Camping Menu Ideas

Camping Menu Ideas

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Summer is a favorite time for our family to go camping in the mountains. Here are a few of our favorite Camping Menu Ideas when cooking in the wild.

Camping Menu Ideas

When our girls were young, we would pack up our large canvas tent, sleeping bags, propane cook stove–and other items galore and head for the Rockies.

Now that our family is grown and starting families of their own, our camping days are few. However, we are all dreaming of the day when we will pack up all of our families and caravan to the mountains for a week of camping together. If we ever manage to accomplish that, I will be sure to post about it on this blog!

(Post modified on 7/25/22.)

 

A Little Camping Story

Outside view of our camp - Camping Menu Ideas

We usually eat a large breakfast when camping and then munch on snacks for lunch when we do our hiking. One year when we were camping at the Snowy Range Pass in Wyoming, we made friends with our camp host. It had been a very wet summer, and she was camping in a small popup tent. Cold. Wet. Miserable. But Smiling. We invited her to breakfast a few mornings, for which she was very appreciative. She told me that I should write a camping cookbook. Well, maybe. . . .

 

Camping Menu Ideas: A Hearty Breakfast

While camping, breakfast and supper are our main meals, with snacks in-between, so I always make a large breakfast for everyone. Of course, there is often a rainy-day morning in the mountains when I’m not able to cook outside. On such days, we may just pour boiling water over a packet of instant oatmeal and eat that with some hot cocoa. Here are a few of our favorite breakfast dishes.

 

Breakfast Burritos with salsa, juice or milk. Make this dish in a large skillet or even in a Camp Dutch Oven. Then warm the flour tortillas on the top of the oven.

Breakfast Burritos
Here's a recipe we enjoy making at any time of year.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Breakfast Burritos

 

 

Country Pancakes with eggs, bacon, and juice. Sometimes I’ll even add in a side of grits.

Country Pancakes
Here's a recipe my husband especially enjoys. He loves them!
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Recipe for Country Pancakes

 

Ham and Hash Brown Egg Casserole is a recipe I normally make on weekends at home, but it can be prepared in a Camp Dutch Oven, too. Simply mix up the ingredients as described the morning you cook it. The overnight refrigeration can be skipped. Then pile on the charcoal below and above the Dutch oven. Cook for 40-50 minutes and breakfast is served!

Ham and Hash Brown Egg Casserole
This Ham and Hash Brown Egg Casserole is one of the easiest breakfast dishes to make. It's perfect for when you have company or want something special on a weekend.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Ham and Hash Brown Egg Casserole

 

Biscuits and Gravy with juice or milk and maybe a side of hash browns to go with this. Put the biscuits in a camp oven or Dutch oven for perfectly browned biscuits!

Country Sausage Gravy
Here's a recipe I make every year on the Fourth of July. Serve with Country Biscuits or Sourdough Biscuits. Enjoy!
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Country Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

 

 

or French Toast with sausage links, scrambled eggs, and juice.

French Toast
Here's a fast and easy breakfast dish to make for your family.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for French Toast

 

 

Packing our Lunch

For lunch, we’ll pack a few items in our backpacks like applesauce, carrots, jerky, crackers and cheese, granola bars, and anything else that sounds good. Maybe even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And of course, water. Months before our trip, I’ll start drying jerky and fruits. And a week before the trip I’ll make a couple batches of our granola bars in different flavors.

 

This Trail Mix Energy Blend is one I made later in life when our family went on camping trips, which always included lots of afternoon hiking.

Trail Mix Energy Blend
When I was going to college, I liked to snack on a "trail mix" that I picked up from the cafeteria. It helped energize my mind and body between classes. This Trail Mix Energy Blend is one I made later in life when our family went on camping trips, which always included lots of afternoon hiking.
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Recipe for Trail Mix Energy Blend

 

 

Venison Jerky  – This recipe easily compares to what you might buy at specialty shops. It’s very well seasoned and not hard to make.

Venison Jerky
This is a recipe that easily compares to what you buy at specialty shops. Very good and not hard to make.
Check out this recipe
Venison Jerky

 

 

Chewy Granola Bars –  When our daughters were younger, we vacationed nearly every summer in the mountains. One year, I wanted to make most of the food myself. I dried fruits. Made jerky. And worked tirelessly on this granola bar recipe, wanting something that was flavorful, firm, yet chewy, and that would hold together when snacking on it.

