13 Camping Recipes That Aren't S'mores And Hot Dogs

There is no denying that hot dogs and s'mores are classics that will forever have a place on the camping menu. They're easy to make and are universally popular amongst those who enjoy the great outdoors. However, there comes a time when even these most classic of camping foods need to make way for something different. The fact of the matter is that there is so much more you can make when you go camping. From easy, make-ahead meals that will keep your next camping trip stress free to ones cooked directly over the fire, there is a wide range of flavorful meals that can elevate your camping experience. 


We've compiled this list of camping recipes to show you just how much you can chef up at camp. All of these recipes can be made using a portable grill, camp grill, or fire pit. However, the ultimate success of these meals is how well you've prepared in advance. Let's get started! 

Breakfast burrito

Breakfast burritos are a make-ahead staple that pack a lot of flavor. Their compact nature allows you to load quite a lot of them into a small space, making for easy storage and room for more meals and ingredients. How far you can make them in advance? Use the rule of three. That's three days in the fridge and three months in the freezer.


A great plus of breakfast burritos is that they are easily customizable. You start with the basic foundation of eggs and a tortilla, to which you can add any combination of ingredients you wish. Some favorites include breakfast meats like cubed ham, bacon, or sausage; dairy like cheddar cheese and sour cream; veggies like peppers and onions; legumes like black beans. Stocks of salsa and guacamole in the cooler are also good to have on hand.

You can wrap the burritos individually in aluminum foil, then use a marker to label the fillings. They can be packed tightly into containers and reheated on your cast iron skillet or grill for 10 minutes if they're cold and 20 minutes if they are frozen. Overall, they are a quick and easy way to provide yourself the fuel you need for a successful day.


English muffin egg sandwiches

Here is another camping classic that is extremely easy to make ahead of time. The English muffin breakfast sandwich is a delicious and filling breakfast that comes in a compact form. A combination of fried or baked eggs, your choice of cheese, and breakfast meat, you can make these sandwiches in bulk several days in advance. The good news is that they are straightforward to prepare.


The big difference between breakfast burritos and English muffin breakfast sandwiches is that the latter is far simpler when it comes to ingredient requirements. All you need to do is whip up a big batch of eggs in a sheet pan, divide them, and assemble your sandwiches. The only other ingredient that requires cooking is bacon, but breakfast patty sausages and Canadian bacon only need to be warmed up because they already fully cooked.

The sandwiches can then be packaged in aluminum foil like the burritos and labeled to indicate the meat they contain. Then, at camp, the only thing needed is to warm them for about five minutes on the grill or in the skillet, and you will have a fantastic breakfast in no time at all. They're also effortless to prepare at camp, especially if you prefer fresh breakfast sandwiches.


Campfire nachos

Who among us has not come home from a long day at work and looked through the pantry for something quick to assemble? You might have even grabbed a bag of tortilla chips and some shredded cheese, thrown them in the oven, and 10 minutes later, enjoyed a fresh batch of nachos. Fortunately, they are just as easy to throw together at camp. 


Great for serving a crowd in a hurry, campfire nachos can be made using either disposable aluminum baking trays, your favorite cast iron skillet, or a Dutch oven. The baking trays make for less cleanup, but the cast iron provides more versatility and better heat retention. You might also want to invest in an all-in-one cookware for delicious camping meals. At its most basic, the nachos are an assembly of cheese and chips. You can add seasonings, ground meat, beans, onions, tomatoes, and salsa, all of which can be easily prepared beforehand and transported to camp. The actual assembly and baking of the nachos should be done onsite. 

Keep an eye on the nachos as they bake on the coals, cooking them until the cheese melts completely over the chips. Any longer, you run the risk of them burning. The only real problem with campfire nachos is that they tend to vanish quickly, so you'll need to make a pretty big batch depending on how many you're feeding.


Chicken kebabs

When considering the greatness of hot dogs, their quickness and ease of assembly are part of what makes them so appealing. However, if there is a perfect competitor in terms of assembly time and flavor, it would be chicken kebabs. A longtime favorite of the grill and traditional across centuries, grilling seasoned chicken skewered between delicious vegetables is one flavorful and fast camping meal that you will want to make time and time again.


While kebabs are easy to put together ahead of time, you could also do so as easily at the campsite. Take your seasoned chicken, usually breast meat or thighs — and slide them onto wooden skewers, alternating between meat and vegetables until the majority of the stick is covered. Popular seasonings include Italian or Greek dressing, balsamic vinaigrette, buffalo, and teriyaki.

