When I’m on the road, my go-to meals take little effort. Usually, I opt for bagged salad or a big bowl of everything in the fridge. It’s easy, it’s quick. But sometimes I get bored of eating the same thing day after day. That’s when I try to spice things up and get out of my uninspired rut.
Enter: A handful of new recipes! Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, what I consider the kickoff to summer, I pulled together five different types of cuisines—Mexican, Japanese, Italian, Indian, and Greek—to inspire campfire cooking this road-tripping season. You can make these for lunch, dinner, or even a hearty breakfast. But each of them are best warm and balance vegetables, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates for a nutritious meal.
I like these recipes because they don’t require much advance preparation (aka easy) and you can use basic ingredients available in any grocery store (aka simple). I also like these ideas because you can cook them a variety of ways—on the stove, on the grill, or over the fire—depending on your camping setup.
Getting hungry? Let’s dig in!
Campfire Cooking Checklist
Packing a few campfire cooking essentials will set you up for success once you start meal prep. Below, you’ll find a short list of items that we’d recommend adding to your camping kit.
Otherwise known as gooey, cheesy goodness, quesadillas make for quick but nourishing campfire meals. As long as you have tortillas and cheese on hand, you can fill up these pockets with anything else in your pantry. Beans, onions, greens, you name it. Heat them up in a pan on your camp stove or in a Dutch oven or foil over an open fire. Try Fresh Off The Grid’s recipe for BBQ chicken quesadillas or Dirty Gourmet’s recipe for quesadillas with corn and mushrooms.
Japanese: Ramen Bowls
On top of ramen noodles and warm broth, add your favorite veggies and protein for a nourishing campfire cooking meal after a day of activities. Just buy a pack of instant ramen noodles, toss or use the spice packet, and customize the flavors and toppings to your liking. I like to add spinach, thinly-sliced radishes, pre-cooked edamame, and a soft-boiled egg to mine. You can either cook it in a pot on a camp stove or over the fire. Try The Wok’s of Life’s ramen recipe that uses jerky or Garlic Delight’s brothy bowls.
RVs For Rent Near You
Italian: Pantry Pasta
This is another go-to meal when I want something warm and filling, but what I love about pasta is that there are so many different versions you can make. Boil some water, drop in your favorite pasta shape, and then mix in different sauces and toppings. This recipe by Campfire Foodie uses a foil pie pan to make a meatball-topped dish, and Fresh Off The Grid’s recipe for one-pot pesto with bacon makes our mouth water. As a side, toast some garlic bread or toss a (bagged) salad.
Greek: Salad, Pita, and Hummus
Level up your salad game with this Mediterranean-inspired take on crunchy greens. Pick up some pita and hummus at the store for a delicious pairing. Greek salads typically involve tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, feta cheese, and olives. I also like to add capers and anchovies for even more flavor. If you want more carbs, you could also add in some leftover orzo or penne from pasta night. Well Plated’s Greek salad dressing is zingy, and Fresh Off The Grid’s hummus bowl is another way to use your campfire cooking ingredients.
Indian: Camp Curry
After simmering down your favorite spices in one big pot, fill your bellies with some steaming curry on a bed of rice. You can add almost any vegetables to the mix, our favorites being zucchini, bell peppers, onions, carrots, and potatoes. Then drop in tofu, chicken, or another protein (like campfire steak), plus garbanzo beans and a little cilantro for even more taste and texture. Dirty Gourmet has a 15-minute bell pepper and curry recipe, and Camping For Foodies suggests using a dutch oven.
Away from your well-stocked kitchen, camp cooking can seem like a tricky task. But with a little creativity and improvisation, plus these recipes to get you started, you can’t go wrong. Keep these quick and easy cuisines in mind for your next trip—or better yet, add them to your campfire cooking recipe book.