8 fantastic camping meal ideas for a large crowd

One of the most iconic things about camping is spending time around a campfire. Whether it is with family or friends, sitting down around the campfire, laughing, and sharing stories and memories is a key part of camping.

Getting a campfire started and listening to the crackle of flames is relaxing and enjoyable. Furthermore, cooking and eating together around the fire can be even great and add more fun to your camping journey.

It can always make the most of a meal while out in the outdoors. There is nothing quite like cooking over an open flame in the middle of the wilderness. This is precisely why we are here to tell you about 8 different camping meal ideas!


pancakes camping meal ideas
Best camping meal ideas: pancakes

Camping Meal Ideas #1: Pancakes

Pancakes are an excellent breakfast meal or midday snack even, and even more so when camping. All you need is a camping stove or campfire, a cooking pan, and the right ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 240 grams of plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 475 ml water
  • 12 tbsps butter
  • 2 eggs.

Directions

  1. Mix the dry ingredients first, then combine with the wet ingredients. Have a pan heating over a campfire or camping stove on medium to low heat. When using a campfire, don’t have the pan directly over the fire, that will heat it too fast. Spread 1 teaspoon of butter in the pan to prevent sticking.
  2. Then pour your pancake mixture to cook until the sides rise and bubbles appear, then flip and cook the other side until it’s golden in color. Repeat, this recipe serves 12 pancakes.

quesadillas camping meal ideas
Best camping meal ideas: quesadillas

Camping Meal Ideas #2: Quesadillas

Quesadillas are a fun and simple meal option for camping. They require only as many ingredients as you want to be in them.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium flour tortillas
  • 2 grilled and sliced chicken breasts (or your chosen meat)
  • 1 jar of salsa (optional)
  • Cheese of your choosing (Muenster, Colby jack, mozzarella, or a Mexican blend)
  • 1 can of black beans (optional)
  • Tin foil.

Directions

  1. Spread desired salsa on one side of the tortilla and add all other ingredients.
  2. Then fold the tortilla over and place a piece of tin foil on top keeping the ends open.
  3. Put it over the fire until the cheese melts and the sides become crispy. Then, cut it into pieces so it’s ready to serve.

calzone camping meal idea

Camping Meal Ideas #3: Calzones

Calzones are a fun meal to make and will certainly be a favorite for the kids. They’re a delicious meal that really can add some liveliness around the campfire.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp of dry yeast 
  • ½ cup water
  • Dry packet pizza sauce
  • Cheese like mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan
  • Select toppings.

Directions

  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a ziplock bag, then dissolve them in warm water and knead the mixture.
  2. Next, let the dough rise. It will need to be a warm place to do this and the easiest thing to do is to put it under your shirt. Set a place where you can put the dough down when it is ready.
  3. Then, flatten out pieces of dough (or the whole thing for one large calzone)  and begin layering in the sauce, cheese, and toppings.
  4. Once filled, fold the dough over itself so all the sauce and topping will be inside.
  5. Place it in the pan with the oil, keeping the heat as close to medium as you can. Cook for 10 minutes on either side, checking the inside throughout until done.

hashbrowns camping meal ideas
Easy camping meal ideas: hashbrowns

Camping Meal Ideas #4: Hashbrowns

A very fast and easy meal option for camping. You can add a lot of your own flavor to it and they’re nice and filling. Shredded hash browns can be found in dried or frozen packages, both of which work.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup of butter
  • 2 packs of shredded hash browns
  • 1 pack frozen cooked breakfast sausage
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 dozen eggs (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

Directions

  1. Melt butter into a pan and then add hash browns, peppers, onions, and sausage.
  2. Cook for 15-20 minutes until browning on potatoes.
  3. If adding eggs, you’d pour them into the center of the pan at this time. Wait till they set, then mix them into the hashbrowns. 

brownie camping meal ideas
Quick camping meal ideas: brownies

Camping Meal Ideas #5: Brownies

There’s no reason to not have some campfire desserts after some of these delicious meals. And brownies over the campfire are one of the best.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 squares of baking chocolate chopped or shaved
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional).

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients in the pan, do not over-mix!
  2. Slowly add flour and baking powder next.
  3. Then, spread the batter evenly throughout the pan and cover with tin foil.
  4. Bake over the campfire for approximately 30 minutes or until the top looks evenly cooked.

smore camping meal ideas
Delicious camping meal ideas: S’mores

Camping Meal Ideas #6: S’mores

There is no way to talk about camping food without bringing up s’mores. The classic image that everyone will have is roasting marshmallows around the campfire. Those marshmallows turn into s’mores and are the best way to end your day.

Ingredients

  • Graham crackers broken into squares
  • 1 bag of marshmallows (regular or flat square marshmallows made for s’mores)
  • Hershey’s chocolate bars or Reese’s Peanut Buttercups.

Directions

  1. Get a stick for your marshmallows and roast them over the fire to your desired crispness.
  2. Have your graham crackers ready with chocolate on one of the crackers.
  3. Then take the marshmallow off of the stick using both graham crackers to smush it into a sandwich. 

pot pasta camping meal recipe
Fast camping meal ideas: pot pasta

Camping Meal Ideas #7: Pot Pasta

There are so many different things you can do with pasta, even while camping. It is a great food for groups and for re-energizing at the end of the day.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 can broth
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • ¼ tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ pound pasta
  • Cheese (parmesan, Muenster, or desired cheeses)
  • Salt (to your taste).

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil first and then saute the onions.
  2. Next, add tomatoes and broth along with Italian seasoning, basil, and then pasta.
  3. Cover the pot until it begins to boil then remove. Stir often, and let the pasta cook to your desired consistency. 

overnight oats camping meal recipe
Easy camping meal ideas: overnight oats

Camping Meal Ideas #8: Overnight Oats

Oats are always a great meal no matter what. They fill you up and you can pack them in different ways and with different fruits or flavors. Much like these overnight oats.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • ¾ cup greek yogurt
  • ½ cup fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • ¼-½ cup milk/ coconut water/ almond milk.

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients and divide into 4 small containers or jars.
  2. Store them in a cooler (if making at the campsite) or fridge (if prepping before camping trip) for a minimum of 2 hours.

Conclusion

Cooking while camping is fun and still allows for much creativity to create flavors you wouldn’t expect while staying outdoors. Be sure to bring an assortment of ingredients, foods, and spices that don’t need to be refrigerated so they won’t go bad. 

On shorter weekend trips, with a good cooler, you can bring more food items that you normally couldn’t since you’ll have a way to keep them cold. And you won’t be out there long enough for most to start going bad. 


About the author

Paul is a software engineer with a passion for the outdoors. He loves sharing his tips and guides to help people enhance their outdoor experiences. He is the creator of the CuteCamper blog.

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