If you’re planning a camping or backpacking trip, one of the best ways to make the most of your time is to prepare some make ahead camping meals.
That way, you can spend less time cooking and more time enjoying the great outdoors.
Probably our favorite part of camping is the food. There is nothing like enjoying a meal around the campfire with family and friends. There is something very basic and primal about it that makes me feel good down to my roots. I’m not the only one who feels that way right?
Eating around the campfire, however does NOT mean that I want to spend all of my camping time cooking, and I also do not want to eat hot dogs endlessly (ugh) so I have discovered more than a few make-ahead meals for our camping trip.
These pre-made meal ideas are fantastic for saving time as well as space since you don’t have to lug along as many ingredients.
Camping food doesn’t have to mean sitting around eating beans out of a can. You’ll notice that I have included some different make ahead unique camping meals that you may not have thought to bring camping.
“This Asian Beef And Broccoli Camping Dutch Oven Recipe is perfect for making at home. Then, just write on the bag so you know what is in it and how to cook and serve at the campsite.”
– Kim from Camping with Foodies”
Pre Made Camping Meals Are Awesome
Here are my top 5 ways to spend less camping time cooking.
- Divvy up meals with other family members so each family/member cooks a meal.
- Chop all vegetables at home.
- Marinate and grill any food you can at home, or at least marinate at home if you want to grill at the campsite.
- Bring paper plates, bowls, etc and burn them after = easy clean up!
- Think of meals that can be pre-made at home, and then heated up at the campsite.
Make Ahead Camping Breakfast Suggestions
Here we have included some recipes that are simple, because who wants complicated on a camping trip!
Let’s start with an awesome make ahead camping meal for breakfast, which can include muffins (my kids are HUGE muffin lovers), overnight oats to fill-up those tummies before we go exploring.
1. Orange Strawberry Muffins
Orange Strawberry Muffins
“They are quick and easy to put together and great for breakfast, brunch or eating on the go.” – Bintu from Recipes From a Pantry
2. Campfire Cinnamon Rolls
Campfire Cinnamon Rolls
“Ooey gooey, deliciously easy camping recipe you can make ahead and cook outdoors!” Mel from Adventures of Mel. Add the ultimate comfort food to your next camping adventure!
3. Hot Ham and Pineapple Sandwiches
Hot Ham and Pineapple Sandwiches
“These Hot Ham and Pineapple Campfire Sandwiches are a delicious and easy tin foil recipe. Plus cleanup is a breeze! ” Amber from Dessert Now Dinner Later
Helpful Items For Your Make Ahead Camping Meal
4. Camping Breakfast Burritos
Camping Breakfast Burritos
“These easy campfire breakfast burritos are made ahead at home, then finished off at the campsite, on the grill, or in your oven.” Nicky from Little Family Adventure. A super breakfast recipe that will satisfy even the biggest appetites.
5. Healthy Veggie Egg Bake
Healthy Veggie Egg Bake
“This breakfast meal prep casserole is so versatile because you can use any veggie you see fit, and it can be made ahead of time!” Rachel from Radical Strength. A hearty breakfast to start your day.
Make Ahead Meals For RV Camping
On your next camping trip, try some of these delicious make ahead meal recipes that will please the whole family. These dishes are as versatile as they are yummy! There are dinner recipes as well as camping lunch recipes and many can be heated up on an open fire, or even a camping stove.
Here are the recommended RV kitchen essentials we use on a daily basis that help make cooking in a tiny home a breeze.
6. Shrimp and Summer Veggie Foil Packs
Shrimp and Summer Veggie Foil Packs
“The best part, is that everything is cooked together in individual foil packs so clean up couldn’t be easier!” – Jaclyn from Cooking Classy
7. Sausage, Potato and Green Beans
Sausage, Potato and Green Beans
“Sausage and veggies packed in easy foil packets. Perfect for camping or a quick dinner! ” Chungah from Damn Delicious
8. Pork Green Chile
Pork Green Chile
“I especially love it while camping. You can make a big batch of it, freeze it and reheat it on your campfire or Coleman stove ” Yvette from Muy Bueno Cookbook
9. Great Grilled Chicken
Great Grilled Chicken
“They are perfect right off the grill and even delicious when reheated” Rebecca from Strength and Sunshine
10. Slow Cooker Whiskey Beef Stew
Slow Cooker Whiskey Beef Stew
“Whether you are looking for a cozy meal on a cool day, a hearty meal that won’t heat up your kitchen on a hot day, an easy potluck dish or cooking for a crowd, this crock pot Whisky Beef Stew is a godsend. ” Terri from Food Meanderings
11. Make Ahead Mac n’Cheese
12. Cheesy Buffalo Foil Packets
Cheesy Buffalo Foil Packets
“They are exploding with flavor, have a little kick of heat but still totally kid friendly, and the combo of buffalo + chicken + potatoes + broccoli + cheese = winner winner the best Chicken Foil Packet Dinner! ” Jen from Carlsbad Cravings. Pre make and heat- simple!
Helpful Items For Your Make Ahead Camping Meals
13. Cheesy Sausage Rolls
Cheesy Sausage Rolls
“When we first started to camp years ago, we’d eat very simple meals & a lot of canned foods, but now we realize there are options out there for more flavorful meals without having to sacrifice simplicity or the time in preparing those meals. ” from NW Thrifty Mom
These make a great lunch meal as they can be packed and carried as a camping snack on a hike or to a picnic.
