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HomeCampingCooking & Meals32 Delicious & Easy Camping Dinner Ideas + Sides, Salads & Desserts

32 Delicious & Easy Camping Dinner Ideas + Sides, Salads & Desserts

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What’s the time, Mr Wolf?

You guessed it…Dinner time!

So what’s for dinner tonight at the campsite?

You need something that’s quick and easy, but delicious and satisfying, too. Luckily, this article is packed with awesome camping dinner ideas that your entire tribe will love.

There are also some great ideas for sides and salads, along with some gorgeous desserts to sweeten things up.

So, let’s get started!

Mouthwatering Foil Packet Dinner Ideas

You can actually cook up a storm at the campsite – even if you don’t have any cookware!

All you need is a campfire and a roll of aluminum foil, and you’re good to go.

You’d be amazed by all the yummy meals you can make in foil packets over the campfire. Here are a few of my favorites to give you a little bit of inspiration.

Grilled Lemon Butter Trout

 Camping Dinner Ideas

What I love the most about fish recipes is that you don’t need a bunch of ingredients to make them delicious.

For this particular dish, you need just a few ingredients you probably have at home: butter, olive oil, garlic, lemon, and seasoning.

The original recipe requires salt and pepper, but you can add fresh herbs like parsley, oregano, tarragon, or dill.

Making this dish is fairly simple. All you need to do is:

  • Heat up your grill to high, but keep one part of the grill cool.
  • Make a “boat” with aluminum foil. It works best with a double or triple layer and with a one-inch rim around the edges.
  • Coat the aluminum boat with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  • Filet your trout open through the center, leaving it connected. Add lemon slices into the opening, and top with herbs and dots of butter.
  • Close the fish and coat both sides with olive oil, then place your stuffed fish into your foil boat.
  • Place the boat on the hot side of the grill or campfire, then cover and cook for three minutes.
  • Move it to the cool side and let it cook for another 3–5 minutes.

For this recipe, you can melt the butter for easier application. Alternatively, you can simply soften it into a paste, and then spread it onto the fish.

Which trout is the best for this dish? This recipe recommends using Alpine, Rainbow, or Brook trout, but any variety will work.

Jambalaya Foil Packets

Personally, I love making jambalaya on a camping trip.

It’s such a simple dish to make, but it has so many bursts of flavors that activate all of your taste buds.

You’ll need these ingredients:

  • Smoked sausage
  • Shrimp
  • Olive oil
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Sweet onion
  • Red bell pepper
  • Chopped celery
  • Minced garlic
  • Instant rice
  • Chicken broth
  • Seasonings of your choice

Authentic jambalaya is made with a Cajun spice mix, thyme, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.

You can make your own jambalaya mix at home, so you don’t have to pack each one separately.

This camping jambalaya recipe takes just 15 minutes to make, and here’s how:

  • Cut large sheets of aluminum foil (about 17” x 12”). Each serving gets its own foil packet, so if you have six people, cut six sheets.
  • Coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  • Toss all the ingredients together into a large bowl and mix.
  • Divide the mixture into equal portions amongst the hungry mouths. Place one portion per aluminum sheet, right in the center.
  • Bring the short sides of the foil together towards the middle, then fold them down over the ingredients. Then, roll up the ends to close the foil packet.
  • Place the foil packet on the campfire and let it cook between 20–40 minutes, or until the rice is done.

There you have it. Making Jambalaya foil packets is that easy.

I recommend dicing all the ingredients at home to save you the trouble of doing that at the campsite.

Just remember to keep them in air-tight containers in the refrigerator and transfer them to a cooler right before leaving.

Jacket Potatoes

 Camping Dinner Ideas

Stuffed jacket potatoes are a classic, but they never get old. They’re one of the easiest things you can cook up over a campfire, and they’re tasty, filling, and a real crowd pleaser.

Everyone can choose their own toppings, which is great when you’re camping in large groups with picky eaters.

What you need:

  • Potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Seasonings
  • Butter
  • Toppings (cheese, green onions, baked beans, bacon bits, etc.)

To make a jacket potato, all you have to do is:

  • Wash (but don’t peel) a whole potato and poke some holes all over it with a knife
  • Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt, then wrap it in aluminum foil
  • Throw it over a campfire either over a grate or directly onto the hot coals
  • Leave it on the fire for half an hour, then turn it over for another half hour
  • Once it’s soft enough that you can poke a fork into it easily, take it off the fire and let it cool a little bit so that you don’t burn your fingers
  • Then, cut it open down the middle and pull the edges apart to open the potato up
  • Sprinkle some salt and pepper onto the potato, and put a pad of butter on it before you start adding the rest of your toppings

You can put all kinds of different toppings on your jacket potatoes. Cheese, ham, tuna salad, baked beans, bacon bits… You name it!

