Our easy camping food ideas will make your trip a breeze!
Sitting around a crackling fire, enjoying dinner under the stars – half the fun of camping is being able to experiment with alfresco cooking.
However, coming up with quick camping meal ideas can have its challenges too. Away from the comforts of home, getting food into hungry mouths takes a little more thought. With limited storage space, unusual cooking implements, and no fridge-freezer, you might need to get creative to keep everyone fed and happy.
After a busy day in the great outdoors, you’ll want meals that are hearty, filling, and don’t take hours to make. If you are stuck on meal planning for your next camping trip, don’t despair. We’ve pulled together some quick and easy camping food ideas that are sure to satisfy.
1. Veggie Chilli Sin Carne
Packed with warming spices, this hearty dish is perfect for cooler evenings and is sure to please hungry campers. Using mostly canned ingredients means you don’t need to worry about keeping things cool. The robust root vegetables can easily be stored outside the fridge too.
400g can red kidney beans, drained
400g can cooked green lentils, drained
198g can sweetcorn, drained
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
Salt to taste
Dried chipotle flakes to taste
2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and garlic and cook until softened – approx. ten minutes. Add the spices, except the chipotle flakes, and cook for another minute.
Add the beans, lentils, sweetcorn, passata, and tomato paste. Fill one of the 400g cans with water and add this to the pan too. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add salt and chipotle flakes to taste, then serve over a baked potato, rice, tortilla chips, or salad leaves. You can add lime juice, sour cream, or grated cheese as a topping too. Meat eaters might like to add some crispy bacon or barbecued sausages to theirs.
Top tip: Instead of bringing your entire spice rack with you, mix your spices at home before you leave. Then you only need to bring one small container.
2. Easy Cheesy Flatbreads
Quick to make and requiring just a handful of ingredients, these cheesy flatbreads make an easy camping meal. They are a great option for kids too – get them to help you make the dough.
175g plain flour
1.5 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil (plus extra for cooking)
1 tsp baking powder
120ml water (approx.)
Generous pinch salt
200g grated hard cheese, e.g., cheddar or gruyere
Mix the flour, oil, salt, and baking powder together in a large bowl. Slowly add the water, mixing as you go, until you have a soft dough. Turn it out onto a floured board and knead it quickly to make sure all the ingredients are well combined.
Divide the dough into four and roll each portion out into a rough circle. You want each to be around 0.5cm thick.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. One by one, fry each flatbread. Start by cooking them for 1-2 minutes on one side, until golden brown. Then flip them over and add a generous handful of cheese. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until the second side is cooked and the cheese is melted and gooey.
Score the flatbread down the middle to fold it in half, cheese in the middle. Let the cheese cool a little before digging in. Serve with a simple garden salad, guacamole, or tomato salsa.
Top tip: No need to take a rolling pin camping with you. Your reusable water bottle (or a wine bottle) will do the job just as well.
Adapt and Improve
If the recipes above have whetted your appetite, here are some other quick and easy camping meal ideas you can easily adapt to your own tastes and the ingredients you have to hand:
Pasta is a camping staple and a vehicle for all sorts of different flavours. You can add pretty much anything to pasta to make it a meal, but here are some options to inspire you:
For some classic Italian flavours, combine pesto, fresh mozzarella, chopped cherry tomatoes, and some artichoke hearts.
For a tasty family classic, add some crispy smoked bacon and cooked leeks to a comforting bowl of mac and cheese.
For the spice lovers in the family, fry up some chorizo, onions, garlic, and prawns with fresh chopped tomatoes and a pinch of dry chilli flakes.
Staying at a campsite with a handy BBQ? Burgers and sausages always hit the right spot. But perhaps you can surprise campers with a few more unusual ingredients too. The following veggie options are delicious barbecued:
- Portobello mushrooms
- Peaches (serve in a salad or with a sprinkle of sugar and a dollop of cream for dessert)
- …and, of course, corn on the cob
Start the day’s adventures the right way with a hearty breakfast. Of course, you can always go for beans on toast or the classic Full English. But if you’re ready to try something new, here are some easy camping foods that are bound to hit the spot.
Huevos Rancheros – a spicy, Mexican-inspired tomato and egg dish guaranteed to pep you up after a late night. This version is from Jamie Oliver.
Healthy breakfast burrito – this egg and potato variation from Love and Lemons is both delicious and good for you. Prepare the potatoes ahead at home to make it a speedier meal.
Porridge with fruit and nuts – dried fruit and nuts are an ideal topping for a comforting bowl of porridge. They don’t take up much space and store well, making them perfect for camping. This version is vegan, but you can substitute plant milk for cow milk if you prefer.
Ready to Get Cooking?
Do these tasty camping meals have you pulling out the camping stove try ready for your next adventure? We’ll help you find the perfect campsite to try out your culinary concoctions. Or check out our other articles for more foodie inspo.