14. Coconut Curry Chicken
Coconut Curry Chicken
“You can absolutely make low carb chicken curry ahead of time! In fact, it’s similar to soups and chilis where it gets even better after a day in the fridge.” Maya from Wholesome Yum. Easy to heat up in your cast iron skillet.
15. Easy Chicken Fajitas
Easy Chicken Fajitas
“It’s time for cook-outs, camp-outs, deck and barbecue parties with friends. It’s also time to simply enjoy easy-to prepare meals with your family around a picnic table.” Elaine from Flavour and Savour
16. Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich
Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich
“The flavors in this sandwich are unique and so hard to resist!” Shadi from Unicorns in the Kitchen
17. Foil Pack Philly Cheesesteak
Foil Pack Philly Cheesesteak
“These philly cheesesteak dinner foil packs can be cooked over the campfire (talk about good food while camping!), cooked on the grill, or cooked in the oven.” Chelsea from Chelsea’s Messy Apron. Melted cheesy goodness!
18. Asian Beef and Broccoli in the Dutch Oven
Asian Beef and Broccoli in the Dutch Oven
“This Asian Beef And Broccoli Camping Dutch Oven Recipe is perfect for making at home. Then, just write on the bag so you know what is in it and how to cook and serve at the campsite.” Kim from Camping with Foodies
19. Slow Cooker Beef Chili
20. Cajun Shrimp Camping Foil Packets
Cajun Shrimp Camping Foil Packets
“These Cajun shrimp packets are packed with bold flavors – an easy and healthy dinner ready in about 20 minutes” Stacey from The Soccer Mom. All the flavor with very little effort!
21. Keto Low Carb Vegetable Soup
Keto Low Carb Vegetable Soup
“Homemade vegetable soup makes a regular appearance at our house in the winter. It’s warming, it’s filling, and it’s good for us.” Maya from Wholesome Yum
22. Sweet Potato Turkey Chili
Sweet Potato Turkey Chili
“This easy turkey chilli recipe is just a tad spicy, hearty and super good-for-you with lots of veggies and heart-healthy spices” Jennifer from In the Kids Kitchen. Gotta love those sweet potatoes!
Helpful Items For Your Make Ahead Camping Meals
23. Pesto Pork Chop and Summer Vegetable Foil Dinners
Pesto Pork Chop and Summer Vegetable Foil Dinners
“One of the summertime activities I loved doing when I was a kid was making foil dinners. They were a guaranteed dinner whenever I was on a camping trip. I’m sure they’re a camping classic because they’re easy.” Katie from Good Life Eats.
24. Campfire Veggie Packets
Campfire Veggie Packets
“Cooking over a campfire can be a little intimidating unless you have this recipe for veggie packets that turn out well every time. You can prepare your ingredients at home, or you can bring everything and assemble it on the site.” from Brit & Co.
25. BBQ Pulled Pork
BBQ Pulled Pork
“We like to cook a pork shoulder in the crockpot, shred it up and bring it with us for awesome BBQ pulled pork sandwiches around the campfire” Grainne from The Roving Foleys
Make at Home, Heat on the Fire
There are a few things to keep in mind when preparing make ahead camping meals.
First, it’s important to to choose recipes that can be easily reheated.
So anything that can be made at home and heated up over a campfire is perfect for camping. Think stews, casseroles, soups, grilled chicken, slow cooker meals are all perfect for this.
Need help with prepping for your upcoming family camping trip? Check out this article where we suggest what you should bring, so you forget nothing! We’ve all been there and done that, this checklist will ensure that doesn’t happen again!
With a little bit of planning, you can enjoy hassle-free meals that will make your camping trip with the whole family even more enjoyable.
Whether you are cooking with a large camping group, or a family of two, camping should be fun from start to finish. Even your kids will love getting involved.
Ensuring that happens means doing a lot of prep in advance. With little bit of advance planning, you can create quick and easy meals that will feed the entire family, and stop you from spending all your time indoors cooking!
Camping is a fun, affordable way to enjoy nature and spend time with fiends and family.
But, like most things in life, it’s more enjoyable when you don’t have to worry about the little things.
That’s where make ahead camping meals come in!
These recipes are simple to prepare, easy to transport, and will save you from having to deal with last minute dinner drama while you’re out in the wild.
One of my personal favorites is to make a big batch of hearty chili before we head out. I simply cook the chili at home, then pack it into an insulated container.
When we get to our campsite, all I have to do is reheat the chili and add some pre-made cornbread or crackers on the side.
Another great make-ahead option is kabobs. You can use chicken or beef. I like to marinate them in advance, then thread them onto skewers.
They are perfect for the first night of your trip, all you need to do is heat them over an open fire.
Here are my go-to meals that I make on RV travel day. These are simple meals that I can make ahead of time and heat up quickly once we get to our destination!
Throwing everything into one cooking utensil is my favorite way of cooking, if you agree, check out these amazing slow cooker recipes.
Make Ahead Camping Meals
Grainne Foley grew up in Ireland and spent summers caravanning around Europe with her family. Now, as a wife and mother of 2, she spent 5 years traveling the USA as a full time RVing family. She is passionate about travel, and helping others who are considering the RV lifestyle. She has created dozens of helpful RVing checklists which are available throughout the website, and has curated hundreds of simple, flavorful meals for families on the go.