Camping food doesn’t need to be the same old thing every time. Nor does it need to be especially complicated. Read on for 20 super easy campfire recipes that will impress your friends. I have listed five options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert sure to make happy campers from even the grumpiest among us.
by Jolina Flowers, SHTF blog’s Expat Prepper
Camping is often done with friends. Fun is had. You swim, fish, drink, and laugh. Memories are made. Cooking, however, is rarely creative and people eventually tire of hot dogs and hamburgers. What I have listed here are campfire recipes that break the norm and will leave you, your family, and your friends feeling satisfied. Everyone will be impressed and wowed by your pro-campfire cooking skills
Bonus – these cooking skills will translate perfectly to larger prepping skills!
First – Get Proper Campfire Cooking Equipment
Before we begin with the recipes, it’s important to make sure you have proper campfire cooking equipment. What is good for the home kitchen is not always good for a campfire. In most cases, the cookware you use at home is not going to translate well to cooking over an open fire or covering in red hot coals.
On the flip side, much of what works over a campfire will also work in a home kitchen, so – if used – purchases good campfire equipment will not be wasted money. On the contrary, actually, since much of what is listed below is cast iron, it will last a lifetime. In many cases, it will last multiple lifetimes.
Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron cookware has stood the test of time, and if a post-collapse event sends us back in time to the days before electricity and modern conveniences, cast iron cookware will be a savior as it was for explorers, frontiersmen, and homesteaders. It is rugged, spreads heat evenly, and when there is enough muscle behind it, a cast iron skillet can make a great home defense weapon. Cast iron is the ultimate survival cookware!
There are many types of cast iron cookware. You don’t need everything under the sun for campfire cooking, but what I have listed below is called for in the various recipes below. As you’ll be able to tell, I’m biased toward Lodge products. Many brands will serve you well, however. And, if money is tight, shopping at flea markets and lawn sales is always an option. Odds are you will need to re-season used cast iron, but that is not a big problem.
- Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillets – This two-piece set offers the standard 10.25″ skillet and a smaller 6.5″ skillet.
- Lodge Pre-Seasoned Deep Camp Dutch Oven – I prefer this type as it has the loop handle that you can use to hang down from above. It also include the lip around the top cover which will hold hot coals on the top for baking.
- Lodge Pre-Seasoned Reversible Grill/Griddle – Not just for campfires, this is great to set across two burners on a home range. It is also a convenient tool to set on top of your gas or charcoal grill, adding cooking versatility to your grill.
- Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 5-Piece Set – This set – pictured above – will save you money if your intent is to buy multiple cast iron items at once. With very high ratings, the Lodge name, and pre-seasoned, this is the bundle most people get.
- Rome Industries Square Pie Iron – This under-appreciated tool is perfect for cooking deluxe sandwiches and pies over fire pits.
Extra Bonus – all of this cooking gear adds to your preps. What is good for camping is good for prepping. Cast iron cookware fits nicely with other must have prepper cooking products.
Other Campfire Cooking Gear
Few items are needed for a good campfire cook session than some cast iron skillets and dutch ovens, but these items may also help.
- Lodge Adjustable Camp Tripod – Perfect for placing over a campfire and hanging a dutch over (or anything else) over the heat.
- Liberty Mountain Adjust-A-Grill – This turns your campfire coals into a grill.
- Amazon Brand Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil – Tin foil is called for in many of the recipes below. It’s great because you can wrap your food it and toss it directly into the coals.
- Coghlan’s Egg Holder – A hard plastic egg holder for transporting eggs.
Again, you don’t need everything above, and cast iron cookware can be bought used, but you will inevitably want some of it. Now – time to cook!
Related article: How to Avoid Burning Food Cooking Over Open Fires
Campfire Recipes – Breakfast
Some of the following breakfast dishes call for eggs. Eggs are easy to cook but not so easy to transport. Save yourself some hassle and pre-scramble your eggs and keep them in empty water bottles. A 16-ounce bottle will hold 8 or 9 eggs.
