Camping Recipes – Gourmet, Dutch Oven, Grill and Healthy Meals
This article features a few yummy recipes for cooking with a propane stove, charcoal or a campfire while camping. If you have never tried these recipes, I must tell you that there is nothing quite like a yummy soup for dinner as it gets a little chilly when you're camping.
Before I tried these recipes, I never knew what I was missing. Sure, there is a little bit of extra planning involved, and definitely some cleanup, but these recipes will help to make a truly memorable camping experience.
What do you think?
Blueberry Bagels with Honey Nut Cream Cheese
This is a basic recipe, but it works well if you don’t feel like cooking a big breakfast. Get a blueberry bagel and slice open. Spread a layer of honey nut cream cheese on each half. Enjoy.
Everything Bagels with Egg, Bacon, Tomatoes and Smoked Gouda Cheese
1 bag everything bagels (these have sesame, poppyseed, and other types of seeds on the outside)
1-2 eggs per person
1 fresh tomato, sliced (you’ll use 1 slice per person)
1 pkg. bacon (plan for about 2 pieces per person)
1 pkg. (7oz.) of smoked Gouda cheese
Oil for frying pan
2 small frying pans
Knife for slicing
1. Slice tomatoes and cheese first. Cooking on the propane stove goes fast, so you want to have these ready. The cheese comes in a thick wax coating. Use the knife to puncture the coating and peel it off.
2. In this recipe, I used 3 eggs (for two people). Beat eggs in bowl with fork. Light propane stove. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of pan. When oil is hot (it will ripple on surface when it’s hot and won’t take long to heat), pour egg into pan and let it cook without mixing. When it’s browned on the underside, flip ½ of the mixture onto itself, creating an egg patty. Turn over about every 15-30 seconds as each side gets cooked. Turn off heat.
3. While oil is heating, pour a little bit of oil (about 1-2 tbsp) into the other pan and heat. Place strips of bacon in to start cooking. Each side will take about 1-2 minutes to brown. In fact, when one side was browned, I took it off the stove to flip sides. The bacon will cook really quickly, you will need to watch it carefully. When bacon is browned, turn off heat.
4. Divide egg patty into equal portions. Place on bagels. Top with cheese, bacon and a slice of tomato.
1 pkg. tortillas
1 pkg. (7 oz.) smoked Gouda cheese (I used this as a leftover from the bagel recipe)
1 jar salsa
1-2 eggs per person
1 pkg. bacon – 2 strips per person
1 can (15 oz.) Southwestern Ranchero Beans (refried beans and/or black beans also work)
Cumin for seasoning
3 pans (1 for egg, 1 for bacon, and 1 for beans; you can use two pans, but you’ll have to wash one out and alternate during cooking)
(You can adjust the amounts above according to how many people you need to serve. 1 can will serve about three people, and each person needs about two cheese slices per burrito.)
1. Slice cheese and avocado.
2. In a cup or bowl, beat eggs with a fork.
3. Get bacon ready for cooking. Open can of beans and place in 3rd pan.
4. Pour oil into the two skillets. You want enough to coat the bottom of the pan for the eggs, and about 1-2 tbsp. for the bacon.
5. Heat both pans. Add in bacon. As it’s cooking, add eggs to other pan.
6. These will cook quickly; stay vigilant. When eggs and bacon are done, remove from heat.
7. Place beans on stove and heat, stirring constantly. When they come to a low boil, remove from heat.
8. Spoon eggs onto tortillas, top with bacon, cheese, salsa and beans. Sprinkle on some cumin – not too much – about ¼ tsp on each burrito. Place avocado either on burritos or on the side. Enjoy.
Useful tips and tricks
- When camping, I don't recommend using lots of meat, unless you have access to a refrigerator. It can be difficult keeping everything cool in a cooler.
- I will pack bacon and hot dogs at the bottom of a cooler because they lie flat and the cold air from the ice sinks to the bottom.
- When filling your cooler with ice, put it in reusable storage containers. Fill them with water and freeze or ice from the grocery store. They will keep everything from getting wet and can later double as food storage.
- Cast iron cookware is a fabulous choice for camp cooking. It's durable, you get an extra dose of iron, heats evenly and you can take it right back to your kitchen.
- I recommend "E-Z Lite" charcoal for camp grilling. They don't take much effort to light and cooking will be easier.
- Use leftovers from these meals to make other meals. The veggie soup, because it's a "thick" soup, can be used to make yummy wraps for lunches. Apple crisp can double as a sweet breakfast treat.
- When you use a propane stove, the burner farthest from the propane source tends to cook at a slightly lower temperature.
- If it's cold enough at night, you can store food in the Dutch oven, too. Just keep it away from easy animal access.
- Biodegradable hand-sanitizer is a must. It helps keep everything sanitized and doesn't use alcohol to do it.
These are basic suggestions for lunch. Often times, we are on the go during the day on camping trips. To save time and space, I make yummy sandwiches that I know people will enjoy. We often do not eat a lot of meat while on camping trips because it can be difficult to keep it cool enough.
