When you’re outdoors playing hard all day you’re going to be hungrier than usual and so will everyone else with you. When you’re this hungry just about anything tastes good, but that doesn’t mean you should slack off and forget about preparing some good camping meals. Cooking while camping is a bit different than cooking at home with a microwave, stove, and oven, so it’s important to have a lot of camping meal ideas to choose from when picking your entrees.
Plus, cooking can be one of the most enjoyable camping activities for you and your family if you’ve prepared before hand and have a plan. I think it’s a good idea to compile a list of camping meal ideas and keep adding to it as you find more. You can the ideas for camping meals below to start your list off right.
The Best Camping Meal Ideas Are Simple
If you’re looking through a cookbook for some good camping meals then keep in mind where you’ll be and what you’ll have available. Take into account what campfire cooking equipment you have to cook with, and what types of ingredients will store well. Remember: cooler space is limited and precious!
Breakfast Meal Ideas
We’ll start with the most important meal of the day, breakfast! Eating a hearty breakfast will give you energy that lasts so you can play hard all day. Never skip breakfast when you’re camping, those extra calories are important to keep you going. Here’s my favorite camping meal ideas for breakfast:
- French Toast
- Bacon & Eggs
- Goulash (eggs, sausage, potatoes & onions all mixed together)
- Cold cereal w/ milk (if we’re feeling lazy)
- Yogurt & granola
- Omelettes (add onions, peppers, sausage, or other ingredients – be creative!)
- Breakfast burritos
- Hashbrowns (fresh or frozen)
That should get you started for breakfast camping meal ideas. Remember, add the ones you like to your list of good camping meals and keep building it.
Camping Meal Ideas For Lunch
In my opinion, lunch is much less important than breakfast or dinner, and we treat it that way. Lunches during our camping trips are usually very informal. If we’re getting hungry and it’s not quite late enough to make dinner, we eat lunch. Here’s my list of camping meal ideas for lunch:
- Sandwiches (bread, meat & cheese…yum!)
- Soup or Stew (open a can and put it near the fire for quick cooking)
- Hot Dogs, Bratwurst, German Sausages (with or without buns)
- Personal Pizzas (bread, pizza sauce & toppings in a pie iron over the fire)
- Chips & Dip
- Veggies & Dip
- Meat & Crackers (don’t forget the cheese)
- Apples, Oranges, Bananas, other easy fruit
Remember: simplicity is the key. We usually don’t hang around and cook something for lunch so the quicker the better. Good camping meals for lunch are ones that are easy to make just 1 or 2 of, and easy to put away the leftovers if there are any.
Camping Meal Ideas for Dinner
Dinner is my favorite camping meal and usually is the meal with the most time invested in. Breakfast and lunch, while important, are usually thrown together quickly while dinner can take hours to prepare. If you’re camping with a group or your family, get everyone involved to make it more fun and feel less like “work.”
Here’s my list of camping meal ideas for dinner:
- Hot Dogs, German Sausages, Bratwurst
- Chili Dogs
- Sloppy Joes
- Pastas (Spaghetti & Beef Stroganoff are great)
- Baked Potatoes & whole onions (wrapped in foil in the fire)
- Lentil Bean Soup (preparing soups or stews before you leave home then reheating works great)
- Camp Kabobs (w/ meat & veggies)
- Grilled fish
- Pizza (pie iron)
- Toasted cheese sandwiches
- Hobo Bags (onions, peppers, potatoes, pre-cooked sausage or other meat wrapped in tin foil and thrown in the fire)
This short list of good camping meals for dinner should get you started.
Two things to keep in mind when coming up with camping meal ideas
There’s lots of different options to choose from for camping meals, and eating great food is one of those camping essentials that you should invest some time into. But keep these two things in mind:
First, if you’re going to prepare it at the campsite keep things simple. Burgers and steaks are a great example of this. Just take them out and throw them on the grill.
Second, there are a lot of camping meal ideas that you can prepare parts while you’re at home. Some soups or stews you can prepare at home, then bring and reheat for a delicious meal. For other meals like Beef Stroganoff you can prepare the sauce at home, then boil the noodles at the campsite to make it easier.
How fancy you get is up to you, but preparing whatever you can in the comfort of your home will make those good camping meals super easy to throw together when you’re out in the woods.
Click Here for a huge list of 580 camping meal ideas along with everything you need to know to prepare them.
Do you have some camping meal ideas that you’d like to share with our readers? Leave them in the comments below!