25 EASY & KID-APPROVED Camping Recipes

I experimented with MANY recipes while camping for almost a month straight with four small children. After all of my trial and error, I narrowed down my top 25 meal ideas. To make it into my top 25, the meals had to be simple enough that I didn’t feel tied to the fire for an hour prepping it, yummy enough that the kids would eat it, easy to customize with different ingredients if needed, and they couldn’t rely on too many perishable items.

The following simple camping recipes – including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and of course – dessert – are all kid-approved, easy to customize, and easy to prep ahead if desired. They also don’t require too many perishable food items! You can download the complete shopping list here.

Breakfast

Quick & filling meals to get you ready for a day of exploring!

Oatmeal

  • Oats
  • Brown sugar
  • Fresh/dried fruit (apples, cranberries, raisins)
  • Walnuts

I know this might seem basic, but oatmeal is by far our favorite camping breakfast. It’s a warm start on chilly mornings, filling, easily customizable, and easy to prep (I use a teapot and just pour hot water into each kids’ bowl that they fill themselves with oats & toppings. It only takes a couple of minutes for the oats to soften and the temperature to cool enough for them to eat it).

Pancakes

  • Baking spray
  • Pancake mix
  • Syrup

Scrambled eggs

  • Baking spray
  • Eggs
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Garlic powder

Fried donuts

  • Biscuit dough
  • Cinnamon sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Oil

Fill a pot halfway full of oil, and bring to a simmer. Form a hole in each biscuit before dropping them into hot oil. When they grow and turn a light brown on the bottom, flip them over to brown the other side. Pull out with tongs and dip in either powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.  

Bagels

  • Mini bagels
  • Peanut butter
  • Bananas, raisins, apple slices, or other fruit as toppings

Lunch

Easy lunches for on-the-go meals (hiking, driving, picnicking, whatever!) Just pack the ingredients and pull out for everyone to self-serve when you’re ready to eat.

Cheese & crackers

  • Summer sausage
  • Blocks of Colby Jack, Cheddar, etc.
  • Crackers
  • Cutting board
  • Knives

Sandwich roll-ups

  • Peanut butter
  • Nutella
  • Honey
  • Tortillas
  • Knives

Choose toppings, spread, roll up, eat! And bonus – a package of tortillas is much more durable than a loaf of bread when left stuffed in the bottom of your hiking backpack for a few hours.

Tuna pockets

  • Pita bread
  • Canned tuna
  • Can opener
  • Mayo packets
  • Spoons

Energy balls

  • 1 ½ cups Oats
  • ½ cup Peanut Butter
  • ½  cup Maple syrup
  • ½  cup Chocolate chips

These are best prepared ahead of time and kept in the cooler until ready to eat. Just mix together all ingredients and roll into balls. In a pinch, we’ve eaten it out of the container with spoons!

Dinner

Your most important dinner tools? A camping Dutch Oven (pick one big enough to feed your family!), cooking spray, and aluminum foil. Cook & freeze your meat before you go, and you’ll be able to relax while your meals cook themselves! And no… most of these recipes don’t list amounts for ingredients. They are very forgiving recipes. Toss in your meat, veggies, and spices and let the fire (or camping stove) do the rest!

Chicken & dumplings

  • Chicken bouillon & water
  • Chicken thighs
  • Baby carrots
  • Onion
  • Baking mix
  • Milk/water
  • Spices: salt, oregano, garlic powder, basil

Load up a big pot or Dutch oven with chicken thighs, a package of baby carrots, diced onion (or onion powder), and spices to taste (salt, oregano, garlic powder, chicken bouillon and basil). You can also add peas or any leftover veggies you need to eat up. Cover everything with water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until chicken thighs are cooked through (25-30 minutes). Make a sticky dough from the baking mix and water, and drop in biscuit-size dumplings on top of chicken. Cover and let steam for 10 minutes.

Alfredo

  • 1 box bow tie noodles
  • 2 cans evaporated Milk
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli
  • Prepare ahead – Cubed chicken thighs or breasts (frozen)

Cook noodles. Drain water, and return to low heat on the stove. Stir in evaporated milk, parmesan cheese, broccoli, and chicken until warmed through.

Quesadilla Roll-Ups

  • Tortillas
  • Cheddar cheese
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 can corn
  • Garlic powder
  • Prepare Ahead – Shredded chicken (frozen)

Each person fill tortillas with toppings of choice, wrap in aluminum foil, and place in coals til heated thru, turning often. Serve with chips & salsa

Chili dogs

  • Hot dogs
  • 2 cans chili
  • Hot dog buns
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream

Hot dogs are normal campfire fare, but some chili & cheese make it a more memorable, customizable, and filling meal!

Corn Bread

  • Cornbread mix
  • Eggs

Spray the Dutch Oven, and pour in cornbread batter. Place over direct heat and cover with coals for 20-25 minutes.

Sweet Potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Brown sugar
  • Butter

Cut potatoes in half, and then ¼ inch slices. Wrap in aluminum foil with oil and cook in pockets of medium-high heat coals.

Pulled pork

  • Prepare Ahead – Pulled pork (frozen)
  • Buns
  • BBQ sauce

Corn on the Cob

  • Corn on the cob
  • Butter

Husk corn, wrap in aluminum foil. Put in fire, turning often, until cooked through.

Pizza log

  • Aluminum foil
  • Baking spray
  • Frozen bread dough
  • Marinara sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Veggies or meats (optional)

Roll out bread dough into a large rectangle on a piece of aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray. Layer the middle of the pizza dough with sauce, cheese, along with any toppings. Fold up the edges of the dough & pinch closed. Wrap up in foil and cook in fire for 25 minutes, flipping often.

Lasagna

  • Oil/non-stick spray
  • Marinara sauce
  • No-boil lasagna noodles
  • Spinach (optional)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Oregano/basil

Layer all ingredients, then cover and bake with 8 coals under & 17 coals over for 30 minutes in Dutch Oven.

Snacks/Desserts

Gorp

  • Peanuts or almonds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Raisins, dried raspberries, dried bananas
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • M&Ms

Mix ingredients together in a giant bag or container, and scoop it out into baggies before a big hike or drive. Bonus – there’s no need to make a new batch of this. Just keep dumping in some peanuts, dried fruit, or m&ms as needed. It’s the never-ending trail mix!

Chocolate cake

  • Box of chocolate cake mix
  • Can of Sprite
  • Chocolate chips
  • Aluminum foil
  • Cooking spray

Line Dutch oven with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Pour cake mix, sprite, and chocolate chips in and mix until moistened. Bake 30-35 minutes with 6 coals under and 10 on top. Rotate lid every 10 minutes.

Campfire eclairs

  • Crescent roll dough
  • Whipped cream
  • Nutella
  • Fruit

Wrap crescent roll around hot dog stick, closing at end. Once it’s baked, fill with cool whip and fruit, and top with Nutella.

Chocolate pudding

  • Instant pudding mix
  • Dry milk
  • Water

Kids can take turns shaking the ingredients together in a Nalgene. And then they can fight about who gets the first bite. Win-win!

S’mores

  • Graham crackers
  • Chocolate
  • Marshmallows

Cobbler

  • 2 30 oz cans peaches (or other fruit) in syrup
  • 1 package yellow or white cake mix
  • 1/3 stick butter

Place Dutch oven over 15 hot coals. Pour peaches into oven. Spread dry cake mix over peaches. Sprinkle cinnamon over all, and cut butter into equal slices on top. Put lid on and place 10 hot coals on top. Bake for 45 minutes. Add cream or whipped cream.


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