Or, you can keep things simple and just stick to butter and a dollop of sour cream with fresh herbs, like in this simple-but-delicious recipe.

Using sweet potatoes is a great alternative to regular potatoes if you want to switch things up a bit.

Pull Apart Sandwich Loaves

Ever since I discovered this awesome camping food hack a couple of years ago, it’s been one of my go-to, easy campfire dinners.

It’s super quick and easy to put together, and I love how versatile it is. You can make so many different combinations for the filling, so it never gets boring.

Things you will need:

  • 1 loaf of bread
  • Butter
  • Your choice of toppings (ham and cheese, garlic, etc.)

Here’s how you do it:

  • Take a loaf of bread and cut an odd number of slices into it. You don’t want to cut all the way through the loaf, only about ¾ of the way through.
  • Stuff every other slice with your fillings of choice.
  • Brush the top and sides of the loaf with melted butter and wrap the entire thing in aluminum foil so that none of the bread is left uncovered.
  • Throw it over the campfire for around 10–15 minutes. Turn it over every few minutes until it’s been toasted on all sides.

For your fillings you could go simple and stick to classics like ham and cheese.

Or you could get creative and come up with some more exciting flavor combinations.

These French dip pull apart sandwiches, for instance, are enough to make you drool.

You can even make this recipe ahead of time, and store them in your cooler.

That way, all you have to do when you get to the campsite is throw them on the fire, and you’ve got a mouthwatering, easy camping meal ready in around 10 minutes.

Just make sure you wrap it well, so that the bread doesn’t get soggy in the cooler.

Loaded Nachos

 Camping Dinner Ideas

Campfire nachos take the cake when it comes to simplicity.

There’s no dinner that’s easier to whip up than a big batch of campfire nachos.

It also happens to be one of the tastiest dinners you can imagine – just sayin’.

To make them, you just:

  • Put some tortilla chips on an improvised aluminum foil baking sheet
  • Cover them with shredded cheese, refried beans and/or black beans, and some meat like ground beef, chicken, or chorizo.
  • Wrap the entire thing up in aluminum foil and put it over the fire for around 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  • Once you’ve taken it off the fire, add the rest of your toppings, and enjoy!

The toppings you choose might include things like salsa, pico de gallo, avocado, sour cream, pickled jalapeños, and fresh cilantro.

But, again, you can really go nuts and put whatever your heart desires on there.

These mouthwatering Korean style nachos with pork belly and kimchi are all the proof you need.

Scrumptious Dutch Oven Dinner Dishes

If I had to choose just one piece of kitchenware to take on a camping trip, it would be a dutch oven.

You can make just about anything you like in a dutch oven. I’m not kidding – anything.

From soups and stews, to roast dinners, to pizza, lasagna, enchiladas, and even cornbread.

There’s nothing you can’t cook in a dutch oven over a campfire.

These are some of my favorite dutch oven dinners to make at the campsite.

Easy Chili Mac

 Camping Dinner Ideas

Starving and need food ASAP? Easy chili mac is the dish to go. In just 20 minutes, you’ll have dinner ready for the whole camping crew.

This recipe is practically mac and cheese mixed with Bolognese sauce. You’ll need:

  • Ground beef
  • Diced onion
  • Beef broth
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce
  • Sugar
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Elbow macaroni
  • Toppings of choice (shredded cheese, sour cream, etc.)

Here’s how to make it:

  • Combine ground beef and diced onion in your dutch oven, then place over your campfire heat.
  • Using a wooden spoon, stir occasionally to break the beef apart.
  • Cook until the beef is browned and the onions are soft. This should take roughly 7–8 minutes.
  • Add broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and sugar to the dutch oven. Then, let your chili settle until it comes to a simmer.
  • Once simmering, stir in the macaroni. Let the whole thing cook until the noodles are tender.

Now you have delicious chili mac! Top the dish with shredded cheese and sour cream before serving, and you’re in for a yummy dinner.

This easy chili mac is such a foolproof recipe, too. Just make sure to stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking to the dutch oven.

African Peanut Stew

This is yet another one-pot recipe you can make in your dutch oven.

There are different variations of this West African recipe, but we’re making the most commonly made one.

This version is made with tomato broth infused with peanut butter and spices like cumin, ginger, jalapeno and cayenne.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Olive oil
  • Diced onion
  • Chopped garlic cloves
  • Jalapeño
  • Minced ginger
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne
  • Tomato paste
  • Sweet potato
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Vegetable broth
  • Water
  • Collard greens
  • Rice (optional)
  • Toppings (cilantro, lime juice, crushed roasted peanuts)

Here’s how to make it:

  • Cover the bottom of the dutch oven with olive oil and warm over your campfire.
  • Once warm, add diced onion and salt, then cook for about three minutes.
  • Then, add garlic, jalapeno, ginger, cayenne, and cumin into your pot. Stir them into the pot and cook for another three minutes.
  • Add tomato paste, diced sweet potato, peanut butter, vegetable broth, and water. Stir these ingredients in and let your mixture come to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover the dutch oven, and cook for another 15 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender.
  • Once the potatoes are soft, mash them into the moisture to thicken the soup.
  • Then, boil uncovered for another five minutes, and you’re good to go.

