Get Outdoors With These 6 Nature Inspired Recipes
Are you gearing up for your next camping trip? If so, we have the perfect recipes for you! Outdoor cooking is a great way to enjoy a camping trip—it’s fun, and it saves you from having to pack multiple meals. From breakfast to dinner, we have some camper-approved recipes.
One of the best things about camping is that you can cook over an open fire or specialty camping stoves. This gives your food a unique smoky flavor that you can’t get from cooking indoors. If you’re new to outdoor cooking, don’t worry – we’ll give you some tips and tricks to make sure your food comes out perfect every time.
Camping Cooking Hacks
Long gone are the days where camping food consists solely of beef jerky, peanut butter, and a can of beans. There’s no reason not to improve your cooking while on the trek once you’ve become a serious camper. Regardless of whether you’re backpacking or car camping with more facilities, these camping food hacks will boost your cooking skills and give much more nutrition than a handful of trail mix.
Pre-cook and freeze decadent first night meals
This hack will appeal to campers who like to plan ahead. Take the time to pre-cook and freeze food for some of your trip’s first meals. You may defrost these items in the daytime and then bake or warm them on your fire, grill, or camping stove.
Some meal ideas that freeze and bake easily in the wild include:
- Shepherd’s pie
- Chili, soups, and stews
To summarize, any meal that can be frozen without difficulty is ideal for a camping trip. Don’t freeze a turkey sandwich—that won’t end well. Casseroles are the perfect type of meal to freeze and bring with you. You can pack them full of nutrients including protein and carbs that will fuel you for a day on the trails.
Don’t forget the spices
Bringing more than the standard salt and pepper is a great camping culinary secret. Spices are easy to carry and can be contained in simple packaging that won’t create a mess. The spices you’ll want to bring along will depend on your menu, but these spices and dried herbs are a great start:
- Salt and pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- Paprika and smoked paprika
- Chili powder
- Dried oregano
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
Spices are a wonderful tool to have in your kitchen for any number of applications. You may use them to create anything from a tasty chili to a fiery marinara sauce. Grocery stores often sell reusable spice jars and camping stores usually offer camping-specific mini spice containers. Common household items can also be used like old film canisters, tic tac containers, pill organizers, and small glass jars.
Outdoor Camping Recipes
Now let’s get to the good stuff: recipes you can make while camping. No, we’re not talking about opening a can of beans—we’re talking about real, campfire-cooked meals. These recipes are easy to follow and don’t require a lot of ingredients or prep work.
Warm grain breakfast bowls
Breakfast bowls are an ideal way to start your day. You can load them with filling grains, protein-packed ingredients, and calories to stick to your ribs as you hike, bike, or swim throughout the day. Ingredients can include:
- Peanut or any nut butter
- Quinoa, farro, or your favorite grain
- Frozen or dried fruit like blueberries, strawberries, or blackberries
- Flaxseed (Flaxseed keeps you fuller longer because of the fiber content)
- Protein-packed Greek yogurt to fuel your hike
All you have to do is cook your grains over the fire or your camp stove and then just assemble the rest. While it’s warming and similar to oatmeal (a major comfort food for many campers), a grain bowl will provide you with more calories, nutrition, and energy to keep up with high-energy activities.
Breakfast burritos are a great option for a filling breakfast. You can make them at home before your trip and then just reheat them over the fire or camp stove. If you don’t want to cook prior to your trip, then they are easy enough to assemble in the morning while you’re enjoying your cup of coffee. Just like grain bowls, they are easy to customize to everyone’s taste. Some popular camping breakfast burrito recipes include:
- Tortillas (whole grain or white flour)
- Eggs (scramble them over the fire)
- Hot sauce of your choice (but be careful—not too spicy! Remember you’ll be in nature throughout the day and hot sauce can be a dangerous choice)
- Rice (boil it over the fire)
- Beans (canned or dried work well)
Essentially, you just want a variety of ingredients that will keep you full but also delicious.
Sausage with peppers and onions
A quintessential grill meal in the summer, bring this taste of backyard barbecues with you to your campsite. This super simple recipe just consists of the sausage of your choice along with bell peppers and onions. Wrap them in foil with oil, salt and pepper, and other spices of your choice. Grill them over the fire and get a protein-packed, nutrient-dense meal. Add some hotdog buns or rice for carbs to round out the meal.
Grilled potatoes with bacon
Another foil packet meal, this one includes everyone’s favorite breakfast meat: bacon. Cut up some potatoes into small pieces, add in some onions, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Top it with crumbled bacon before sealing the packet and grilling over the fire. You’ll have a delicious side dish or even a meal if you make a salad alongside.
Camping macaroni and cheese
Macaroni and cheese is universally loved by kids and adults alike. You can make it even better by cooking it over the fire in a cast iron skillet. Start by boiling water for the noodles, then add in your mac and cheese mix. Once it’s all melted together, top with some chopped up hot dogs or bacon. You’ll have a gooey, cheesy dish that will be a hit with everyone at the site.
Fruit hand pies
Does it sound crazy to make pies while you’re camping? It doesn’t have to be! These fruit hand pies are the perfect sweet treat to make while you’re outdoors. All you need is some store-bought pie crust, your favorite fruit filling and a campfire. Cook them on a cast iron skillet over the fire for about 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. These are best served warm with a scoop of ice cream.
Camping doesn’t mean you have to eat just dried foods and nuts
With a little effort, you can make some great meals that will be sure to please everyone on your trip. So get out there and give these recipes a try. What are some of your favorite camping recipes? Let us know in the comments below. Happy camping!