10 Healthy, Easy-to-Make Camping Meals

10 Healthy, Easy-to-Make Camping Meals

You know you're not limited to hot dogs, instant noodles, and canned chilli when you're camping... right?

Quick list

A lot of work goes into preparing for a camping trip. Finding the perfect spot, packing all that gear, planning excursions and activities for your time spent in nature... and sadly, sometimes meal-planning isn't a top-priority.

Anyone who has gone camping has undoubtedly feasted on those easy, staple meals of weenies and beans, baked potatoes, boxed burgers, and cereal with powdered milk. And it's not horrible, but we promise, it can be so much better.

If you're looking to up your camping cooking game from basic to boasting, here are 10 easy and healthy recipes to make the next time you're enjoying that wilderness living.

Cooking adjustments are included but remember that cooking on a fire is never the same as on a stove top or oven. It can be unpredictable, faster, or slower, and needs to be thoroughly monitored.

Camping Kitchen Necessities

• A cooler that will keep food-items cold for the duration of your trip

• Cast iron skillet with a lid

• Fire-safe dutch oven with a lid (If your cookware doesn't have lids, you can use tinfoil)

• Oven mitts

• Resealable bags / containers

• Cooking spoons and spatulas

• Meat thermometer

• Kitchen towels

• Heat safe serving dishes

• A basin for dishes and camp-safe soap

• Can opener

• Kitchen scissors

• Knives and a cutting board

• Oil for re-seasoning your cast irons after use

Things to Consider

• If there is water available on the campground, is it safe for consumption?

• Will you have access to ice for your cooler or an outlet if your cooler is electric?

• If you can't guarantee access to safe storage for meats and dairy products throughout your trip, plan your meals based on what food needs to be used first.

• Should you budget for firewood, is it included in the cost of camping, or free to collect naturally nearby and would you require a hatchet or saw?

• Are there bears or other scavenging animals? If so, speak with park staff about how to properly store and dispose of food so as to not attract them.

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Rily's Herb & Spinach Frittata

Herb & Spinach Frittata

Say "Goodbye" to boring, dry cereal for your camping breakfast and "Hello" to this delicious breakfast frittata, packed with the protein for a day full of adventure!

Here's how to adjust this recipe for campground cooking:

First, you'll need a hot bed of embers in your fire-pit. This is pretty easy if you still have some warm ones from your fire the night before, but if not - here's how to get where you need to be.

Build a fire with dry wood and kindling. Focus on using smaller pieces so they burn and break down quickly, creating that bed of embers you'll need. While cooking, keep your fire to a minimum and do not touch the cast-iron pan without protection.

When your cooking area is ready, set up your frittata according to the directions found in the recipe. Then cover the cast iron pan with tinfoil or a lid to trap heat inside, cooking your frittata from all angles.

Now, because you're not cooking in an oven with a temperature gauge or timer, stay mindful of the process while your eggs bake. Make sure to use hand protection while checking on your dish and removing it from the fire pit because it will be HOT!

Let it cool in a safe place for about 10 minutes before serving and enjoy!

Get the recipe.

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Rily's Breakfast Skillet

Breakfast Skillet

This simple, yet sensational, breakfast skillet is a great way to start any day.

Filled with the protein and carbs you need to energize you for a day of fun out in the woods or on the water, this meal can be made with fresh or left-over ingredients

No cooking adjustments needed.

To make this meal on a campfire, you can follow the same directions in the recipe. Just remember that depending on the size of your fire, the heat will be much greater than the stovetop you have at home, so your meal may cook faster.

Remove your dish safely from the fire when it's ready and serve right away.

Be careful not to burn yourself on the cast iron dish.

Get the recipe.

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Rily's Grilled Pork Shoulder with Olive Salsa

Grilled Pork Shoulder with Olive Salsa

This is a great lunch or dinner meal, loaded with flavour and the nutrients you need during a camping trip. Your campfire will cook these pork steaks quickly and leave them with a delectable smoky taste to compliment the zesty olive salsa.

If you crave carbs while you're camping, serve some of those classic camping baked potatoes alongside this dish. Simply oil some potatoes, wrap them in tin foil and bake them in the embers to add some carbs to this dish. They'll take longer to cook than your meat, so have them cooking while you prepare your main dish.

Campground cooking adjustments:

Prepare the marinade at home to bring with you on your camping trip.

Marinate your meat in a sealable bag or container and leave in the cooler overnight, or for four hours instead of two.

Make sure the grill above the fire is hot before laying meat on it to avoid the pork steaks sticking and breaking as they cook.

Get the recipe.

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Rily's Flank Steak & Veggie Stir Fry

Flank Steak & Veggie Stir Fry

This easy to make, delicious and nutritious stir fry is a perfect and hearty meal to enjoy around a campfire.

Using local produce that doesn't need to be kept in a cooler, planning this meal allows you to conserve valuable cooler space to store other ingredients for meals to come another day.

While this meal is satisfying on its own, it can also be served with rice which can easily be made alongside your dish.

