7 Best Camping Food Recipes You'll Want to Try Out
Date Posted:18 September 2019
What’s camping without the excitement of outdoor cooking? Discover some of the best camping food recipes that will make your adventure much more enjoyable.
So, you’ve decided to escape your everyday life and reconnect with nature. You’ve got your tent, sleeping bags, and everything else needed to get the most out of your camping trip. But what about food? You’ll need the energy and you might as well make the food delicious.
Luckily, there’s no shortage of camping meals that you can bring and cook. While the best meals to take camping will depend on your own taste, there are hiking & camping food options that suit most Australians.
For some ideas, check out this list of the best camping meals.
It’s impossible to talk about the best camping foods without mentioning Australia’s favourite. Damper is a delicious slice of Australian traditions, and many will tell you that a camping trip wouldn’t be complete without it.
Plus, it’s super-easy to make and can serve as an ideal side dish. Although there are different ways to make damper, here’s one of the best recipes for you to try out:
- Flour - 2-1/2 cup
- Baking powder - 5 tsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Sugar - 1 tsp
- Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
- Milk - 1 cup
- Dried cranberries - 1 cup
- Aluminium foil - 2 big sheets
Use hot coals to build a roaring fire, then use it to melt the coconut oil if the oil has solidified.
Stack the aluminium foil sheets and lightly dust them with flour.
Mix the baking powder, sugar, salt, and remaining flour into a bowl. When the coconut oil melts, add it to the mix along with the milk.
Add the dried cranberries and knead the ingredients by hand.
When the dough becomes springy, remove it from the bowl and set on top of the aluminium foil sheets. Sprinkle some flour over it and lightly cover with foil.
Seal the dough inside the foil and bury it in hot coals. Cover with more coals and build fire around your damper.
Let it cook for 20 minutes.
Remove the damper and check the progress. If the crust is crispy, the damper is almost done. If it’s still doughy, cover it back up with the aluminium foil and return it to the coals. When the damper looks close to fully cooked, put it on the top of the fire and let it cook for another 5-10 minutes.
When the damper’s shell is crispy, break off a small piece and check if the middle is fully cooked.
Remove the damper and let it cool off to a comfortable touch temperature. Break off a piece and add toppings to taste.
Who doesn’t love a good cheeseburger? It’s one of the best camping meals for both kids and adults. It’s the best food to bring camping that you can make at home or at the site. It doesn’t take a lot of time and effort but will make sure that everyone enjoys a delicious and energizing meal.
Here’s how to prepare it:
- Ground beef – 500g
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cheese – 3 slices
- 3 hamburger buns
- Tomato – 1 large, thinly sliced
- Red onion – 1 small, thinly sliced
- Butter or iceberg lettuce – 3 leaves
Shape the ground beef into three equally sized patties of around 10cm wide each. Season both sides to taste with the salt and pepper. Press a shallow indent with your finger into the centre of each burger.
Heat a camping grill or pan to high. Grill until a crust develops and the patties are no longer pink, about 6 minutes per side. Top with cheese 2-3 minutes before the burger is fully cooked.
Put the patties on hamburger buns and add toppings to taste
3. Stuffed French Toast
This is one of the best meals to take camping for those with a sweet tooth. If you’re looking for breakfast camping ideas, this can be the best outdoor recipes for you to try. It’s light, energising, and tasty.
Here’s how to make stuffed French toast for all your camping partners:
- Bread - 8-12 slices
- Eggs – 4
- Milk – 2 cups
- Cinnamon - 1 tbsp
- Vanilla - 1 tbsp
- Galbani Mascarpone - 1 container
- Blackberries - 1 cup
- Powdered sugar
- Maple syrup
- Whipped cream
Mix the eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
Lay out the bread slices and spread a generous layer of Galbani Mascarpone on each.
Put the blackberries on half of the slices.
Sandwich the bread and press down.
Dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture.
Put the slices in a hot greased skillet over medium heat. Cook for around 4-5 minutes each side until crispy and cooked through.
Serve with the maple syrup.
4. Grilled Chicken Skewers
If you can’t imagine camping without firing up your grill or portable BBQ, this is one of the best camping meals for you. It’s easy and fun to make for your whole group. See below for the full recipe:
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs – 500g, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Red onion – 1 small
- Red pepper – 1 medium
- Neutral cooking oil – 2 tsp
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Soy sauce – 1 tbsp
- Lime – 1 whole, juiced (around 1 ½ tbsp)
- Red curry paste – 2 tsp
- Sesame oil – 1 tsp, toasted
With at least 1 hour to go before grilling, mix the lime, red curry paste, sesame oil, and soy sauce in a large bowl. Marinade the chicken with it making sure that it’s fully soaked.
Fire up the grill, campfire or whatever you are using as a camping kitchen. You’ll be cooking over medium-high or high heat.
Stick the chicken on separate skewers and then the onions and peppers on their own skewers. Brush oil over the veggie skewers and season the chicken with salt.
With your grill at medium-high heat, put all the skewers on top of the grate. Grill until the chicken cooks through (around 10 minutes) and the vegetables become tender (7-10 minutes). Don’t forget to turn the skewers often.
5. Grilled Peach Caprese Salad
In anybody’s idea of the best camping meals, a salad might not be the first choice, however this is more than just a salad. As a healthy camping snack, it can be the best food to eat outdoors for those who are willing to try.
