Jen Haugen, RDN, LD, Down-to-Earth Dietitian
Are you going camping this weekend and looking for easy camping meals for your family? Are you tired of meal planning from the work week, and just want to relax? Then let me help you with your camping meals. I have 10 easy camping meals for family camping weekends so you can stress less and enjoy each other more.
As a dietitian who loves to go camping, I’m always trying to come up with ways to make traditional camping meals not only taste good but also be good for the family too!
What makes a camping meal easy?
When I think of easy camping meals for families, the criteria I am using are:
Easy to make
Fun to assemble together as a family
Well-balanced with different food groups for healthy eating
Don’t require a lot of dishwashing after the meal
Allow everyone to eat together at the picnic table or around the campfire
Easy to serve
To be sure you can make the meals below, check my post for your Kitchen Tools for Camping Checklist to make planning even easier. LINK
One of the best things about easy camping meals is that it’s fun to make recipes that maybe aren’t often made at home. It feels like a special tradition if that recipe is always made when camping. It gives everyone something to look forward to as well!
Camping Meal Ideas
Hobo Packets. These packets are made up of sliced potatoes, baby carrots, and lean ground beef seasoned with salt and pepper. They cook for about 18 minutes over the fire. Be sure to add a little water to each packet before sealing so the potatoes and carrots steam a bit to soften. Get the recipe here.
Taco in a Bag/Taco Salad. These are simply ground beef cooked with taco seasoning and then served inside a taco chip or cheesy nacho chip bag (like Doritos).
You then top it with black beans, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole, salsa, plain Greek yogurt (in place of sour cream) and basically anything you would normally put on your taco. I like to dump mine out and eat it like a salad.
Barbecue Chicken in Foil. This is simply a chicken breast topped with barbecue sauce and wrapped in foil. You can serve with all sorts of vegetables and fruits too!
Hamburgers and Hotdogs over the Fire. Another simple meal. You can cook them over the fire or over the portable grill and serve with a bun and fixings. Cook some baked beans too and serve with sliced watermelon. A summer classic.
Pie Iron Grilled Cheese over the Fire. These quick and easy sandwiches are fun to make when the fire has turned to coals and using your pie iron.
You simply butter the pie iron lightly as well as the bread on one side. Then add the cheese slices (you can also add meat/veggies or sauces if desired) and top with other slice of buttered bread (buttered side out).
Place the pie iron into the fire near the coals (the hottest part of the fire) and let cook for 2-3 minutes per side, flipping in between. Watch carefully as they cook quickly.
Fish in Foil Packet. This is a delicious and easy meal too! Just add your favorite fish and vegetables, along with a little olive oil or butter. (I love potatoes and onions and peppers in mine). Cook over the fire until the fish flakes easily and reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grilled Chicken with Vegetables. Super simple, just season and grill your chicken to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You can grill it right over the fire or use a flat cast iron skillet. Serve with salad vegetables or with other grilled vegetables or even sweet corn.
Chili. I love making chili – it’s a dump and pour type recipe and I bring my slow cooker and just plug it in. It cooks all day and dinner is done!
You can even bake a simple cornbread over the fire if you are feeling adventurous or you can pre-make cornbread muffins and bring them along.
Mini Grilled Pizzas. You can use premade pizza dough and simply add toppings and grill in a mini cast iron skillet over hot coals of a fire for the most even heating. It will taste like a brick-oven pizza! And be sure to cover the top of the pan with foil when you are trying to melt the cheese.
Chicken Fajitas. These are so delicious in the 12 – inch cast iron skillet. You can cook them over the fire with a grate for the skillet to sit on. Or you can cook this on a camp stove.
Start with sliced peppers and onions in the cast iron skillet, then add cut slices of chicken breast (a great thing to do at home before you get to the campsite). Add fajita seasoning and water and once fully cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, serve with toppings.
I hope you enjoy these meals as much as our family does! The main thing to keep in mind when thinking of easy meals for family camping excursions is to “Keep it simple”. You want to be able to relax and not be cooking all day (if you are like me), but you also want good food, that is good for you too! I hope you enjoy these recipe ideas!
Go check out my Camping Menu Planner and my Camping Grocery List for other helpful tips. And I have a camping menu planned for you too!
If you want to grab my free printable “Camping Menu Planner”, head to the “Freebies” section of my website. You can download it there!
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