Meal Ideas for Camping

19 Quick and Easy Meal Ideas for Camping or Campervanning

Maybe you’re not accustomed to camp eating, so have a look at these quick and easy recipe ideas for eating during or after a camping or campervanning trip. You can usually cook on a tin plate, on a camp stove, or in a flask. And they’re all quick, easy, and make great meals for camping or exploring. What’s good about camping is that you get to eat whatever you like whenever you want – and don’t need to be worried about the carbs.

Many campsites offer prepared meals that are designed for camping and that can include meat and a wide range of vegetables and desserts. These will be aimed at people who might be worried about the calories from meat – and are also designed for larger meals.

19 quick and easy meal ideas for camping and campervanning:

1. Salad

In a heavy-bottomed container, combine large quantities of salad greens, carrots, onions, and cucumber with tinned tomatoes and lemon juice. Mix and chill. Add protein if you wish – which would include slices of lean meat, tuna, or salmon. Tear into bite-size pieces and chill. Easy to make in advance and great for a picnic.

2. Pasta

Same as above, but substitute tinned tomato sauce or garlic sauce for lemon juice. Or add chopped mushrooms and more lemon juice. Pasta is great for camping and can be easily used for three meals. A good way to eat pasta after a night out is to add a drained tin of grated cheese (such as parmesan) to the sauce.

3. Soup

Fill the bottom of a large saucepan with vegetable stock or water. Scatter vegetables in the bottom of the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Stir occasionally. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the tinned tomatoes and cook for a further 15 minutes. Return the soup to the saucepan, and gently heat through for a minute or two. Serve in chunky bowls. Soup is quick, easy, nutritious – and great for camping.

4. Stews

Casseroles are the easiest way to cook meatless food during camping. However, a stew is usually more filling and a lot healthier – and is certainly more substantial. It’s not too difficult to make a stew, just take your time, and add a lot of ingredients to make it interesting. Add cheese, rice, or potatoes to add flavor, and simmer for an hour to an hour and a half. Serve with bread.

5. Bolognese

Cook meatballs in a large saucepan with a dash of tomato sauce and a small amount of beef stock. Then add extra ingredients, such as breadcrumbs or rice, and continue to cook for a few minutes. Serve with a good grating of cheese. Bolognese is a good option for anyone who needs a balanced meal. It is great for camping.

6. Shredded Chicken

Pour a bowl of red beans into a saucepan. Break an egg and season with salt and pepper. Crack the egg into the bowl. Then add the red beans and two tablespoons of vinegar. Cook for ten minutes, then add the chicken and cook for another five minutes. Serve with brown rice. You can also add garlic breadcrumbs or sliced bread, and tomato sauce.

7. Easy Bean Salad

Drain tinned kidney beans. Add an equal amount of drained tinned black beans, water, and a touch of olive oil. Simmer for half an hour. Serves four. Easy bean salad can be eaten hot or cold. Bean salad is great camping food. You can use canned beans or cook fresh ones. The homemade version is a great way to eat more beans and is just as easy to make as a tinned version.

8. Macaroni salad

Grate a portion of carrots and a small portion of celery. Heat a pot of oil in a pan and sauté the vegetables. Add the macaroni and a dash of black pepper and heat for a couple of minutes. Stir in chopped parsley and tomato paste. Cook for a few minutes to cook the pasta, then add a tin of chopped tomatoes and a dash of soy sauce. Serve in a large bowl. It is an inexpensive and healthy meal, that can be made well in advance.

9. Garlic, Mint & Parmesan cheese sauce

Put a large frying pan on high heat. Add a small knob of butter and a clove or two of garlic. When the garlic starts to sizzle add the basil and mix. Mix for two minutes. Now add the chopped carrots, pasta, and half a teaspoon of mint. Cook for two minutes and sprinkle the cheese over. Mix for three to four minutes. Serve with pasta. It is so easy. You can also make a vegetarian version of this by adding a can of tuna.

10. Warm vegetable soup

Cook and mash 2 small russet potatoes, 2 large carrots, 4 beans (cooked or drained), 1 onion, and 4 celery sticks. Add a tablespoon of oil and a handful of chopped fresh basil and parsley. Simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with a good dollop of creme fraiche. You can add salt and pepper to taste.

11. Onion Bolognese

Tear the onion into small pieces and fry in a small pan with a little butter. Add tomato sauce, diced meat, and diced tomato, and cook for ten minutes. Serve with grated cheese. It is also nice served with an apple and some crusty bread. It is good hot, but can also be served cold. You can make this when cooking the rest of the meatless dish.

12. Chowder

Chowder is a soup made from cream or milk, with the following ingredients: potato, carrot, onion, stock, milk or cream, and salt and pepper. It is usually served with a slice of bacon, and a little sautéed bacon in the potato soup can add a rich flavor. It is a very filling dish and it is easy to make too. You can also add a slice of Parmesan cheese if you like.

