If you love camping as much as we do, but don’t really like the meal planning part, here are 10 easy camping meals for you to try on your next trip. You’ll love prepping at home and then cooking in your RV or over your camp stove. These easy meals will have your family ready for more camping trips!
Easy Camping Meals
Who doesn’t love easy meals that you can prep at home and cook at camp? We went camping with some friends when our kids were all young. Yep, it was quite some time ago. Ha! Steve and I brought hot dogs, bags of chips, cereal for breakfast. Basically anything quick to put on the table is what we took. But our friend, Teddi, cooked these amazing dishes for her family.
She brought her Dutch oven and even made biscuits! So do you think our kids wanted anything to do with us at mealtime? Heck no, they were all at Teddi’s camp wanting her delicious food. That’s when we realized that good food when camping can still be easy. But it can taste great too!
Things to Prep at Home
And when I say home, I mean at one of our kids’ or my sisters’ homes, since we’re full-time in our truck camper! But for this post, just know when I say home, I mean yours.
- Make your list of meals, then do your shopping.
- Chop veggies. Put into Ziploc baggies that you label with the dish name and amount. For example, slice two onions and label for fajitas and grilled brats.
- Prep meat and put into Ziploc baggies with their marinade sauce.
- If it’s a dish you’re warming over the campfire, then assemble it in a foil pan, cover and label.
- If it’s a dish you’re warming over the stove, then Ziploc baggies do the trick. Don’t crowd your fridge or ice chest with storage containers.
- Buy enough paper plates and bowls for your entire trip. Who wants to spend time washing dishes, when you can just throw them in the campfire?
The more specific I get when writing on the labels, the better. That way I don’t accidentally use all the cheese on day 1 when I meant to use some of it on day 3.
For breakfast meals, we like to keep it simple with eggs and toast. Or oatmeal. Or French toast. Although we love bacon, it sure is messy, so we tend to save it for when we’re home. In fact, we’ve only cooked bacon in our camper twice in two years. That’s probably a sin of some kind.
A friend of mine used to make huge batches of breakfast burritos for when he and his buddies went hunting. I made them once, when we were still sticks and bricks, for our own camping trip. They’re easy and great!
10 Breakfast Burritos
- Brown a pound of ground breakfast sausage. Drain and set aside.
- Scramble a dozen eggs. Set aside.
- Grate a block of cheese. Or buy it already shredded. Two pounds (because I like cheese.)
- Bake a bag of tater tots. Let cool enough to handle.
- Lay out 10 flour tortillas. Layer about 1/10 of each ingredient on each of the tortillas.
- Roll them up. Wrap them in foil. Put them in large Ziplocs for transport.
- At camp, warm them at the edges of your campfire. Turn every few minutes for even heat.
- Easy Peasy.
You can do something similar with English muffins. Just use cooked sausage patties and skip the tater tots. Wrap them in foil to heat by the campfire and there you have another easy camping breakfast.
10 Easy Camping Meals for Lunch or Dinner
Sometimes when we’re camping, we like having our larger meal at lunchtime. Then we just have sandwiches for dinner. Other days, we save our larger meal for dinner. A good stick to the ribs dinner tastes great after a day of hiking or fishing. So you do what works for your family!
1. Kielbasa with Potatoes and Onions
This is one of our favorite easy-to-make meals. It takes a few minutes of chopping when you’re at home. Then toss it all together for a one-pot meal in camp. If you’re living a Keto lifestyle, then substitute the potatoes for a head of cabbage. We love this dish either way.
For four servings:
- 5-6 small to medium Russet potatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 1 Kielbasa
- You can chop all this at home. But it’s so quick, I just do it in camp. Rough chop all ingredients, big chunks are fine. Add to a large pan with a glob of butter. Put the lid on and cook over medium-high for around 15 minutes. Stir once in a while, but let it caramelize a bit in between stirrings.
- Serve it up once the potatoes are cooked through. Enjoy!
2. Cheesy Ranch Chicken Foil Packets
Here’s how easy it is: Cube some chicken breasts or thighs. Marinate them in ranch dressing. You can bring this along in a plastic baggie. Make a foil packet: chopped potatoes + chopped broccoli + ranch chicken + shredded cheese. Cook the foil packets over a grill rack over your campfire. Make them as big or as small as you like, just keep in mind that single serving packets tend to cook more evenly.
Want a fancier version? Check out this recipe by Carlsbad Cravings for a tasty buffalo chicken foil pack.
3. Frito Taco Bowl
So, I had this yummy meal for the first time when we visited Cincinnati’s Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame. I know that’s not camping, but we drove there in our truck camper, so it kind of counts! Anyway, I loved it.
Individual bags of Frito corn chips + chili + taco toppings = Deliciousness
That’s it…the whole recipe. Pour in a scoop of chili, then top with lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded cheese. Jalapenos, too, if you dare! Whatever you like, toss it in that little bag. You can’t go wrong.
But if you need a little more direction then Happy Money Saver has a few more details. I like to keep it simple, but you get as fancy as you like!
4. One Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
I learned about this easy camping meal at a workshop at Truck Camper Adventure’s Rally this past January. What a hoot that was! Almost 300 hundred truck campers getting together over a long weekend. In Arizona’s warm desert to boot! Let me just say, we loved it.
