20 Perfect Meals for an Unforgettable Camping Trip!
For a few weeks each year, when the summer cools off and makes way for autumn, Mother Nature gifts us with vibrant and breathtaking views of fall foliage as far as the eyes can see. New England autumn is unique to the region as many of the trees throughout the rest of the country do not turn their leaves, often due to the lack of colder temperatures. One of the best ways to immerse yourself into these beautiful, yet fleeting landscapes as they blossom into vibrant shades of reds, oranges and yellows is to take a camping trip!
As these seasonal changes encourage us to spend time outdoors in the New England countryside, soaking up as much of that natural beauty as possible before winter, it is important to consider how to stay well-nourished and energized for the adventure. Unlike more routine outdoor activities, camping tends to be a multi-day, “off-the-grid” experience that requires a degree of planning ahead—especially with food! No matter if you are hiking, fishing, canoeing or simply enjoying songs around a campfire, rest assured you will be looking for that perfect “something” to dig into both during and after those long days of recreation… that goes double for all the foodies like us out there (you know who you are
Click here for an interactive fall foliage map that will help you plan your trip accordingly!
In this guide, we’ve got you covered around the clock with meals that are sure to satisfy your family and friends through breakfast, lunch and dinner (with a few surprises)! We curated super tasty recipes with key qualities like high-portability and easy prep. Many of them can even be made over an open campfire! We also selected meals that are packed with nutrients necessary for boosting energy levels, which will help you and your camping crew stay active and invigorated during your time in the great outdoors. So—grab your tents and sleeping bags, then check out this list before setting out to witness the wonders of autumn in New England!
Convenient "No-Cook" Recipes
Camping is all about having fun, but cooking at a campsite can be a different story! Not everyone will have access to a grill or camp stove, particularly for those who prefer to “rough it” outside of a typical campground environment. Additionally, open campfires can be challenging for cooking meats or other items requiring precise temperatures. Enter the “no-cook” meal… it just might be your new best friend while camping! As a disclaimer, most of these will require some advance preparation, but all are compact, easy to pack and make simply delicious additions to your trip! They also tend to be on the far healthier side than most campfire meals you might be familiar with. For those new to campfire cooking, we recommend practicing with one hot meal per day and sticking to our “no-cook” recipes for the rest!
Homemade Granola and Fruit
Image by Simple Veganista
This homemade granola is nutritious, gluten-free, oil-free… and absolutely delicious! It’s also easy to make and works great as a wholesome breakfast, a snack or even a healthy dessert topping. Granola is known for a range of health benefits, like lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease and certain cancers, and more. It is also extremely flexible to work with and can handle additional ingredients, substitutions or subtractions with ease!
For a clumpy version, take a look at this loose granola recipe featuring pumpkin, peanut butter and banana granola snack clusters.
- Almonds (slivered or whole)
- Cashews (whole, halves or pieces)
- Coconut (large flakes or shredded)
- Flaxseed Meal (to prevent clumping)
- Pure Maple Syrup
- Vanilla Extract
- Cinnamon (optional)
- Pinch of Salt (optional)
- ½ - 1 cup of Dried Fruit (optional)
- Using a large bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, cashews, coconut, flaxseed meal, maple syrup, vanilla and optional cinnamon and/or pinch of salt.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat and layer the granola evenly across it.
- Roast on a baking sheet on the campfire for 30-45 minutes or prepare beforehand by baking for 45 minutes at 300° F, giving it a good stir every 10 or so minutes.
- Pack granola in individual jars or airtight containers so they’re ready to go on your trip! The granola can be stored this way for up to one to two months.
Pesto Pasta with Grilled Chicken
Image by Spiced Blog
With pesto in its name, you know you’re in for an authentic Italian taste on-the-go! This delicious, no-cook pesto pasta can be made vegan or with grilled chicken added. The best part is it can be served cold as a seasonal pasta salad or hot if you’re camping on an especially chilly evening! One thing that makes this recipe so simple are the premade pesto bombs. Pesto Bombs are made by freezing pesto in an ice cube tray, which preserves it and keeps it fresher for longer periods of time—an ideal solution when you’re planning to rough it outside for a few days!
Did you know the word “pesto,” which originates from the Genoese language in Italy, can be made with different herbs? Traditionally it is made with basil, but you can also use other ingredients like onion, wild garlic or spinach! Try crushing up a different combination for your own creation!
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ½ tsp of salt
- ½ tsp of pepper
- 16 oz Farfalle pasta
- 1 cup of basil pesto
- 1 cup of local cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup of fresh basil, thinly stripped
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Season both sides of each chicken breast with salt and pepper.
- Grill the chicken over medium-high heat for about five to seven minutes per side, or until it’s cooked through.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, then slice it into strips.
- Boil the pasta until al dente, or firm to the bite. To retain texture, try cooking the pasta for one or two less minutes than usual.
