At the end of a long day of hiking, everyone has got to eat. Camp food, though, presents a different set of challenges. If you want to make great camp food, you need some easy camping dinner ideas. In this article, you will get some delicious recipes to make.
Selecting a Meal
There are a lot of meals listed here, so it can be overwhelming to choose from among all of them. When selecting one, be sure to consider these questions.
- What will I and everyone else enjoy? Everyone has different tastes and preferences, so we choose different food to eat. If you are creating a meal for everyone else, then be sure to select something that everyone will enjoy. It makes the camping experience much more enjoyable.
- What is within my capabilities? When camping, you want to cook food that you are capable of cooking. It is better to prepare a simple meal well than to attempt a complex meal poorly. It saves you time and energy. The best things in life are simple and well done. It is no different when it comes to food.
When cooking, remember these tips to make sure you have a wonderful and memorable experience. If you do so, then you are sure to do well.
- Know how to make a campfire. For a lot of these recipes, you need to know how to make a campfire. In a previous article, I discuss how to exactly that. It lays out everything you need to know.
- Cooking is an art, not a science. Sometimes you mess up when cooking. It is okay. It probably does not cost more than $10. You just make the best of your mistake and move on. It is like a misplaced splotch on the painting. You adapt the painting to the error.
- It is all about preparation. Cooking is a lot less stressful if you start early and take your time. As a college student, I want my food now, but I understand that it does not apply to cooking. Enjoy each step. You learn along the way and connect with your friends while you prepare.
Root Beer Apple Baked Beans Recipe
6 chopped thick-sliced bacon strips
4 cans (16 ounces each) baked beans
1 can (21 ounces) apple pie filling
1 teaspoon ground ancho chili pepper
1 cup shredded smoked cheddar cheese
10 inch Dutch oven
- Prepare a campfire to cook at medium heat. This is around 300 °F (148 °C). It is a rough temperature. Use 32-36 charcoal briquettes or large wood chips.
- In a 10-in. Dutch oven, you want to cook the bacon over the campfire until crisp. Once done, remove the bacon and discard drippings. (You can save the drippings for use in a later recipe). After that, put the bacon, baked beans, pie filling, root beer, and, if desired, ancho chili pepper into the Dutch oven. Stir it all together.
- Next, cover the Dutch oven with its lid. When the campfire is mostly ashed, place the oven on top of half the briquettes. Place the other half on the pan cover.
- Leave it for 30-40 minutes. This lets the flavors blend. Once done, add the cheese on top. Wonderful! You are now ready to enjoy it.
Sausage and Bean Dutch-Oven Stew
1/3 cup of olive oil
2 cans of cannellini beans and chickpeas (garbanzos), rinse and drained
1/2 sliced red bell pepper
4 chopped medium garlic cloves
1/2 sliced yellow bell pepper
1 sliced poblano chile
1 1/2 pounds cooked Italian sausages (Saag’s or Aidells work) cut into 1-in. chunks
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
3/4 cup water
10 inch Dutch oven
- Prepare a campfire. Use about 50 briquettes until they are mostly gray. Mix all the ingredients except for the oregano in the dutch oven and cover.
- Arrange the coals for bottom heat cooking (you flatten the coals to make a level layer) and place in the Dutch oven. Check the pot and stir every 15 minutes, adding more water if the stew gets dry. You know it is done when the sausages swell and the peppers soften. Serve with oregano sprinkled on top.
- If you need to turn down the heat, then scrape away some briquettes. The opposite is true for increasing heat. Just add more briquettes or wood if you think the fire is too cool.
1 fillet (3 1/2 lbs to 4 lbs)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Cast iron campfire grates
- Make the campfire to medium heat 300 °F (148 °C) and place the grates on top of it. I usually use briquettes because they give off a lot of heat and do not give the flames that firewood would.
- In a bowl, put the brown sugar, white wine, melted butter, Dijon mustard, thyme leaves, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Whisk these ingredients together.
- Place the salmon in aluminum foil and then on the grates (like in the image but with foil). As it cooks, glaze every five minutes while cooking. Cook the salmon until it is opaque in the center and still moist looking. After 25-30 minutes, it should be ready.
Lime and Pepper Grilled Chicken Breasts
1/2 cup lime juice (about 4 limes)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 boned, skinned chicken breast halves
1 wooden mallet
- In a bowl or plastic bag, put in the sugar, olive oil, salt, and lime juice. Stir to dissolve all the ingredients and then set it aside.
- Start a medium heat campfire (300 °F/148 °C). You can tell it is at this heat when you can hold your fingers 1-2 inches above it for 3-4 seconds. Use either briquettes or firewood.
- On a flat surface, place each piece of chicken on its own seran wrap. Pound each piece with the wooden mallet until it reaches a thickness of 1/4-1/3 inch. Put each chicken piece in a seal able bowl or plastic bag with the marinade and let sit for thirty minutes.
- After the thirty minutes, your chicken is ready to be cooked. Each piece should take 3-4 minutes to cook. Once done, be sure to enjoy it.
Devilish Chorizo Chili with Hominy
1 pound ground lean beef
2 large onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (7 oz. each) diced green chilies
1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) ale or other hearty beer
2 1/2 pounds uncooked chorizo sausages
1 teaspoon ground chipotle chilies
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
2 cans (15 oz. each) yellow hominy, drained
Cast iron pan
- Make a campfire or use a gas stove top. While under high heat, squeeze the sausages out onto the pan and then discard the casings. Throw in your beef, garlic, and onions. Stir it on occasion, breaking the meat into small pieces until the meat is browned and the onions are soft. 10 minutes is about average. After that, discard the fat.