This dish is great over rice, which is my favorite way of serving it. Alternatively, you can serve it with bread or quinoa.

Note: If you’re cooking over your campfire, simply reduce the heat by moving the dutch oven slightly off the main flame and away from direct heat.

Creamy Beef Stroganoff

 Camping Dinner Ideas

Given its delicate flavor, one would think that creamy beef stroganoff is a complex and time-consuming dish to make.

But what if I told you that it only requires seven ingredients and 30 minutes of your time?

The ingredients:

  • Ground beef
  • Sliced button mushrooms
  • Chopped onion
  • Beef broth
  • Evaporated milk
  • Medium egg noodles
  • Sour cream

Here’s how:

  • Add beef, mushrooms, onion, and salt to the dutch oven over medium heat. Stir frequently.
  • Once the beef is brown and the onions are tender, stir in the broth, evaporated milk, and noodles.
  • Let the contents come to a boil before reducing the heat.
  • Let the mixture simmer uncovered and stir frequently until the noodles become tender, which should take less than 10 minutes.
  • Remove the dutch over from the heat, stir in the sour cream, then serve.

This recipe uses egg noodles because they pair exceptionally well with the sauce.

But you can always swap for any type of noodle you prefer.

White Bean Chicken Chili

Have leftover chicken or turkey? This recipe is a great way to turn last night’s dinner into a new and delicious meal.

What to bring:

  • Chicken (Or turkey)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Chopped onion
  • Minced garlic cloves
  • Chicken broth
  • Tomatillos
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced green chiles
  • Dried oregano
  • Ground coriander
  • Cumin
  • White beans
  • Corn

Here’s how to make it:

  • Heat oil in the dutch oven. Then, add onion and garlic and cook them until they are soft.
  • Stir in broth and add tomatillos, tomatoes, and chiles.
  • Add in seasonings and stir until everything is combined.
  • Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add chicken, beans, and corn, then simmer for five more minutes.
  • Salt and pepper to taste, then serve!

The reason why we use already prepared chicken for this meal is to keep the cooking time short.

If you decide on using raw chicken, then the whole thing needs to be slowly cooked on medium heat until the chicken is tender.

Mac & Cheese

When you think of comfort food, one of the first things you probably think of is mac and cheese. It’s rich, creamy, and downright delicious.

The good news is, making it at the campsite in a dutch oven is a piece of cake.

You can also add in extra ingredients to make it even more interesting.

I like to add chopped jalapeños and bacon bits to mine.

This insane mac and cheese recipe features four different types of cheese and bacon.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the stuff dreams are made of to me.

What you will need:

  • Bacon
  • Elbow macaroni (or noodle of choice)
  • Water
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Whole milk
  • Cream cheese
  • Lots of cheese (sharp cheddar cheese, blue cheese, gruyere)
  • Nutmeg
  • Garlic powder
  • Sage leaves

How to make it:

  • Add water to the dutch oven and bring to a boil, then add in your pasta and cook until it’s tender.
  • Strain your pasta, remove the cooked noodles from the dutch oven, and set aside.
  • Place the dutch oven back over heat. Then, cut/slice bacon into half-inch pieces and cook.
  • I recommend cooking about half of the bacon at a time to make sure all pieces cook evenly.
  • Once bacon is crispy, remove it from the pot and place on a paper towel to absorb the grease.
  • You can drain the bacon grease from the dutch oven once all the bacon is done, but leave some in the pot to use for the rest of the recipe.
  • Melt your butter in the pot, and once fully melted, sprinkle in your flour and whisky quickly to combine.
  • When it starts to bubble, pour in your milk one cup at a time, stirring thoroughly to make sure everything is mixed well before adding the next cup.
  • After all the milk has been added and the roux is thick, add in the cream cheese and stir until it is melted. Then add in your cheeses and stir until you have a smooth, cheesy sauce.
  • Now, add in your cooked noodles, sage, and bacon. Stir everything to combine and make sure all the pasta is covered.
  • Top with any extra bacon and extra cheese and enjoy!

The best thing about mac and cheese is that the recipe is flexible.

You can use any cheese, noodle, topping, or seasoning you like to make it perfect for you.


 Camping Dinner Ideas

Another awesome camping dinner you can make in a dutch oven is lasagna.

On a scale of one to Garfield, how much do you love lasagna?

I’m definitely a Garfield.

I mean, who doesn’t love lasagna, right?