Cheese and Spinach Sandwiches
1 pkg. fresh-leaf spinach (you can substitute lettuce here)
1 pkg. cream cheese (you can substitute regular sliced cheese or even Gouda cheese here)
1 fresh tomato
1 pkg. Sourdough bread
1. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on two slices of bread.
2. Top with leafy spinach leaves.
3. Add a slice of tomato
Ideas for sides (these can also serve as snacks between meals):
Edamame (still in pods and then break them open to eat the yummy soybeans)
Nectarines, apples or similar fruit
Carrot and celery sticks
Halved avocado, sprinkled with a bit of salt
Ants on a log (celery sticks with peanut butter spread on them, topped with raisins)
Other sandwich ideas:
Kids love peanut butter and jelly. Try varying it up with different flavors of jelly. You can also try Nutella - a hazelnut-flavored spread.
The Dutch oven is a really valuable tool to use for making dinner dishes. They can go on the propane stove, over charcoal or over the campfire (though I recommend a tripod for direct, over the fire cooking). You can adapt many recipes for the Dutch oven.
Dutch Oven Cheese and Vegetable Soup With Rolls
Cheese and Vegetable Soup
1 pkg. veggie crumbles (Again, I don’t use that much meat in general, but on camping trips, it can be challenging storing meat at the proper temperature, so I often cook with veggie crumbles. If these don’t stay frozen in the cooler, they should be fine as long as they stay cool.)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) mozzarella cheese
1 pkg. (6 oz.) Parmesan cheese
2 lbs. mixed vegetables of your choice; I used a package with green beans, carrots, and corn
½ stick of butter (approx. 4 tbsp)
Garlic salt (enough for about 1 tbsp)
Turmeric spice (enough for about 1 tsp)
1 pkg. Parkerhouse (or similar) rolls in foil pan
1. Mix together the veggie crumbles, mozzarella, Parmesan, vegetables, garlic salt and turmeric in Dutch oven. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the Dutch oven to a depth of ¼- ½ inch. Place spoonfuls of butter on top of the mixture.
2. Place Dutch oven directly over about 16 hot coals. Cook until the soup starts steaming and the cheese melts.
3. Remove about ½ of the coals (I like to use these "extra" coals to start a regular campfire) and continue cooking until carrots get tender.
4. Remove from coals. Keep cover on soup.
5. As an optional step, you can keep the lid off and pour off excess water. If you like a more soupy texture, skip this step.
6. Let cool with cover on while you make the rolls.
1. Take rolls out of their foil pan. Slightly butter the bottom of the skillet.
2. Place rolls into oiled skillet and cover. Cast iron skillets are best to use here because they heat a lot more evenly.
3. Place directly onto hot coals that you used for the Dutch oven. Heat for about 15-20 mins. while the soup cools. The bottom of the rolls will brown before the top does. If you feel like turning the rolls to help them cook more evenly, you can try. I prefer not to because I don’t like to have the top browned too much.
Enjoy! This meal serves about 8-10 people. If you don’t have that many people, it makes for a great dinner for a couple of days at camp.
Chili Hot Dogs
1 can (15 oz.) organic chili beans
1 green pepper (1 pepper for every 2 people)
½ medium onion (per 2 people)
1 pkg. organic hot dog weenies
1 pkg. hot dog buns
1 pkg. (7 oz.) Gouda cheese
Oil for cooking the vegetables and hot dog meat
Three pans – 1 for the hot dogs, 1 for the vegetables and 1 for the beans
1. Slice pepper and onion. Open can of beans and pour into third pan. Pour about 1-2 tbsp oil into other two pans.
2. Before turning on the heat, place desired amount of hot dogs into one oiled pan. Place pepper and onion into other oiled pan. Light propane stove.
3. Sautee the pepper and onion until onion appears translucent (3-5 mins.). Meanwhile, in the other pan, turn hot dogs as soon as one side gets brown. You want to brown them all over.
4. Remove from heat. Put pan containing beans on propane stove and heat through. Once hot, remove from heat (about 2-3 minutes).
5. Place hot dogs onto buns. Top with chili beans, peppers and onions. You can place cheese on top or on the side. Enjoy.
Serving number varies, but this meal is really easy to make for 2-4 people.
Dutch Oven Apple Crisp
To make apple mixture:
4-6 medium apples, sliced
1 lemon, halved
¼ cup brown sugar
To make topping:
1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 ½ cups rolled oats (can be instant)
1 cup flour
About ¾ stick of butter
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon allspice
1. Place apples on bottom of pan. Squeeze juice from ½ lemon onto apples to help prevent them from turning brown too quickly. Top with ¼ cup of brown sugar.
2. To make topping, mix all ingredients except butter in a sealable bag. Shake vigorously.
3. Pour mixture out of bag onto apple mixture. Top with spoonfuls of butter and squeeze juice from the other ½ of lemon onto the mixture.
4. Lower Dutch oven onto about 10-12 hot coals. Cook for about 30-35 minutes. The mixture will appear watery as it cooks.
5. Remove from coals and let cool. When it cools, the mixture will thicken considerably. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired.
Serves 4-6 people.
© 2012 Cynthia Calhoun