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38 Easy Camping Meals For Breakfast, Lunch, And Dinner

By Just In Case Jack | Last Updated: May 6, 2020

When it comes to camping, there are two schools of thought around creating meals:

It’s either,

“Hey, I’m ok being resourceful, so let’s take the minimum and catch or forage everything else!”

Or…

“We’re taking all the best foods we can fit in the cooler! If we catch something, sweet, it’ll be extra! But either way, we’ll eat like kings!”

The food philosophy camp you fall into comes down to how you prefer spending your time and energy in the great outdoors.

If you desire the freedom that goes with camping fast and light, you won’t have as many food options.

However, if you’re car camping, you can take many more food luxuries.

Luxury items such as portable stoves, griddles, Dutch ovens, etc. to make meal prep easier and faster. AND you can take fresh ingredients that make for a gourmet experience.

There’s a time and a place for each. But either way, it’s worth the effort to build a camping recipe list before you go.

A list you can use to put together your camp meals – whether it’s for a week away from home or just a long weekend.

So today I’ll be sharing all 32 of my favorite camping food recipes (plus helpful in-camp cooking tips and suggestions):

*Note: Feel free to skip ahead to any section using the navigation links above.

**Note: You might want to BOOKMARK this page. That way you can reference it in the future anytime you’re getting ready to plan your meals for an upcoming camping trip!


As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Camping Essentials Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

7 TIME TESTED IN-CAMP BREAKFAST RECIPES


Waking up in camp is always exciting. But I can never quite get rolling first thing in the morning until I’ve had something to eat (and a coffee).

Here are a few delicious recipes for some hearty in-camp breakfasts. Ones you can prepare in camp before heading out to a day full of adventure or a date with the hammock and a good book.

1. Camping Breakfast Sandwich

When it comes to breakfast sandwiches, we’re looking at a pretty simple formula. Muffin (or biscuit, if you ask me) + egg + cheese + meat = perfection!

I like to make it even easier by using up some of the leftovers from the night before. I love using leftover BBQ pork along with crispy fried eggs to start the day!

2. Bacon and Cheese Pull-Aparts

This one works well IF you’re willing to pull out the Dutch oven and get a fire going in the morning. These bacon and cheese pull-aparts are a great way to start the day.

I mean, come on, cheesy goodness and chunks of savory bacon, what’s not to love!

They’ll keep you feeling full and warm all morning long.

3. Farmers Scramble Breakfast

If you tend to head straight to the “skillet with potatoes” section of the breakfast menu, this one is for you.

This camping breakfast recipe combines crispy browned potatoes and tender scrambled eggs. You can also add some fried onions and bacon.

This Farmers Scramble hits all the bases – carbs, protein, salt, and fat. It’ll leave even the biggest eaters satisfied!

4. Campfire French Toast

Whenever I’ve tried to make French toast in camp, it’s been at the pace of a single slice on the griddle at a time. But that’s not an efficient way to get breakfast out to a big group.

So, here’s a recipe that makes an entire loaf of bread into French toast.

It’s sure to please the group, and it’s way easier how I’ve always done it in the past…

5. Egg and Sausage Breakfast Taquitos

If your only experience with taquitos is in the frozen foods aisle, you owe it to yourself to give these a try!

They’re quick to prepare with sausage links and a pile of scrambled eggs. Plus, you can customize them with whatever extra ingredients you may have on hand.

I like to add a little hash brown to mine, and cheese works too. You’ll want to make a double batch though because they’re sure to go fast!

6. Crispy Campfire Bacon

Cooking bacon over an open flame is one part culinary skill and two parts daring!

A well-meaning friend (but not a very skilled grill master) tried it on my grill in college. He nearly burned our deck down in the resulting grease fire.

So if you’re willing to try this one, use stainless steel skewers instead and thread the bacon with space between the folds. This strategy allows the bacon to cook evenly, thoroughly, AND safely.

Yes, as the fat renders out and drips, you’re bound to get some small flare-ups. But slow cooking over low heat helps to minimize these flare-ups and leave you with crispy, extra smoky bacon.

Just NEVER leave it unattended!

7. Dutch Oven Biscuits And Gravy

Biscuits and gravy are a classic breakfast menu item, but they can also be an in-camp breakfast treat as well!