13. Chicken with herby rice

Bring one liter of water to a boil, add a small knob of butter, a small knob of garlic, and two or three bay leaves. Simmer for a few minutes. Add the chicken, cook for ten minutes and then remove the chicken. Add the spinach and cook for two minutes. Serve the chicken with rice. You can also add some cream and spinach to the chicken, adding garlic and bay leaves and seasoning to taste. Herby rice is perfect for anyone who loves a little cream and spinach.

14. Tomato soup

Cook a large tin of chopped tomatoes, along with a bit of chopped onion, a small knob of butter, and a sprinkling of basil. Simmer for twenty minutes. Serve with a wedge of good-quality sourdough bread. Tomato soap is a good addition. It is easy to make. Simply pour a little olive oil into a sauté pan. When the oil is hot, crack open three tomatoes and toss them in the pan. Season well. When they start to change color, add a little sugar and cook for one minute. Serve.

15. Kale and ham soup

In a large pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Peel and roughly chop two or three leeks. Add a slice or two of bacon, some celery, a handful of parsley, and half a teaspoon of thyme. Cook for ten minutes. Serve with a wedge of good-quality sourdough bread. Kale and ham soup is a hearty winter soup. You can add some potatoes, and cooked bacon. It is also a good hot dish served with an egg on top.

16. Asian noodle soup

Mix a cup of uncooked ramen noodles with a small knob of butter and a small knob of garlic. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally, then add a small knob of butter, half a tablespoon of sesame oil, and half a teaspoon of soy sauce. Add half a cup of dried mushroom or spring onion soups. Add a handful of green beans. Simmer for ten minutes. Serve with rice. You can also add mushrooms and katsuobushi. It is also a good addition to your favorite meat and veg rice bowl.

17. Cabbage

Cabbage is nice with a pinch of sugar and lemon juice. Cut into small pieces, cover with boiling water and boil for eight minutes. Drain and return to the heat to warm. Serve with a potato or the last few slices of bread. It is also delicious in a sandwich, with mustard. It is beneficial for the liver. You can also make a carrot-ginger slaw by mixing a carrot, half a cup of grated ginger, and a small knob of butter.

18. Apricots and apricot jam

Mix two small apricots with four teaspoons of sugar, two tablespoons of runny honey, and some lemon juice. Add to a small pan with the grated peel of one orange and a good squeeze of lime. Simmer for ten minutes. Serve with toast. This one is from Ottolenghi’s Kitchen and Perfect Plates Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (Bloomsbury, £35). It tastes even better the next day.

19. Mushroom risotto

In a pan, melt a knob of butter. Add a clove of chopped garlic, two small chopped onions, a small knob of chopped celery, and half a tin of chopped mushrooms. Add a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of pepper, one pinch of oregano, one teaspoon of curry powder, and a teaspoon of tomato paste. Add the rice and a teaspoon of Parmesan. Cook until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Season, then leave the lid off for five minutes. Serve with more parmesan if you want.

20. Pasta and pine nuts

To make a quick pasta, melt three tablespoons of olive oil and add half a medium-sized onion, sliced, and a teaspoon of chopped sage, dried. Cook for ten minutes, adding the following handfuls of green or pine nuts: 120g each, or roughly 300g to 500g. Stir well to combine. It’s perfect with a green salad, or with some good crusty bread. It is also great in a sandwich, with mustard. It is beneficial for cardiovascular health.

21. Beef Bourguignon

There are so many variations of beef bourguignon, but this one is my favorite. It is a Sunday staple for me and makes the most delicious luscious pot roast. Finely chop five or six cloves of garlic. Heat a tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan and add the garlic, thyme, a peeled and finely grated carrot, a chopped leek or two, a knob of butter, half a tin of chopped mushrooms, and half a tin of sliced pancetta.

Cook for five minutes, stirring regularly. Add the beef shoulder (if you don’t have shoulder steak, chuck a cut of shin into the pan – any type of beef will do). Add 150ml beef stock and 150ml red wine. Bring to a boil and add a cinnamon stick, some brown sugar, one tablespoon of flour, and some fresh thyme leaves. Bring to the boil again, then simmer for about three hours, checking on the meat now and again.

Add a few cloves of garlic, plus an onion, which you can blitz to make it whiter, a stick of butter, two bay leaves, half a teaspoon of black pepper, and a handful of parsley leaves. Cook for 10 minutes more. Serve with some young green beans or new potatoes, if you like.

Whether camping for a weekend or a week-long camping trip, these easy vegan and non-veg recipes are ideal for a carnivore and a plant-based eater, or anyone who needs a healthy and nutritious meal.

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