Here are the ingredients:

  • Bacon slices
  • Shallots
  • Carrots
  • Ground beef
  • Tomato Basil sauce
  • Dry red wine (optional)
  • Cream cheese
  • Lasagna noodles
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Parmesan cheese

And here’s what to do:

  • Brown the bacon in a skillet until crispy.
  • Add minced shallots and carrots, then saute until soft.
  • Add ground beef, salt and pepper, then saute until brown.
  • Add tomato sauce and wine, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in cream cheese.
  • Break lasagna noodles into four pieces, then stir into meat mixture.
  • Lay the noodle pieces flat in the pan, and tuck a few mozzarella slices between and on top.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.

This super easy one pot lasagna recipe is perfect for camping, because it can all be done in one dutch oven which means minimal dishes and drama.

And I’ve tested it a few times now so believe me when I say there’s nothing minimal about the flavor.


 Camping Dinner Ideas

Another one of my all time favorite campsite meals – enchiladas. Yum!

These are also really versatile, which is one of the reasons they’re such a great choice for camping.

You can do them with all kinds of different fillings like different types of meat, veggies, beans, etc.

Plus, you can really use any kind of cheese you have, and the sauce can also be made a bunch of different ways using different ingredients you have on hand.

These are the ingredients:

  • Corn tortillas
  • Ground beef (shredded chicken)
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Onion
  • Green chilies
  • Enchilada sauce
  • Black beans

Here’s how to make this delicious recipe:

  • Chop veggies, then cook with meat until both are browned.
  • Layer the ingredients into the dutch oven, starting with sauce, followed by tortillas, veggies, meat and cheese. Repeat a couple of times.
  • Put the lid on, then place a few hot coals on top of the dutch oven.

This cheesy beef enchilada casserole is one of the best enchilada recipes out there, if you ask me.

And it can be done in a dutch oven over a campfire, too.

It does take quite a while to make these, though, because the pork needs to cook for a long time and then the enchiladas need to cook as well once you assemble them.

So, keep in mind that this one isn’t a quick and easy camping recipe.

It’s more of a recipe for when you’ve got some spare time on your hands and you’re just chilling at the campsite, taking it easy and slowly making some amazing food.


Any cornbread fans out there?

I happen to be a huge fan myself.

So nothing makes me happy on a camping trip like baking up a fresh batch of cornbread over the campfire.

This can also be done in a dutch oven, in case you hadn’t already guessed.

Cornbread is great on its own, or as an accompaniment to just about any meal you can think of.

That’s the great thing about cornbread – if there’s any left over, you can have it for breakfast the next day.

Pair it with some bacon and eggs, and you’re looking at a pretty good start to the day.

Here’s my favorite dutch oven cornbread recipe. It uses honey to give the cornbread a nice sweetness, which really kicks the flavor up a notch.

For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Flour
  • Cornmeal
  • Honey or sugar
  • Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Oil

To make the cornbread, all you need to do is:

  • Lightly grease the dutch oven.
  • Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar/honey, salt and baking powder into a large bowl.
  • Add egg, milk and oil, then stir until well combined.
  • Pour the batter into the dutch oven, then cook for about half an hour.

That’s it! Quick and simple!

Loaded Sweet Potatoes

These loaded sweet potatoes are fluffy on the inside, but crispy and flavorful on the outside.

You can load them with a topping of your choice, but my personal favorite is chili.

This is the perfect dinner meal to warm you up and get you ready for a good night’s sleep.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Diced onion
  • Kidney beans
  • Tomato paste
  • Can of beer
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Additional toppings of choice (green onions, shredded cheese, sour cream, etc.)

Here’s how to make these loaded sweet potatoes:

  • Wrap sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and toss them onto the campfire embers for about 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, warm up some olive oil in a pot.
  • Once hot, add your diced onion and saute until they start to soften.
  • Then add the beans, tomato paste, beer, chili powder, and cumin, then leave to simmer while the potatoes finish baking.
  • The potatoes are ready once they are soft to the touch, or a fork can go through them without issue.
  • Remove the sweet potatoes from the fire, unwrap the foil, and cut them in half with a knife.
  • Remove your chili from the heat, add it over your sweet potato, and serve!

This dish can further be topped with green onions, cheese, avocado – anything you might have on-hand or want for your dish.

Pro-tip: dry the sweet potatoes as thoroughly as possible after washing them. Baking them dry will make the skin crispy rather than soggy, which would happen if they are wet when they bake.

More Easy Camping Dinner Ideas

Other than aluminum foil and dutch ovens, there’s a range of other types of camp cooking equipment you can use to cook up a storm outdoors.

You can grill your food, fry it in a skillet, or bake it in a pie iron – to name a few methods.

To give you an idea of some of the things you could make, here are some more great recipes.

Hot Dogs With Variations

 Camping Dinner Ideas

Okay, who doesn’t like hot dogs? Personally, I don’t think I could get tired of them, even if that was the only thing I’d have for dinner during the entire trip.

