10 Easy Make Ahead Camping Meals (Save You Time and Effort)
Camping is an exciting activity for all ages but time is of the essence. To enjoy every second possible at the campsite, here are 10 planned ahead camping meals to save time at the campsite.
Below is a list of 10 easy to make ahead camping meals that may be prepared prior to your trip and will feed a family of four.
1. Steak or Chicken Kabobs
Purchase 2-3 skinless chicken breasts or 2 lbs of sirloin steak. Cut the meat in 1×1 1-2 inch cubes. Slice onions, red and green bell peppers in 1-2 inch squares. Mushrooms, slice in half. Place 1 piece of meat choice on a skewer following by 1 piece of onion, red bell pepper, 1/2 of a mushroom, 1 green pepper, followed by 1 more piece of meat. Continue until the skewer is filled with at least 3 pieces of meat and veggie rotation. Place these in an aluminum pan and cover with plastic wrap. Keep in the refrigerator and on ice until ready to cook.
Cook over the campfire. It tastes better directly over the campfire using a grill top; however, you may use a pan if desired.
Steak is dependent on your liking, while chicken must be cooked fully.
Video Overview: Kabobs on the Grill – Simple and Easy
2. Chicken and Veggies
Cut four skinless chicken breasts in cubes or slices as desired. Vegetables such as carrots, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and/or snow peas make for great texture and taste. The carrots, onions, and peppers should be sliced in cubes or finger length.
The mushrooms and snow peas should be cooked whole. Place the chicken in a saucepan and cook until done. In a separate pan, cook the carrots, onions, and peppers for 2 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the mushrooms and snow peas for 2 minutes.
Add the chicken to the vegetable pan and mix together well.
For individual servings, scoop out 4 tablespoons of the mixture and place on aluminum foil. Close each aluminum foil to create packets.
At the campsite, place the foil packets directly on the campfire grill. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Rotate the packets every 2 minutes.
Video Overview: Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry Recipe – Laura Vitale – Laura in the Kitchen Episode 733
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3. Ham and Cheese with Hash Browns
Purchase packaged ham (already sliced is more convenient), bagged shredded cheddar cheese, and frozen shredded potatoes ~1lb. 2 raw eggs will be used as well.
As the shredded potatoes are thawing, begin chopping the ham to the desired size. The smaller the size the increased ham to hash brown ratio in every bite.
In a saucepan, place the thawed potatoes and cook over medium heat until the hash browns just begin to brown. Add the ham and cook for 1 minute. Mix aggressively. Add 2 eggs, previously scrambled, salt and pepper for taste, and cheese. Cook until the cheese has melted and the eggs have cooked thoroughly. Continue to stir throughout the whole cooking process.
Place the cooled food in a gallon Ziploc bag and keep cold until ready to cook at the campsite.
In a deep pot, empty the Ziploc bag and cook over the campfire until the cheese has re-melted.
Video Overview: Ham and Cheese Hashbrown Cubes
Brown 1 lb of hamburger and onions in a soup pot over the stove. In a 2nd pot, add 1 can of pinto beans, 1 can of kidney beans, and 1 can of black beans. Bring to a boil. Add 2 cans of tomato sauce and 1 regular can of tomato paste (or 2 small cans). Bring to a boil and add the hamburger/onion mixture. Salt and pepper for taste. Add 2 cloves of garlic for extra taste.
At the campsite, reheat to a boil, then serve.
5. Potato Salad
Boil 5 lbs of skinned yellow potatoes and 1/3 cup of butter. 1 tablespoon of pepper and 1/2 tablespoon of salt. Once potatoes are tender, drain.
Chop potatoes to desired texture. Add 1/2 chopped onion. 3 pinches of celery seed. 2 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon yellow mustard. 1 teaspoon dill, if desired. Add 1/4 cup of sweet or dill pickle cubes. Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
6. Individual Pizzas
Purchase “Jiffy Pizza Crust Mix” from your local grocer. Follow the directions and create individual crusts to the desired amount. Bake the crusts until done. Place the cooked crusts in a Ziploc bag until you are ready to cook at the campsite.
At the campsite, place the desired toppings on top of the crusts. Generally, this will consist of tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, etc. Over the campfire grill, cook the individual pizza crusts with desired toppings until the cheese has melted.
7. Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole
Boil 4 skinless chicken breasts until fully cooked (about 15-20 minutes). Let cool then shred the chicken into bite-size pieces. In the juice of the cooked chicken, cook 2 cups of rice. Drained well. Rice should be soft but not mushy. Mix the shredded chicken and rice together. Add fresh chopped broccoli (1 or 2 crowns). In a deep dish aluminum baking pan, Once the mixture has cooled, add 4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.
At the campsite, heat the dish until the cheese has melted throughout.
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Chop 1 whole yellow onion, chopped 1/2 bunch of cilantro, minced 4 cloves of garlic.
Using 1lb of 98% lean ground beef, mix the chopped vegetables and beef together. Add 1 tsp of salt and pepper. Continue to mix by hand.
Roll the meatballs in the desired size, ~1 inch balls are great for a group of 4. Bake or sauté until beef is cooked to a medium temperature. Add your choice of BBQ sauce, 2 bottles for the best sauce/meatball ratio. Stir until each meatball is covered in sauce. Place in a bowl to keep chilled until you are ready to cook at the campsite.
At the campsite, simmer the mixture for 10 minutes.
Boil 1 box of spaghetti for 8 minutes. Do not fully cook. Drain well. Brown 1lb of ground beef and 1 chopped onion. Pepper and Salt to taste. Choose your favorite canned spaghetti sauce or homemade recipe. Mix the browned beef and sauce together. Keep the spaghetti and sauce separated until you are ready to serve.
At the campsite, bring the sauce to a simmer while boiling 1 pot of water. Place the spaghetti in the pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes.
Mix together or allow each individual to add the sauce to his/her liking atop their pasta.
10. Baked Potatoes or Baked Sweet Potatoes
Purchase 1 potato per person. Bake the potatoes for 10-20 minutes dependent on size. Cook until the outer sides are easily depressed with your thumb and middle finger. Let cool, then wrap in aluminum foil.
In sandwich Ziploc bags, store toppings of your choice. Bacon bits, chopped green onions (for baked yellow potatoes). Brown sugar, cinnamon (for sweet potatoes).
At the campsite, place the foil-wrapped potatoes atop the grill. Cook for 2 minutes prior to turning 1/4 turn on each side. Approximately 8-10 minutes of cooking time. Remove from foil, slice the potato in 1/2 and add the desired toppings.
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