Camping Meals: Great Ideas for Outdoor Cooking

selective focus photo of skillet and meat on top of grill with fire

One of the best things about camping is eating. You can get away from everything and enjoy a meal with friends or family, but sometimes it’s hard to know what to make. We’ve got you covered! Here are meals that will give you plenty of ideas for outdoor cooking-and they’re all easy enough to prepare on a grill over an open fire. Enjoy!

Packaged Meals

Packing packaged meals is an easy way to ensure that you have healthy foods on the road with you. Some of the benefits of packaged meals are that they are quick, they are already cooked or prepped, they are easier to clean up after eating, and they generally have a long shelf life. Example of packaged meals you can bring include : instant mac and cheese, canned spaghetti or ravioli (without the sauce), ramen noodles, tuna packets, granola bars.

Campfire Cooking

Campfire cooking is a fun way of cooking for your camping trip. Although some people are intimidated by the idea of cooking over an open flame, it really isn’t difficult to get the hang of.

One of the most enjoyable things about campfire cooking is that you can cook foods that are not suited for other types of cooking methods. Foods that need to be cooked low and slow, like bone-in chicken thighs or pork shoulder, are perfect for the grill grate set up over your campfire. For foods that require high heat, like hot dogs or weenies, you can use a cast iron skillet placed on the grill grate over the fire.

Other foods you can cook on a campfire are :

-Tacos in aluminum foil packets, with the meat and tortilla wrapped together.

-Grilled cheese sandwiches using a cast iron skillet or griddle pan over your fire pit’s grill grate.

-Bacon wrapped hot dogs are also delicious when cooked on the campfire! Just make sure to wrap them well in aluminum foil to prevent the bacon from burning.

-Campfire baked potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil, with butter and any other toppings you desire.

-Corn or shucked corn on the cob that has been stripped of its husks placed around the edges of your fire pit’s grill grate for easy cooking over a low flame. Just be sure to rotate them after they start to char.

-Scrambled eggs can be cooked in a pot over the fire pit, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until finished cooking.

And for dessert? S’mores of course! Some people might think that s’mores are only meant for summertime camping trips but you can roast them over a campfire all year long. Just make sure to use large marshmallows and sturdy graham crackers or biscuits, cut in half horizontally before roasting them together with some chocolate sandwiched between two halves of the biscuit until it melts.

Backpacking Foods

Backpacking foods are often the easiest way to get a healthy meal no matter where you’re going. Some of the benefits backpacking foods include that they are generally lightweight, they don’t require refrigeration, and they allow for a lot of cooking time over a small period of time which is really great for situations where cooking around a campfire might be difficult.

Examples of backpacking foods include:

-Dehydrated fruits or vegetables

-Canned lentils or other beans

-Instant Oatmeal packets

-Instant rice, pasta, or couscous

-Canned fish like tuna, sardines, salmon

-Instant mashed potatoes

Although some of these backpacking foods might seem a little expensive for what you get in the bag, they are usually only about $0.25 per serving and will provide enough food to give you energy while walking around on your adventures.

One Pot Dinners

One pot dinners are easy and perfect for cooking over a campfire. One of the most delicious things you can cook with just one pot is spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is a winter squash that when cooked, becomes very similar to spaghetti noodles. To prepare this dish:

-Cut your spaghetti squash in half and put both halves face down on your fire pit’s grill grate.

-Season them with salt and pepper and place some olive oil in the spaces between the halves so they don’t stick.

-Let the spaghetti squash roast until they become soft and the edges begin to brown (about 20 minutes) then flip them over and add about 1/4 inch of water or broth (enough to cover the bottom of the pan).

-Cover the squash with a lid or aluminum foil and let them cook until they are fork tender. (about another 20 minutes)

-Flip again so that their insides become face down on the grill grate, remove all of the seeds from each half, then scrape out the stringy part of spaghetti squash onto your plate, resembling spaghetti noodles.

-Add your favorite marinara sauce, meatballs or sausage for a delicious meal that can be cooked in just one pot!


Camping is one of the best ways to get back to nature and feel like you’re reconnecting with yourself. You don’t have to go without food, either!

We’ve provided a list of easy-to-prepare camping meals that will give you plenty of ideas for outdoor cooking – all are delicious and can be prepared on a grill over an open fire. The options include packaged foods such as ramen noodles, recipes for campfire cooking, backpacking foods, and one pot dinners.

Planning for your next camping adventure includes what things to bring, how to get into the camping place safely and conveniently, and what foods to eat. Hope this blog helped you and gave you ideas!

Table of Contents