- Rinse and drain the pasta. If you can consume dairy, toss the pasta in a large bowl with two tablespoons of milk to prevent it from sticking together.
- Stir in the cherry tomatoes and fresh basil just before serving, then top it off with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Hummus Sandwich Wraps
Image by Little Sunny Kitchen
A healthy hummus veggie wrap makes a perfectly fresh lunch for any camping trip, whether remote or in your own backyard! Wraps are very economical as they’re made with just a few ingredients (although you can add as many as you want, too). Not only are these wraps vegan, they’re also highly customizable and can be refined to match anyone’s palate! They’re perfect for packed lunches, picnics or eating around the campfire. For even more versatility, try adding a healthy sauce, dip or other condiment filled with chopped veggies, herbs or seasonings.
A homemade avocado-based mayo (like this healthy creamy avocado sauce) will make you love this recipe even more!
- 4 tortillas
- 1 cup of fresh hummus
- ½ cucumber
- 2 small tomatoes, sliced
- 1 avocado sliced thin
- 1 bell pepper sliced thin
- 1 carrot julienned, or cut into thin strips
- 1 cup of mixed salad greens
- 4 teaspoons of sriracha sauce
- Warm the tortillas for about eight to ten seconds using a pan on a campfire.
- Spread about four tablespoons of hummus evenly across each tortilla.
- Layer the sliced cucumber, tomato, avocado, bell pepper and julienned carrot.
- Top off the veggie layer with mixed salad leaves.
- Drizzle one teaspoon of hot sriracha sauce on each tortilla.
- If inclined, season with salt and pepper.
- Fold the tortillas tightly until they form a burrito shape, then cut them down the middle.
- Wrap each individually in foil and pack away for your camping trip!
* Keep in mind that unless you are making and eating these on the same day (for example, as lunch for your very first day camping), you may want to add crisper veggies in place of cucumbers and tomatoes to prevent sogginess.
Make-Ahead Antipasto Loaf
Image by Living Lou
No cooking necessary here! Antipasto loaves make the perfect “on-the-go” vegetarian sandwiches that you can pack ahead of time. They’re bursting with classic Italian flavors thanks to stuffed veggies like spinach, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes, as well as other yummy, cook-free ingredients! Prepare-ahead recipes like this are perfect for those long road trips to your camping destinations. They also make a great portable lunch while resting during a day hike!
Antipasto is very customizable! If you would prefer a more traditional loaf, try stuffing the bread with a selection of cured meats, olives, artichoke hearts and pepperoncini to better suit your tastes!
- 1 French baguette
- 1 cup of cream cheese, or non-dairy substitute
- 3 tbsp. pesto
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
- ½ cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups of baby spinach leaves, chopped coarsely
- Cut baguette lengthwise down the middle and remove the bread innards from the center of each half, leaving 1” thick shells.
- Mix the cream cheese and pesto in a bowl until it’s smooth and well-blended.
- Spread the mixture into the ‘pockets’ of each bread shell.
- Fill the bottom bread shell with the rest of the remaining ingredients, then cover with the top half.
- Wrap tightly in plastic and keep cool until ready to eat. You can store these for up to 24 hours, making them ideal for the start of your camping trip.
Tomato and Mozzarella Salad
Image by Natasha's Kitchen
This classic Italian Caprese salad is an ideal side dish to accompany your campfire entrées. It is simple, but nutritionally well-balanced thanks to the combination of ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese and basil. It looks especially beautiful on a platter dressed with homemade balsamic glaze. As a salad, it is fresh, healthy, flavorful and best enjoyed at the peak of the local New England tomato season… a perfect partner for that end-of-summer camping excursion!
Mix together some balsamic vinegar and honey to make a glaze that pairs perfectly with this delicacy!
- 1 ½ lbs. ripe local tomatoes, medium-sized
- 12 to 16 oz fresh mozzarella
- ⅓ cup fresh, whole basil leaves
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 2 tbsp. homemade balsamic glaze (optional)
- Begin by slicing your tomatoes ¼” thick and spreading them evenly across a serving platter.
- Tuck ¼” thick slices of fresh mozzarella between each tomato so both are visible.
- Tuck whole basil leaves between the cheese and tomatoes and arrange slices so you can see every layer.
- Season generously with salt and pepper to taste, then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and optional balsamic glaze.
Classic Campsite Dinners
There’s nothing like sitting around a warm campfire on a cool September evening… especially when the air is filled with the yummy scents of food cooking over an open flame! For this section, we selected the kinds of recipes you might remember from camping trips as a child, but with fun and unique variations to liven things up. So, after a full day of exploring and enjoying the natural world… when the sun has gone down and the sounds of crickets and owls begin echoing through the night skies, light a fire in your heart with these savory and memorable campfire classics!
