Cast iron, aluminum foil, skewers, grill racks – these and more are great options for campfire cuisine! If you find yourself in a camp food rut, consider changing it up with some of these new recipes or twists on classic recipes.
1. Campfire Strawberry French Toast
Start by washing and slicing strawberries, then dice half of those. Wrap up the bottom of a loaf of thickly sliced bread – Italian or French is great – in parchment paper and then foil, loose enough so the slices can spread apart a little bit. Put the diced strawberries on the bread, ensuring some fall into the open slice areas, then a quarter cup sliced almonds. Whisk eight eggs and a quarter cup of milk with a teaspoon each of vanilla and cinnamon until it is frothy. Tighten the wrapping around the loaf and pour the egg mixture over the whole loaf, then seal up the whole thing in foil, so it will not leak. Place over the campfire over the cooler side of the fire (low to medium heat) and let it cook about 40 minutes, moving it so it will cook more evenly. If you check it and it seems soggy, close and continue cooking a bit longer. When it is done, let it sit about ten minutes, then serve it with a bit of powdered sugar, maple syrup, and the sliced strawberries.
2. Cast Iron Apple Crisp
Start with a cast iron skillet over a fire that is hot, but the flames are low. For each serving, melt a few teaspoons of coconut oil in the pan, then add about a quarter cup of rolled oats, tossing to coat. Toast them for a couple minutes, then add a pinch of salt, a quarter teaspoon cinnamon and a half tablespoon of maple syrup. Combine by stirring or tossing. Sprinkle on top a teaspoon of hemp seeds and a tablespoon of chopped almonds. Cut up a small gala apple into half-inch chunks and add to the skillet. Mix well and cook for another four or five minutes, stirring often. Multiply the ingredients by how many people you are serving and enjoy!
3. Cast Iron Nachos
In your cast iron skillet, brown ground beef (figure about four servings per pound and adjust accordingly). Move the meat away from the center of the pan and add sliced green onions and jalapenos and stir them in while cooking for about four minutes. Move the meat mixture to a bowl and put tortilla chips in the bottom of the hot pan, then put the meat back on top. Add shredded cheese and chopped lettuce and tomato and a bit of salsa, along with any other toppings you love on your nachos.
4. Cast Iron Pizza
Spread refrigerated or frozen pizza dough into an oiled cast iron skillet (or whatever flat surface you are using to cook over your campfire). Place it over the fire until the bottom has browned, then flip the crust over and top with sauce and toppings, ending with shredded cheese. Place back over the heat until the bottom crust has browned and enjoy!
5. Cherry Pastry
This is a pretty simple way to have a decadent fruity dessert. Take a refrigerated pie crust – the roll-out kind – and use a smooth water glass to roll it out, then use the glass’s rim to cut circles. Gather scraps and re-roll to cut more, until you have enough (or cannot get any more from the dough). Place a spoonful of cherry pie filling into the center of the circle, top with another circle, and crimp closed with a fork, then flip over and go around again, just to be certain it is well sealed. After preparing the pies, heat up to two inches of oil in a cast iron pan over coals (not direct flame). When a drop of water sizzles instantly in the oil, it is ready. Place a pie or two gently into the oil. When the first side is nice and brown, use tongs to gently turn to the other side. When the other side is browned, remove to a paper towel to drain. Dredge in sugar or sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
Easy chili over a campfire? Yes, please! When you have a nice hot cooking fire, set a cast iron skillet on a grate over it. Pour a pound of elbow noodles into the skillet and add three cups of cold water – make sure the water covers the noodles. Stir occasionally. When the liquid is just about gone, add a fifteen-ounce can of chili and simmer for a few minutes. Serve on corn chips and top with shredded cheese.
7. Dutch Oven Lasagna
Homemade lasagna is amazing at any time, but it is not a dish that is normally thought of as a camping food. This may change your mind! Add charcoal to your campfire for use with your dutch oven. Coat the bottom of the dutch oven with olive oil so the lasagna will not stick. Add about a half cup of sauce to the bottom of the pot, then lay noodles for the base of the lasagna. Layer a half cup sauce, a cup baby spinach, and a third cup of shredded cheese. Repeat these four layers twice more, and then finish with a layer of noodles, a half cup sauce, and a half cup cheese. Sprinkle some dried basil, oregano, or both on the top. Place the lid on the dutch oven. Place it on about 8 coals, and lay about 17 coals on top of the lid. Bake about 30 minutes. Serves four.
8. Egg and Sausage Rollups
For each rollup, use a small tortilla (corn or flour), a sausage link (get fully cooked or cook over the campfire), scrambled egg (cook in a cast iron over the fire), shredded cheese, and optional chopped baby spinach leaves. Heat the tortilla over the fire to make it flexible, fill it, and roll it all up together for a scrumptious campfire breakfast. Salsa makes a great dipping sauce.
9. Foil-pack Grilled Potatoes
Set up squares of heavy-duty foil (or double layer regular foil) and coat the top side generously with oil to keep the potatoes from sticking. Wash and slice a pound and a half of potatoes into even slices. Toss in about a third cup of ranch dressing and layer the potato slices on the foil. Add crumbled cooked bacon, shredded cheese, and seasonings to taste. Fold up the packet(s) and place them in the campfire. Turn during cooking; turn more often if the fire or coals are very hot. Cook for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Serve with additional ranch dressing for those who want it.