Ham and Egg Breakfast Sandwiches
Ingredients: hard-boiled eggs, diced ham, shredded cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, dinner rolls
- Chop some hard-boiled eggs.
- Add some diced ham and shredded cheddar cheese.
- Mix together with mayonnaise or mustard, whichever you prefer.
- Spread the mixture on dinner rolls or biscuits.
- Wrap the resulting sandwich in foil and place them on the coals until they warm up and the cheese melts, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on how hot your fire is.
- Remove from the heat, unwrap and enjoy.
Sausage and Egg Breakfast Taquitos
Ingredients: sausage links, eggs, corn or flour tortillas, shredded cheese, jalapenos
- Cook the sausage links or use ones that are already pre-cooked.
- Scramble some eggs in a greased skillet.
- Warm either corn or flour tortillas on the grill or griddle until they are soft and flexible.
- Add the scrambled eggs and sausage.
- Top with shredded cheese and sliced jalapenos (if you like it spicey). Don’t overfill the tortilla because you’ll want to roll these up next.
- Leave on the griddle until the tortilla is toasty and the cheese has melted.
- Serve and eat.
Muffin Pan Huevos Rancheros
Ingredients: eggs, salsa (verde or rojo), corn or flour tortillas, tomatoes, onions, cilantros, jalapenos
- Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray.
- Crack eggs into each slot.
- Put the pan on a grill over the campfire and cook.
- In a separate pot, heat salsa verde or rojo.
- Warm corn or flour tortillas on the griddle.
- Slice tomatoes, onions, cilantro and jalapenos for a pico de gallo topping.
- Serve the eggs on the tortillas covered with salsa and topped with pico de gallo.
Ingredients: stale tortillas or tortilla chips, olive oil, enchiladas sala (verde or rojo), onions, tomatoes, browned ground beef or grilled chicken, crumbly cheese, hot sauce
- Cut stale tortillas into triangles or strips and fry them in a skillet. You can also skip this step and use a bag of tortilla chips.
- Grease your Dutch Oven with olive oil well first.
- Then add a can of salsa. For the most authentic Mexican flavor use something that says “salsa verde (or rojo) para enchiladas.” The green sauce uses tomatillos and is somewhat tart.
- Add the chips and any garnishings you want. Onions and tomatoes are delicious in chilaquiles, as is browned ground beef or grilled chicken.
- Also add some crumbly cheese if you like.
- Place the now full Dutch Oven in the campfire for about 30 minutes. It’s ready when the top is browned.
- Add some hot sauce for a breakfast eye watering enough to wake you up in a jiffy.
Ingredients: apples, ginger, cinnamon, sugar, salt
- Slice the apples and put them on tin foil.
- Add sugar, ginger, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
- Wrap the apples.
- Put them in the fire for about 10 minutes.
- Remove and enjoy.
Campfire Recipes – Lunch
Chili Cheese Fries
Ingredients: frozen french fries, can of chili, shredded cheese
- Spray a tin foil wrapping with non-stick spray.
- Add frozen french fries and close the pouch.
- Cook them about 15 to 20 minutes over the fire.
- Open and pour a can of chili over them.
- Add shredded cheese.
- Close the foil packet again and cook until the cheese has melted.
Bacon Italian Potatoes
Ingredients: bacon or bacon bits, garlic, red onion, potatoes, Italian dressing
- Cook the bacon in a skillet until it is crispy.
- You can also use bacon bits if you like.
- Mix minced garlic, red onion, and quartered potatoes.
- Add Italian dressing to taste.
- Divide the potato mixture onto aluminum foil and fold them into the packet.
- Grill until the potatoes can be pierced easily, about 35 minutes.
Ingredients: flour or corn tortillas, fillers (mushrooms, onions, green peppers, ground beef, chicken or ham), shredded pepper jack cheese
- You can actually use quite a variety of fillings for quesadillas. Skillet sauteed mushrooms, onions, and green peppers, or some ground beef are delicious options. You could also use grilled chicken or ham if you like.
