For a one-night camping trip your time is valuable! It’s important to get as much star gazing, campfire conversations, and direct contact with nature as possible.
As you plan your camping experience keep it in mind that you don’t need to spend your valuable star-gazing time creating a camping menu. You can create the menu fast, keep the flavor, and slow down to enjoy every moment of your camping experience.
Here’s 10+ (11 to be exact) quick menu ideas that will leave your taste buds asking for more:
#1: Breakfast – Burgers
For a hearty breakfast (popular with most campers) try a breakfast burger! To prepare this delicious morning meal fry one or two eggs (per person) while cooking a sausage patties on your camping stove or grill. Bacon may also be added to the stove or grill.
As the meat and eggs begin to cook, slice an English muffin and throw both sides of the muffin on the grill with a light buttering or a thin layer of olive oil. Once slightly brown remove the muffins onto a plate and then check the meat and eggs. If done place one or two eggs on the bottom half of the English muffin, and then add the bacon, sausage and the final half of the muffin. You may also add cheese and any additional toppings or condiments that suit your fancy!
#2: Breakfast – Cones
Breakfast cones are fun and delicious for kids and adults. For each person in your group produce a medium to large-sized waffle cone. Allow each camper to scoop into the cone vanilla yogurt, fresh blueberries, fresh strawberries, more yogurt, sliced almonds, chocolate chips and any other toppings that sound irresistible.
#3: Breakfast – Sandwich (Strawberry and Nutella)
If you’ve ever made a grilled tuna fish sandwich the preparation for its much sweeter counterpart is very similar. Butter a piece of your favorite bread and throw it on the grill. Spread the top of the bread with Nutella and cover with strawberries. Place another piece of buttered bread (buttered side face up) on top of the strawberries and flip the entire sandwich after 2-3 minutes or until nicely browned. Enjoy with milk, coffee or your favorite breakfast beverage!
#4: Lunch – Pasta Heaven!
The great thing about pasta dishes is that they are easy, easy, easy! Simply choose your favorite pasta, and follow the instructions to prepare. When the pasta is ready, drain the water and add in several tablespoons of your favorite oil or dairy-based dressing and then adding in your favorite veggies and shredded meats or cheeses. For example, www.lovebakesgoodcakes.com suggests using a creamy chipotle dressing, plenty of veggies and a hint of lime. This dish provides refreshing lunch out of doors and all vegetables and meats can be chopped, prepared and frozen until needed on the day of your camping trip.
#5: Lunch – Mac N Cheese Heaven!
Here’s another pasta dish but this one is definitely in a class all its own—Mac N Cheese! To prepare this creamy dish buy some pie tins at your grocery store. Spray each pie tin with a non-stick cooking oil and set aside. Then prepare your favorite pasta according to the package’s instructions. Once the pasta is ready, drain the water and add in cheddar, mozzarella and your favorite grated cheeses. Once these begin to melt add in half & half, alfredo sauce (purchased at the store) and your own choice of spices. Divide the combined mixture into the pie tins and then cover with another layer of cheese. Cover with tin foil and cook on a grill over hot coals (not fire) for 8-10 minutes. Enjoy!
#6: Lunch – Tacos In a Bag
Tacos are always a favorite whether you’re eating indoors or outdoors and this version of an all-time favorite will quickly become a camping success! To prepare “tacos in a bag” purchase your favorite single-serving sized Doritos or Fritos bags. Let each camper select his or her preferred chips and open their bags. Once opened they can eat a few chips. Yum! Then, each camper can begin to add his/her favorite pre-prepared toppings. Even ground beef can be added if it’s been pre-cooked and then warmed for 3-5 minutes before serving. Other possible toppings include lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, etc. Enjoy!
#7: Dinner – Kabobs
Kabobs of any kind always “hit the spot” and these kabobs will be no different. Prepare your preferred meat (generally steak or chicken) into medium-sized cubes and slice veggies with more thickness than usual (not thin sliced) for proportional cooking alongside the meat. Marinate the kabobs in the marinade of your choice (while refrigerating) and then freeze if necessary until you leave for your camping trip. At the camp site grill the kabobs over over hot coals (not a full fire) for 10-20 minutes rotating every minute for best results. Then enjoy!
#8: Dinner – Chili Bake
Chili is always an easy and yet wonderfully satisfying meal. To make your dinner under the stars warm and cozy, purchase as many cans of your favorite chili as will be required by your group of campers. Also purchase your favorite pasta. Prepare the pasta according to the package instructions. Once the pasta is cooked, add the chili and stir. Cover the chili and pasta mixture with cheese and Fritos corn chips and dig in! This meal will prove to be a favorite!
#9: Dinner – Chili Cheese Fries
Chili cheese fries are a wild favorite with so many campers and they are easy to make! Simply purchase a bag or two of pre-cut fries in the frozen food section of your grocery store and place them in your cooler for the trip to the camp site. Also purchase a can of chili and your favorite grated cheddar cheese. Once at your campsite grill the fries over hot coals (not a fire) and while the fries are “baking” heat the chili. Once the fries are ready, pour on the chili and add the grated cheese! Wow! You and your friends and family won’t be forgetting this yummy meal any time soon!
#10: Dessert – Mini Camp Pies
These mini dessert pies will keep your taste buds wanting more! To prepare unwrap a can of biscuit dough. Separate the biscuits and roll out one biscuit at a time placing your favorite fruit filling into the center of each biscuit. Then fold over the biscuit and crimp the edges. Fry the entire “pie” in butter or margarine on your camp stove and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar for a delicious and memorable camping dessert!
#11: Camping Snack – Muddy Buddies!
Muddy buddies (especially s’mores style) are always popular on camping trips especially for those late-night ghost stories around the fire! You’ll want to prepare these at home before starting for the campsite and then keep them refrigerated until they can be transferred to a cooler and taken to your campsite.
To make these yummy treats you can use golden grahams cereal or chex cereal or both if you like. You’ll also need chocolate chips, peanut butter, marshmallows (minis are best) and powdered sugar.
When you have your ingredients pour seven cups of cereal into a large bowl and set aside. Combine one half cup peanut butter and one cup chocolate chips in a large bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and then stir for another 30 seconds if needed. Add one cup mini-marshmallows to the peanut butter and chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Pour this mixture over the cereal and stir until cereal is coated. Pour one cup of powdered sugar into a zip loc bag (or a reusable food-safe bag for a more environmentally friendly option) and then pour some of the covered cereal into the bag with the powdered sugar and shake until coated. Then remove the covered cereal and place into a large bowl. Continue until all cereal is coated. Add additional chocolate chips, marshmallows and cereal to the final mixture before serving.
Packing Food To Go!
Once you’ve decided which of the easy menu choices listed above will make your camping trip a special one simply purchase the necessary ingredients and use ziploc bags (or reusable food safe bags for a more environmentally safe option) to compartmentalize the food as necessary. Check out our bear safety tips on how to keep your food from attracting these large mammals. For all of the recipes above your best friend will be your cooler! Make sure to take one along! Additional valuable tools are a small camping stove and grill pan.