Grilled Meat and Veggie Kabobs
Image by Gimme Some Grilling
Delicious, tender marinated steak and vegetables on a skewer… is your stomach growling yet? Kabobs are the perfect camping companion thanks to their combinations of tender, juicy steak (or other meat, like lamb or chicken) with seasonal veggie favorites like onions, peppers, zucchini and squash. This camping staple relies on smaller chunks of meat that cook much faster on a grill than a whole steak. Each bite bursts with flavor! They’re also easy to eat and highly portable, providing campers with an excellent lunch to bring along while hiking or hanging around the campsite.
For an even more flavorful kick, try marinating the meat at home before leaving for your trip!
- Red cooking wine
- Olive oil
- Worcestershire sauce
- Italian seasoning
- Garlic powder
- Seasoned salt
- Black pepper
- Parsley flakes, dried
- Top sirloin steak, cut into 1” thick cubes
- Local cherry tomatoes
- 1 whole red onion
- 1 local green bell pepper
- 1 summer squash
- 1 zucchini
- In a small bowl, mix together the cooking wine, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, seasoned salt, black pepper and dried parsley flakes.
- Pour half of the liquid into a large, resealable bag, then add steak cubes and mix. Set aside the other half of the marinade in a separate resealable bag.
- Cut all vegetables (except the tomatoes) into approximately 1” thick pieces, then add all to the second bag of marinade you set aside.
- Let both bags marinate in the refrigerator or a cooler for at least two hours.
- Drain and discard the marinade from the bag with the raw beef.
- Drain and save the marinade from the bag with the vegetables, then set it aside for basting.
- Using metal or soaked wooden skewers, thread beef and vegetables in alternating patterns.
- Place kabobs on a heated grill or campfire grate, basting them with the marinade and turning occasionally (about every four to five minutes).
Foil-Wrapped Baked Potato
Image by Gather for Bread
These foil-packed meals are stuffed with potatoes and your choice of condiments and toppings… and of course, they are super tasty! Thanks to the foil, they will cook evenly no matter if you’re using a grill or heating them over an open campfire. Since the add-in options for potatoes are seemingly endless, we are sharing two of our favorites!
- For meat-eaters, we recommend sticking with our tried-and-true combination of cheddar cheese, ranch dressing and savory grilled bacon.
- For a healthier vegetarian option, toss the potatoes with a little salt, pepper and Brianna’s creamy cilantro lime dressing instead.
Since foil pack meals can be prepared relatively quickly ahead of time and personalized to include your favorite flavors, we’re confident these potato foil packs will be a camping tradition for you and your family or friends in no time!
These also work great for breakfast. Try swapping out for red potatoes with a little salt and pepper and… voila! Campfire hash browns!
- 1 ½ lbs. potatoes (gold for dinner, red for breakfast)
- ⅓ cup of ranch dressing
- 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- ¼ cup of shredded cheddar or Colby Jack cheese
- 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
- ½ tsp. salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Preheat your grill or campfire grate.
- Scrub and slice the potatoes to your desired shape and thickness.
- Using a heavy-duty foil, or double-layered regular foil, cut off a large enough section to fold over the potatoes completely on all sides.
- Spray the foil evenly with a non-stick cooking spray.
- Mix the sliced potatoes with dressing, then layer on top of the foil.
- Top the potatoes with your choice of add-in ingredients, then fold or “pack” the foil over them.
- Grill for about 15 minutes on each side, or until the potatoes feel tender when forked.
Pigs n' Poppers in a Blanket
Image by Spicy Southern Kitchen
Pigs in a blanket… no camping meal guide would be complete without such a classic! Traditionally, these picnic-ready apps are made with cocktail sausages wrapped in a dough. For our version however, we wanted to heat things up a notch… so we added in the best parts of a crunchy jalapeño popper! The combination of fresh jalapeños (or pickled, if you prefer a tangy kick) and creamy melted cheese around a gourmet puff pastry shell makes for a perfect mid-day snack that every camper will be sure to line up for! These are also a lot of fun to cook, since all you need to do is stick them on the end of a skewer or pronged fork and roast them over an open fire!
Would you rather keep cool? These are just as delightful and appetizing without the jalapeños, too!
- ⅔ cup of whipped cream cheese
- 4 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 sheet of thawed puff pastry
- 18 cocktail sausages
- 1 egg, beaten and mixed with a little water (for egg wash)
- Skewers or pronged forks, 1 for each camper
- In a small bowl, mix together the whipped cream cheese, bacon and finely diced jalapeños.
- Cut your puff pastry sheet into six equal strips, each about 1” in width, then cut each strip into three pieces for a total of 18.
- Spread a spoonful of the cream cheese mixture on each puff pastry piece.
- Place a cocktail sausage on each piece and roll the puff pastry around it.
- Brush the edges of the pastry with your egg wash and seal them together well.
- Brush the tops of each blanketed pig with the egg wash, then place a thin jalapeño slice into the top of each (if desired).
- Stick the pigs in a blanket onto pronged forks or skewers and roast over an open campfire.