- Heat corn or flour tortillas on a griddle until they are pliable.
- Then add the filling of your choice and shredded pepper jack cheese.
- Fold the tortilla over and continue heating until the cheese has melted.
Ingredients: refrigerated biscuit dough, pizza sauce, pizza toppings, oregano, shredded cheese, garlic salt
- You’ll need a double pie iron for this quick and easy lunch. Coat the pie iron with olive oil or use a non-stick spray.
- Flatten refrigerated biscuit dough on the inside of each side of the pie iron.
- Spread pizza sauce on one side.
- Top with whatever toppings you like, mushrooms, browned ground beef, pepperoni, green peppers, onion, etc. Don’t forget the shredded cheese.
- Now spread pizza sauce on the other biscuit.
- Add oregano and garlic salt if you like.
- Close the pie iron.
- Trim off any excess that appears once the pie iron is closed.
- Cook over medium heat coals, four or five minutes on each side.
- Open the pie iron and remove the finished calzone.
French Bread Melt
Ingredients: French bread loaf, garlic butter, onions, green peppers, olive oil, roast beef, provolone cheese slices
- Slice a large loaf of French bread into one ½ inch sections. Do NOT cut all the way through the loaf.
- Cover the insides of each slice with garlic butter.
- Saute onions and green peppers in olive oil.
- Add a spoonful of the vegetable mixture to every other slice.
- Then add roast beef and provolone cheese slices.
- Coat an aluminum foil pouch with non-stick cooking spray because the cheese tends to stick.
- Wrap the loaf in the foil and place it near but not on hot coals.
- Heat the sandwich for about 30 minutes so that all the cheese melts.
- Remove the loaf and cut the slices into sandwich bites.
Campfire Recipes – Dinner
Seasonings in baggies can be messy. Consider carrying your seasonings in straws. Melt the ends with a lighter to seal them off. When you want to use your salt or pepper, snip off the end. When you are ready to break camp again, just re-seal it and toss it in your bag.
Beer Battered Fish
If your camping trip includes a good catch, then you’ll love these easy to make beer battered fish. You can also use store bought fish fillets.
Ingredients: fish, flour, buttermilk pancake mix, can of beer, salt and pepper
- Clean and dry your fish.
- Coat them in flour.
- Mix a cup of buttermilk pancake mix and a cup of beer together.
- Coat the fish with this mixture.
- Cook the fish in a skillet with about ¼ cup of cooking oil. They are done when they are a golden brown color.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Ingredients: 2 large onions, ground beef and/or sausage, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, worcestershire sauce, egg, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, toppings (ketchup, tomato sauce or hot sauce)
- Cut off the ends of two large onions.
- Then cut them in half lengthwise.
- Peel the layers into matching halves.
- Mix together 1 pound of ground beef, 1 pound of sausage (or two pounds of one or the other), 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, 1 beaten egg, ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
- Fill both matching onion sides with the mixture and press them together.
- Double wrap them in tin foil as you finish each one.
- Place them on very hot coals for about 15 minutes on each side.
- When the meat is thoroughly cooked, remove them and top with ketchup, tomato sauce or hot sauce.
Shrimp Ramen Noodles Foil Packets
Even ramen noodles can make a super easy campfire dinner!
Ingredients: ramen noodles, Asian toasted sesame salad dressing, vegetable broth, shrimp, broccoli, red pepper
- Break the block of noodles in half.
- Place each half on large sheets of heavy-duty foil that you’ve sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Make an open bowl from the tin foil. You may want to set these into a deep pan to prevent spillage.
- Heat ¼ cup of Asian toasted sesame salad dressing and 1 cup of vegetable broth until blended.
- Pour the mixture over the noodles.
- Top with thawed uncooked shrimp, broccoli, and red pepper.
- Fold the ends of the foil together, leaving extra space for heat circulation inside the pouch.
- Place the pouches on the grill and bake for 30 minutes. It’s finished when the noodles are tender and the shrimp is pink.
- Cut slits in the foil to release the steam before serving.