10. Foil-pack Chicken Nachos
In a square of aluminum foil, place a layer of about a half cup of shredded rotisserie chicken that has been tossed with enchilada sauce, diced onion, corn, black beans, and grated pepper jack cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add an ounce or so of tortilla chips and top with a bit more grated cheese, then fold the foil into a packet. Place near the fire, but in indirect heat (on a grill rack but not directly over the fire is good) for up to ten minutes.
11. Foil-pack Chicken Teriyaki
Cut boneless, skinless chicken breast into chunks (about an inch and a half square), chop one red and one green bell pepper and a small onion, and get some pineapple chunks. Whisk together about a cup each of teriyaki sauce and Asian toasted sesame dressing. Make packets by placing the ingredients on squares of aluminum foil and topping with the sauce, then seal shut. Place on the grill over the fire and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Turn them over about halfway through cooking. Check the chicken to be sure it is done. Serve immediately.
12. Foil-pack Ham and Cheese Croissants
These can be put together at your campsite, but you can also put them together at home and just pop them on the fire when you are ready to cook them at camp. Open a split croissant and spread a little honey mustard on (if desired). Add a slice of cheese on each side and pile some ham in the middle. Close the sandwich and wrap in foil. If you are doing this at home, put the wrapped sandwiches in the refrigerator. If you are at camp, pop them on a rack over the campfire and let them get all warm and melty, then enjoy!
13. Foil-pack Sliders – Ham and Cheese
Hot ham and cheese sandwiches are delightful for any meal and making them over a campfire adds an extra touch of amazing. Start with foil, of course, and then add the bottom of a roll (Hawaiian sweet is great, but any roll you prefer will work). Top with deli-sliced ham and a slice of swiss or provolone cheese. Place the top of the roll on the sandwich, then drizzle a sauce of about half a cup of melted butter, mixed with about a tablespoon each of mustard, dried onion, and brown sugar. Seal the packet and place on warm coals; turn often until the cheese is melted and bread is toasted (about 12 minutes).
14. Foil-pack Southwestern Chicken
For two servings, mix about a cup of corn with a drained and rinsed can of black beans and about a teaspoon of taco seasoning. Season chicken (one breast per pack or two chicken strips per pack) with salt and pepper. Place the ingredients into a square of foil, leaving room to close into a packet. Put the corn and beans mix on the bottom, chicken next, and top with salsa and shredded cheese. Fold the packet closed and cook for 30-45 minutes, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Turn during the cooking time to prevent burning. Serve with sour cream and guacamole.
15. Kebabs – Pineapple BBQ Chicken
Kebabs are a great option for campfire cooking. Since most people have skewers already for marshmallows, it is a simple thing to add other foods to the skewer. Start with cubed chicken, seasoned with your favorite barbecue sauce mixed with pineapple juice. Consider adding a dry rub as well for extra flavor. Cut pineapple into chunks. Alternate chicken and pineapple on the skewer and brush with the sauce mix. Grill for about five minutes per side (longer if you used large chicken chunks) and serve with extra sauce for dipping.
16. Pre-prep Cornmeal Pancakes
You will need a large mason jar to hold the dry ingredients for these easy pancakes, plus the wet ingredients separately to add in at the campsite. The dry ingredients are: ¾ cup of cornmeal, 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, and a teaspoon of salt. Put these in the jar (or a large zipper-style plastic bag works, too) and shake to mix thoroughly. To be able to mix them in the jar, put one cup of the mix in each of two jars or bags (split the mix in half). Then at the campsite, in a bowl whisk together a cup or so of milk, 1 egg, and a tablespoon of soft or melted butter. Add this to the jar or bag and mix gently. When the griddle or pan is hot, add about a quarter cup of the mix and cook about two minutes per side, or until done. Top with syrup and enjoy!
S’mores are the quintessential campfire snack! It seems like no campfire is complete if there are no S’mores to enjoy. The classic graham cracker, toasted marshmallow, and chocolate treat is amazing as is, but there are also a variety of other combinations that can make them a fresh new experience. Consider adding or changing an ingredient or so.
– Replace the graham crackers with chocolate chip cookies, fudge striped cookies, wafer cookies, ginger snaps, or ice cream cones.
– Add additional fillers such as strawberry slices, sliced banana, peanut butter, sprinkles, cinnamon, or other fruits or candies.
– Chocolate (milk or dark) is usually a big part of it, but someone who dislikes or is allergic to chocolate might try replacing the chocolate with white chocolate, peanut butter, or fruit spread.
18. Walking Tacos
A walking taco is an excellent campfire food – easy for everyone, fewer dishes to wash, and delicious. Individual chip bags become the base and the dish for these delightful meals. Open a bag of tortilla, flavored tortilla, or corn chips and fold the top down a little to make it sturdier. Inside the bag add meat (this can be premade and brought with you then reheated over the fire or cooked on the fire in a cast iron pan), shredded cheese, shredded greens, sour cream, and salsa. Grab a fork and enjoy!
19. Zipper Bag Omelets
Easy as can be, and so much fun for the younger campers. Take a zip-closure plastic bag and break one or two eggs into it. Have prepared toppings such as diced onions, diced bell pepper, shredded cheese, chopped olives, diced tomatoes, diced ham, etc. available for campers to toss into their bags. While the bags are being filled, have a pot of water on the campfire heating to boiling. When two or three bags are ready, toss them in the pot. Cook for two or three minutes, remove, and enjoy! These omelets slip right out of the bags all ready to eat.
Whatever type of camping you prefer, there is no reason why you should have to live on hot dogs and hamburgers – unless you want to! Enjoy the glories of nature and enjoy amazing campfire cuisine, as well!