Wild-Caught Seared Trout with Tzatziki Sauce
Image by The Mediterranean Dish
Hoping to savor a truly outdoor eating experience? Try grabbing some fishing poles and catching your next campfire dinner, instead! This pan-seared rainbow trout recipe is simple, calling for just a few ingredients—trout, garlic, flour and a few various seasonings. For the freshest taste, make sure to catch and eat your fish on the same day. It also makes for a fun afternoon game with the family to see who can catch the biggest dinner of the night.
Want in on this bear’s little secret? You can catch great-tasting, wild rainbow trout in the Green River in Greenfield, MA and the North River in Shelburne, MA and Colrain, MA!
- 1 freshly caught rainbow trout, filleted or butterflied
- 1 ½ tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. sweet paprika
- 1 tsp. all-natural garlic powder or paste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup of flour for coating
- 3 to 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Lime wedges (for serving)
- Paper towels
- Mix together the coriander, paprika and garlic powder in a small bowl.
- Pat your trout dry, then sprinkle black pepper and salt to taste and season with spices on both sides.
- Coat each side of the seasoned fish with flour, then shake off any excess so that only a thin layer remains.
- Using a large cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat on your camping stove until it begins to shimmer (not smoke).
- Sear the trout for three minutes on each side, starting with the skin-side down and using a spatula to carefully flip them over.
- Remove the fish from the pan and place it on a tray lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
- Transfer the fish to serving plates and finish them with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
One-Pot Pesto Pasta
Here is a great way to celebrate the end of summer while camping! This recipe features light and fresh ingredients like cherry tomatoes and zucchini. It’s truly the best of the New England summer harvest, all combined into one bright and simple meal! The crumbled bacon and pine nuts provide a richer, almost buttery flavor and crunchy texture to complement the hearty local veggies. This delicious one-pot pasta dish is easy to prepare and easy to clean… it is sure to become your new camping favorite!
Active campers will love this camping concept... one-pot meals! They leave behind minimal cleanup and are also easily translatable for butane stove cooking or campfire cooking!
- 2 slices of bacon
- 2 local zucchinis, sliced
- A handful of local cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups of pasta
- ¼ cup of pesto
- ¼ cup of freshly-grated Parmesan
- 2 tbsp. pine nuts
- ½ tsp. salt
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the bacon using a cast iron skillet on your camping stove until they’re crispy, then remove, chop and set them aside.
- Add the zucchini, cherry tomatoes and a pinch of salt to the same skillet, then sauté for about five to seven minutes, or until the zucchini is tender and browning in some spots.
- Remove the veggies and add them to a plate, then set aside for later.
- Add the pasta, three cups of water and ½ tsp. of salt to the skillet, then bring everything to a boil.
- Stir the pasta frequently for about 10 minutes, or until it’s tender and most of the water has been absorbed.
- Remove the pasta from heat, then toss in pesto, vegetables, Parmesan cheese, chopped bacon and pine nuts.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, then serve and enjoy!
Did you know breakfast is the one meal that is most often overlooked during camping trips? We’re all familiar with the usual camping favorites, yet hardly any of them include the most important meal of the day! Mornings are the best time to get protein into our systems, since the body needs it to build and repair muscle and other body tissues that get broken down during physical activity. Breakfast also prevents chronic fatigue… no one wants to feel sluggish on vacation, right? A nutritious, hearty breakfast is more important than ever while out camping, so stick with our guide to keep your group feeling on top of their game each day of your trip!
Image by Busy But Healthy
While eating a protein bar is an acceptable option for some, a hearty breakfast should still be at the top of everyone’s priority list. The next time you’re out camping and think, I’ll just grab one of the granola bars before the morning jog, consider this fun “breakfast-in-a-jar” instead! You can easily and quickly make these your own unique creations by adding the fruit of your choice with a wholesome combination of oats, seeds, yogurt and almond milk.
Try using almond butter instead of peanut butter! The higher omega-3 and omega-6 content helps strengthen bones and increase metabolism… both of which are much-needed on an active camping trip!
- 2 tbsp. old-fashioned oats
- 1 tbsp. chia seeds
- ½ banana, mashed
- ½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp. natural peanut butter, or other nut butter substitute (coconut spread also works)
- ½ cup of unsweetened almond milk (or coconut milk)
- 20 drops of stevia (or more or less to desired sweetness)
- Using a mason jar, combine all the ingredients together.
- Add additional almond or coconut milk if your mixture comes out too thick.
- Close your jar tightly and shake it vigorously.
- Place in the refrigerator overnight (or in a cooler, if you’ve already set off on your adventure).
- Stir and enjoy first thing in the morning!
Breakfast Burritos to Go
Image by Adventures of Mel
These hand-rolled breakfast burritos—filled with fluffy scrambled eggs, cheese, veggies and protein—are a surprisingly easy way to get a more filling and satisfying breakfast during those early hours as you watch the sun rise! They are sure to relieve your fellow campers’ morning hunger before a day of fun and exploration, too. The burritos can even be pre-rolled at home and easily heated up on the grill whenever you’re ready to eat! They only take about 10 to 15 minutes to cook all the way through (when turned frequently). They’re also very portable, so you can make as many of them as you need for a no-mess and no-frills breakfast!
