Dine Deliciously in the Great Outdoors Thanks to Our Best Camping (or Glamping!) Recipes
It is a truth universally acknowledged that food tastes better in the outdoors—preferably after a day of hiking, swimming, fishing, canoeing, and exploring. Still, we can do way better than canned chili, granola bars, and burnt hot dogs. The most important ingredient in good campfire meals is planning. Once your tent is pitched, there's no running back home for the butter or the aluminum foil you forgot, and no app for ordering a pizza to the middle of the woods when you fail to catch enough trout for supper. But we think that the planning is part of the fun, so roll up your (plaid) sleeves and get ready to make some lists so no skillet is left behind.
When deciding what you're going to cook during a camping trip, think carefully about refrigeration and cook times. The more ingredients that don't need to be kept cold, the better. This includes foods that come in cans and pouches (like beans, lentils, tuna, and tomato sauce), as well as most fruits and vegetables, dry-cured sausages, hard cheeses, breads, crackers, and grains.
When it comes to cook times, consider how much fuel—and how much patience—you have. Choose quick-cooking pastas like angel hair, orzo, and couscous, and go for instant versions of grains like oatmeal, grits, and polenta. Take advantage of the hot coals around the edges of your campfire to foil-wrap root vegetables and let them cook slowly and steadily while you prep the rest of dinner.
Check out this collection of camping recipes that are equal parts fun and sophisticated to spark your love of cooking in the great outdoors.
Campfire Fried Eggs with Potato-and-Bacon Hash
No-Cook Overnight Oats
Mix and match dried fruit, nuts, and spices to suit every palate with this super-easy oatmeal that's ready even before the campfire's lit. Make it with shelf-stable UHT, nut, soy, rice, or oat milk and you won't even need to worry about keeping it in the cooler.
Corn and Scallion Chilaquiles
Take advantage of leftover vegetables from dinner to make this sunny breakfast scramble. The eggs and tortilla chips are must-haves; the rest of the ingredients can be improvised based on what you have.
Skillet Breads with Grilled Sausages
After being "baked" in a skillet, these breads can be split for a sandwich, tossed in a salad, or skewered for dessert. Make a double batch if you plan on sampling all of the above. The dry ingredients can be combined at home. Serve them with sizzling Sausages and Charred Tomato Relish.
Soupy Black Beans
This hearty family meal starts with two cans of black beans and a jar of salsa. A little simmering and a few finishing touches and dinner is ready.
Cold Peanut Noodles
A few shelf-stable ingredients like peanut butter, sesame oil, and chili-garlic paste transform into a dynamite sauce that tastes good on just about everything—no cooking required. Speed up dinner by swapping out the spaghetti in this recipe for rice noodles, which only need to be soaked in hot water.
Campfire Chicken Under a Brick with Lemons
Red Bean Burgers
A couple cans of black beans and some carrots are so much easier to manage on a camping trip than a pound of ground beef! These tasty veggie burgers will satisfy all your hungry bears.
Just nine minutes of simmering and you have a complete meal like nothing you've ever eaten in the woods before. Even better: none of the ingredients need refrigeration!
Buttered Corn with Chives
Grilling corn in foil packets seals in moisture for a tasty, tender side hot off the fire—and you won't have to wash a single dish.
Skillet-Cooked Mixed-Berry Grunt
Fruit-infused whiskey tastes twice as sweet when sipped around a campfire. Make and strain this concoction ahead of time for the ultimate evening under the stars.