In a large pan, brown ground meat (beef, chicken, or sausage) and chopped onion. Add in canned spaghetti sauce + spaghetti noodles + ~1 cup of water. Put the lid on and cook till the noodles are done, about 8-10 minutes. This works. I’m not even kidding. I was a bit skeptical, but it turned out so great that I’ve made it a few times. And only one pan to clean, which is perfect for camping.
5. One Pot Beef Stroganoff
Beef stroganoff: okay, you could just buy a package of Hamburger Helper. And you know, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s quick, easy and tastes pretty good, especially if you add a dollop of sour cream. But it really only takes a few more minutes to make this tasty dish from scratch.
In a large pan, brown a pound of ground beef and chopped onion. Add in a can of cream of mushroom soup + egg noodles + ~3 cups of water. Stir, put the lid on and cook till the noodles are done. Stir in sour cream and you’ve got a tasty and easy camping meal.
Here’s the fancy option from Fresh Off the Grid. They show you how to make a delicious beef stroganoff that your whole family will love. It looked so good while I was typing this up that I decided to make it for dinner at our daughter’s house.
I used leftover grilled steak from the night before. Next, I sliced it thinly and added it at the end, right before the sour cream. I also added four cups of broth to start with because I used the entire 12oz bag of egg noodles. Later I added about 3/4 cup more water because I wanted a bit more broth left as the noodles were cooking. Everyone loved this one-pot dish! A little garlic bread on the side and we had a quick easy meal.
6. Funeral Sandwiches as Easy Camping Meals
Wait?! What?! Funeral sandwiches? I know it sounds weird, but it gets even weirder. I made recently made these make-ahead sandwiches for our daughter and son-in-law after the birth of their first child. Pinterest has some cool ideas for make-ahead meals and this one can work just as great for an easy camping meal.
I’ll link you a recipe, but it’s so simple, honestly.
- Whisk together some melted butter, Worcestershire, brown sugar and Dijon mustard.
- Spread some of the mixture in the bottom of a foil pan.
- Use a serrated knife to slice Hawaiian buns in half. Then put the bottoms in the pan.
- Layer cheese and ham over the buns. Then put the tops on. Don’t worry about lines, you’ll cut through after cooking.
- Pour the rest of the mixture over the top, cover with foil and refrigerate.
- Cook over a grill in camp or in your RV oven if you have one.
You can sprinkle poppy seeds or sesame seeds over the top, for that gourmet touch. It looks pretty but doesn’t really add to the taste.
Here’s the exact recipe from Grilled Cheese Social that I took to our daughter. I made a double batch and left one for our oldest daughter who was in the middle of a kitchen remodel. Both families loved them.
7. Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches
Another easy camping meal is this partly make-ahead Philly cheesecake sandwich recipe. Sliced onions and bell peppers sautéed at home can be tossed into a plastic baggie for easy sandwich assembly at camp. Then slice a big loaf of French bread in half + provolone cheese + sliced deli roast beef + onions / pepper mixture + melted butter. Put the top of the loaf on, wrap it in foil and heat it over the grill or campfire. Slice into portions and enjoy.
Homemade Heather slices the bread differently, but the sandwich is pretty much the same, so check out her recipe too.
I can’t really make a list of best camping meals without including at least one nod to dinners we used to cook our kids. Good old-fashioned chili macaroni was one of our families favorites. Of course, my friend Teddi would have made it from scratch and my kids probably would have liked it better. But hey, they’re grownups now, they can get as gourmet as they want when camping with our grandkids.
Prepare a box of macaroni and cheese, and add in a can of chili. You’re done! That’s it. You can thank me later when you’re sipping a cocktail around the campfire and relaxing.
Or you can make it a little more healthy by making it a bit more from scratch like Fresh Off the Grid did. I also like that they top it with fresh foods like green onion and jalapeño for a little bit of crunch.
9. Campfire Nachos
Now I see quite a lot of recipes for layered nachos in pans. You can make them in those foil pans or a cast-iron skillet. Or you can cook up some ground beef, and throw in some taco seasoning. And then tell everyone to make their plates of nachos. You’ll still chop up some lettuce and tomatoes, but then everyone makes their plate the way they like it.
Here’s how I’d make Campfire Nachos: taco meat + chips + lettuce + tomatoes + salsa + sour cream + olives + cheese sauce. You layer it up how you like it. Knock yourself out.
Here’s how cool mom’s like Teddi probably make Campfire Nachos, the same way as Pip and Ebby.
10. One more Foil Packet to Round out Easy Camping Meals: Shrimp Boil
The last easy meal I’m sharing here is one that our family loves. At home, this is a sheet pan dinner, where everything goes onto the sheet pan and you throw it in the oven. When we’re camping, everyone gets their own foil packet to toss over the grill or alongside the campfire.
Foil + shrimp + baby potatoes + chunks of corn on the cob + sausage + seasoning of your choice = awesomeness. Keep it simple or fancy it up with some fresh parsley. Either way, you’re going to love this simple meal. Here’s all the details from Damn Delicious. I make a lot of her recipes, because well, they’re damn delicious. Haha. Like what I did there?
What’s for dinner?
Now the choice is up to you! What are you taking for dinner on your next camping trip? Make something delicious so you’re kids don’t run over to Teddi’s campsite for the “real food”! You’ll be glad you did. A little bit of prep work and you’ll enjoy great meals without a ton of work when you’re camping. Then you can spend more time playing Uno because isn’t that what camping is all about?