It’s hard to overstate the amount of satisfaction that comes from cooking and eating in the wilderness—as long as you’re cooking good food. Chowing down on a hearty meal at your campsite can be wonderfully fulfilling, but scrounging around for snacks and eating cold food from cans in the woods can feel woefully pathetic. Unless you’re really into post-apocalyptic LARPing, you probably want to go with that first option.
Fortunately, we’re here to show you some delicious—and simple—meals you can cook at practically any campsite. Keep reading, and try not to let your mouth water all over your merino wool base layers.
Our Top 8 Campsite Recipes For 2021
Banana Bread Pancakes
We thought we’d start with some hearty breakfast suggestions (after all, it’s the most important meal of the day). Pancakes might seem a little elaborate, but trust us—these are dead-easy to make, and you only need a few simple pieces of equipment.
Best of all, camping gives you an excuse to eat high-calorie foods for breakfast since you’ll be burning more energy than usual to stay warm. If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to eat pancakes for breakfast, this is definitely it.
Stuffed French Toast
Look, we get it—not everyone likes pancakes (okay, actually we don’t get it, but we still want to provide alternatives). This french toast jam-packed full of strawberries (see what we did there?) and mascarpone is an excellent choice for those of you with other early-morning cravings, and you’ll even manage to get a serving of fruit!
This dish can be prepped in minutes and usually takes under half an hour to cook. Best of all, you can do the whole thing with just a camp stove and a skillet—along with the ingredients, of course.
Egg & Sausage Breakfast Taquitos
It wouldn’t be right not to provide a savoury breakfast suggestion, so try these hearty taquitos filled with eggs, cheese, and sausage links. You’ll get a good mix of carbs, healthy fats, and protein for an energy boost that can carry you right through the morning.
This is an awesome breakfast to make if you don’t have tons of time in the morning since the entire meal can be finished in just 25 minutes. The recipe we’ve linked to here calls for an oven, but you can get the same results with a dutch oven or a cast-iron frying pan with a snug and durable lid.
Let’s talk about beer—as a marinade for this filling and flavourful chicken dish, that is! Chicken is an excellent source of protein that can give campers energy to spare, and this recipe helps spice it up to keep lunch or dinner exciting.
You can’t get away with just any beer for this recipe, though, so keep your Kokanee in the cooler and bring along a bottle of something dark and rich like Negra Modelo. You’ll also need a dutch oven to pull this one off (although you might be able to use a cast-iron skillet as a substitute).
Fiery Campfire Veggies
Plenty of vegetarians and vegans like camping, too, so we made sure to include a few ideas on making vegetables sizzle (literally) for your outdoor meals. Check out this recipe for crispy and delicious veggies grilled with oil, sriracha, and red pepper flakes in a cast-iron skillet.
One of the best things about grilling vegetables is that you can pick and choose your spices. Not a huge fan of paprika? Try switching it with garlic powder for an entirely different flavour profile—or go crazy and use both!
Okay, this one’s ridiculously easy—but it’s also ridiculously delicious, so you’re welcome. Best of all, you can make it using almost anything that won’t melt over a campfire: a cast-iron pan, a baking sheet, a pizza stone, etc.
The ingredients for this recipe are simple too. All you need is some frozen pizza dough, tomato sauce, cheese, oil, and whatever veggies or meat you want to use for toppings. We’ve put this one on the list because it’s a great way to feed picky kids if you happen to be on a family camping trip where they aren’t thrilled about eating more adventurous fare.
Cheesy Garlic Fries in Foil
While we admit that french fries aren’t the healthiest snacks in the world, we also can’t stress enough that how you prepare them matters. In fact, it’s not even really fair to call these “fries” since you’ll be baking them in foil packets on top of the campfire instead of deep-frying them.
These potato wedges (there, happy?) can be made in minutes, and they taste even better when drizzled with sour cream or covered in bacon bits. Plus, they go amazingly well with the last item on our list, which is…
Five Can Chili
Chili is practically a campfire staple, with its origins in the cowboy culture of the American Southwest. However, while most people don’t want to simply eat pre-made chili from a can, they probably don’t have the time to prepare dry beans, either. This recipe saves some time by letting you use canned beans—but gives you control over the flavour with easily-customizable spices and veggies.
With a mere 35-minute timeline for the entire meal, this is a terrific way for hungry adventurers to warm up quickly in chilly (chili?) weather. Put it together with the cheesy garlic fries in foil listed above, and you’ll have the perfect camper’s comfort food.
Make Cooking Your Favourite Campfire Activity
With these recipes in your back pocket (or backpack), cooking while camping can be fast and fulfilling. Who knows—you might even start making a few of these dishes at home after trying them out in the wilderness! We wouldn’t blame you… after all, do you really need to head out to the middle of nowhere to justify eating garlic fries? In any case, we hope you’ll love making this food as much as we did! Bon appetit!