A lot of people love to go camping throughout the year. Regardless of the temperature, whether it’s rainy or clear, at least someone will be outside in the elements enjoying the outdoors. However, you and your family cannot just starve out there, right? What you need are some easy camping meals for the family that can be prepared in no time as well as satisfy your hungry campers.
Having a meal plan in place for the entirety of the trip is essential. However, this can be harder for some than it truly needs to be.
While it may be truly awesome for you to earn a meal, such as catching a fish or land animal, we understand that not everyone will be great at this. So we’re going to reveal some of the best make-ahead camping meals you could take with you, regardless of the time of year.
Note that all of these meals are meant to be very simplistic. Some of the meals we’re going over may have special storing instructions to them. However, we’ll be going over how to handle all of this. We also felt it would be best to add meals for the entire day and not just a dinner meal concept.
While we’ll tell you all the supplies you’ll need for each meal, ALL of them will require a normal cast iron skillet. These retail for anywhere from $10 to $100, so pick the one you like best.
With that being said, let’s take a look at our first meal.
- Pasta Noodles, At Least 2 To 3 Tomatoes, 10 Cherries
- Around 15 minutes Or Until Fruits Are Browned/Blackened
- Skillet, Knife, Preferably A Spoon, Bowls For Serving
When you’re outdoors, it’s clear you need to do something minimal. When you’re thinking about camping meals for the family, you have to be careful to remember that you have to carry all of the supplies you’ll need. While some people may have their vehicle close to their campsite, others prefer to walk into the wilderness away from their ride.
This concept will work for anyone. All you need is one to two boxes of pasta noodles, around 2 to 3 tomatoes, and around 10 cherries. We based our meal plan and serving count on a family of 4. We also did not base this on a meal that would be overly filling. It is meant to be a light meal that will give you energy and carbohydrates.
Obviously, a fire is needed for this meal to work as well as some clean water (this will come in handy later). You can likely use simple bottled water for this. If you do decide on that path, we’d recommend around 4 normal size bottles of water for the total meal. It truly depends on how you prefer to make your noodles.
Essentially the tomatoes and cherries, both of which are fruits btw, are going to act as a sauce. Your knife is needed to cut the cherries and tomatoes up. You can do this in one of the bowls you’ll use for later. Use your spoon to mash the contents together with at least half a bottle of water. Place it to the side after the mashing and stirring are complete.
Add your noodles and water. You’ll want to watch this to make sure your noodles are not being overcooked. Once the water (roughly 2 to 3 bottles worth) is expired and your noodles appear done, merely add your pre-mashed sauce and another bottle of water. Stir the contents together in the skillet. This should likely only need to be done for 5 to 8 minutes max. Once it appears done, add the contents to bowls and serve.
- Baked Beans (1 to 2 Cans), Hotdog Weenies (1 to 2 Packs)
- Roughly 10 to 15 Minutes
- Bowls, Skillet, Knife, Spoons, Clean Water
Likely the easiest thing to cook on this list is beanie weenies, you can even buy this already made and microwavable from a store. However, we’re doing it the old fashioned way, because it’s so much better. All you need is a can or two of baked beans, a pack or two of weenies, and the supplies listed above.
You can likely even substitute the weenies for a complete sausage. This works either way. All you need to do is cut up the weenies with your knife and then put the baked beans in your skillet along with at least what amounts to a half or complete bottle of water. This depends on the number of cans you use.
Once you have everything together, merely stir until you get to what amounts to a bubbling appearance. Some may like to cook their sausage or weenies before adding them to the beans. Truly, this is all down to preference. Either way, once the beans are done with the weenies, you can add them to the bowl and you’re done. This shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes.
This is going to be light to carry, but the sausage/weenies will spoil if you do not use them within the first 5 hours of being outdoors in a warm environment. You may have longer in a cooler environment, however. This is why we’d recommend putting the weenies or sausage in something like a cooler.
