by Mountain House September 01, 2021

49 Quick and Tasty Camping Food Ideas - Easy Camping Meals!

As much as we all love the wild vistas, the geological marvels, and the hiking, swimming, and paddling of a camping trip, a whole lot of the joy of camping centers on food, right? It’s a cliché that grub tastes better outdoors, but darn it it’s a fact, too. Just like back home, though, it’s easy to become bored with your campsite cuisine—or, if you’re new to roughing it, it's hard to know what camping meals to make in the first place.

Well, that’s where Mountain House comes into the picture. First off, our freeze-dried meals make scrumptious entrees that require no more prep work than boiling water—absolutely ideal for both car-camping and backpacking. We’ve been feeding campers since the 1960s, and our products boast a longer shelf life than any of our competitors; ; 30 years from the date of manufacture!

But we also want to inspire you more generally in the campsite-cooking department, which is why we’ve compiled this list of camping food ideas from some standout authorities. Read on and get ready to work up an appetite!

BREAKFAST

LUNCH

DINNER

DESSERT

SNACKS

TIPS

BREAKFAST

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that certainly applies in the woods. Beginning your day with hearty camping breakfast ensures you’ll have the proper energy for an active morning of outdoor fun and exploration, avoiding the dreaded blood-sugar collapse and ensuing “hanger.”

Here are some easy camping meals for a lovely, laidback morning at the site!

Mason Jar Campfire Pancakes

person putting butter on stack of pancakes

Made-from-scratch pancakes for camp breakfast! Just add the dry ingredients to a mason jar to create a pre-made pancake mix and then add the appropriate amount of eggs and milk to two more jars (or any other container of your choice) and you’re all set! A great idea we’re all the way behind!

Upgraded Mountain House Breakfast Skillet

 

Our freeze-dried Breakfast Skillet pouch only requires some hot water and you’ll have a great-tasting breakfast in no time. But you can also hack your skillet with some extra ingredients like cilantro, chives, and avocado to upgrade your meal and add some black beans for an easy side dish. And if you bring along some tortillas, you can roll everything up into some delicious breakfast burritos!

Campfire Apple Crisp Breakfast

apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon

One skillet and a happy campfire are all you need to cook up this fabulously delicious breakfast treat shared by Escape Adventures.

Chickpea Flour Breakfast Scramble

two green bowls of chickpea flour breakfast scramble

Whip up a vegan-friendly camp breakfast with this Fresh Off the Grid recipe.

Campfire French Toast

syrup being poured over campfire french toast with sliced strawberries

If you think French toast is a breakfast classic best reserved for the kitchen back home, think again! This Lil Piglet shows how to make campsite-ready French toast.

Caramelized Banana Oatmeal

bowl of caramelized banana oatmeal

The ingredient list and preparation couldn’t be simpler, but Dirty Gourmet’s Caramelized Banana Oatmeal tastes like a genuine gourmet breakfast in the boonies

.Asparagus Pancetta Skillet Hash

black skillet full of asparagus pancetta with two cups of black coffee next to it

It’s easy but ill-advised to skimp on the veggies while out and about in the Great Outdoors. This recipe from Fresh Off the Grid incorporates delicious (and vibrantly colorful) asparagus, a durable and delicious green that’ll last quite a while your comping food storage container.

Campfire Cinnamon Roll-Ups 

cinnamon roll-ups on black pan

 

Heads up: These devilishly good creations from Almost Supermom are going to earn you plenty of around-the-campfire accolades.

Kielbasa, Pepper, Onion, & Potato Hash

hash breakfast on a campfire

For a super-easy and quick-cooking but also hearty dinner, give this two-skillet preparation (you can make it in one, too, but read the recipe’s disclaimer) from The Two Bite Club blog a try.

Campfire Beer Pancakes

stack of beer pancakes with syrup and pecans

We’re not sure we have to say much else beyond the name of this breakfast dish to get you to check out the recipe over at Chowhound.

LUNCH

Whether you're gunning hard on the trail, the river, or the rock faces, or indulging in more leisurely sightseeing in a national park or scenic corridor, camping inspires a mean and honest appetite. While backpackers might observe the midday camping meal with nothing more than an extended snack break, many other campers like to go for a more ambitious fresh-air lunch, in which case the following camping food recipes ought to fit the bill nicely.

Asian Broccoli Slaw w/Pineapple

black bowl of Asian broccoli slaw with pineapple

Put together this zesty and colorful slaw from The Adventure Bite team before your camping trip, and it’ll just get more flavorful with the extra sitting time in a ziplock bag or Tupperware container.