You can make your hot dogs however you want, be it on the stove or over the campfire.

In the case of the former, use a cast iron pot and make sure to get it buttered up for an even better flavor!

I like to make my hot dogs over the campfire. This cooking method takes about 6-7 minutes and requires occasional turning so that the hot dog gets evenly charred on all sides.

Now, my favorite part about hot dogs is, of course, the choice of toppings.

The most popular ones are shredded cheese, mustard and ketchup. But you can make your dish even more extravagant by adding coleslaw, crumbled potato chips, salsa… Anything that comes to mind!

My go-to recipe is chili dogs, which are topped with chili, cheddar cheese, diced white onions and sliced green onions.

For those who like spicy condiments, try nacho dogs. These include jalapenos, pickled red onions, cheddar cheese, salsa, jalapeno chips, and cilantro on top of hot dogs.

Finally, for those who want something unusual, Hawaiian dogs are the way to go.

They’re topped with grilled pineapple, teriyaki sauce mixed with mayo, grilled red onions, and tropical salsa chips.

Burgers With Different Toppings

A burger is another dish that’s easy to make at the campsite. Be it on a stove in a skillet or on a grill, they’re done within minutes and ready for serving.

But the patty is just one ingredient. We can’t forget about the toppings, which bring your meal to another level.

The classic options are cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onion and bacon. But you can add any veggie you like, including cucumbers, pickles, avocados and mushrooms.

Of course, we can’t forget about the condiments. From ketchup and mayo to guacamole and hummus, there are so many great toppings to choose from.

Honey Mustard Chicken Skewers

These honey mustard chicken skewers are such a crowd-pleaser. Sweet, slightly tangy with a delicious glaze to lick your fingers.

Here is what you will need:

  • Boneless chicken thighs
  • Minced garlic cloves
  • Unpasteurized honey
  • White wine
  • Dijon mustard
  • Olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Fish sauce
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Green onions (optional)

Most importantly, this dish is ridiculously easy to make on a camping trip. Here’s what to do:

  • Mix the marinade ingredients into a container with a lid and stir well.
  • Add chicken to the container and make sure to coat well into the marinade.
  • Let it rest for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
  • About half an hour before you start cooking, soak the skewers in the cold water.
  • Skewer chicken pieces onto the bamboo sticks.
  • Pour marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then let it simmer slowly for about five minutes until thickened.
  • Place the skewers on the grill and flip them every two to three minutes while brushing them with marinade.

This particular recipe is a bit hot and spicy, so keep that in mind. You can always adjust the seasoning to suit your own preference or even skip the heat altogether if you or your camping mates aren’t fond of it.

Vegetable Lentil Soup With Garlic Croutons

A warm and hearty soup is the perfect campfire meal. It takes roughly 20 minutes to cook, so it will be ready right on time before everyone becomes starving.

The recipe is quite simple, asking for classic veggies like onions, carrots and the star of the show – brown lentils.

As for croutons, you’ll need sourdough bread, which is cut into tiny cubes.

Here are all the ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Chopped onion
  • Minced garlic cloves
  • Carrots
  • Brown Lentils
  • Vegetable broth
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Bay leaves
  • Sourdough bread

Here’s how to make this delicious meal:

  • Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan.
  • Add onion and garlic, as well as salt and pepper to season.
  • Cook for about one minute, stirring occasionally.
  • Add your carrots, lentils, vegetable broth, bay leaf, cayenne, and water.
  • Bring to a boil before reducing heat and simmering while partially covered for another 20 minutes.
  • In the meantime, prepare croutons by seasoning a baking sheet with a bit of oil.
  • Toss the bread into the sheet and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake on low fire until golden brown in color, which should take about five minutes.

Croutons for this recipe are super easy to make, but you can always bring them from home to save you the hassle of making them on the spot.

As for lentils, you want them to be soft to the touch, but not falling apart in the soup.

Pie Iron Pizza Pockets

Now, let me just start by saying that a pie iron is a wonderful thing to have on a camping trip.

There are loads of tasty snacks and meals you can make in one of these babies.

From toasted ham and cheese sandwiches to gooey sweet treats filled with melted chocolate, vanilla pudding, and marshmallow fluff.

But one of the best things you can make in a pie iron over a campfire would have to be the pie iron pizza pocket.

These are another definite crowd pleaser, because everyone can customize their own pizza pockets and put whatever they like inside.

Here are the basics you’ll need:

  • Premade pizza dough
  • Cheese
  • Your choice of toppings

To make them, follow these steps:

  • Grease a pie iron and line it with pizza dough.
  • Spread some pizza sauce onto the dough.
  • Add cheese and any other fillings you like.
  • Close the pie iron and hold it over the campfire for a minute or two on each side.