The Dutch oven is a perfect tool to cook some fluffy biscuits.

Just add some warm, rich sausage gravy and you’ll have a breakfast that’s both delicious and filling.


As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Camping Essentials Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

5 EASY ON-THE-GO ADVENTURE LUNCHES


Camp lunches can mean anything from a quick snack to a full meal prepared in camp.

The name of the game is flexibility, as you never know how your plans will change or when everyone will start feeling hungry.

Individual portions help prevent a big setup and put away challenges…unlike a big spread. Leave the bigger meals for breakfast and dinner.

8. Salads To-Go

Yep, I said salad!

Salads are NOT the first thing you think of for camping.  But a quick salad can be an excellent break from the heavy meals you may have planned for the first few days.

Hearty leafy greens (like kale) last longer in an ice-cooler than more delicate ones. I tend to avoid iceberg or spring mixed greens for this reason. I recommend you plan your own camp salads accordingly.

This recipe calls for individual salads in single-serving containers. That way, you can grab one at a time from the cooler when you’re ready to eat.

9. Hot Ham and Swiss Croissants

Whether you choose to eat them hot or cold, these make-ahead ham and Swiss croissants are a camping food favorite.

Again, individual packaging makes it easy to grab them as needed.

AND each person can choose to eat them cold or heat them on the grill or over the fire.

All I know is, a gooey melt sandwich tastes so dang good after a long day hiking!

10. Cashew Chicken Salad Wraps

Wraps are an excellent option for lunch on the go, whether that’s at home, at work, or camping.

The variety of flavors of pre-cooked chicken and tuna make for endless possibilities.

But this cashew chicken salad version is excellent and packs well.

If you have a fire or want to break out a portable stove try toasting the tortilla.

IT makes the wrap so much better, in my opinion.

11. Trailside Hummus

When you think of portable foods, you don’t always think of heavy items like hummus.

But, with a home food dehydrator, you can dry any flavor of homemade hummus ahead of time.

Just be sure to NOT add the olive oil before dehydrating since it won’t keep that way.

Pack some buttery crackers or tortillas, and you’ve got a substantial lunch you consume on the trail!

12. Crackers/Salami/Cheese

No recipe needed for this one.

Crackers, sausage, and cheese have been a staple on many of my hiking lunches for years.

They’re calorie-dense, pack well, and taste great.


As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Camping Essentials Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

5 DELICIOUS GOURMET IN-CAMP DINNERS


Dinner back in camp is a chance to regroup and wind down after a full day.

It’s a chance to make plans for tomorrow and to share stories of what you saw today.

I find that conversations are even more enjoyable over a hearty meal. One that will keep you (and everyone else) full until morning.

And trust me, there’s nothing is worse than having to crawl out of the sleeping bag to find a snack at 3 am.

These are some tested recipes that will tide you over until breakfast.

13. One-Pot Beef Stroganoff

In camp, it seems like every meal needs more seasoning than it does at home.

This one-pot beef stroganoff recipe brings some big flavors to enjoy.

Steak, mushrooms, onions, and garlic flavors meld together to create a filling dish sure to be an in-camp favorite.

14. Campfire Stew

This one is a perfect end-of-day meal if you plan to lounge around the campsite all day.

Let this hearty stew simmer over the fire for hours and it will develop a vast range of flavors.

Slow cooking can turn even the cheapest cut of meat into a tender delicacy. Plus, the swirling smoke will impart a wonderful smoky flavor throughout the campground.

You may have to beat your camping neighbors off with a stick!

You can adapt this recipe for the vegetables and meats you have on hand. Follow the cooking instructions on how to prep it at home or do everything in camp.

15. Dutch Oven Stuffed Sausage and Potato Boats

This is another camp food recipe that’s easy to customize.

This stuffed sausage and potato boat recipe is super versatile.

Sliced sausage forms a base for potatoes mixed with any kind of toppings you like.

Using a Dutch Oven helps to prevent “drying out,” resulting in a “twice-based potato” texture and awesome flavors.

16. Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

If you’ve been looking for a crowd-pleaser, this cast iron skillet pizza is it!

