Dont Ever Stress About Camping Meals Again
Weve compiled 60 easy camping food ideas to take away the stress of creating a camping meal plan, all the way from breakfast to dessert.
Yup – 10 easy camping breakfasts, 10 lunches, 10 camping dinner ideas with 10 easy side dishes, plus 10 snack ideas and 10 camping dessert options. Weve got you covered!
And to make our list of easy camping food, the food or dish had to be portable, require little prep or be able to be prepped ahead at home, be simple to cook or reheat using a camping stove or fire, and use minimal dishes while at camp.
And be sure to print our free camping meal plan template along with a printable version of these 60 meal ideas at the bottom of the post!
Make Ahead Campfire Beans
Great for: Vegetarians.Sharing around as a mid-afternoon snack.A barbecue dinner, letting people help themselves.Make-ahead prep time: 40 minutes.Serves: 6
- 2 cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup water
- Add oil to a saucepan over a medium heat, followed by onion. Cook for about 4 minutes, until soft.
- Stir in tomato paste, mustard, maple syrup, molasses, paprika and salt. Pour in the beans, then the water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover the pan, simmering for 25 minutes until sauce thickens.
- Once cooler, store in a foil container in the cooler read to re-heat on your campfire.
Use-by: Cooked beans will last 3-5 days in the cooler.
Make Ahead Jalapeno Cornbread
Great for: Sharing around the campfire with friends or family.Make-ahead prep time: 35 minutes.Serves: 6-8
- 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 450°F . Place a 10-inch skillet in the oven for 5 minutes to heat up. Remove and add butter. Once melted, set aside.
- Add the corn and eggs to a food processor and blend until corn is slightly smooth. Add in the flour, cornmeal, sour cream, sugar, salt and baking powder and blend until smooth. Scoop mixture into a bowl and mix in the jalapeno and melted butter.
- Pour the mixture into the skilled and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Insert a tester to make sure center is cooked.
- Once cooled, remove from skillet and wrap in tinfoil. You can either store in the freezer, fridge or pantry before taking it to camp. You can reheat at camp over a grill or barbecue.
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Easy And Healthy Camping Meals
Cooking healthy and delicious meals while traveling in a campervan is easier than you think! Weve rounded up our favorite healthy camping meals and are sharing the step-by-step recipes so you can see just how easy they are, even if you have a tiny or outdoor kitchen to work with.
Bonus: Almost all of these camping recipes are vegetarian and can be made vegan or gluten-free! Camping food has never been this healthy or easy.
Traveling in a campervan brings with it a huge sense of freedom and shows you how simple life can be if you let it. But #vanlife can complicate things, too.
When it comes to cooking in a campervan, you might be wondering how to make a proper meal with a fraction of the kitchen space youre used to.
Fear not: Were here to tell you that healthy camping food can delicious and easy to make in a campervan! And well be sharing our favorite camping recipes to prove it!
Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
Looking for a protein-packed lunch, but dont know where to start? This recipe is one of our favorites because it is super simple, yet super tasty. Fresh veggies liven up chicken salad , and honey mustard adds a great flavor kick!
Note: This is the only non-veg recipe here, but we wanted to include it for those are dont mind eating meat and want an extra bit of protein.
Plus, its such a versatile dish: Throw it atop greens for a healthy salad , between slices of bread for a tasty sandwich, or eat it as a snack alongside veggie sticks. However you choose to enjoy it, youll be satisfied!
12.5-oz canned chicken*
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp whole grain mustard or Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp honey
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
¼ small onion , finely chopped
½ red bell pepper or 4 mini sweet peppers, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Serve with: greens, bread, avocado, veggie sticks
*You could also substitute tuna or salmon instead of chicken.
1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Serve atop greens as a salad, on bread for a sandwich, or alongside veggie sticks for dipping. Optional: Add avocado slices.
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Is Preparing Camping Food Worth It
If you are spending nights in the outdoors for many weeks, it’s likely cost-effective and more fun to assemble a full camp kitchen as we’ve outlined above. However, if you are going for only a night or two or just value your time highly, you may want to eat out or bring pre-made food and just-add-water food. Below we explore why.
There are are a few big potential downsides to camp cooking
- You need to assemble a lot of gear, which takes time and space in your car.
- Forgetting a fuel canister, hose or other key component ends your cooking experience.
- Cleaning dishes at a campground can both be difficult and time consuming.
- If you are buying camp kitchen equipment just for a few trips, camping food cooking is probably not cost effective.
- If you are not adept at camp cooking, results of your food will vary.
Alternatives to Preparing Camping Food
- Just eat out every meal.
- Bring just-add-water items for breakfast like coffee, tea and oatmeal along with bagels and cream cheese. For lunch, bring pre-made sandwiches. For dinner, bring pre-made meals that you can reheat. For example, if you pre-cook chicken or steak, you can then easily make burritos by just reheating everything.
