Here's my collection of fast and easy camping meals!
Eating delicious food outdoors is one of my favorite things about camping. Some days I enjoy taking my time preparing a leisurely meal.
Sometimes, though, I want a very fast meal that takes almost no time or effort.
Perhaps we stayed longer at the beach than we planned. Everyone is hungry. Unless we eat soon, that hunger is going to turn into crankiness - and no one wants that!
Here are the fastest ways I know to get good food into your family so you can get on with enjoying the rest of the day.
Open a can of baked beans, dump it into a pan, and heat it.
It doesn't get much faster than that!
If you want to get fancy, you can add some extra ingredients and call them "Hawaiian Baked Beans" - but if you're in a rush, plain old baked beans taste just fine.
Boiled in a pot, fried in a pan, or toasted on a stick over the fire, hot dogs are a favorite of many kids. If you don't like serving hot dogs, how about chicken dogs, tofu dogs or sausages? You can serve them in buns with all your favorite condiments, or on a plate - or straight into hands (let the dogs cool first!)
If you are feeling ambitious, mix up some biscuit mix (either from scratch or using a mix), wrap it around the dog, toast it over the fire until the crust is golden brown, and call it a "Pig in a Blanket".
Pancakes aren't just for breakfast! They make a quick and filling supper - not quite as fast as canned beans, but pretty fast - especially if you use a mix and have more than one skillet on the go.
French toast is even faster than pancakes!
This is one of the most versatile easy camping meals. Bring along some soft tortillas and a selection of spreads and fillings, and let the hungry campers fill and roll their own. Here are some ideas for the fillings:
We call this "Honeymoon Delight" because we first ate it on the camping trip we took after we got married. We'd been eating all sorts of creative things, but one night we both craved good old meat and potatoes. We fried up some ground beef, boiled some potatoes and added them to the skillet, and dumped in a can of corn. It was delicious! Honeymoon Delight has become one of our favorite easy camping meals.
Sometimes I cook the ground beef and potatoes at home and keep them cold in the cooler. When I need a fast meal, I just dump everything in a skillet and heat it. It's not a gourmet meal, but everyone in my family likes it - especially if I remember to pack the ketchup.
Ground chicken or pork would work just as well as beef. You could even use a "just like beef" soy product. Frozen corn can be substituted for canned.
Some of my camping food ideas - like Thai Coconut Chicken and Pasta with Marinated Artichoke Hearts - require a bit of work. (Not a lot - just a bit!) They are perfect for days when the kids are hanging out at the campsite playing games, and you can make supper in a leisurely fashion.