You can make the dough yourself or buy a convenient pre-made shell from the grocery store. But cooking in a cast-iron skillet will result in a thicker, chewier crust.

17. Dutch Oven Pork Chops and Potato Casserole

Amazing pork chops and tasty potatoes make this a tasty and easy Dutch oven recipe for camping.

Cream of mushroom soup and bread crumbs make it an easy camp meal to prep and a surefire favorite!

Just take care not to burn the bottom of this casserole focusing most of the heat on the top of the oven.


As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Camping Essentials Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

7 FOIL-PACKET CAMPFIRE DINNERS


Cooking a delicious meal wrapped tightly in aluminum foil is a time-honored camping tradition. So much so that I decided to give them their own category!

There’s something so satisfying about opening that foil packet, sticking your nose in close to enjoy the first whiff of a fantastic feast.

Plus, individual packets allow for easy meal customization for each individual. I’ve found it’s the best way to make even the pickiest eater a happy camper!

18. Foil-Wrapped Baked Sweet Potatoes and Chili

Tender baked potatoes and a hearty chili go just great together.

Cooking them over a campfire can help keep you warm and satisfied even on a cold night.

This recipe calls for sweet potatoes and vegetarian chili.

But you can substitute regular potatoes or any kind of chili you prefer.

19. Shrimp Scampi Foil Packets

Sure, it “seems” like taking shrimp is excessive camping luxury. And it is!

But I’ve made a similar recipe on several sea kayaking trips. I just used rock crabs I caught by hand instead of shrimp.

Crayfish are also another easy option in certain locales.

So mix your shellfish of choice with a fresh sauce and cook everything in tightly sealed packets. You’ll be known as the best chef in camp for years to come.

20. Foil Pack French Dip Sandwiches

French Dips are one of my favorite sandwiches of all time.

The tender roast beef, melted Swiss cheese, and creamy, salty au jus sauce in a giant pull-apart loaf of crusty bread – yes, please!

The French Dip is also perfect for satisfying a hungry crowd!

21. Bacon Ranch Grilled Potatoes

You really can’t go wrong with potatoes baked in foil.

You can go with a pure blend of baked spuds and a perfect mix of cheese. Or you can add bacon, sour cream, and herbs, you know it’ll taste great and give you plenty of fuel for the next day.

Just layout pre-sliced potatoes and extras on a table. This buffet-style meal allows everyone to make their own version of the Bacon Ranch Potato Packets.

22. Grilled Pineapple Chicken

This recipe is a quick and easy spin on teriyaki chicken.

This easy camping meal is simple to prepare at home by chopping all the ingredients and pre-mixing the sauce.

Once in camp, dish up to foil packets and cook until the chicken ready.

It should only take about 15 minutes to have dinner on plates!

23. Southwestern Chicken Packets

Chicken, beans, and pepper jack cheese blend to create a hearty meal to fill you up after a long day in camp.

You can even tailor the spice level to fit each person – a win/win situation when camping with kids!

24. Grilled Caramelized Onions

This simple recipe takes direct heat and sweet white onions. This combination helps create a great side dish or addition to other recipes.

If you get them caramelized and soft, you can even spread them on toasted chunks of crusty garlic bread.


As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Camping Essentials Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

5 BEST CAMPFIRE DESSERTS (other than S’mores)


25. Blackberry Dutch Oven Cobbler

This cobbler is a GREAT dessert that’s a super easy camping meal that makes enough for a small group.

The carbonated soda gives it extra rise, so the cake is super fluffy with a crispy top.

It also makes a great breakfast if you have any leftovers!

26. Grilled Banana Boats

When I was a kid, this was one of my favorites – in camp or at home!

They’re simple to prep and don’t take much in the way of ingredients.

Plus, you can store them all at room temp (unless it’s mid-summer and your chocolate is melting).

27. Chocolate Orange Cakes

Orange cakes are an old standby in boy scouts, and they don’t disappoint.

Single-serving cakes, baked INSIDE the hollowed-out peel of an orange wrapped in foil!

Genius!

28. Pineapple Upside Down Pound Cake

Foil packet cooking doesn’t have to end with dinner!

Chunks of fresh or canned pineapple cook down to a rich, mellow flavor. A flavor that pairs well with dense, buttery pound cake.

