Campfire meals have a special place in my heart, as food always tastes better after a full day of hiking in the great outdoors.
It may take some time to perfect how to cook over a fire, but in no time you’ll be the best chef in the woods. From building the right fire to getting the right stove, there are many things that can help make your campfire meals perfect. We’ve put together our favorite campfire meals for the next time you find yourself backpacking in the Rockies or at any of the nation’s best campsites. Food shouldn’t be something you have to skimp on just because you’re not at home. So, buckle up and get that shopping list ready, because these campfire meals are delicious.
1. Sausage, Potato, and Green Bean Skillet
So you’ve had a long day hiking, canoeing, or climbing, and now you need a little replenishment. Right about now, that freeze-dried meal pack just isn’t going to cut it. That’s where our hearty sausage, potato, and green bean skillet steps in. As it does have sausage, you’ll want to eat this the first night of your camping trip so that your sausage isn’t sitting out in the heat. The thing we love about this meal too is how much of it you can truly prepare ahead of time. If you’d like, go ahead and cut up your potatoes and coat them in some oil ahead of time to avoid the hassle while you’re out in the woods. You can also pre-measure your spices, but we like to keep a little arsenal of oils and spices on hand when we’re making our campfire meals.
So, get your fire going until it has a nice set of burning hot coals. Coals are actually going to be the hottest and longest burning part of the fire, so wait until those big flames have died down a bit. Next, get out that aluminum foil. Put the buttered and cut potatoes in the bottom with salt and pepper. Then, layer your favorite sausage on top with strips of onion and fresh green beans. Put a little more butter on top for good measure. Fold up the foil around this masterpiece, and put a few tablespoons of water into it to help soften the potatoes. Set it on the coals, and wait for twenty to thirty minutes until the potatoes are tender and the sausage is done to your liking. This is one of the most simple, easy, and delicious campfire meals we know!
2. Campfire Nachos
Finger foods while you’re out camping mean less dish cleanup, which we are all about. That means you get to spend more time enjoying the outdoors anyway, right? So, get ready for the easiest clean up on our list of the best campfire meals. For these nachos, you’ll want to have black beans, cheese, avocados, shredded chicken or beef, a can of sweet corn, tortilla chips, and some salsa. Granted, you can add or subtract any of these items to accommodate taste preferences and vegetarians. Now, if you want to make this super simple, you can do it all on a sheet of aluminum foil. For those of us a little more clumsy, line a dutch oven with aluminum foil for easy clean up later.
Now you’re ready to make this favorite of all our easy campfire meals. Start by layering your tortilla chips on the bottom. Next up, go ahead and throw on your protein, whether that is chicken, beef, beans, or something else. A little cooking note: you can use canned chicken – it’s the easiest and already cooked. For some flavor, bring a taco seasoning packet along and spring it on at this point. Next, put on your veggies such as corn and tomatoes. Then, seal in the goodness with a solid layer of cheese to keep it all together. Now, if you’re extra hungry, keep repeating these steps until you have enough! Top with fresh avocado and salsa or sour cream for a truly delicious feast.
3. Cinnamon Roll-Ups
As long as mom isn’t around, we can classify this deliciously sugary breakfast as a full-fledged campfire meal. You know those magical cinnamon roll cardboard tubes? Well, a simple lack of oven shouldn’t keep you from enjoying their sugary goodness. So, this is one of the quickest campfire meals on the list. Simply pop open that tube, and roll your cinnamon roll around a skewer or stick. One professional tip: These actually work best when done on a whittled stick. By twisting the roll around the stick, you can cook it evenly. After cooking, carefully slide it off the end of the stick. You should have a hole in the center you can fill with the provided icing. Now, does that sound like one of the best campfire meals or what?
4. French Toast on the Fire
Some of us may need a little heartier of a breakfast than sugar and carbs. So, let's throw some eggs into that sugar and carbs mix with our French Toast on the Fire recipe. This is one of our favorite campfire meals to make and let cook without any intervention needed. First, you’ll need to grease up a large piece of aluminum foil with butter and shape it into a bread-sized boat. Next, slide your sliced loaf of bread into the foil, letting the slices fall every so slightly open. This will allow your french toast mix to soak in wonderfully.
