When it comes to camping, one of the most exciting and enjoyable aspects is cooking and dining amidst nature’s beauty. However, figuring out what should I for dinner when camping can sometimes be a challenge. You want meals that are easy to prepare, delicious, and satisfying after a day filled with outdoor activities. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore a variety of options and provide you with creative ideas to make your camping dinners a memorable experience.
10 Best Ideas on What Should I Make for Dinner When Camping
Camping cuisine offers endless possibilities, ranging from simple and traditional to more elaborate and gourmet. The key is to find meals that are convenient, tasty, and suited to the camping environment. Here are some suggestions for dinner when camping:
1. Classic Campfire Grilled Meat Skewers
There’s something nostalgic and satisfying about cooking meat over an open flame. Prepare skewers with your choice of marinated chicken, beef, or shrimp, along with colorful vegetables. Cook them over the campfire, rotating them until they are perfectly grilled. Serve with a side of rice or a fresh salad for a hearty and delicious camping dinner.
2. Foil Packet Meals
Foil packet meals are a camper’s best friend. They are easy to prepare, require minimal cleanup, and allow for endless customization. Simply wrap your desired combination of protein, vegetables, and seasonings in aluminum foil and cook them over hot coals or on a grill. The result is a flavorful and moist meal that captures the essence of camping.
3. One-Pot Pasta
Cooking pasta while camping may seem like a challenge but with a single pot, it becomes a convenient and satisfying option. Choose a pasta shape that cooks quickly and toss it into boiling water along with your favorite sauce and ingredients such as vegetables, herbs, and cheese. In no time, you’ll have a hearty pasta dish that will please everyone around the campfire.
4. Campfire Tacos
Tacos are a versatile and crowd-pleasing choice for camping dinners. Prepare your favorite taco fillings, such as seasoned ground beef, grilled chicken, or sautéed vegetables. Warm up the tortillas over the fire and assemble your tacos with all the fixings. The combination of smoky flavors and fresh ingredients will make for a memorable camping meal.
5. Grilled Fish with Citrus
If you’re camping near a lake or river, take advantage of the opportunity to catch fresh fish. Clean and season the fish with herbs, salt, and pepper. Wrap it in foil with slices of citrus fruits like lemon or lime, which will infuse the fish with a delightful tangy flavor. Grill the fish over the fire until it is cooked to perfection. This simple and nutritious meal is a true delight for campers.
6. Campfire Pizza
Who says you can’t have pizza while camping? With a few simple ingredients and a cast-iron skillet, you can create a delicious campfire pizza. Prepare a pizza dough in advance and bring along your favorite toppings, such as cheese, sauce, vegetables, and meats. Cook the pizza in the skillet over the campfire until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted. It’s a fun and tasty twist on traditional camping fare.
7. Campfire Jambalaya
Bring the flavors of New Orleans to your camping trip with a hearty and flavorful jambalaya. In a Dutch oven or large pot, combine sausage, chicken, shrimp, vegetables, rice, and Cajun seasonings. Let it simmer over the campfire, allowing the ingredients to meld together and create a delicious one-pot meal. Serve with a side of crusty bread for a truly satisfying camping dinner.
8. Stuffed Bell Peppers
Stuffed bell peppers make for a nutritious and tasty camping dinner option. Prepare a filling using ground meat (such as beef or turkey), rice, diced vegetables, and seasonings. Stuff the mixture into hollowed-out bell peppers, wrap each pepper in foil and cook them over the campfire or on a grill. The result is a flavorful and well-balanced meal that the whole family can enjoy.
9. Campfire Fajitas
Create a fiesta around the campfire with delicious and customizable fajitas. Marinate strips of chicken, beef, or shrimp in a flavorful blend of spices, lime juice, and oil. Cook the marinated protein over the campfire, along with sliced bell peppers and onions, until everything is cooked through and slightly charred. Serve with warm tortillas, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream for a campfire feast.
10. Grilled Vegetable Quesadillas
For a vegetarian-friendly option, grilled vegetable quesadillas are a flavorful and filling choice. Slice an assortment of vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Grill them over the campfire until tender and slightly charred. Place the grilled vegetables between tortillas with a generous amount of cheese, then cook the quesadillas on a grill or in a skillet until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crispy. Serve with salsa and sour cream for a satisfying camping dinner.
How do I clean up after cooking while camping?
Cleaning up after cooking while camping is essential for maintaining a clean and enjoyable campsite. Here’s a simple guide to help you with the cleanup process:
- Dispose of Food Scraps: Scrap any leftover food scraps into a trash bag or designated garbage bin. Avoid leaving food waste around your campsite, as it can attract animals and create a mess.
- Wipe Greasy Surfaces: Use paper towels or biodegradable wipes to wipe down greasy surfaces, such as grills, cookware, and utensils. This helps remove excess oil and prevents it from attracting dirt or insects.
- Use Biodegradable Camping Soap: To clean your cookware, utensils, and dishes, use biodegradable camping soap. Apply a small amount of soap and warm water, scrub well, and rinse thoroughly.
- Dispose of Wastewater Properly: When washing dishes or cleaning cookware, be mindful of where you dispose of the wastewater. Follow Leave No Trace principles and dispose of wastewater at least 200 feet away from water sources, such as rivers or lakes.
- Pack Out Trash: Collect and pack out all trash, including food packaging, empty containers, and any other waste. Leave your campsite as clean or cleaner than you found it, respecting the natural environment.
If you don’t understand this properly, then you can read our detailed guide about how to wash dishes while camping. Remember, proper cleanup not only helps keep your campsite tidy but also contributes to the preservation of the wilderness and ensures a pleasant experience for future camps.
Can I make vegetarian meals while camping?
Absolutely! Camping meals can cater to various dietary preferences, including delicious vegetarian options.
Are there quick and easy dessert options for camping?
Yes! S’mores, fresh fruit, or pre-made cookie dough cooked over the fire are tasty and easy camping desserts.
Can I prepare meals in advance and bring them camping?
Definitely! Cook and freeze meals in advance, then reheat them over the campfire for a convenient camping feast.
Can I use a portable grill for camping dinners?
Yes, Portable grills offer convenience and versatility for cooking delicious meals while camping.
Choosing what to make for dinner when camping doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a little creativity and planning, you can enjoy delicious and satisfying meals that enhance your camping experience. Whether you opt for classic campfire favorites or experiment with new recipes, the key is to embrace the joy of outdoor cooking and savor the flavors of nature. So, pack your ingredients, fire up the camp stove or grill, and let the culinary adventure begin! If you’re unsure about how to cook them, you can find a detailed guide on the Taste of Home website that will walk you through the process.