19 Make-Ahead Camping Meals the Whole Family Will Love

You’ve picked the perfect family camping destination, and now, it’s time to enjoy all that fresh air, natural beauty and… lots and lots of boring sandwiches and trail mix. At least there are s’mores. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of delicious dishes that let you make all or a portion of your meals ahead to reheat or finish on the campfire.

Just brush up on your campfire cooking temperatures and cooler food storage safety and prepare to trek into the great outdoors with the knowledge you’re not going to miss your DoorDash deliveryperson one little bit.

Because you’ll be eating pancakes, pulled chicken, spinach dip, lasagna, cannolo (which is apparently the proper plural of cannoli) and more — just like the queen of England does when she goes camping (we assume). Click through the slideshow ahead for picks for breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner and even dessert and tips for reheating them over an open fire.

Breakfast: Pancakes

These fluffy buttermilk pancakes can be whipped up and frozen to reheat over the campfire. Just keep the preheated cast-iron skillet raised off the wood so the temperature stays fairly low and flip them every 30 seconds so they reheat evenly.

Breakfast: Baked Oatmeal

Overnight oats are also a good option, but the texture will suffer if you don’t eat them the first full day of camping. Instead, try this versatile make-ahead baked oatmeal that can be eaten cold or room temp or reheated over the campfire. 

Breakfast: Chorizo & Bacon Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast burritos of any kind make an outstanding camping meal. But we like these chorizo and bacon breakfast burritos because the grease from the chorizo will keep everything from drying out too much and imbue the tortilla with a little extra oomph as they sit. Heat them gently over the campfire or turn up the heat to crisp up the tortilla.  

Breakfast: Healthy Breakfast Cookies

Score cool points with your kids by giving them cookies for breakfast (or snacks) during the camping trip. They don’t need to know these breakfast cookies are actually good for you. 

Lunch: Mason Jar Beef Ramen

Sure, you could bring those little Styrofoam containers with the beef-flavored powder and dehydrated veggies. But aren’t you already roughing it enough? Instead, try this Mason jar beef ramen made with real flank steak and fresh veggies. Just boil water over the campfire and steep the ingredients for a couple of minutes.

Lunch: Antipasto Pasta Salad With Herby Vinaigrette

Rule No. 1 when eating outdoors is to skip the mayo-laden salads. This antipasto pasta salad features a light vinaigrette, plenty of fresh veggies and salami for protein. If you’re camping in a hot environment, you can skip the buffalo mozzarella if you’re worried it will melt. 

Lunch: Bourbon Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

If you have to do sandwiches when camping, at least make it something good. Just reheat the slow cooker bourbon barbecue chicken and toast some buns over the campfire. Don’t forget to bring plenty of chopped onions, pickles, pickled banana peppers and spicy giardiniera mix. 

Munchies: Spiced Zucchini Bread With Walnuts & Dried Cranberries

This spiced zucchini bread with walnuts and dried cranberries can be eaten straight from the cooler, but at least once, try heating it over the campfire in a little butter. 

Munchies: Cheesy Bacon Spinach Dip

Make this cheesy bacon spinach dip ahead in a foil pan to reheat over the campfire. For a little extra fun (and faster reheating), spoon it into disposable minipie tins. Bring pita or bagel chips for dipping. 

Munchies: Extra-Bold Chex Mix

If you only make Chex mix over the holidays, you’re missing out. This extra-bold Chex mix amps up the flavor with “zesty, buttery worcestershire-garlicky-seasoned-salty sauce” goodness.   

Munchies: No-Bake Energy Bites

These no-bake energy bites feature oatmeal, peanut butter and flax seeds to give you a quick pick-me-up when you need it most. But they’re not just great for snacking. They can be an easy breakfast or even serve as a little something sweet after dinner. 

Dinner: Chili

There’s nothing like enjoying a piping-hot bowl of chili fireside — unless you break out the Fritos and make it a Frito pie party. This recipe skips the powdered spices in favor of real dried chiles, which give it that deeper-than-deep red hue. 

Dinner: Lasagna

Lasagna probably isn’t the first thing you think of when you think of camping food, but the same reasons it makes such a great make-ahead meal at home apply to camping too. Just split this easy lasagna into three or four smaller disposable foil pans so it reheats over the fire faster. 

Dinner: Campfire Mac & Cheese

Before you leave, cook up the pasta for this campfire macaroni and cheese to al dente and mix everything except the evaporated milk, crackers and Parmesan in a foil pan. When you’re ready to eat, mix in the milk and finish it over the fire before topping with the crushed crackers and Parm.  

Dinner: Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Foil Packets

Foil packet recipes are some of the easiest recipes when you’re camping. Just whip up these packets of Buffalo chicken and veggies before you leave, and cook them over the open fire when you’re ready to eat (follow the grilling instructions — you’re bringing a campfire grill grate, right?)

Dinner: English Muffin Pizza

If you follow the directions for this English muffin pizza, you can safely make them ahead without your bread getting soggy. And you can eat them cold or reheat them over the fire. 

Dinner: Tacos

No need to skip taco Tuesday just because you’re camping. Make this taco meat ahead, prep your veggies and shred your cheese. You can toast your taco shells over the fire while you reheat the meat. 

Dessert: Ice Cream Cone Cannoli

Make the cannoli cream ahead and pipe it into sugar cones when it’s time for dessert. 

Dessert: Skillet Brown Sugar Peach Cobbler

Can you cook cobbler over a campfire? You sure can! But it takes about an hour not including prep time and cooling time. Instead, make this skillet brown sugar peach cobbler in advance, pack it up in individual servings in disposable foil pans (for faster reheating) and let it come to temp while you eat dinner. Since you probably can’t easily store ice cream while camping, try serving it Southern style with a drizzle of evaporated milk. 

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