7 Awesome Camping Recipes

Campfire cooking in Colorado.
Campfire cooking in Colorado. Srikanth Jandhyala
Made Possible by
Curated by

There’s no disputing that summer’s long days are best spent hiking and camping in America’s great outdoors. But when the day wanes and the temperatures start to drop, it’s time to build up the campfire and settle in for a long evening of watching fireflies and roasting marshmallows with friends and family. This summer, make this magical time of day something special with these seven inspired recipes.

1. Roasted Chipotle Corn

Nothing beats grilled corn straight off the campfire.
Nothing beats grilled corn straight off the campfire. ChrisDag

Sweet, slow roasted corn, brought to life with chipotle and lime, is the perfect accompaniment to just about any outdoor meal. This recipe is also great for kids to help out with: carefully peeling back the husks, removing the strands of silk, and giving the cob a good rub-down of butter, salt, and spice. If you have time, soak the corn in a bath of water for a half hour to an hour to increase the plumpness of the kernels.

Serves: 4

Tools : Tin foil, Tongs

Ingredients
4 corn on the cob with husks
½ stick of butter
Salt
Chipotle powder
1 lime, quartered

At Camp:


  • Peel back the husks of the corn, without tearing them from the stalk, and remove the silk

  • Coat the exposed corn with butter

  • Sprinkle with chipotle powder and salt, to taste

  • Squeeze lime onto the corn

  • Roll the husks back up to cover the corn. Wrap any exposed sections of corn in tin foil

  • Place on the grill, away from the hottest coals

  • Roast for 30 minutes, turning the cobs periodically

2. Upside-Down Campfire Nachos

Various Brennemans

Cast iron is a great outdoor cooking tool, as it distributes the concentrated heat of an open fire evenly, giving you an increased level of control. If you've never used cast iron before, nachos are a good way to increase your familiarity, while impressing your friends. Bring the fixings for this fun appetizer on your next camping adventure and get creative by adding your own toppings, such as olives, grilled chicken, or green onions.

Serves: 4

Tools:  12” seasoned cast iron skillet, Aluminum foil, Spatula

Ingredients
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
½ cup tomatoes, chopped
½ cup onions, chopped
½ cup cooked black beans
1 jalapeno, chopped
3 cups tortilla chips
Salsa (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
Guacamole (optional)

At Camp:


  • Add half of the cheese to the bottom of the cast iron pan

  • Sprinkle half of the tomatoes, onions, black beans, and jalapeno on top of the cheese

  • Add a layer of chips

  • Repeat steps 1-3, adding a second layer on top of the first

  • Cover the cast iron pan with aluminum foil

  • Position the cast iron pan on top of the hot coals of your campfire

  • Remove after 10 minutes and let rest for 5 minutes

  • Invert the nachos onto a plate, using the spatula to help loosen the cheese from the bottom of the pan

3. Smoky Potato Salad

A summertime favorite, this potato salad can be great for camping trips too!
A summertime favorite, this potato salad can be great for camping trips too! Laura Lancaster

Sometimes the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day of hiking is prepare an elaborate outdoor feast. Making food in advance frees up your time to focus on what's important: building a campfire, relaxing with a cold drink, or roasting that third marshmallow. Potato salad is a tasty choice for making ahead as it will not only keep for days, but even improves with time. This recipe incorporates the aroma of a campfire with the addition of smoked salt. 

Serves: 4

Tools:  1 large, airtight Tupperware container

Ingredients
2 pounds baby red potatoes, boiled until tender and diced
4 hardboiled eggs, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
½ red onion, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp. tarragon, chopped
1 ½ tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp alderwood smoked salt
½ tsp pepper

At Home:


  • Mix all ingredients thoroughly in an airtight Tupperware container

  • Taste for salt, and add more as desired

This potato salad will improve with time so feel free to make a couple of days before you leave for your trip

At Camp:

Store in your icebox at camp until it’s time to eat.

4. Fire-Roasted Salmon

Getting the fire going for some high-end, fireside cuisine.
Getting the fire going for some high-end, fireside cuisine. Eric Rogge

If simplicity is your goal for your outdoor menu, don't resort to hot dogs or lukewarm pasta just yet. Fish fillets, such as salmon, pack a ton of flavor and come together quickly over a bed of hot coals with minimal on-site preparation. Package them up in tin foil at home for easy transport, and reap the rewards when your fish emerges from the fire moist and flaky. Adding garlic and lemon highlights the natural delicious flavor of the fish, but you can also experiment with other seasonings, such as Cajun spice, fresh oregano, or chives.