Grilling the kebabs is a simple, satisfying affair. Because the chicken pieces are so small, cooking them doesn't involve too much guesswork. Once the chicken looks finished on the outside, it is very likely done on the inside as well. This takes roughly three to five minutes per side. You can enjoy them with rice or on their own. Either way, they're an absolutely delicious alternative to hot dogs. 


Campfire chickpea curry

This is an excellent option for vegetarian and vegan campers who are tired of soy dogs. While it may not seem so on paper, chickpea curry is incredibly easy to make over a campfire, so long as you've taken the time at home to prepare all the ingredients. The main prep to do at home would be to cut up all the veggies you plan on using, such as the onions and garlic needed for the curry. Also, making sure to pack spice essentials like curry powder, garam masala, paprika, and turmeric is key to the success of this dish. The coconut milk, which provides fat and smoothness, and chickpeas themselves can both be purchased canned. If you plan on serving this over rice, make some at home before you leave and then heat it on the camp stove alongside the curry.


A two-burner propane camp stove is best for this meal, as it allows for the most control. While the rice warms, cook the curry by sautéing the garlic and onions, then add your spices, chickpeas, coconut milk, and allow it all to simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Once made, it's a flavor dense meal perfect for a chilly evening. It's sure to be a winner, even for the most devoted carnivore. 


Whether you prefer to prepare it early in the morning and have it simmering all day over coals or at home and heat it up at camp, there is nothing better than a bowl of chilly on a cool evening outdoors. The great thing about this meal is that you can make enough to feed yourself and other campers and still have plenty left over to reheat during your trip. It keeps incredibly well in the cooler and can be frozen ahead of time in individual serving sizes. (Try the easy camping hack that'll ensure your food stays safe to eat.)


Naturally, there are two ways you could go when it comes to making chili. You could pack it full of meat, like beef, venison, turkey, or pork, or you could opt for a vegetable or bean-based chili loaded with black and red kidney beans, or do both. Either way, you will have a meal that is deeply flavorful and dead easy to make.

If you're reheating chili that's been frozen in advance of your trip, make sure that you add a little water to the pot. This will prevent the chili from burning as it reconstitutes. Have some shredded cheese and sour cream on hand in the cooler to give that chili a little bit of extra heft. 

Cast iron campfire pizza

This recipe is a must for anyone with a large, cast iron skillet. Making pizza over a campfire is much easier recipe to achieve than you might think. Again, you can save a lot of time and stress by preparing your ingredients at home. That way, when you are ready to cook it over the fire, you're not stressed over timing.


Preparing your dough at home as opposed to the campsite is the best way to go about this recipe. You will have more control at home; furthermore, you don't want to be babysitting it all afternoon when you could be out by the water trying to avoid these massive freshwater fishing mistakes. You could also purchase the dough premade from the grocery store. Having your toppings chosen and packaged in advance, too, is another time saver.

You'll need a Dutch oven or a covered skillet in order to cook the pizza over the coals. The cover allows the heat to circulate and better bake the dough, cheese, and toppings. Let the dough cook alone for about five minutes before adding toppings. Bake another 10 minutes, covered and over the coals. Once finished, you've got yourself an awesome, flavorful pizza into which you can dig.



If you're looking for a special campfire meal that is a little more upscale but also quick to cook, why not bring some quality steaks? Steak might not be a meal one immediately thinks of when camping, but it has a long tradition dating back centuries. Nothing beats a steak grilled to perfection over hot coals. The crisp sear you get from the heat, along with the flavor of the woodsmoke, is unlike anything else. It is definitely a meal you need to add to your camping repertoire sooner rather than later.


Now, the type of steak you choose will depend on your preferred cooking method. If you want straightforward, no-nonsense steak, ribeye, sirloin, or London broils are the way to go. If you'd rather have something faster and with a bit more seasoning to it, opt for cuts like skirt steak or flank. As an outdoor enthusiast, you should already know how to store and preserve raw meat when camping; otherwise, it could go rancid. 

Whichever steak you end up choosing, the best way to cook it is over the coals. Sure, you could do it in cast iron or on propane, but coals give you great crust and excellent flavor. The taste is also reminiscent of what life on the frontier might have been like ages ago.

Campfire cornbread

Nothing goes better with campfire steaks, chili, or kebabs than a nice, piping-hot slice of sweet cornbread prepared in a skillet or Dutch oven. It doesn't matter if you're using a boxed mix or your own special, homemade recipe. Having some cornbread around is a fantastic way to liven any meal.