It’s very easy to make as well.
- Peach – 1 large
- Heirloom tomato – 1 large, sliced into wedges
- Ball of fresh mozzarella – 200g torn into 1cm pieces
- Prosciutto – 6-8 pieces, cut into thin strips
- Fresh mint leaves – 1 handful, torn
- Arugula or rocket leaves – a couple of handfuls
- Olive oil – 3 tbsp
- Balsamic reduction – 3 tbsp
- Salt and pepper to taste
Slice the peach in half and remove the stone.
Put them on the grill (over a campfire) with the cut side down. Cook until you see a slight char forming. Remove and slice.
Arrange the arugula, prosciutto, mozzarella, mint, and tomato slices on two plates. Slice the roasted peaches and top the plates. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction and olive oil before the salt and pepper.
For the balsamic reduction:
Put 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar in a small skillet and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and let it simmer until the vinegar assumes the consistency of syrup (around 10 minutes).
6. Campfire Nachos
Any nachos fans in your group? If so, this can be the best camping food to get them all together. You can gather around a camp oven and enjoy the great outdoors with this delicious snack. Here’s how to make it:
- Neutral flavoured oil – 1 tbsp
- Tortilla chips – 200g
- Hot tomato sauce – 1 can (200g)
- Mexican cheese blend – 1 cup, shredded
- Black beans – 1 can (400g), drained
- Avocado – 1 large, cubed
- Green onions – 4-5, sliced
- Fresh cilantro – a handful, chopped
- Lime – 1 small, cut into wedges
Lightly oil a large Dutch oven to make sure that the nachos don’t stick.
Spread about 1/3 of the chips evenly into the Dutch oven and top with 1/4 can tomato sauce, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 can black beans, cilantro, green onions, and a handful of avocado cubes. Do the same for the second layer.
For the third layer, use the remaining chips, 1/2 can black beans, 1/2 cup cheese, 1/2 can tomato sauce, and the rest of the onion, cilantro, and avocado.
Cover the Dutch oven and set it over your campfire on a metal grill for around 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Serve your nachos with the lime wedges.
6. Plum Skillet Tart
Sweet, healthy, and nutritious – what else can you ask for in the best camping food? This plum skillet tart is perfect as a light breakfast that can give you enough energy for the day ahead.
- Plain flour – 1 cup
- Pinch of salt
- Butter – 4 tbsp, grated
- Cold water – 2-3 tbsp
- Dark ripe plums – 4-5
- Coconut sugar – 2 tbsp
- Water – 1/3 cup
- Honey – 2 tbsp
While you’re still at home, put the salt, flour, and butter into a larger bowl and mix gently with your fingers. Add water and stir until the dough binds. Wrap the whole thing in Saran wrap and chill for 15 minutes.
Roll out a piece of pastry between two sheets of 3mm baking paper. They should be large enough to cover your skillet. Roll the pastry up and refrigerate until you leave home.
For the actual campsite preparation, slice the plums into wedges and put them into a saucepan. Add the water and half the coconut sugar.
Bring to a boil and let it simmer over your campfire. Add more water if needed and keep stirring to prevent sticking.
When the plum pieces are soft, pour all the liquid into another pan.
Unroll a sheet of pastry and lay it in a skillet. Make sure to cut in such a way that it fits around the edges. Put the plum pieces in the skillet and arrange them in one flat layer.
Drizzle with the honey and fold the edges in slightly.
Cover with a lid or aluminium foil so it is airtight before putting over a low campfire. Cook until the edges turn brown.
7. Campfire Popcorn
If you’re in need of a snack, popcorn can be the best camping food. You can prepare a large bowl quickly for all your friends or family members to enjoy. But why not make it even more exciting? This recipe shows you how to make spicy popcorn that will excite anyone’s palate.
- Organic popcorn kernels – 2/3 cup
- Nutritional yeast – 4 tbsp
- Smoked paprika – 2 tbsp
- Garlic salt – 1 tsp
- Red chili flakes – 1 tsp
- A generous pinch of salt and pepper
- Olive or coconut oil – 3 tbsp
Prepare the smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, chilli flakes, garlic salt, salt and pepper in a Ziplock bag, which you can do at home beforehand. Seal and shake.
Light the campfire and heat the popcorn kernels and 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot over the mid-hot fire. The pot should be large enough for a single layer of kernels. Cover the pot with a lid or aluminium foil.
Once the kernels start to pop, shake the pot by slowly moving it back and forth. It’s ready when the popping slows down to around 5 seconds between pops.
Remove from the fire and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Toss with the nutritional yeast and smoked paprika mix.
The Sky is the Limit
When it comes to the best camping meals, the possibilities are endless. There’s a whole range of creative recipes for you to explore. What you can see here are only some of the examples of the best food for camping trips.
Thanks to all the gear that’s available to you, you can cook the best camping food with ease. Or you can cook at home and pack it up until you’re ready to enjoy your meals.
If you decide to cook at the campsite, make sure to put the fire out properly and leave the site in at least the same shape as you found it. Also, don’t bring your best dishes from home but rather improvise something for serving. It’s the most exciting part of cooking outdoors!
And if you’d like to have a look at some of the best outdoor kitchen equipment, make sure to check out our online store.