Serves: 4

Tools : Tin Foil, Tongs

Ingredients
1 pound of salmon (or substitute a different fish, such as halibut or cod, of your choice)
Butter
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Salt
Lemon

At Home:


  • Rub the fish with garlic, butter, lemon, and salt

  • Wrap in foil, label, and refrigerate

At Camp:


  • Place the foil-wrapped fish packet on a grill over hot coals

  • Flip over the fish packet after 5 minutes

  • After another 5 minutes, remove the fish from the coals

  • Open the foil, carefully, and serve immediately

5. Sangria Infusion

There is nothing more refreshing than a cold glass of sangria after a day on the trails.
There is nothing more refreshing than a cold glass of sangria after a day on the trails. Divya Thakur

Is there a beverage that's more perfectly suited for the dog days of summer than sangria? Chilled wine and bubbly club soda, spiked with brandy-soaked fruit—no wonder this is the go-to drink of the Mediterranean. And infusing the fruit with the brandy in advance means that you can fit enough for the entire weekend in your cooler without losing out on the sophisticated flavor. Substitute white wine for red to create the perfect mix for any outdoor meal.

Serves: 8

Tools:  1 quart size mason jar

Ingredients
1 orange, diced
½ pineapple, diced
1 apple, diced
1 pear, diced
1 cup brandy
2 bottles red wine
Club soda

At Home:


  • Place the chopped fruit into the mason jar

  • Add 1 cup of brandy

  • Fill the rest of the mason jar with red wine, ensuring that all the fruit is covered, and refrigerate

At Camp:


  • Combine ½ cup of the fruit, brandy, and wine mixture with ½ cup of red wine

  • Top off with a splash of club soda

6. Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

Chicken skewers are a quick and easy way to grill up a hardy and tasty meal.
Chicken skewers are a quick and easy way to grill up a hardy and tasty meal. Eugene Kim

You'll want to save space on your grill for this flavorful take on the classic barbecue skewer. Chicken strips, soaked overnight in a tangy marinade, are perfectly matched with sweet pineapple and the taste of campfire smoke. Remember when you're building your skewers to give the chicken room to breathe, ensuring that it cooks evenly and quickly. Add other vegetables, including bell peppers, onions, or summer squash, for a splash of color. To make this one a complete meal, serve over rice with additional teriyaki sauce and sriracha.

Serves: 4

Tools:  Airtight Tupperware container, Bamboo skewers

Ingredients
1 1/2 pound boneless chicken, in strips
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
½ pineapple, cubed

At Home:


  • Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic in an airtight Tupperware container

  • Add the chicken strips, making sure that they are fully submerged

  • Seal the container, and refrigerate overnight before your trip

At Camp:


  • Pull the Tupperware container containing the marinated chicken out of the icebox

  • Thread 1 to 2 strips of chicken per skewer, with pieces of pineapple in between

  • Roast over hot coals for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through

7. Elvis Banana Boat

Banana boats roasting by the fire.
Banana boats roasting by the fire. Ironayla

Get creative with your desserts by adding a new spin to an old standby. Toasted bananas, chocolate, and marshmallows are great for kids, but when you're ready to upgrade, try adding some peanut butter and honey to create a banana boat fit for a king. And why stop there? Mix in some caramel syrup, dried coconut, or even bacon, and make the banana boat truly unforgettable.

Serves: 4

Ingredients
4 graham cracker sheets, crumbled
4 tbsp. butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 bananas
Nutella
Peanut butter
Honey

At Home:


  • Thoroughly combine graham crackers, butter, brown sugar, and vanilla in an airtight container

At Camp:


  • Slit open each banana along the inside curve and set in the middle of a length of foil

  • Add 2 scoops of Nutella and peanut butter

  • Drizzle honey over the banana

  • Sprinkle on 2 tbsp. of the graham cracker mixture

  • Wrap the foil around the banana so that it is fully enclosed

  • Roast over the fire for 8 to 10 minutes, making sure that the crease of the foil is pointed up

  • Remove from the fire, peel back the foil, and enjoy

Last Updated:

Next Up

Previous

5 Great Gros Ventre Hikes To Do this Summer

Next

Atlanta's Weekend Guide to Paddling by Day and Music by Night