Mountain House’s Elevated Mac & Cheese

 Mountain House Hack for Mac and Cheese

There’s nothing better than mac & cheese for lunch! Plus, it’s kid-friendly! You can give it to the kids right out of the pouch and spice up your own serving with some tasty toppings like salsa and sour cream!

Cheesy Ham & Pineapple Sandwich

by Erin Clarke of Well Plated

This foil-wrapped, fire-cooked winner comes to us from Well Plated by Erin and its creator’s fond memories of Girl Scout campfire cookouts.

Grilled Hot Pastrami Sandwich

Another absolutely scrumptious foil-cooking homerun of a camping lunch, thanks to Kleinworth & Co.

Grilled Halloumi Tacos

halloumi tacos

This veggie tacos made with the Greek cheese halloumi (another Fresh Off the Grid score) are easy to throw together in the campsite or picnic area.

Campfire Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich

Enjoy the City of Brotherly Love’s signature sammie at the campsite with this hassle-free tinfoil recipe from Twin Dragonfly Designs.

Goat Milk Gouda Veggie Sandwich

Goats Milk Gouda Sandwhich

Cheese takes a starring role in this delicious sandwich, a blue-ribbon midday reward on the trail. Check out the recipe at Dirty Gourmet!

DINNER

There's nothing like an evening at the campsite, and nothing like thoughts of dinner to propel a hiker down the trail. Here's a varied roundup of awesomely easy camping recipes: none of them particularly complicated or demanding to make, yet delivering flavors to impress even the pickiest (or snootiest) campsite diner.

Dutch Oven Stuffed Peppers

dutch over stuffed peppers

Easy to assemble, quick to cook, a cinch to clean up: You’ll definitely want to give these oozy delicacies from the Dirty Gourmet recipe archives a try!

Mountain House Restaurant-Style Fettuccine Alfredo

Mountain House Fettuccine Alfredo Hack

You don’t have to go to a fancy restaurant to get an amazing pasta meal for dinner. Prepare a pouch of Mountain House Fettuccine Alfredo and add some fresh herbs, mushrooms, shrimp, or breadcrumbs and you’ll have an amazing dinner in about 10 minutes.

Red Lentil Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are a camping favorite for many, and with this preparation from Fresh Off the Grid, you can put smiles on the faces of the whole crew with a healthier alternative to the traditional.

BBQ Chicken Foil Packs

BBQ Chicken Foil Packs

More foil-wrapped dinnertime goodness courtesy of Life in the Lofthouse!

Salsa & Corn Dumpling Soup

Salsa and corn dumpling soup

At the end of a long day on the trail or up on the knife-edge ridges, this delicious, warming broth—a gift to us all from the Dirty Gourmet team—is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Skillet Sausage & Potatoes

Smoked sausage, potatoes, and carrots come together in one-skillet harmony in this surefire camp-dinner recipe from Rasa Malaysia.

Dutch Oven Lasagna

Dutch Oven Lasagna

Turn the campsite into an Italian trattoria with this easy-to-make Dutch oven preparation of lasagna, thanks to Fresh Off the Grid.

Campfire Whiskey BBQ Chicken

campfire whiskey bbq chicken

Make this to-die-for BBQ sauce (from Cooking With Janica) ahead of time at home, and you’ll be thanking yourself when the aroma of grilled chicken hits you over the campfire.

Shrimp Scampi Foil Packets

shrimp scampi foil packet

You’ll be dispensing gourmet goodness by following these Damn Delicious (indeed) directions for campfire-style Shrimp Scampi.

One Pot Chili

Schemed up by a self-admitted non-camper ahead of a camping trip, Made By Luci’s One Pot Chili is tummy-rubbing good—and a vegan, gluten-free dinner option.

Easy Campfire Pizza

round pizza with olives and cheese

Pizza is one of those beloved comfort foods that tend to star in an awful lot of backcountry hankerings. Well, no need to wait until after the camping trip to enjoy it—just check out this Damn Fine Dishes technique for Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet campfire pizza! You can also check out Barbara's cookbook The Culinary Camper which features recipes based on her years of experience in camp cooking.

Pizzadilla

Pizza quesadilla on a wooden cutting board

Speaking of pizza, here’s a sort of backcountry pizza hack employing tortillas instead of dough (courtesy of the experienced camp chefs over there at Backpacker).

Campfire Hot Dogs

These easy-peasy pigs-in-a-blanket are fun-to-cook crowd-pleasers. (How many hyphens can we have in one sentence?)

Camping Mac ‘n Cheese

macaroni and cheese on plate

Classic comfort food like mac ‘n cheese tastes even better out in the woods, and this recipe from Hapa Nom Nom is a quick-to-make, one-pot version that nonetheless tilts toward the gourmet side of the spectrum.