Beans, Beef, and Bacon Casserole
Ingredients: bacon, ground beef, can of baked beans, steak or barbecue sauce, refrigerated biscuit dough
- Cook a package of bacon in a skillet.
- Drain and chop it into bits.
- Then cook about ¾ pound of ground beef, just until it isn’t pink anymore.
- Add a 20 ounce can of baked beans, bacon bits, and ½ cup steak or barbecue sauce.
- Stir frequently as it comes to a boil.
- Take it off the fire.
- Then layer refrigerated biscuit dough over the top.
- Cover and cook for another 10 minutes. The casserole is done when the biscuits are browned.
Fancy Smancy Hot Dogs
If you’re tired of the same old hot dogs, try this recipe for a new mouthwatering treat!
Ingredients: olive oil, onion, green peppers, hot dogs, hot dog buns, shredded cheese, mayonnaise, mustard or barbecue sauce
- Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over a medium hot fire.
- Add chopped onion and green peppers and cook until the slices are browned.
- Grill your hot dog flavor of choice until they are slightly charred, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Toast the buns until warmed and lightly charred, about 3 minutes.
- Spread your choice of mayonnaise, mustard or barbecue sauce (or all three) on the buns.
- Insert the hot dogs.
- Add the onions and green pepper.
- Then sprinkle some shredded cheese to top it off.
Campfire Recipes – Desserts
If you are looking for something more than s’mores, then check these scrumptious campfire desserts out!
Pie Iron Cookies
You can either make your own cookie dough at home or use the prepackaged refrigerated cookie dough for this dessert.
Ingredients: refrigerated cookie dough
- Line both sides of the double pie iron with parchment paper.
- Place a ball of cookie dough in the middle.
- Close the pie iron.
- Put it over the hot coals, trying to keep it level.
- Cook for 5 to 7 minutes on each side.
Ingredients: bananas, chocolate chips, marshmallows, toppings (nuts, sprinkles, shredded coconut)
- Slice a banana lengthwise leaving one inch on each end closed.
- Sprinkle in chocolate chips and small marshmallows.
- Close the banana peel and wrap it up with aluminum foil.
- Place it over hot coals but not directly on the flame.
- Cook for five to seven minutes.
- Add nuts, sprinkles, shredded coconut or any other topping and serve.
Cinnamon Crescent Skewers
Ingredients: refrigerated crescent roll dough, sugar, cinnamon
- Wrap refrigerated crescent roll dough around wooden skewers.
- Roll them in a sugar and cinnamon mixture.
- Cook them over a fire for about 5 minutes, rotating frequently to keep it from burning.
Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler
Ingredients: shortbread cookies, 2 cans of sliced peaches, yellow cake mix, cinnamon, stick of butter
- Grease the dutch oven.
- Cover the bottom with shortbread cookies.
- Add 2 cans of sliced peaches with the juice.
- Add a package of yellow cake mix.
- Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon over the cake mix layer.
- Cut a stick of butter into 10 thin slices and arrange them over the cake mix.
- Put the lid on the dutch oven.
- Place it into the coals.
- Place some coals on the lid as well.
- Bake for about an hour.
Marshmallow Fluff Strawberries
Ingredients: marshmallow fluff, strawberries
- Dip strawberries in marshmallow fluff.
- Roast them on a stick over the fire until the marshmallow fluff is brown and gooey.
There you have it! Twenty super easy campfire recipes sure to impress your friends. Roughing it is certainly more enjoyable with a menu of delicious simple campfire meals, wouldn’t you agree?
More Reading and Summary
If you want to extend your campfire chef skills with many other recipes, consider the Easy Campfire Cooking cookbook that has over 200 family fun recipes for cooking over coals.
Really digging the cast iron? Try Dutch Oven and Cast Iron Cooking. It has over 125 recipes for indoor and outdoor cooking.
Campfire cooking takes a bit of getting used to, but like anything, practice makes perfect. Have YOU had a lot of experience cooking outdoors? What are your tricks of the trade?