Chewy Granola Bars
Here's a recipe I worked months on to get just right. We love it. I hope you will too.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Chewy Granola Bars

 

While I usually make Addicting Munchies Holiday Snack at Christmas, this cracker mix is also good for long rides in the car (think a trip to Colorado) or even on the trail. The name is accurate as this is very addicting.

Addicting Munchies Holiday Snack
Every winter, my grandma made Addicting Munchies Holiday Snack. The name is accurate as this is very addicting. At our house, we may go through 2-3 batches between Thanksgiving and New Years, to be enjoyed by all!
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Recipe for Addicting Munchies Holiday Snack

 

 

Favorite Campground Soups

After a long day of hiking or sight-seeing, I like to return to camp for an easy meal–usually soup served with leftover biscuits, cornbread, or crackers. Unlike Kansas, it’s nice and cool in the mountains, so soup tastes pretty good. Here are a few ideas:

 

Sausage Bean Soup and Skillet Cornbread – Sausage Bean Soup is perfect for a cool night. Just right for a mountain supper.

Sausage Bean Soup
Here's an easy soup recipe my cousin Brenda shared with me. Great to serve on cool nights. Serve with skillet cornbread.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Sausage Bean Soup

 

 

This Country Potato Soup is a perfect choice when you want something warm and creamy. It’s easy to prepare, and so satisfying when you just want a nice bit of comfort food.

Country Potato Soup
Here's a delicious recipe when you want something warm and creamy. Great for cool, autumn or spring evenings. Enjoy!
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Recipe for Country Potato Soup

 

 

Chunky Venison Stew with Savory Southwest Biscuits – We’ve nicknamed it “Mountain Stew” because we always make Chunky Venison Stew when we go camping in the mountains. And we’re hoping to one day take a big family vacation, where we’ll make this stew together. It also works well for Cowboy gatherings. Or any family gathering, for that matter.

Chunky Venison Stew
My husband and daughters like to hunt deer and elk in the fall. This is a great venison recipe full of hearty meat and chunks of potato, carrots, and peas.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Chunky Venison Stew

 

A Camp Dutch Oven

Lodge Dutch Oven - Camp Oven

If you feel adventurous, you might try cooking a meal or two in a Camp Dutch Oven. It’s a great way to make a one pot meal or even bake bread or a dessert. One year I planned almost all of our camping meals to be made in my Dutch oven. And then the unthinkable happened. Our campground issued a burning ban, and we couldn’t even use it. I was so disappointed, as I had been trying out all kinds of recipes that summer before our trip. Biscuits, cobblers, etc. So, be forewarned. Be sure to check the campground for any burn bans–something we did from that point on. Thankfully, we managed to make our meals on our camp stove that year, but I was still very sad.

Here are a few yummy one pot meals to make on a Dutch Oven.

 

Chicken Pot Pie is perfect comfort food, and it’s delicious mountain food, too. Tender, flaky crust. Juicy chunks of chicken. Potatoes, carrots, and peas in a succulent gravy. So good. Use a frozen pie crust or make one from scratch. Or even easier, use refrigerator biscuits and place on top of the chicken filling. The Dutch oven will cook the biscuits to a lovely golden brown.

Chicken Pot Pie
I enjoy making Chicken Pot Pie when days turn cold. Our family loves it. Perfect Comfort Food. Tender, flaky crust. Juicy chunks of chicken. Potatoes, carrots, and peas in a succulent gravy. So good.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Chicken Pot Pie

 

 

This Cottage Skillet Pie with Stout is a wonderful dish that is rich and savory…and easy to make as a one-pot meal. It’s especially nice when you have leftover mashed potatoes. Make it even easier for a camping trip by using dried instant potatoes. Everything tastes better in the mountains!

Cottage Skillet Pie with Stout
Here's a wonderful dish that is rich and savory...and easy to make as a one-pot meal. I especially like to make this when I have leftover mashed potatoes in my fridge.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Cottage Pie with Stout

 

 

Hamburger Hash is a great choice for camping. Easy. Satisfying. Filling. And did I mention easy? Pair it with some bread and butter, a pot of green beans, and maybe a can of peaches with brownies or cookies. Good to go. Supper over.