Campfire Roasted Pumpkin Rice

pumpkin in foiled pot sitting in campfire

The campsite chefs at Dirty Gourmet “campified” an Armenian dish, ghapama, and the result is this delightful Dutch-oven dinner of rice-stuffed pumpkin.

Cheddar Corn Chowder w/Bacon

Bacon tastes all the better in the backwoods. This simple and hearty chowder brought to you by Backpacker, incorporates this reliably magical ingredient to keep hiking muscles well fueled.

Steamed Campfire Broccoli

steamed broccoli in foil

Steamed broccoli over a campfire? Sure—just follow these steps laid out at the Spicy Apron blog! Don’t forget your aluminum foil!

Trout Tacos

hand holding trout taco at camp

For the angling-inclined among you, check out this great lakeside preparation courtesy of the folks at Dirty Gourmet.

Sweet Potato Peanut Stew

sweet potato peanut stew

This healthy Fresh Off the Grid dinner option nourishes taste buds, stomach, and soul alike at the end of an invigorating day spent out-of-doors.

Miso Noodle Soup w/Tofu

soup in a pot on a campfire

Healthy, hearty, slurp-worthy: another Backpacker dinner gem.

DESSERT

Don't neglect dessert at the campsite, which besides keeping the camping crew happy sets you up for a nice and warm snooze with some slow-burning sweet-stuff energy. The following confections will knock your socks off under a deep, blazing sea of stars.

Mason Jar Peach Crisp

 

mason jar peach crisp

A little pre-trip prep work pays off big time at camp when you pop open some jars of this guilt-free Flavour & Savour dessert.

Apricot Coconut Crumb Bars

apricot coconut crumb bars

Another easy and delicious dessert baked ahead of time and highly camp-friendly, via Dirty Gourmet.

Strawberry Almond Cake

Slice of pound cake on a plate

Pound cake, dried strawberries, almond butter, and water—BAM. Thanks, Backpacker, for this wilderness dessert.

S’mores Dip

One does not compile a list of camping desserts without including at least one take on s’mores—so here you go, a playful spin on tradition by Hungry Brownie.

SNACKS

Back at home, it's sometimes better to skip the snacks, but on a camping trip, they're an essential part of your daily food intake. They needn't simply take the form of a chocolate bar or handful of store-bought trail-mix: Expand your snack horizons with the following between-meal camping food ideas!

Sun-dried Tomato Bacon Guacamole

sun-dried tomato bacon guacamole

Dani over at The Adventure Bite shares a magnificently mouthwatering recipe for guacamole she reports is part of her family’s regular camping cuisine. Chips and guacamole at the campsite—heavenly.

Mountain House Granola and Fresh Fruit

Mountain House Granola Hack

Granola is an amazing snack at any time of day. Mix in some peanut butter or chocolate chips and add some fresh fruit and any other favorite toppings and everyone’s going to ask you to share.

Campfire Chili Cheese Fries

chili cheese fries

It’s not exactly health food, but hopefully, you’ve earned this decadent happy-hour-at-the-campsite feast from the Kitchen Magpie via some hearty hiking or paddling or rock-climbing…right?

Dried Cherry Almond Granola Clusters

Granola’s a classic trailside snack, of course, packed with both energy and flavor to keep you going when the miles start adding up. Here’s a great recipe for homemade granola from Call Me PMc.

Pecan Raisin Granola

pecan raisin granola

Here’s another top-shelf granola recipe, this one courtesy of Dirty Gourmet.

Campfire Spinach Dip

Head over to Twin Dragonfly Designs and learn how to whip up some creamy, can’t-get-enough spinach dip through some campfire tinfoil cooking.

Tipsy Campfire Nachos

campfire nachos

The name for this creation by Amanda over at Peppers & Pennies stems from a Canadian cheese soaked in wine, but the nachos recipe itself also calls for the incorporation of beer, all of which sounds pretty great to us.

Campfire Breadsticks

A dough-wrapped stick, a campfire: what could be simpler? This Shock Munch recipe may well end up in your go-to bag of campfire-cookery tricks.

TIPS

  • As some of the above mentioned recipes suggest, you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle at the campsite by prepping certain ingredients (grated cheese, marinated chicken, etc.) ahead of time.
  • Bring some aluminum foil for easy grilling. It also works great for making foil-pack recipes on the camp stove.
  • One- or two-pot meals work best at the campsite. You can exercise quite a bit of resourcefulness and creativity by planning out your cooking gameplan: Cook the rice in a pot, then set it aside covered and use the same pot to sauté veggies or heat up curry to go on top. Even if the rice cools down a little more than your liking, you can always dump it back in the pot with the rest of the cooked ingredients to warm it up right at the end, just before serving.

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