole meal in just one pot.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 (4 oz) can tomato paste
- 1/2 lb. dried spaghetti, broken in half
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat for about a minute. Then add chopped onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the ground beef, basil, and oregano to the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the beef is browned.
- Pour in the beef broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
- Add the spaghetti noodles and bring to a simmer again. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. (There will still be liquid in the pot. This is the sauce for the spaghetti.)
Combine two comfort foods in one with this quick and hearty meal idea.
- 1 lb. package elbow macaroni
- 5 cups water
- 2 (14 oz) cans chili
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Pour the elbow macaroni and water into a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil and cook until the noodles are done and the water has evaporated. (Stir occasionally while the macaroni cooks so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the skillet.) If there is still water in the skillet once the macaroni is done, pour out the extra water.
- Stir in the cans of chili and heat on low until the mixture is heated through.
- Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top and cover the skillet for a few minutes to let the cheese melt.
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