Make Ahead Puff Pastry Pockets
An American food-truck favorite, these lunch time delights can still be enjoyed on your camping holiday. The recipe, taken from Cooking Divine, is easy to make at home and packed full of flavor. Give it a try!
Great for: Families and kids a simple, enjoyable lunch for the whole family.Couples an easy lunch time option that will last over 2 days.Make-ahead prep time: 30 minutes.Serves: 4
- Preheat the oven to 375°F .
- Heat some oil in a sauce pan on a medium heat.
- Once hot, add chopped pepper and onion and cook for 3-5 minutes until soft.
- Add the steak and cook until brown. You can add any seasoning/spices that you wish to include.
- Remove pan from the heat and set aside.
- Sprinkle some flour on a smooth surface, lay out the pastry and cut into 8 equal squares.
- Add 1/4 of the steak mix to 4 of the pastry squares, topping each with some grated cheese.
- Lay the remaining squares over the top, sealing together with a fork.
- Egg wash the outside of the pastry squares, slit the tops and sprinkle some salt on.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Once the pastries have cooled, you can wrap them in foil and put them in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- Re-heat over the campfire still wrapped in foil until meat is piping hot.
Use-by: Transferring the pastries from the freezer to the cooler will keep them fresh for 2-3 days.
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Peanut Butter And Banana Wraps
For peanut butter lovers, this simple make ahead lunch by Betty Crocker is the one for you. Not only are they super easy but they can be stored at room temperature rather than the cooler. This is how simple it is grab a tortilla, spread some peanut butter on it, add banana slices and roll it up. You can even add chocolate chips for an extra bit of sweetness. Cover in foil and youre all set.
Great for: Kids whats not to love!People who want an easy fuss-free lunch.Hikers good source of energy and easy to carry.Make-ahead prep time: 5 minutes.Serves: As many as you need.
Here are some alternatives you can also try:
- Jam and banana .
- Peanut butter and jelly.
- Crunchy peanut butter and apple.
- Cream cheese, honey, cinnamon and banana.
Use-by: With banana, we recommend consuming these no later than a day after making.Top tip: To make these even better, throw the tinfoiled wraps on the camp fire for gooey, delicious goodness.
Flameless Meal Heater Specs
A proprietary blend of non-toxic chemicals inside a non-woven fabric pad, sealed with ultrasonic sealing technology and individually wrapped in foil, contained inside a 280 x 180mm multilayered constructed bag with 95mm gusset including a high heat resistant open zipper, a steam vent and instructions.
APPROXIMATE TOTAL FRH WEIGHT: 68g including outer printed bag.
HEAT GENERATION: Following the addition of any non-flammable liquid 90/150mls, the chemical mixture will create an exothermic reaction that will generate heat and steam to raise the internal temperature to up to 220 °F with a duration of 10-15 minutes depending on altitude and temperature.
SHELF LIFE: Minimum five years from production date. Upper limit not known if bag remains sealed.
ADVANTAGES: Stand alone, odorless, safe to use in confined and close spaces, non-flammable, magnesium-free.
Due to their bulk, we cannot cover XMREs under our free shipping policy. Shipping will be calculated at checkout. For orders over 24 cases, please contact our team for bulk shipping rates.
Please contact our team for discrete packaging at or .
For rural locations, you may be contacted after your order is placed regarding additional shipping charges. NT, NV, and YT are considered rural by couriers. The order can be cancelled at any time prior to shipping, and no additional charges are ever processed without your express consent.
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Bewell Expedition Food: Chicken Tikka Masala
Price: £6.49Meals Tested: Veg chilli con carne, strawberries with custard, chicken tikkaVital Stats: 180g / 700kcal / 3.9kcal per gram / 8 mins chicken tikka masalaBest for: Expeditions, backpacking, wild campingKey attributes: Big portion sizes, high calorie count, easy-to-use pouch
Used and endorsed by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, British-based company BeWell Expedition Food supplies a range of free-dried meals, ready-to-eat wet meals, 24-hour ration packs and energy products all emblazoned with a headshot of the legendary explorer looking suitably rugged and adventurous. The freeze-dried meals use the standard approach of rip open pouch, add water, stir, seal, wait, and eat and serve up a high-calorie content to fuel your adventures, although they are a tad heavier than ideal.
Outdoors Magic Taste Test: The vegetarian chilli con carne is a hearty hot meal with a slightly spicy kick to it, an excellent helping of kidney beans and rice, and a large portion size that is guaranteed to fill a hole, while the 180g strawberries with custard provides a similarly massive portion of very sweet dessert with a whopping 784kcal. The chicken tikka masala provides a similarly big portion with a decent spicy flavour. Personally I didnt find the BeWell Expedition Food meals the tastiest on test, but if youve got a big appetite they might just be the right option for you.