Want to indulge in a more authentic taste? Try dipping your breakfast burritos in some fresh, organic salsa!
- 9 slices of bacon
- 2 to 4 tbsp. bacon grease (you can also use butter or oil instead)
- 1 large, locally grown bell pepper
- 6 green onions
- 12 large eggs
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 6 burrito-size flour tortillas (or gluten-free tortillas)
- ¾ cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- ¾ cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Fresh, organic salsa or hot sauce (optional)
- Begin by cooking your bacon in a preheated skillet. In the meantime, wash, chop and mince your bell pepper and green onions until the bacon is nice and crispy.
- Sauté the vegetables in the leftover bacon grease (or butter or oil, if you choose) for about three to five minutes, or until tender.
- Scramble all dozen eggs in with the vegetables, salt and pepper, cooking everything thoroughly.
- Crumble and stir in the bacon with the scrambled egg mixture.
- Begin assembling each wrap by adding a scoop of egg mixture to the center of each tortilla (you can also add fresh salsa or hot sauce at this stage if you choose).
- Sprinkle the shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese on top of the eggs.
- Wrap your burrito by folding the ends first, then folding over the contents so it’s nice and tight, then wrap each burrito in heavy-duty aluminum foil for handheld portability later.
- Place the burritos directly on top of the hot coals in your campfire and cook them for up to 10 minutes, turning them frequently to ensure everything cooks evenly without burning.
- Serve with fresh salsa in dipping cups (if you choose) … then enjoy!
Foil-Packed Egg Bake Breakfast
Image by Julie's Eats and Treats
As we mentioned before, foil packets work so well for campfire cooking… they also make campfire meals so much more fun to eat! Our foil-packed version of this egg bake breakfast is both gluten-free and vegetarian. It is incredibly easy to make with virtually no cleanup required! Whip them up using fresh and healthy ingredients, then season with curry spices for an excellent tasting, high-protein meal that works well for breakfast, a late brunch (or even an early dinner, if you’re so inclined)!
When in doubt, just stick with foil packs for campfire cooking! They seal in a lot of heat, allowing it to distribute more evenly through your food—an ideal way to cook your eggs!
- 1 ¾ lb. potatoes, shredded
- ¾ cup of shredded cheddar cheese (add before cooking)
- ¾ cup of shredded cheddar cheese (add after cooking)
- 1 cup of diced ham (optional)
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 6 large eggs
- ½ cup of milk (or non-dairy substitute)
- Begin by shredding your potatoes using a cheese grater, then set them aside in a bowl of cold water. You can either peel them or leave the skin, depending on your preference!
- Stir, then drain as much of the starchy water from the potatoes as you can, repeating the cold water soak if necessary and draining again.
- Next, you can either light a campfire or set your grill to medium-high, depending on your preferred cooking method.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper, then stir in the shredded potatoes and ¾ cup of cheese.
- Divide the mixture among four equally sized foil cutouts. We recommend 18” x 12” for each, which should allow enough space for you to fold over the top.
- Wrap the foil around the mixture and seal tightly so none of the mixture can escape.
- Place your foil packets over the campfire or grill and cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender and the eggs are cooked all the way through.
- Carefully open each packet and sprinkle on the remaining ¾ cup of cheese… then serve!
Campfire Baked Frittata
This nutrient-rich, protein-filled dish is the perfect way to boost energy before a highly active day of recreation. There are also multiple ways to cook it! If you’re looking for a true “campfire cooking” experience, try this one using the cast-iron skillet over an open flame. In fact, we recommend this method over a camping stove or gas grill, since the broad coverage provided by an open flame results in much more even cooking. If you’re still working your way up to cooking over an open flame, you can make this healthy and delicious egg frittata with a two-burner camp stove. In that case, we suggest using a large, even burner that can warm a 10” skillet without giving off too much heat in the center.
Camping out of a car is a common method for experiencing the outdoors on a budget! This skillet recipe is perfect for those moments. Pull up to a designated campsite with a grill, start a fire and you’ll have a delicious meal in no time!
- 8 large eggs
- ½ cup of milk
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp. olive oil (divided)
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 pint of local cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup of fresh basil, chopped
- ½ cup of shredded Gruyère cheese
- Prepare a campfire or charcoal for grilling.
- Beat together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a medium-sized bowl until everything is thoroughly blended, then set it aside.
- Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a 10” skillet over your campfire or medium heat on the grill.
- Add your thinly sliced shallot and sauté it for about 10 minutes, or until it is soft and beginning to brown slightly.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. If cooking over a campfire, you can either raise your grate or move the skillet to a cooler part along the edge of the fire.