As for the skillet in question, no cookware is better than cast iron. They are heavy duty, can stand the heat of the campfire coals, and hold onto that heat for baking. For cornbread, you'll want to make sure you have adequate fat on the pan to keep the bread from sticking. Butter or bacon grease is preferable to oils.

Keep an eye on the cornbread as it bakes. In a conventional oven, it could take around 25 minutes to bake fully, but this could be faster or slower over camp coals. In general, look for when the sides of the bread are crisp and separated from the side of the pan and the center is golden brown and firm. Allow it to cool for a few minutes after it is removed from the heat. Otherwise, it might fall apart when it's cut.


Potato bundles

If you've never tossed diced potatoes with olive oil, salt, and a little bit of garlic, wrapped them in aluminum foil, and thrown them directly onto coals, you're missing out on one of the most scrumptious of all camping meals. Potato packets are incredibly delicious and make the perfect side dish for your campfire dinner. They also use the most versatile camping tool, aluminum foil, to make one of the most enjoyable camping meals to ever exist (check out why aluminum foil is the cooking tool you need for camping).


The potatoes can be cut anyway the chef wishes, though smaller and thinner will cook faster. Add to the bundles any number of different ingredients, such as green onions, garlic, jalapeño peppers, poblano chilis, parsley, rosemary, and plenty of butter or oil. Potato type is based on preference, though the waxier varieties like red or Yukon gold lend themselves well to this type of cooking.

Depending on how thickly you've cut the potatoes, they should take around 25 minutes to bake over the coals. The foil packet acts as a mini oven and allows all of the flavors to really sink into the potatoes. Plus, if you're lucky, you might get a little char on the skins, which makes them extra crispy.

Cinnamon rolls

Moving on to the more sweet thing you could make at camp, we come to cinnamon rolls. While you could take a leisurely camp morning or evening to prepare the dough and have it rise, it's far easier to get the rolls made at home. Cinnamon rolls store well and easily, and can sit frozen in your fridge for up to six weeks. You could also just buy premade, but making cinnamon rolls from scratch is more special.


There are several cooking vessels for baking the cinnamon rolls. You could use grilling prongs, a pie dish, a cast iron skillet, or a Dutch oven. It all depends on whether you want to bake them en masse or as their own separate rolls. If you're hoping to make them stretch for a few days, the prongs allow you to cook them individually instead of as a whole.

The amount of time they cook depends on how thawed and fresh they are. A freshly thawed cinnamon roll will only take about 12 minutes to cook over the coals or on the grill. Frozen may take an extra 5 to 10 minutes or so. You'll know they've finished once they've risen and turned golden crisp on the outside. Then you can smother them in frosting to your hearts content.


Campfire apple crisp

If you're looking for a dessert that is a little more formal, why not try campfire apple crisp? It's a fantastic dessert for those chilly nights at any of the best fall camping spots in the U.S. that come highly reviewed by campers. Plus, apples come into season between July and November, so they're perfect anytime from late summer into early fall. Apple crisp is also a great dessert for those lazy nights by the campfire, and it couldn't be easier to prepare.


Bring whole apples with you to the campsite, then cut them up onsite. This prevents them from oxidizing and helps to keep the flavor as fresh as possible. You can make the crumble ahead of time at home using butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, and oats. You can pack the crumble in a Ziploc bag and keep it in the cooler until it is time to assemble the crisp.

Like the cinnamon rolls, you can make the apple crisps in individual sizes or in a large pan. For the smaller ones, aluminum foil packets work fantastically. For larger pieces, it's probably better to go with a disposable tray so as not to dirty camp cookware.

Glazed and grilled peaches

Grilled peaches may not be for everyone, especially those with a stone fruit allergy. However, for anyone looking for something a little out of the ordinary but simple to make, grilled peaches are a dream. They hold their shape but develop an even sweeter flavor, thanks to the grill bringing out the sugars. They are perfect when paired with ice cream or whipped cream. You can even prepare a simple honey glaze for additional flavor.


Peaches can be brought to camp fresh in the cooler, sliced in half, and pitted before going on the grill. It takes roughly two to three minutes per side on a low heated grill to get the peaches warmed and soft, and provide them with those attractive grill marks. Once they're off the grill, pair them with the glaze, ice cream, or whipped cream for a light and sumptuous dessert.

Feeling inspired now? Obviously, we won't stop you from making hot dogs and s'mores for your campsite dinner. But if you're feeling tired of either, these are some really great recipes that are easy to make and, arguably, more flavorful than a good hot dog.