The Best Things To Cook While Camping!

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Putting together a list of the best things to cook while camping is no easy feat. 

The “best” recipe is subjective. Feedback from our community has helped us shape the beginnings of this list.

We update this list as new recipes are submitted, tested, and reviewed!

Many of the recipes I found online require at-home prep or were full-on make ahead camping meals. These recipes were created to be prepped and cooked at the campsite.

Have a recipe you’d like us to try out? 

Head to our contact page and tell us all about your recipe! Be sure to include ingredients and instructions. Don’t be shy to let us know why it deserves a spot on our best things to cook while camping list!

Use our table of contents below for easy navigation. 

Last update for the best things to cook while camping recipes was April 2022.

Table of Contents

This article was written in the winter. Pictures and videos will be added as we create new content footage while testing more of the best things to cook while camping this summer!

Let’s dig in to the best things to cook while camping.

Note that most of these recipes are geared towards campers. Click the following link if you are looking for backpacker meals and ideas!


Best Breakfasts To Cook While Camping

Below is some of my favorite (and simple!) breakfasts to cook while camping. 

Most are quick and use the least amount of utensils and cookware required. These simple camping meals will ensure you are well fed for the day ahead.

Let’s dig into some of the best things to cook while camping for breakfast!


Bacon and Cheese Pull Aparts in a Dutch Oven

Prep Time: 2-3 hours

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 15 thawed dinner rolls 
    • (preferably still cold)
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • 10 pieces of bacon, chopped
  • 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  1. Cut the dinner rolls in half.
  2. Pour the butter in to your dutch oven.
  3. Coat the dinner rolls in the butter, and arrange in the dutch oven.
  4. Sprinkle cheese and bacon on top of the rolls.
  5. Close lid and allow rolls to rise.
  6. Once rolls have doubled in size, cook for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

(Jump to Dutch Oven temperature guide)

Save Time:

There are three ways you can save time with this recipe.

  1. Cook the bacon ahead of time and chop it up.
  2. Grate the cheese ahead of time, or use pre-grated cheese.
  3. Prepare steps 1-5 the night before, allowing the rolls to rise overnight.

Campfire Granola

Prep Time: 0 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 6 cups of rolled oats

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat a cast iron pan over the fire.
  2. Add the almonds and pecans and toss until aromas release.
  3. Add rolled oats and stir until browned
  4. Remove the pan from heat and stir in oil and maple syrup.
  5. Toss ingredients until they are well mixed.
  6. Transfer ingredients to a bowl.
  7. Add dried cranberries.

Enjoy granola any way you’d like.

We love granola over yogurt mixed with fresh berries. It’s a great start to any day!


Chorizo, Potatoes, and Eggs

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 chorizo sausages
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons of butter or oil
  • 4 eggs

Instructions:

  1. Cut potatoes into fries and dry on paper towel or clean tea towel.
  2. Chop chorizo sausages and fry in a pan until oils release.
  3. Add potatoes and onions to the pan. 
  4. Cook gently for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown.
  5. Make 4 pockets in the pan and crack eggs into the space.
  6. Cook eggs until egg whites are cooked, then break the yolks.
  7. Cook until yolks are desired consistency.

Save Time:

Save time by cooking potatoes the night before. This will greatly reduce the cooking time required for them to become crispy.


Farmer’s Breakfast

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 6 medium potatoes, skin on
  • 8+ slices of bacon
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Garnish such as parsley (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until done.
  2. Allow potatoes to cool, then cube or slice.
  3. Cut bacon into 1-inch pieces and fry to desired crispness.
  4. Remove bacon and add butter to the bacon fat.
  5. Fry onions until transparent.
  6. Add potatoes to the pan with onions, and fry until crust forms on the potatoes.
  7. Add bacon to the mix.
  8. Crack eggs and scramble with the above ingredients.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste, and add garnish if desired.

This recipe serves 2-4 people. 

Scale ingredients according to the number of servings you need. 