- Add the tomatoes to the skillet, followed by the egg mixture, freshly chopped basil and shredded Gruyère cheese.
- Cover the skillet with a lid, then scatter a few embers across the lid for additional heat on the top.
- Cook the frittata for about 15 minutes, or it’s puffed up and the eggs are set just right (if cooking over a campfire, we recommend checking after 10 minutes to determine where you are in the process… make sure to use a lid lifter or heat-proof gloves).
- Serve with extra cheese and basil, if desired!
French Toast Sticks from Scratch
Now here’s a “breakfast snack” for the camper who is always on the go! Homemade toast sticks are one of your easiest solutions for early morning hikes and adventure-filled days. We recommend making the batter at home first, then storing it in a well-sealed container in your cooler until ready to use. This breakfast finger food can be prepared in just under 20 minutes with either a camping stove or a non-stick skillet for easier flipping, although you can use a heavily seasoned cast-iron skillet, too. Not only does this recipe require fewer dishes and less cleanup, but it's also scalable for larger groups of campers.
In a hurry? Bring some dunking containers and add a little maple syrup to them for a truly handheld breakfast that you can take with you on your outdoor adventures!
- 4 slices of Texas toast (or french toast bread)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup of milk
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp. butter
- Fresh, local fruit and maple syrup (for serving)
- Cut the bread into 1 ½” thick sticks.
- Using a shallow bowl or container, beat two eggs until they’re thoroughly combined.
- Next, add the milk, sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt, then mix it together with the eggs until well-blended.
- With a butane camping stove, warm up one tablespoon of butter in a 10” non-stick pan over medium heat.
- Dip your french toast sticks into the egg and milk mixture, letting them absorb the liquid for a few seconds, then carefully lift each stick out and let the excess liquid drip off.
- Place your toast in the pan. You should be able to fit about half of the sticks on your skillet.
- After about three minutes, or when the toast sticks are golden brown on one side, flip them over and heat the other sides for an additional two minutes before removing and setting aside.
- Heat the second tablespoon of butter and repeat steps five through seven until all of your french toast sticks are cooked.
- Serve with dipping cups filled with maple syrup for a yummy breakfast snack to take on-the-go!
Perfect Campfire Desserts
Imagine yourself relaxing around the campfire after dinner, sharing ghost stories while a friend or relative strums away on a guitar or hums their favorite tune. What else comes to mind when you picture this? How about…
Image by Stocksy
Not only are campfire desserts the perfect way to treat yourself and relax on an outdoor vacation, they’re also great for bonding with friends and family. So next time you’re out camping, be sure to end your adventure-filled days by creating sweet memories with these confectionery treasures!
Cowboy Cookie S'mores
Image by Martha Stewart
A gooey roasted marshmallow pressed between two graham crackers and chocolate… was there ever a more quintessential campfire dessert? It’s true that most people—including newcomers and non-campers alike—are familiar with the common version of these timeless campfire treats, but leaving them out of a camping meal guide altogether based on that fact just wouldn’t feel right. So, we thought, why not sweeten things up s’more? We love finding ways to enhance our desserts, and this recipe does exactly that by combining two of our favorites—the cowboy cookie and the classic s’more! Baking the cookies will require access to an oven, so we recommend preparing them up to three days in advance for the freshest taste once you’re putting them together. Rest assured, the extra effort will be worth it once you see your fellow campers gobbling up your confectionary creations with love!
Want to make your s’mores feel more like you? Try swapping out the cowboy cookies for a personal favorite—like shortbread or peanut butter (yum)!
- 1 ½ cup of flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
- ¾ cup of light brown sugar
- ½ cup of granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups of old-fashioned rolled oats
- 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate (we used 61% cacao), cut into ¼” thick pieces
- 1 cup of toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
- 28 jumbo marshmallows
For the cookies:
- Start your butane stove, then in the meantime whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- In a separate large bowl, beat the butter and both sugars together until pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating them together well after each addition.
- Add and beat the vanilla extract, then gently whisk in flour mixture until it’s just slightly absorbed.
- Mix in the oats, pecans, chocolate pieces and shredded coconut.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and, using an ice cream scoop, drop balls of dough on top. Keep them spaced apart in about 3” increments.
- Bake the cookies about 15 to 17 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through.
- Seal and store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days before leaving for your camping trip.
Now for the fun part:
- Secure 1 jumbo marshmallow to the end of a metal skewer.
- Toast the marshmallow over your campfire, rotating it slowly for about 30 seconds until it becomes puffy, slightly charred and gooey in the center.
- Slide the marshmallow onto the bottom of one cowboy cookie, then sandwich it together with a second cookie (add more chocolate too, if you desire)!