The exact length it’ll take to bake depends on the intensity of your campfire. If you’re not sure, check to see how it’s going after about two minutes.

Some fillings you might want to try might include pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, olives, sun dried tomatoes, pesto, artichokes, or parmesan cheese.

Again, it’s up to you to be creative and come up with your own flavor combos using your favorite ingredients.


I’ll be honest – I’m not sure I would’ve survived college had it not been for quesadillas.

Quesadillas were my go to meal in college, because they’re quick, easy, and delicious.

And the requirements for a camping meal are no different, really.

A stunning quesadilla comes together in a matter of minutes, and it’s super tasty and satisfying.

The basics are:

  • Corn or flour tortilla
  • Shredded cheese
  • Your meat/fillings of choice
  • Your dip of choice (sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc.)

Here’s how you make one:

  • Take a tortilla and sprinkle some shredded cheese onto it, along with whatever other fillings you want in your quesadilla.
  • Fold it in half and place it on a hot, greased skillet or frying pan.
  • Fry it on both sides until both sides are golden brown.
  • Cut into triangles, and serve with a dollop of sour cream and some fresh cilantro.

That’s all there is to it!

You can keep it simple and fill it with just cheese and maybe a few jalapenos.

Or, you can throw in the leftover meat from last night’s dinner and kill two birds with one stone.

Chili Cheese Fries

Sure, a fresh batch of chili over the campfire is great.

But do you know what’s even better?

Pouring it over a big pile of fries, topping it with a bunch of cheese, and melting it over the campfire.

Now, how amazing does that sound?

For the chili, you’ll need a dutch oven or a cooking pot of some description.

Once you assemble the chili cheese fries though, you can finish them off on a skillet, in a dutch oven, or even in a foil packet.

Making them couldn’t be easier. You just:

  • Whip up a fresh batch of chili using your favorite recipe or premade can
  • Fry up some fries in a frying pan or skillet
  • Put the fries on a clean skillet, or dutch oven, or aluminum foil, and top with chili and shredded cheese
  • Pop it over the campfire for 5-10 minutes, or until you’re satisfied with the meltiness of the cheese
  • Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomato, and a dollop of sour cream

Instead of fries, you could keep it even simpler and use tortilla chips, which would make these chili cheese nachos, rather than chili cheese fries.

Or, you could use tater tots, which is a fun alternative the kids are sure to appreciate.

Tasty Sides & Salads

But what about camping side dishes and salads?

Don’t worry, we definitely won’t forget about those.

Side dishes to accompany your mains are a must for me, and the leftovers make great snacks when you get a little hungry in between meals.

These are some of my personal favorite sides and salads that make a regular appearance on the camping menu on most of my trips.

Dips (Guacamole, Hummus, & Baba Ghanoush)

Having a nice, big bowl of your favorite dip in the cooler is always a good idea on any camping trip.

Some of my favorites are guacamole, hummus, baba ghanoush, and French onion dip.

I make them before I head off on a trip and store them in the cooler, so they’re ready to go when I get to the campsite.

They make fantastic sides to almost any meal. Or, you can just dip some tortilla chips or grilled bread into them for a quick snack while you’re kicking back at the campsite enjoying a cold one.

Vegetarian Campfire Beans

These campfire beans are slow-cooking so make sure to start preparing before you start feeling hungry like a wolf.

The wait time is well worth it for this delicious side dish.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Chopped onion
  • Minced garlic
  • Carrots
  • Olive oil
  • Canned beans of choice
  • Tomatoes
  • BBQ sauce

To make it, here’s what to do:

  • Add onions, carrots, garlic, seasonings, and olive oil to the dutch oven and stir.
  • Let the concoction roast for about 25 minutes until carrots are tender.
  • Add canned beans, roasted tomatoes and BBQ sauce to the dutch oven and stir gently.
  • Keep the lid off and let the mixture cook for about 45 minutes, or until you see the sauce is thick and bubbly.

And that’s pretty much it. This recipe doesn’t require your constant attention, so you can do other things around the campsite at the same time.

Technically, you could make cooked beans from scratch instead of using canned beans, but who has the time to do that on a camping trip?

Grilled Mexican Street Corn

Otherwise known as elote, grilled mexican street corn on the cob has always been a family favorite on just about every family camping trip I’ve been on since I was born.

Now, I know this is a bold statement – but, it might just be the best way to eat corn that there is.

For cooking and serving, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • Corn on the cob
  • Oil
  • Mexican crema or sour cream
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lime juice
  • Cotija cheese
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Chili powder
  • Tajín

And here’s how to make this delicious recipe:

  • Brush the corn with oil on all sides, then sprinkle salt and pepper.
  • Broil the kernels for 12–16 minutes, rotating halfway through until the tops are starting to char on each side.
  • In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, lime juice, crema, cheese, cilantro, and chili powder.
  • Once the corn is charred, remove it from the heat and generously brush the mixture on top.
  • Sprinkle a pinch of Tajín.