If you don’t have pound cake, chunks of old-fashioned donuts or even donut holes will work just as well!

29. Cherry Hand Pies

Hand pies take some extra work to prepare, but they’re so good it makes up for it.

Using pre-made pie crusts is easy. But you can also do it homemade if you’d rather not have the perishable dough in the cooler.

Either way, be careful with kids around the hot oil and cast iron.


As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Camping Essentials Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

5 KID-FRIENDLY CAMPING MEAL IDEAS


Anyone who has spent time with young kids knows that mealtime can be a struggle.

New foods are not always a hit, especially with overly-tired and hungry kids.

That’s why it’s wise to plan a few tried and true favorites. It can be a camping lifesaver. Because preventing a meltdown and saving your sanity is key to a great time camping with littles.

Plus, any food that you can have your kids “help” cook is food that you don’t have to prepare all by yourself. AND this helps keeps them entertained (at least for a little while).

30. Campfire Cinnamon Roll-ups

Cinnamon rolls are always a breakfast hit, either at home or in camp.

If you’ve already got a fire going to heat water for coffee, give those bleary-eyed kids a fun task. Teach them how to whip up some cinnamon rolls on a stick!

Using packaged crescent roll dough makes it fast and no-mess. Plus, you can tailor the cinnamon/sugar mix to your liking.

31. Make-at-Home Mac & Cheese

According to my sister, kids CAN exist entirely on Mac ‘n Cheese and pocket lint if push comes to shove.

The bottom line is, it’s a surefire hit for kids and simple to make.

Just pack some homemade mac and cheese into individual foil wraps and heat them over the fire.

Since it’s already fully cooked, you only have to wait for it to heat up to your liking.

But if you let it sit just a little longer, you’ll reap the reward of crispy cheese on the top and bottom. This added texture and flavor turns a kid-friendly dish enjoyable for adults too.

32. Campfire Cheesy Breadsticks

Here’s another excellent entry in the “stick-based cuisine” category.

Campfire breadsticks are wrapped around a stick and cooked over an open fire.

There isn’t a kid out there who’s not fascinated by campfires. So this is a great way to teach them to use it as a tool.

So wrap store-bought dough around a handy stick and toast to your liking. These allow your kids to make their very own cheesy breadsticks.

33. Hawaiian BBQ Pork Walking Taco

Multiple sources call them “a Midwest staple.” But in my 23 years of living in Michigan, I never came across the Walking Taco.

I learned about this camp-friendly / kid-friendly dinner option after I moved out West.

This knowledge gap isn’t to say that they’re not a great idea – because they are!

First, prepare any taco/nacho toppings you like. Next, open a small bag of chips and layer everything inside on top.

This version used pulled pork and pineapple salsa for a Hawaiian flair. It’s a self-contained nacho platter in a handy bag.

No mess, no dishes, no cleanup!

The more I think about it; it *DOES* sound like something a Midwesterner would invent…

34. Campfire Pigs In A Blanket

Both hotdogs and breadsticks can be big kid winners when cooked on sticks over the fire. But these Pigs In A Blanket take things to an entirely new level!

Be sure to use the loose foil wrap to slow down the cooking. This method gives hot dogs time to heat up without burning the breadsticks.

Afterward, dip in ketchup, mustard, or (my favorite) BBQ sauce.


As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Camping Essentials Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

4 LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKING MEALS


Backpackers are a special breed. It’s all about minimalist camping!

In pursuit of lighter packs for more comfortable hiking, they do all kinds of odd things, especially with food.

But the need for good, filling, and tasty food is at its peak after a full day of hiking.

Something about long hikes and full packs drives a conversation towards camp food.

It was likely this hunger, mixed with ingenuity, which inspired such lightweight backpacking foods. I’m talking about inventions such as powdered peanut butter, powdered eggs, powdered milk, and freeze-dried roasted veggies.

35. Backpackers Thai Noodles

You can find plenty of pre-packaged freeze-dried meals on the market nowadays. But this one is great to customize for yourself.

It’s got some intense flavors with spices that tickle the taste buds. And the richness of the peanut butter makes it particularly appealing.

You can purchase most of the ingredients at a local grocery store. But the powdered peanut butter and freeze-dried vegetables might be harder to find.