- Add your green chilies, chili powder, chipotle chilies, oregano, and cumin. Stir for 1 minute.
- Then put in tomatoes, ale, and hominy, bringing it to a boil. Afterwards, reduce heat, cover, and forget about it for 30 minutes, coming back to stir on occasion. Add salt as needed.
- Once that is all done, then enjoy your meal.
Smoky Beef and Bacon Chili
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon to 1 1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
2 finely chopped thick-cut bacon slices
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 can (14.5 oz.) pinto beans, drained
1 can (14.5 oz.) crushed fire-roasted tomatoes or regular crushed tomatoes
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 cup flavorful, medium-bodied beer, such as Anchor Steam
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
Sour cream, sliced green onions, coarsely shredded cheddar cheese for topping
1 large, heavy bottomed pot
- Make the campfire or put stove top at medium-high heat. Cook the bacon just before it starts to change color. Then add onion, put on medium heat, cover, and stir on occasion until the onion is clear. Then put in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the ground beef. Break up the beef with a spoon and cook until it is brown. Stir in the spices and add salt as you would like. Put in tomatoes, tomato sauce, Worcestershire, and beer, bringing it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, put on a top, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring it on occasion.
- After that, add the beans and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Great! Your chili is all done and ready to be served.
Italian Style Hobo Bundles
5 tbsp. Olive oil
1/3 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus shredded Parmesan for serving
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus whole leaves for serving
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus whole leaves for serving
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon chopped Calabrian chilies or 1/4 tsp. Cayenne and more chilies for serving
1 pound ground turkey
1 pound ground Italian sausage (chicken or turkey)
2 pounds small red potatoes, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-in. chunks or halves
1 large onion, cut into slim wedges
4 medium carrots, sliced diagonally
4 teaspoons cornstarch
Heavy duty aluminum foil
Campfire with grilling grate
- Start by building a fire about as wide as the grilling grate. It is ready when you can hold your hand 5 inches above the grate for 5-7 seconds. After that, cut the 6 aluminum pieces into 18 inch squares. Then you want to rub a little oil on the squares so your food does not stick to it.
- In a bowl, place grated Parmesan, bread crumbs, milk, chopped parsley, and basil. Add salt and pepper as needed. Then add the calabrian chile. Next put in the ground turkey and sausage. Stir it well and then shape into meatballs.
- For each foil sheet, put in 3 meatballs. Divide potatoes, onions, and carrots evenly among the sheets. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup oil, 1/3 cup water, the cornstarch, and remaining 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper; spoon over
ingredients on foil, stirring sauce as you go.
- With each bundle, bring 2 opposite sides of foil together across the middle and fold to make a seam 1 in. wide. Fold seam on itself again, then fold it flat on the packet. Fold ends on themselves about 1 in., then repeat to seal securely.
Turkey and Black Bean Chili
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
1 (1.25-oz.) package chili seasoning mix
1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes in sauce or crushed tomatoes in puree
1 cup chicken broth
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
Toppings: sour cream, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, fresh cilantro sprigs, diced avocado
Campfire grilling grates
- Prepare a campfire or stove to medium heat
- Heat oil in the Dutch oven. Add the turkey and salt, cooking until the turkey crumbles and is no longer pink. Next add your onion and garlic to the center of the pan. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Add your chili seasoning and cook for a minute. Add adobo sauce, chipotle pepper, tomatoes, and broth. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat, simmering it for 5 minutes. Add the beans and cook for as long as desired. Congratulations! You are now ready to serve it.
Beef Shish Kebabs
1 zucchini, cut into chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons steak sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 lbs beef sirloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
12 bamboo skewers
Campfire grilling grates
- In a mixing bowl, place zucchini, bell pepper, and pineapple. Drizzle with olive oil and mix it all. Whisk the ketchup, salt, steak sauce, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and water together in the same bowl until smooth. Add the beef cubes, and toss until evenly coated. Divide the beef into freezer bags. Seal, and freeze the bags.
- To cook: take as many bags as you need from the freezer, and thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or at least 8 hours. Soak the skewers in warm water at least 30 minutes, or place into water when you begin thawing the meat and vegetable packets.
- Make a campfire or preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat, and lightly oil the grates.
- Make the skewers by alternating beef, vegetables, and pineapple on the skewers. Discard any remaining marinade.
- Cook the skewers on the preheated grill, turning occasionally until cooked to your desired degree of doneness, about 10 minutes total for medium-rare.
Campfire Pepperoni Pizza
1 lbs pizza dough
1/4 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup sliced pepperoni
Cast iron grilling grates
- Start by making a campfire.
- Place the pizza stone on the grates. Sprinkle some flour on the pizza dough. You do this, so the pizza dough does not stick. Roll out the pizza dough to your desired thickness, cooking on one side for 10 minutes until golden.
- Remove the pizza stone and cooked dough from the fire. Spread the sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch bare at the edges to let the crust rise. Sprinkle mozzarella on top and then the pepperoni slices.
- Cover with a foil tent and cook until cheese has melted, about 10 minutes more. Transfer pizza to a cutting board and let cool slightly before cutting and serving.
Cooking is quite the experience. You gather with your friends and family to share a meal together. The aroma, sounds, and taste bonds you together. It helps to tie the camping experience all together. With a good meal at the end of a long day, you are sure to enjoy yourself camping.
If you have any thoughts, your own modification, or a question, please do comment below and share this article. Otherwise, thank you for reading and I hope you make it a great day!