Toasted Cinnamon Rolls from Scratch
Image by Dessert Now Dinner Later
If you like toasting marshmallows over a fire, you’ll love toasting homemade cinnamon buns! This recipe passes over the “canned” biscuits in exchange for real yeast dough, so be rest assured these will be some of the best (if not the best) cinnamon rolls you’ve ever tried. Since you’ll be working with live yeast, which requires time to rise, the rolls will need to be prepared at least an hour or two in advance of eating. But not to worry—it will be 100% worthwhile once these are skewered and roasting over your campfire. They’re bound to be a hit with every camper!
Since these are heavier than marshmallows, you won’t want to use any old stick or skewer… no one likes seeing their hard-earned dessert falling into the campfire! Bring along some double-pronged roasting forks to prevent any accidents.
For the dough:
- 2 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- ¼ cup of granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 ¼ tsp. instant yeast
- ½ cup of whole milk
- ¼ cup of water
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
For the filling:
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup of packed light or dark brown sugar
For the icing:
- 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar
- ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp. strong-brewed coffee (milk works too)
For making the dough:
- Whisk the flour, sugar, salt and yeast together in a large bowl, then set it aside.
- Combine the milk, water and butter together in a heatproof bowl.
- Start your butane camping stove and heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is warm to the touch.
- Next, pour in the dry ingredients and add the egg, stirring it until it forms a soft dough.
- On a lightly floured surface (and using floured hands), knead the dough for about three minutes.
- Place in a lightly greased bowl covered loosely, then let rest for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, assemble your ingredients for the filling.
- Next, roll the dough out in a 14” x 8” rectangle and spread the soft butter on top.
- Mix together the cinnamon and brown sugar, then sprinkle it all over the buttery dough.
- Roll up the dough tightly and cut it into 10 or 12 pieces with even thickness.
- Place the rolls into a lightly greased pan. Cover it tightly with aluminum foil, then allow them to rise for about 60 to 90 minutes (or until they’ve about doubled in size).
- Prepare the icing by whisking together the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and coffee or milk. Once the dough has finished rising, drizzle the icing over the tops of your rolls and let it absorb for a few minutes..
Now for the fun part:
- Skewer a roll on to the end of a double-pronged roasting fork, leaving an inch or two of space on the end to prevent your dessert from sliding off into the fire.
- Roast your iced cinnamon roll over a campfire for about five minutes on the bottom and five minutes on the top, rotating as needed to prevent burning.
- Watch for the dough to rise slightly in the middle. This will help you to know when the dough has cooked through to the center properly.
- Be careful when handling, as these will be HOT once finished!
Dutch Oven Apple Pie
An apple pie made from scratch… at a campsite? Don’t let yourself be intimidated! Although apple pie may seem a bit ambitious as an outdoor dessert, it can be done using a dutch oven over an open campfire. If you have never used a dutch oven before and want to pick one up, make sure to get a cast-iron camping dutch oven, since it has feet to raise the oven part above the coals. Do not use your enamel-finished dutch oven for this one, as the intense heat could damage the coating. Likewise, you should make sure to use a lid lifter (or heat-proof gloves) since the oven will be fully immersed in flames. So is this something we would recommend for beginners? Probably not. Still, is it one of the most epic camping desserts ever? Without a doubt! And the most important question of all—can it even be pulled off successfully? To that end, we say… definitely!
Steer clear of baking with overly sweet apples, like Fuji or Red Delicious, and opt instead for ones that are more balanced and bake well, like early-season Zestar or Honeycrisp!
For the crust:
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 stick of cold butter (or ½ cup)
- 5 tbsp. ice cold water
For the filling:
- 4 apples
- ½ cup of granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 large egg
Do at home:
- Mix together the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl.
- Cut the cold butter into cubes, then add those to the dry ingredients and smear together with your fingers until a crumbly dough forms.
- Incorporate the ice water into the dough one tablespoon at a time and mix slowly with your hand until it comes together as a moist (but not sticky) ball.
- Transfer the dough to a floured surface and flatten it into a 6” disc shape.
- Cut the dough into four equal pieces, then stack them on top of each other and press down to combine into a single ball again. Repeat this step two or three times.
- Form a final disc, then tightly wrap or place the dough into an airtight container and keep cool. When packing for your trip, this should go directly from your refrigerator into your pre-chilled cooler.
Do at camp:
- Light your campfire.
- Prepare your filling by peeling, coring and slicing the apples into ⅛” to ¼” thick slices.
- Place the apples into a large mixing bowl or pot, then mix in the sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch until each slice is evenly coated.
- Prepare your camping dutch oven by creating two “straps” with parchment paper and setting them in the bottom in an ‘X’ shape. Then, line the oven with a circle of parchment paper set on top of the straps. Do not place the oven in the fire just yet.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured cutting surface. Cut ⅔ of the disc and return the remaining ⅓ to the cooler. Form the dough into a disc with your hands, allowing it to warm up slightly.
- Place the disc on to the cutting board and whack it a few times. Rotate the dough a quarter turn, then hit it again. Repeat until you’ve completed a full rotation and the disc is compressed, circular in shape and expanded slightly.