Smokey Bean Breakfast

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons coconut or other cooking oil
  • 6 mild Italian sausages
  • 6 smoked jumbo hot dogs cut into chunks
  • 12 small chorizo sausages
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 ½ cups of passata
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 cans of pinto beans
  • 2 cans of navy beans
  • 10 eggs

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron pan.
  2. Add Italian sausage and cook until brown then push to the side of the pan.
  3. Add chorizo and hot dogs and cook until chorizo oils are released.
  4. Add onions to the pan and cook until onions are soft (about 7-10 minutes depending on heat).
  5. Add passata and barbeque sauce, and bring to a simmer.
  6. Stir in the beans and stir well. Bring everything back up to a simmer.
  7. Create little pockets in the mix and crack eggs into the sauce.
  8. Cover the pan with tin foil and cook until eggs are the desired consistency.

This is a stellar recipe that can be enjoyed with friends and groups. When it comes to breakfast recipes, this one is easily the best things to cook while camping in our opinion!

Be sure to bring quality bread to toast. With the right toast, you can scoop the mixture up and enjoy it without dishes to clean afterward. 


Best Lunches To Cook While Camping

I initially hesitated to separate lunch and dinner ideas. Some recipes can stand in for either meal, and it’s up to your personal preference.

Many prefer to have light lunches and use grab-and-go style snacks for their midday energy. 

These lunches are some of the best things to cook while camping when you desire a gourmet lunch.


Mac & Cheese In A Dutch Oven

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups of elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard (dijon if you like it spicy!)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Pinch of salt
  • Crumbled Ritz crackers or salty chips

Instructions: 

  1. Prepare the coals and warm your dutch oven. (View tips here)
  2. Add macaroni, water, butter, and salt to the oven. 
  3. Cover and cook for 10 minutes until pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Remove oven from coals and open lid, stirring in the cheese, mustard, and garlic powder.
  5. Serve in individual bowls and top with crushed Ritz crackers!

Campfire Quesadillas

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Tortillas 
    • (our favorite are corn tortillas, but all work!)
  • Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese
  • Jalapeño peppers if you want some spice
  • Black beans
  • Ground beef or shredded chicken 
    • (you can buy these meets pre-prepared in a bag)
  • Salsa, Guacamole, Sour Cream, or any other favorite sauce.
  • Aluminum foil 
    • (Heavy-duty foil works best)

Instructions:

  1. Spray cooking oil on a long piece of foil.
  2. Place a tortilla in the center of the foil.
  3. Top tortilla with ingredients above.

(Feel free to use any of your favorite ingredients!)

  1. Place the second tortilla on top of the bed of ingredients.
  2. Repeat this until you have 3 or 4 tortillas stacked up.
  3. Wrap the stack of tortillas in foil tightly, ensuring all edges are sealed.
  4. Place the packet in either a warmed dutch oven or on a grill above a campfire.
  5. Heat until cheese is melted, normally 10 minutes, flipping as required for even heating.
  6. Remove from heat and enjoy with your favorite dips.

Quesadillas can be a low prep and low mess type meal perfect for midday snacking. 

Be sure to use your favorite ingredients, and sub out the listed ingredients as you see fit. Knowing the best things to cook while camping is relative to your taste. Use this recipe as an idea to activate your inner chef!


Campfire Nachos

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • ½ lb of tortilla chips 
  • 8 ounces of tomato sauce or favorite salsa
  • 1 ½ cup of shredded mexican cheese blend
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 5 green onions, sliced
  • 1 large avocado, cubed
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime

Instructions:

  1. Oil the base of a dutch oven so that the nachos do not stick. If you do not have a dutch oven, you can use heavy-duty tinfoil or a cast iron skillet.
  2. Evenly spread ⅓ of the chips in the pan, followed by ¼ of the sauce, ¼ can of black beans, ¼ cup of cheese, and some avocado, green onion, and cilantro. 
  3. Repeat for the second layer.
  4. For the third layer, use the remaining ingredients.
  5. Cover the nachos and place over the campfire until the cheese has melted (roughly 10 minutes).
  6. Serve with lime wedges.