Next, mix together five eggs, a quarter cup of milk, a tablespoon of sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a dash of salt. Pour this over the bread and quickly seal it up. Make sure that no bread is showing or it will get charred by the fire. For this campfire meal, you won’t want to set it directly on the coals. Instead, pick a medium-heat part of the fire to let this cook for about forty minutes or until the eggs are set. Carefully remove the foil package from the fire, and open it up. You can top this with maple syrup, fresh strawberries, and even maple syrup. This is one of the most deliciously sweet and simple campfire meals on our list. We hope you enjoy!
5. Honey & Lime Tilapia with Sweet Corn
Heading back out of the breakfast campfire meals, get ready for some high-quality cooking. Just because you’re in the woods doesn’t mean you need to give up seafood. This recipe can be done with fish you bring from home, or even better, a freshly caught fish if you’ve spent a day on the lake. We love this recipe because it’s incredibly simple and doesn’t require too many ingredients to taste superb.
So, this recipe will be for four fish fillets. If you need more, adjust accordingly. But, start by measuring and mixing two tablespoons of honey, two tablespoons of oil, and the fresh juice of two limes. Slice two additional limes nice and thin. Brush the fish with the honey, oil, and lime mixture, then set the thin lime slices on top. Set this into a flat sheet of foil, and sprinkle amply with salt and pepper. Fold up the foil snuggly, then set on a hot part of the fire. While this is cooking, you can wrap corn with salt, pepper, and plenty of butter in foil as the perfect side to this campfire meal. After about fifteen minutes, your fish fillets should be ready! This simple and easy recipe is one of the best campfire meals out there, especially if you’ve got a fresh catch.
6. Tamale Pie
So, this is essentially chili and cornbread, but Tamale Pie makes us feel a lot fancier. As with most campfire meals, you’ll want to bring your dutch oven along to make this delicious feast. Remember, it’s very important to heat up your cast iron before putting anything into it. By doing so, as long as the skillet has been seasoned, it will be naturally non-stick. So, once your dutch oven is hot, go ahead and brown ground beef in the pan. Season with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and garlic. Once it is browned, throw in some diced onions and bell peppers. After these begin to soften, throw in a can of diced tomatoes, or even better, fresh ones. Stir this all up and you should have some good looking chili.
But, the best campfire meals are more than one thing. So, it’s time to add the cornbread on top. Grab your favorite cornbread recipe and mix that up on top. Need something even easier? Just grab a jiffy mix and throw that on top. Let that cook, covered, over the fire until the cornbread is golden brown and crispy. Then, dig in. Breaking through the crusty surface and soaking up the marvelous chili below is just a great experience while cooking outside. At this point, it does faintly remind us of tamales, but we understand it really has nothing to do with them. But, this is one of those campfire meals you can experiment with and make your own so easily. So, let us know what you end up changing to make this perfect for you.
7. Omelet in a Bag
This last recipe doesn’t have to be made over a fire and is honestly more easy with a camp stove. But, we love it so much it had to be included on our list of the best campfire meals. You’ll have to start by buying some good, thick quart sized bags. We found that brand name freezer bags work best. To get ready for this meal, boil a pot of water on the fire or stove.
To start, break as many eggs as you’d like into the bag. Then, throw in whatever you want in your omelet. Diced ham or pepperoni are great sources of protein, while cheese, peppers, and onions add plenty of flavors. Salt and pepper are essential to every recipe as well. Once you have all your ingredients in the bag, mash it up. Then, seal up the bag tightly and remove as much air as possible. Set it gently into the boiling water and wait five to seven minutes. Carefully lift up the bag and squeeze the omelet.
When the eggs are no longer runny, you’re all set! This can be a little tricky, as cheese and pepperoni grease often looks like runny eggs. You can always leave it in an extra minute if you’re unsure. You can eat it with a fork and a plate, or bring along some tortillas to drop it in and roll it up for a breakfast burrito! Whichever style you end up eating this campfire meal, we know you’ll love its simplicity.
The best and easiest campfire meals can be as simple or as fancy as you want to make them.
Having the right tools is usually the best way to end up with a delicious result. Whether that’s just a big roll of aluminum foil or a well seasoned dutch oven you borrow from your parents, it all works. The goal is to get outside, have a great day exploring, and eat fresh food too. There’s no need to buy expensive freeze dried food when you can make these amazing campfire meals with just a little planning. So, what’s your favorite camping meal? Share your tips and tricks for cooking over a fire, too! We love learning from our readers.
Related Article: How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee While Camping