Get the latest price at:
General Camping Meal Tips
We love this inexpensive cast iron skillet/pan/dutch oven combination* for camping. Its really versatile and a cinch to clean. Dont forget a couple silicone handle covers* and cast iron conditioner*. Weve got a detailed guide on how to use and care for your camping cast iron:
If youd like these easy camping meal ideas printed out to keep with your camping gear, click on the link above!
Hopefully you can fill in your camping meal plan with these easy camping foods and recipes, creating a stress-free weekend outdoors, while also serving up delicious camping food!
As always, thanks for reading, and wed love for you to to get more camping and travel related tips sent right to your inbox.
Now head over to this post – 35 Fun and Easy Camping Meals for Kids– for some more ideas!
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Fruit And Yogurt Parfaits
At home: Wash and chop up several kinds of fruit, and smaller pieces are usually better if intended to go in a parfait. Pineapple, grapes, apples, blueberries, raspberries – just about anything is delicious! If using a fruit that gets brown like apples, dip them in orange juice after chopping and dry on a paper towel . Consider bringing granola or nuts as well.
At camp: Using individually bought yogurt containers will cut down on your cleanup. Simply lay out your tupperware full of fruit and nuts/granola choices and let everyone make their own!
Calories And Serving Size
Were not here to provide an equation for calories burned based on mileage, elevation gain, pack weight, altitude, body weight, and metabolism, or give our opinion on whether or not a backpacking trip is a prime time to start a diet. Well leave that to the experts and to your own personal discretion. But we will say if you want to stay strong and energetic during outdoor activities, youll generally need to eat more than you would on a normal day at home. Its quite simple: for every calorie out, you want to put at least one in. With that in mind, calories are your friends in the backcountry and the numbering on nutritional labels deserves your attention.
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Three Bean Chili Mac By Peak Refuel
This vegan choice doesnt offer the most overall calories , but it does provide a promising 30 grams of protein, 20 grams of fiber, 30 percent of daily potassium needs, and 127 calories per ounce. Its a good idea to look for products that have at least 100 calories per ounce. But if you can get over 120, thats a higher standard that would be preferable, especially for lightweight backpackers, Carberry says. The chili is also loaded with beans, which contain lots of magnesium, a mineral that can help fight inflammation in the body after a long day of trekking.
We Know What You’re Craving
We meticulously select our ingredients so you’ll always get a high-quality, nutritious, and delicious meal. Energy matters. That’s why we build our meals around complex carbohydrates.
Protein matters, especially when our muscles need to recover quickly. That’s why our meals always contain high amounts of protein for optimal muscle recovery.
Our ready to eat meals are always made with wholesome ingredients.
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Make Ahead Mason Jar Parfaits
Another excellent mason jar meal for camping. A nutritious combination of fruit, oats, granola and yogurt make it a great start to the day.
Great for: Health-conscious campers.Groups of people where you can tailor each jar to suit their preferences.Make-ahead prep time: 5-10 minutes.Serves: As many as you require.
- Using 8oz mason jars, mix yogurt with oats or muesli and fill the jars around half-way.
- Add your fresh fruit layer.
- Top with granola and pop in the fridge to keep cool.
The Best Mres For Backpacking And Camping You Will Actually Enjoy
After a long day of hiking, a Meal Ready-to-Eat is a quick ticket to comfort and nutrition. These meal packets are designed to be consumed either hot or cold and usually come with a self-heating packet. Some require water to be added, but theyre a convenient option for nutritious food while camping, backpacking or hiking.
MREs differ from freeze-dried food in that they are typically heavier and less shelf-stable. Most will last for around five years compared to freeze-dried foods 20- or even 30-year shelf life. However, they usually taste better and require less water to make ready to serve.
Unfortunately, some MREs are known for being bland or having too much sodium. Buying Army surplus can sometimes be an issue, as the MREs may be expired or damaged.
Some brands will sell directly to civilians, and these brands have become popular among survivalists, campers and even people who live in areas with severe weather. Here are the five best brands you can count on for meals you will actually look forward to eating.
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Cooking Method: Pouch Pot And Pre
One way weve categorized the meals in this article is by cooking method: pouch, pot, or pre-cooked meal. In 2021, many backcountry travelers opt for pouch meals like Good To-Go due to their ease of preparation and cleanup. You simply add boiling water to the pouch and let it sit for the specified amount of time, and no bowl or pot is required . Notably, the lack of cleanup also reduces impact on fragile wilderness environments. On the other hand, pot meals require that you pour the dried contents into a pot, add water, and most often heat the meal over a flame. Sometimes instructions will require that you simmer the meal for up to 10 minutes . Of course, when the meal is finished, you have to clean the pot and pack it away for your next day on the trail.