Hamburger Hash
Here's an old family recipe that we always enjoy. Easy and delicious! Perfect for a weeknight dinner.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Hamburger Hash

 

 

There’s really nothing fancy about Steak and Beans. It’s quick and simple, and we love it at home or when camping! Pair it with biscuits or cornbread, some applesauce, and a pot of mixed vegetables for a satisfying, simple meal.

Steak and Pinto Beans
Here's an old favorite to serve your family when you want a satisfying yet quick meal. Serve with Country Fried Potatoes. 
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Steak and Pinto Beans

 

 

Or how about a simple Goulash or even Cheesy Mexican Pasta (which is a fancy sidekick to Goulash. Made from lean ground burger, macaroni, and tomatoes, (and processed cheese if you’re going for the cheesy version.) It’s another great dish to make in a Dutch oven. Easy to put together a very satisfying.

Goulash
Here's a recipe I enjoy making for weeknight dinners. Some might refer to this as American Goulash. I like serving it with fried potatoes and new creamed peas.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Goulash - American Style

 

Cheesy Mexican Pasta
This recipe is a mix between Easy Macaroni and Cheese and Goulash. Made from lean ground burger, Cavatappi pasta, tomatoes, and processed cheese, it’s easy to put together, and a great meal for weeknight dinners.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Cheesy Mexican Pasta

 

 

Don’t Forget Dessert

For dessert, we’ll get out the Coleman Oven or use a Dutch oven. And just so you don’t think I’m an over-achiever as a camp cook, here is a little secret: I use canned apple pie filling and also prepare the cookie dough at home and refrigerate it in a large butter container. Then when it’s time for a little snack after supper, we’ll slice off a handful of cookies and place them in the propane oven. Easy-peasy and oh so good!

 

 

Homemade Apple Pie – This recipe has been in our family for at least four generations and has won two grand champion ribbons at our county fair.

Homemade Apple Pie
Here is a favorite recipe for homemade apple pie:
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Homemade Apple Pie

 

 

Joan’s Chocolate Chip Cookies – Joan’s Chocolate Chip Cookies are simply delicious. I like to make the dough for this ahead of time, forming it into two rolls and refrigerating until we’re ready to pack. Then when it’s time to bake, just slice off enough pieces to fit on a small baking pan. There is just something wonderful about freshly baked warm homemade cookies in the mountains. So yummy!

Joan's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Here's a recipe from a sweet lady who always brought yummy snacks to church on Sunday. I think you might like it! (It makes a large batch)
Check out this recipe
Joan's Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Dutch Oven Desserts

Blueberry Crumble with Oat Flour is a perfect choice to make in a Dutch oven over a camp fire. Make it even easier by using blueberry pie filling and prepare the topping ahead of time, except for the butter. So delicious and everyone will be thrilled when you serve up dishes of this crumble!

Blueberry Crumble with Oat Flour
This summer I made my first Blueberry Crumble with Oat Flour. It was so delicious and wonderful with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Blueberry Crumble with Oat Flour

 

If you happen to be traveling during peach season, grab some on the road for this Fresh Peach Cobbler dessert to make when camping. Cobblers are perfect for Dutch oven cooking!

 

Well, that about does it for now. If I think of any more camping recipes, I will be sure to add them here. Until then, Happy Camping! 

 

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5 thoughts on “Camping Menu Ideas”

  • I just finished cooking for a group of about 30 people in the mountains and was actively looking for quick/easy ways to have a finished meal without the big process. I've not tried freezing the home made biscuits but for camping, I would have all these ingredients mixed up ahead: all but eggs and milk, the finished mixed dry ingredients with shortening added and measured so I know how much batter to measure out per milk/eggs. A large cast iron skillet with a lid over low to medium heat cooks them nicely when no oven is available. You may have to turn them to brown on both sides which is easily done.

    • Great tips, Pamela! I do the same for my baking dishes–biscuits, pancakes, pie dough, etc. Saves a bunch of ingredients to pack. I used to cook with dutch ovens, until one year that was my main source and there was a fire ban and they wouldn't allow open coals. Not good.

    • We are experienced with fire bans too so now we come prepared with our camp stove that we can put inside the tent, away from the great out doors and away from a breeze that could carry any flame or sparks. The burners are easier to adjust than a fire for biscuits too. I'm looking forward to using some of your yummy-looking recipes!

  • As you go in habitation it should appear simple to simply pack a couple of sandwiches and assume that’s enough. however it appears that once you sit back {the heat|the nice and cozy} fire within the evening you begin desire some warm savory meal.

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