However, a small camping food hack is, if you have something like a Yeti Thermos, you can pre-cut the weenies and place them in there with a small bit of ice to avoid carrying a huge cooler with you. Any melted water on the weenies will come off when cooked. Overall, this is one of those camping food ideas that can be altered a lot depending on how much and the type of things you use for the meal.
Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Sandwich
- Eggs (dozen), Bacon (small pack), Cheese (your preferred type), Biscuits Or Bread
- Roughly 15 minutes
- Skillet, Knife, Plates, Spatula, Cooler
Let’s be honest, you cannot really hate on a classic, right? Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Sandwiches or Biscuits have been popular for decades. Not only because of the awesome fact that you get bacon, but also because this is a filling breakfast that will give you the energy to take on the day.
Since you may not know how much your family might eat, it’s a safe bet to take at least a dozen eggs and one pack of bacon. The cheese will be the biggest issue. It honestly depends on what you prefer. It could be simple Kraft Cheese you take or a block of cheese. If you use the little Kraft Cheese, you’d likely only need one pack. The same goes for the block cheese, you would likely never need much more than one block.
You’ll likely need at least a small cooler that can keep ice from melting much if at all for at least 12 to 24 hours. These cooler are not hard to find and many are quite affordable, in fact. Two of your contents need to remain cold or they will begin to go bad within 5 hours of being exposed to the elements outdoors.
Once you cook things, it’s all pretty simple. You can bring normal bread or biscuits from a pack. Some prefer one versus another.
We’d recommend cutting up and cooking the bacon first. Once you’re done with this, cook the eggs. You can scramble them easily with a knife and spatula. You can even add the bacon into the eggs as they are being cooked on the skillet. Ultimately, this is all up to you. After this, you can cook the biscuits or just brown the bread. Put your sandwich together on some plates and you’re good to go.
The length of this particular meal will depend truly on if you’re using bread or biscuits. Obviously the latter takes slightly longer. Without this problem, you could reduce total cooking time heavily. This is why we felt it would be best to make this an option for the meal, not mandatory for the end result.
Chicken And Vegetables
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Vegetables
- 20 to 25 Minutes
- Skillet, Knife, Forks, Plates, Aluminum Foil, Cooler
This is yet again, another simple meal plan you can put together in less than 30 minutes. The reason for this is that you can likely prepare a lot of this before you go in the outdoors. What we mean here is that you can easily add vegetables to the meal if you go ahead and cook them for the most part before you leave.
Simply store them in some aluminum foil and get them out when you’re ready to begin cooking. Yet you can carry all of the vegetables in the form you get them at the store in too. This is truly down to preference. If you do the latter, it’ll take longer and you’ll be cutting a lot more.
While you can store your chicken and vegetables in different foil, you can also store them together. This will allow you to put them on the fire together and the chicken will absorb some of the vegetable goodness.
As for what veggies to use here, this is down to preference. You cannot go wrong with peas and carrots, as well as celery, You could even add some roasted potatoes to this meal if you have any lying around at home as you’re preparing things beforehand.
As for the chicken, this will need to be cooked on the grill to get the best-prepared version. If you decide to store veggies with the chicken beforehand, we’d recommend only doing so if you also cooked the chicken beforehand too. It would be bad to store veggies with raw chicken, obviously.
When cooking the chicken (if not prepared beforehand) you just need to keep an eye on it and make sure it’s white in the middle and not pink, grey, or another color. The chicken should take very little time to cook, depending on the thickness of the chicken used. Once you’re satisfied with the chicken, put the veggies on the grill to brown or blacken them slightly. Add the chicken back in to get things even in temp and then place it on plates.
If you prepared beforehand, merely put what you prepared on the grill together while still in the aluminum. Open it slightly to release some of the smoke. This should be done for 5 to 10 minutes, no more. You can even put them on the plate while still in the foil too, up to you really!
My opinion is that camping should be enjoyable and not spent preparing time-consuming meals. All of these meals can be prepared by even the most novice of cooks. Only slightly experienced campers are needed here in order to build a fire, which pretty much anyone can do.
We wish you luck on your next family adventure. Try some of these camping meals that we guarantee your family will enjoy. Let us know what you think about them!