- Start rolling the dough, applying more pressure in the center and less as you move towards the edges. Continue to rotate the dough a bit after each roll so it’s spread out evenly.
- Once the dough is about 2” larger in width than the bottom of your dutch oven (or roughly the size of the parchment you cut out), place your rolling pin at one end of the dough and slowly roll until it’s wrapped around the pin. Then, unroll it into the dutch oven.
- Transfer the apple slices into the dutch oven carefully using tongs or a slotted spoon. Make sure they are layered as evenly as possible.
- Retrieve the remaining ⅓ portion of dough from the cooler and repeat steps six through eight to get a top crust layer. Unroll it onto the top of the pie.
- Pinch the top dough and bottom dough together to form a seal. If the dough isn’t sticking, wet your hands a little. This step is important because a good seal will give you a flaky crust and prevent filling from blowing out.
- Whisk one large egg in a small bowl until it’s completely mixed, then brush it over the top of the pie.
- Poke the top of your pie crust a few times to let steam escape while baking.
- Next, place the camping dutch oven over your campfire coals with the uncooked pie inside. Place two flat metal skewers across the top, then cover using the lid (this will allow for venting).
- Carefully line a few hot coals or embers on top of the lid, making sure to favor the outer rim over the center.
- Check periodically sure your coals stay hot consistently throughout the baking process. Now is a good time to start heating up additional coals to replace the ones on the lid once they’ve cooled.
- Bake the pie for about an hour until it looks golden brown on top.
- Allow the pie to cool to room temperature before handling and serving. Once it’s safe, use the parchment straps to lift the pie out of the oven.
- Cut into six or eight slices and get ready to feel like a true camping hero!
Dutch Oven Monkey Bread
Image by Say Not Sweet Anne
Not feeling the cinnamon rolls? Try this classic campfire dessert instead! Much like the apple pie, monkey bread can be baked in a camping Dutch oven over an open flame. You can even use the same scratch-made biscuit dough from the cinnamon rolls recipe (see above). The initial prep work is both easy and fun to do, which makes for a great group activity with the kids. It’s also perfectly liberating from those unplanned cold-and-rainy days where everyone starts feeling a little cooped up!
Chop up some fresh fruit or add raisins to the dough for a “beary” delicious twist!
- 12 to 16 oz. biscuit dough *
- ½ cup of cinnamon sugar
- ½ cup of granulated sugar
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- 1 stick of salted butter
* See our Campfire Cinnamon Rolls recipe for instructions on how to make the dough
- Line your camping dutch oven with heavy duty aluminum foil and grease it lightly with a little of your butter.
- Cut your dough into small pieces. It’s OK if they are irregularly shaped… and it’s even more fun that way!
- Pour a mixture of cinnamon and granulated sugar into a bag or resealable container, then add the dough pieces a few at a time and shake to coat evenly.
- Add your coated dough bits to the dutch oven, then melt the butter over the fire separately and stir in the brown sugar (no need to cook or dissolve—just melt!).
- Pour the melted butter and brown sugar mix over the dough pieces.
- Place a second layer of foil across the top of your dutch oven, then put on the lid (this step will help catch stray ashes to prevent them from going into your food).
- Bake in dying coals (around 350°F) for up to 10 minutes, or until the dough is puffed up in appearance (be careful to prevent scorching by avoiding direct heat on the bottom).
Special Note: If you’d prefer to make this using a camping stove, you can follow the same heating time and temperature as a baseline. Be aware you will need to watch it more closely and adjust these parts, if necessary.
Foil-Packed Grilled Peach Crisp
Image by Food Network
There’s no way we could have ended this list without a foil-pack dessert! For a sweet and savory dessert that’s on the healthier side, try wrapping local peaches in foil and tossing them on the grill! They’re simple, low-fat and can be customized without hassle. We suggest enjoying these delicacies by keeping them inside the foil as a makeshift bowl, since they can get a bit messy!
Satisfy those sweet tooths by adding brown sugar! This will caramelize the peaches for a more candied taste.
- ¼ cup of packed light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 4 ripe local peaches
- 4 tbsp. granola flour
- ¼ cup of low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt (optional)
- Prepare your grill and set it to medium-high heat.
- Cut four 12” squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil and set aside.
- Toss together the brown sugar, butter and salt in a small bowl, whisking thoroughly.
- Cut your peaches in half and remove the pits from each, then stuff each half with some of the brown sugar mixture.
- Place two peach halves (stuffed-side down) in the centers of each piece of foil, then fold up the sides and crimp the edges to make four purse-shaped packets.
- Put the packets on the grill, close the lid and cook them for about 15 minutes, changing their positions about halfway through.
- Remove the peach packs from the grill and let rest for a few minutes. Take care to avoid being scalded by steam when opening the foil!
- Using a spoon or fork, flip the peach halves over to ensure they’re tender and caramelized in appearance.
- Top each serving with a tablespoon of granola (and a scoop of optional frozen yogurt, if desired).