Campout Food You Can Make Anywhere
Don't wait for your next camping trip to try these tasty recipes — they're just as good in the park, in the backyard, or even in the kitchen!
You’re stoked for your campout — sleeping in a tent, communing with nature, getting dirty — but menu planning’s got you stumped. What can you cook over a campfire that’s not hot dogs? Turns out, quite a lot! Campground master chefs can work wonders with aluminum foil, skewers, and a Dutch oven. If you want to be the cool campers who bake pizza in the coals or lay out a savory feast of grilled meats and veggies after a day on the trails, try these camp-tastic recipes for campout food you can make at your campsite, in a park, or even at home.
1. Tex-Mex White Bean Chicken Foil Packets
Foil packets are like the charcuterie boards of the camping world: They’re hip, versatile, and make dinner more fun. Bonus: No plates to clean. This Tex-Mex white bean chicken recipe from The Kitchen Magpie spices up proteins and veggies before wrapping the mixture tightly in foil and cooking on a grill or campfire grate. Your family won’t believe anything this fun to cook and eat can possibly be a healthy dinner.
2. Camping Mac and Cheese
When the family won’t go anywhere that’s not mac-n-cheese accessible, you gotta get creative with your camping make-ahead meals. Lauren’s Latest shares her secret hacks to making cheesy pasta over a campfire. The key to your success is the mini aluminum pie tin and the camper’s best friend — tin foil.
3. Make-Ahead Breakfast Burritos
Scrambled eggs and tater tots somehow taste better when wrapped in a tortilla and smothered with hot sauce and salsa. When you’ve had it with instant oatmeal and stale bagels for campout breakfast, try Girl Carnivore’s make-ahead breakfast burritos. You do all the prep work at home, then warm your frozen burrito over the grill or fire at your campsite.
4. Red Lentil Sloppy Joes
Vegetarian campers need hearty meals, too. Cap off a day spent hiking or kayaking with Fresh Off the Grid’s red lentil Sloppy Joes. Make ‘em from scratch on your camp stove or cook the lentils at home and reheat them on your road trip. These Sloppy Joes might not be as mystery meat-filled as the kind you get at the school cafeteria, but be warned: They are just as messy.
5. Campfire Tacos in a Bag
Frito pie, walking tacos, tacos in a bag — whatever you call it, eating tacos out of a chip bag turns dinner into a party. This portable meal is ideal for camping because you don’t have to worry about plates or cleanup. Plus, each family member can customize the recipe to their liking. Start with your crushed chips of choice; This Lil Piglet likes nacho cheese Doritos, but you could do regular tortilla chips or fritos. Then pile on your favorite toppings — taco-seasoned ground beef, cheese, salsa, lettuce, avocado — and dig in.
6. Grilled Chicken Kabobs
Roasting meat on a skewer is a campfire favorite, so chicken on a stick is a meal most families can get behind. Amanda Outside marinates her honey mustard grilled chicken kabobs in a tangy-sweet sauce and grills them on skewers with colorful bell peppers and red onions. Just bring your best swordfighting moves from The Princess Bride for the inevitable stick battles your fueled-up family will initiate after they eat those skewers clean.
7. Chili Cheese Fries
You’re on vacation. Who says dinner needs to be healthy? Not The Kitchen Magpie, who gives to the world her campfire chili cheese fries recipe. Your family will be anything but chill when you grill up French fries and top them with canned chili and cheddar. In fact, they’ll be begging you to serve these for dinner even when you’re not road tripping.
8. Campfire Pizza Two Ways
Camping-lovers have come up with tons of different ways to cook pizza over a campfire or grill. We present our favorite two. (And by "favorite" we mean easiest.) Novice camping chefs will love the pizza bake: You slather pizza toppings on French bread, then wrap your pizza sandwich in foil to cook up in your campfire or grill. For another take on campfire pizza, car campers with space for more cooking gear can bake their pizza in a Dutch oven surrounded by charcoal. Either way, you get to kick back with a slice as the sun sets behind your wooded home-away-from-home and the crickets chorus their mealtime medley.
9. Camping Breakfast Sandwiches
Want to be the hippest family in the campground? Rock some egg-and-avocado breakfast sandwiches, and your tent city neighbors will give you some serious heart-eyes. Recipe Girl reveals a sweet camping hack: cooking omelettes in boiling water in a zip-top bag. Pair your eggs with toasty English muffins and smashed avocado, then flash your Yeti or Hydro Flask and pull on your Patagonia fleece. It’s selfie time.
10. Shrimp Boil
Give your campsite cooking a little Southern flair with a shrimp boil dinner. Shrimp, sausage, corn on the cob and baby potatoes get cooked together in a foil-covered foil pan. (Seriously, campers cannot get enough of aluminum foil.) Let this one-pot meal cook while you toss a frisbee, scavenge for bugs and critters, or rock that campfire guitar. It’ll be ready when you are.
Try these recipes as a family for a colossal cupcake, an extra-big pretzel, and an epic pizza slice — all super tasty, and surprisingly easy!
Making an extra-big pretzel to fuel extra-big adventures make seem tricky, but don't worry, it's KNOT as hard as it looks!
Yep, that's a pizza slice the size of a kid's head. Life's dream: ACHIEVED!
Ever looked at a cupcake and thought: "Hm. Looks yummy. But what if it was ENORMOUS?"