That’s why I suggest ordering such backpackers-focused ingredients online.

36. Spicy Curry Noodle Bowl

Curries are another easy meal to prep at home and save on food costs.

This one relies on lots of Southeast Asian spices and coconut cream powder for a thick broth that hits the spot.

If you’re feeling ambitious, add some home dehydrated cooked chicken or pork to the mix. I find such additions can make these meals SOO much better!

37. Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Loaded mashed potatoes have been a staple of my backpacking menus since Boy Scouts.

You can either start with pre-flavored packets of instant potatoes or add your own spices.

This recipe is perfect if you’d like to start tinkering with your own flavors – because you can add nearly anything you want!

Mashed potatoes are the multi-tool food of backpacking cuisine.

38. Peanut Sauce Ramen

This recipe uses easy-to-find ingredients. But you can cut the mess and weight if you swap in powdered peanut butter.

This one is a lot like other peanut sauce noodle recipes. But the ramen spice packet adds more sodium (you’ve likely sweated out a lot after a day on the trail). And it’s cheaper as well.

It’s an excellent addition to your backpacker meal plan.


As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Camping Essentials Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

STRATEGIES AND TIPS FOR COOKING WHILE CAMPING


Unless you have a big RV with a full kitchen, you’re going to have to rethink how you cook at a campsite. Why? Because there are several unique challenges to cooking at a campsite.

From preventing stored food spoilage to dish clean-up – without kitchen appliances, you’ll need to get creative. The good news is, I have experience with each of these camp food challenges.

Keeping Foods Cold

Most campers do not have access to a fridge. So the food items you bring must either b safe to store outside, or you’ll have to protect them somehow.

Most people use a cooler full of ice to keep things cold on a hot day, and it works well.

But you can also put canned and sealed items in cold running river water or a snowbank if needed. This strategy works well if you’re trying to avoid taking a cooler…

Keeping Foods Warm(ish)

Fewer people realize you can also use a cooler to keep things from freezing if the temps dip too low at night.

An empty cooler will insulate the contents from moderate freezing temps. AND the addition of a hot water bottle before bed can protect from extreme cold conditions.

This strategy comes in handy during the late fall, winter, or early spring camping seasons when it can dip below freezing at night.

Baking Tools / Strategies

It’s a real challenge to bake in-camp without a standard kitchen oven.

Luckily, you can use things like a Dutch oven or a backpacker oven if you just HAVE to make a batch of fresh cookies.

However, for most baked goods, it’s easier to just cook these items at home and take them on the road with you.

Stovetop Camping Solutions

In-camp gourmet meals tend to require cooking over a portable stove or open flames, so prepare for that.

Depending on the fuel source, these can be messy, sooty affairs for your pots and pans.

They also may get scorched on the outside, so this isn’t the time to take your best pots and pans from home.

Instead, I keep a small camp skillet and old pasta pot in with all my essential camping gear. That way I know exactly what I have every time I go.

Grilling Strategies

It might be tempting to take a small grill along as well if you have some trunk space.

If not, you can usually do most of your grilling directly over the campfire (if the fire ring has a flip grill). Or for some recipes work well with camping skewers, baskets, or sticks.

Washing Up / Clean Up

Unfortunately, it takes longer to wash up in camp than at home. Why? Because heating water for wash-up takes both time and energy, so often I’ll just wash in cold water instead. Yes, it takes a bit more elbow grease and scrubbing.

Try using a metal brush and strong detergent to get your cast iron skillets and ovens clean.

You want to be diligent about it, though, as any leftover food smells are sure to draw animal visitors. Some animal scavengers are cute but mischievous squirrels, but there are also dangerous predators like bears.

FINAL THOUGHTS


Cooking in camp should always a vital activity (as long as the weather cooperates). And when done right, it can bring everyone together.

Assigning tasks like prep and cleanup to help distribute the load. And this also helps ensure everyone has time to relax and enjoy their food.

Good camping food is key to keeping you fueled, focused, and ready to enjoy all the moments in the great outdoors.

Hopefully, these recipes give you a starting point to build your next epic camping food menu!

If you liked this article, you’ll also enjoy our 20 camping hacks article.

Jason K.

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.
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