Best Dinners To Cook While Camping

Ahh, dinner time by a fire.

Whether you’ve been hiking all day, or playing on the beach with your kids, dinner is a camping ritual to relish in.

A mouth-watering end-of-day meal to look forward to helps you to push through parts of the day when energy is low. 

Here are some of the best things to cook while camping to ensure the start of a great evening!


Bubble And Squeek

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 small head of cabbage, chopped
  • 5 medium potatoes cut into circles
  • 3 of your favorite sausages (we’ve tried different kinds in this recipe and they all work)
  • 1 cup of water

Instructions:

  1. Warm your dutch oven.
  2. Layer the cabbage, potatoes, and sausage in that order.
  3. Repeat Step 2 until all ingredients are used.
  4. Add water.
  5. Cover and summer until contents are cooked (roughly 20 minutes depending on heat).

This recipe can be a standalone meal or a tasty side dish to other camping favorites. 

Any leftovers of this recipe make for a nourishing breakfast the next morning!


Campfire Corn On The Cob

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 ears of corn on the cob
  • 4 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 4 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Instructions:

  • In a medium bowl, mix the sour cream, heavy cream, and salt. Set aside.
  • Pull back the husks of the corn, but do not remove them. You’ll use the husk as a handle when it’s done.
  • Place the corn on the campfire away from direct flame.
  • Every 5 minutes, quarter turn the corn to ensure even cooking.
  • While corn is on the fire, mix the grated parmesan cheese and paprika in a bowl.
  • Once cooked, remove corn from grill, and brush with butter.
  • Brush the cream sauce on the ear of corn, then sprinkle parmesan cheese and paprika mixture.

This epic corn recipe is one of my favorites. 

Hands down it is one of the best things to cook while camping with friends and family.

Pair this recipe with our upcoming campfire stew for the perfect dinner.


Hearty Campfire Stew

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite cooking oil
  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • 1 can of corn
  • 2 cans of green beans, drained
  • 1 can of kidney or mixed beans
  • ½ teaspoon of oregano
  • ½ teaspoon of chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Baguette or other firm bread for scooping!

Instructions:

  1. Pre-warm dutch oven over coals.
  2. Add oil and onions and cook until onions are translucent
  3. Add the ground beef and cook until brown. Drain the grease from the pot.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for an hour.
  5. Serve with bread and a side of our campfire corn on the cob!

This dinner recipe is one of the best camping meals for families and large groups!


How To Cook With A Dutch Oven While Camping

Cooking with a dutch oven at home is simple. 

Cooking with a dutch oven while camping introduces some variables to consider.

We use a dutch oven in some of the recipes listed above. 

Dutch ovens perform well with charcoals and live flame. The process of warming up your oven can be daunting. 

With the right knowledge, you can become a world-class campfire cooker. It is important to understand how to use charcoal briquettes to your advantage.

It is important to warm your dutch before cooking. Do so by placing the oven on a bed of charcoals, and placing a few on the lid.

How many briquettes do I need to warm my dutch oven?

The number of briquettes needed will depend on a few variables:

  • Size of dutch oven
  • Temperature required

This chart from the Ovenspot website is a great reference!

SIZE325℉350℉375℉400℉425℉450℉
8-Inch Oven151617181920
10-Inch Oven192123252729
12-Inch Oven232527293133
14-Inch Oven303234363840
All credit to Ovenspot for this great reference table!

You will want to place two thirds (⅔) of the briquettes on the bottom, and one third (⅓) on the lid.

The Bottom Line

We hope that you love the recipes listed above. 

Camping with friends and family offers a ton of health benefits. Pairing these benefits with great food offers increased enjoyment of your time spent outdoors.

Our best things to cook while camping list is an evolving document, and our community members contribute regularly. 

Be sure to contribute your recipe via our contact page to get your favorite dish featured.

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Whether travelling with the family in his RV, exploring the backcountry, or a day by the beach with the family, Mike has a passion for all things outdoors. In summer you will find him exploring the wilds near the camp, and in winter, Mike loves getting on his freestyle snowboard and hitting the slopes.

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