Enjoy it as an accompaniment to any grilled meat dish, or on its own as a delicious snack.

You can also use boiled corn instead of grilled. And it’s nice, too, but I’ve always preferred the grilled corn version just a little bit more.

Loaded Potato Salad

If there’s one thing you should make space for in your cooler, let it be a big batch of homemade loaded potato salad.

The difference between loaded potato salad and regular potato salad is that the loaded version features extra ingredients like crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and scallions.

You can even add in some pickled jalapenos, if you like a spicy kick.

For this particular recipe, you’ll need:

  • Gold or red potatoes
  • Cooked bacon slices
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Mayonnaise
  • Green onions
  • Fresh parsley

Making the salad is extremely simple:

  • Cut the potatoes into bite-size chunks and boil until tender.
  • Drain and cool.
  • Combine potatoes with other ingredients, then refrigerate before serving.

This is perfect to bring along on family camping trips, because whenever someone is hungry they can have a few mouthfuls of potato salad and stay happy until the next meal.

It also goes well with just about any main dish, for lunch or dinner, so it’s always a welcome addition to the table at meal times.

Homemade Naan Bread

If you’re going wild camping and you don’t have any stores nearby, you won’t be able to have fresh bread for longer than the first couple of days.

That is, unless you bake your own.

One really easy and incredibly delicious way to do this is by making your own naan bread.

If you use a recipe like this one, you can make naan at the campsite in under half an hour.

And you don’t even have to have yeast to do it!

Here are the ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Milk
  • Butter and herbs for seasoning

To make this naan bread, follow these instructions:

  • Combine and whisk together all dry ingredients.
  • Create a well in the middle to add oil and milk.
  • Mix until you can form a ball, then knead until elastic –this should take at least five minutes.
  • Let the dough rest for 10 minutes before dividing it into 8–10 pieces.
  • Roll each piece until thinner than ⅛”, then place in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Cook naan on each side until blackened parts are forming.
  • Brush with butter and seasoning.

The great thing about naan (other than how delightfully tasty it is) is that it can accompany any meal, or you can use it as a base to make little campfire pizzas for dinner.

Greek Salad

One of the best salads during the summer is a classic Greek salad.

This is my go to salad for camping trips, because it’s tasty and fresh and everything you need on a hot day at the campsite.

Standard Greek salad ingredients are:

  • Cucumber
  • Green bell pepper
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Feta cheese
  • Red onion
  • Kalamata olives
  • Fresh mint leaves

For the dressing, you’ll need:

  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Garlic clove
  • Dried oregano
  • Dijon mustard

And here’s how to make this simple recipe:

  • In a small bowl, mix all the dressing ingredients.
  • Cut the veggies and feta cheese, then arrange on a large platter.
  • Gently drizzle the dressing, then sprinkle with oregano and top with mint leaves.

Avocados aren’t typically found in Greek salad but they go really well, so feel free to throw some in if you have any on hand.

Yummy Camping Dessert Ideas

I’ll admit it – I have a major sweet tooth.

Luckily, there’s usually an ample supply of graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate around to satisfy my cravings.

But while classic s’mores are great, there are also a bunch of other new, fun ways you can enjoy the same great flavors.

And why not mix it up a little?

Here are some heavenly s’mores alternatives to get excited about trying out on your next camping trip.

S’mores Pizookie

If you haven’t heard of a pizookie, it’s a pizza shaped cookie in a skillet and if you ask me, it’s how cookies should be eaten all the time. Period.

A plain chocolate chip pizookie is great, but a s’mores stuffed chocolate chip pizookie like this one is a whole lot better.

The combination of two of the best classics out there – s’mores and chocolate chip cookies – makes for one of the best camping desserts you’ll ever have, I promise.

To make this delicious recipe, you’ll need a few things:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Vanilla
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Semisweet chocolate chips
  • Graham crackers broken into large pieces
  • Hershey’s bar broken into large pieces
  • Marshmallows cut in half

And here are the instructions:

  • Stir together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar into a large bowl until combined.
  • Stir in the egg and vanilla, before adding flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Divide the dough into four pieces, then press two pieces into the bottom of the pan.
  • Divide crackers, Hershey’s and marshmallows between the dough, then flatten the remaining two pieces over.

Leave it over the campfire until the edges are baked. You want the middle to stay gooey, soft, and delicious.

Campfire Peach Cobbler

I think all of my camping friends are tired of this dessert because of how often I make it. I can’t help it, it’s so simple yet delicious.

The ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • 2% milk
  • Butter
  • Sliced peaches
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon

Here’s what to do:

  • Line the inside of the dutch oven with aluminum foil.
  • Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.
  • Add milk and butter, then stir until moistened.
  • Pour into the dutch oven.
  • Drain canned peaches, reserving one cup of syrup.
  • Arrange the fruit over the batter, sprinkle with sugar, and pour the leftover syrup.
  • Place the lid on the dutch oven and place the pot onto white ash coals and cover it with more briquettes.
  • Cook for about 30–40 minutes, checking the lid frequently.

Now, this recipe uses canned peaches but you can always resort to fresh or frozen ones if you prefer.

I just find these much easier to bring on a camping trip.

Grilled Apple Pies

Isn’t a foil-packed grilled apple pie the definition of a camping dessert? Except for marshmallows of course.

I love this dish – it’s quick and easy to make and so delicious, you’ll reach for more. So, make sure to make enough for everyone.

Here’s what you need:

  • Apples (Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Gala)
  • Brown sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Cinnamon
  • Kosher salt
  • Premade pie crust
  • Butter
  • Ice cream
  • Caramel
  • Toppings of choice

Here’s what to do:

  • Toss apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt into a large bowl.
  • Flour the surface, then roll out the crust and brush with melted butter, then sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar all over.
  • Cut the dough in half before cutting one-inch strips.
  • Cut larger pieces of foil and divide apples between them.
  • Place a lattice crust on each of them, then roll the top and bottom edges of the foil to create a seal.
  • Cook until the apples are tender and the crust is cooked, which should take no more than 15 minutes.

There you have it. This recipe uses ice cream for serving, but that’s typically not a part of your camping checklist. Personally, I resort to caramel drizzling and it works wonders.

S’mores Cones

Another awesome alternative to classic s’mores are s’mores cones.

What’s great about these is that you can throw lots of fun extras in like all of your favorite candies.

Just take a waffle cone and stuff it full of chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and anything else you like.

I like to add mini peanut butter cups and M&M’s to mine, but go wild.

For this particular recipe, you’ll need just a few things:

  • Waffle cones
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Chocolate chips
  • Graham crackers broken into small pieces

Alright, let’s get cooking. Here’s what to do:

  • Fill the bottom of the cones with mini marshmallows.
  • Add chocolate chips, graham crackers and more mini marshmallows in layers until filled to the top.

Wrap it all up in aluminum foil and throw it onto the hot coals of the campfire for a few minutes until everything is all melted and gooey inside.

Time to dig in!

It’s even better than classic s’mores, in my opinion. Probably because of the mini peanut butter cups. I’m a sucker for those, so they make any dessert twice as good in my books.

Bailey’s Dipped Marshmallows

This one is for adults only because of the Bailey’s.

But let me tell you, ever since I discovered it, I’ve never left for another camping trip without a bottle of Bailey’s in tow.

For this recipe, you only need two things:

  • Marshmallows
  • Bailey’s Irish Cream

Instructions are just as simple. All you have to do is:

  • Toast the marshmallow over hot coals.
  • Dip the warm marshmallow into a cup of Bailey’s.

I’m warning you. You’ll probably never want to eat toasted marshmallows any other way again.

For an even more decadent treat, use your bailey’s dipped marshmallows to make a s’more.

Now, that’s what I call the ultimate camping dessert.


What Are The Most Convenient Foods To Pack For A Camping Trip?

The most convenient foods to bring camping are those that don’t go bad easily. Veggies, fruits, pasta, oats, eggs, and bread are all foods that can be kept at room temperature without spoiling.

How Can I Keep Perishable Foods Fresh While Camping?

You’ll need a portable cooler to keep your perishable foods fresh.

You should also transfer such foods in containers or bags to prevent spilling into the cooler or getting soggy.

Are There Vegetarian Or Vegan-Friendly Camping Dinner Ideas?

Absolutely! Even our list includes plant-based recipes that you can try for your next camping dinner.

Not only that, but you can always make your own vegan version of classic dishes by omitting some ingredients or swapping them for vegan alternatives.

How Do I Ensure My Camping Meals Are Nutritious?

Make sure your meals have the necessary nutrients, including protein and fiber.

While protein will give you the required energy to engage in outdoor activities, fiber is necessary to keep your gut working properly.

How Can I Minimize The Number Of Cooking Utensils & Pots I Need To Bring?

First, resort to meals that require fewer pots to make. Our list contains a bunch of one-pot recipes, including those that only require foil, nothing else!

Can I Prepare Some Meals At Home Before Leaving For My Camping Trip?

Yes, absolutely. A bunch of recipes can be made prior and are safe to consume for up to a few days from cooking.

What’s Next?

These are just a few camping food ideas to get you thinking about the kinds of things you can make at the campsite.

You can make a whole bunch of things, so you really shouldn’t limit yourself to ramen noodles and granola bars.

Just remember – the name of the game is quick, easy, and delicious.

Happy eating!

More Camping Meal Ideas

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