Cooking adjustments:

Conserve time and space by making your marinade before leaving for your camping trip.

You can cook your meat directly on the grill above the fire before slicing, or in the cast iron until your desired char is reached.

Add very small amounts of water while cooking your vegetables on the cast iron to steam them nicely.

Get the recipe.

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Rily's Southwest Veggie Chilli

Southwest Veggie Chilli

Everyone knows that chilli is a camping staple, but it certainly doesn't have to be basic.

This comforting, one-pot vegetarian chilli, packed with protein and nutrients, is the perfect tummy-warmer on a cool night under the trees.

For extra protein, add more beans or a meat of your choice (cooked in the pot prior to adding other ingredients).

Nothing in this recipe needs to be in a cooler (except the optional sour cream or cheese to garnish), so it can be made on any day of your trip.

Cooking your campground chilli:

For convenience, prepare your spice mix prior to leaving.

Otherwise, there are honestly no changes in how you would cook this meal except perhaps using canned corn instead of frozen to avoid mushy corn.

Just light that campfire and let this camping culinary magic take place in your dutch oven with minimal work from you.

Get the recipe.

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Rily's Butternut Squash Quinoa Risotto

Butternut Squash Quinoa Risotto

Packed with sweet, roasted butternut squash, this vegan (optional) creamy quinoa risotto is guaranteed to leave you wanting more.

This nutritious and comforting meal requires some adjustments for cooking out of the kitchen, but we promise it's worth it.

Campfire cooking adjustments:

Two options for preparing your squash:

ONE

Prepare your butternut squash normally with oil and salt.

Wrap cubes, piled in tinfoil and bake above fire or near embers.

Open and move around periodically to distribute heat and ensure an even roast with firm edges.

TWO

Parboil cubed squash in water.

Drain water and season with salt and olive oil.

Fry in a medium-heat cast iron pan until the edges are firm.

Once squash is prepared, like any risotto, cook this meal according to the recipe directions on low heat (a low-flame fire or scattered embers) and ENJOY!

Get the recipe.

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Rily's One Pan Crispy Chicken & Artichokes

One Pan Crispy Chicken & Artichokes

Feast around the campfire on this easy-to-make crispy chicken and artichoke meal.

Not too heavy, but filling and full of nutrients you need after a long day of adventure in the forest.

Campfire cooking:

Follow the directions in this recipe as per usual until the final bake.

When your dish is ready to be baked, cover the cast iron with a lid or tinfoil and move off the fire.

Move or break down the logs to have a very minimal flame, or use the heat from the embers.

If you have a cast iron lid, you can (very carefully) place some hot embers onto it to surround your dish with heat, mimicking the effect of an oven.

Get the recipe.

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Rily's Beef Stew

Beef Stew

This hearty stew pairs perfectly with a cool night around a campfire.

Because it's a one-pot dish, you'll be left with minimal dishes after the feasting is over, and extra time to do what you're supposed to do while camping..._ just relax_.

Most of the ingredients in this recipe don't require cool storage, leaving extra room in your cooler for other items.

Campground cooking instructions:

This is literally the easiest thing to make on a campfire, all you need is a cast iron dutch oven or pot with a lid, oven-mitts, and a wooden spoon.

Substitute frozen peas for canned peas to avoid a soggy, mushy pea.

For convenience, you can pre-cut the vegetables needed for this stew before your trip and keep them together in a sealable bag or container until needed (but, keep the mix in the cooler if you choose to do it this way).

Stews are tastiest when cooked for a long time, so make sure you have enough firewood to keep it burning for several hours.

Adjust heat as needed by growing or minimizing the flame.

Enjoy!

Get the recipe.

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Rily's Kale & Pesto Grilled Cheese

Kale & Pesto Grilled Cheese

This delightful grilled cheese sandwich is a perfect camping lunch, or can be served alongside a soup for a well-rounded dinner meal.

Stuffed with greens, protein, carbs, and oh so much flavour, this sandwich will set your body up for a day in the wilderness.

Now, we all know that the secret to the perfect grilled cheese is patience, so be mindful of how hot your skillet is on the fire while cooking.

Keep the temperature low to ensure a gooey cheese and perfect toast to your bread.

No one likes a too-crisp or blackened outer shell of their sandwich.

Cook normally as per recipe directions.

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Rily's Spicy Chickpea Minestrone

Spicy Chickpea Minestrone

Easily cooked on top of a fire, this warming, spicy, and simple one-pot recipe makes for easy clean-up.

None of the ingredients require cooling, so this hearty meal is a great choice for your last day of camping.

Loaded with fresh veggies and protein-rich chickpeas, this minestrone soup can be adjusted for taste, or to use up any other produce you didn't use on your trip.

Cook according to recipe directions.

Get the recipe.

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Erin Horrocks-PopeBorn and raised in Toronto, Erin is a dedicated freelance journalist, accomplished copywriter, and meticulous copyeditor. Beyond her bustling career, she's a devoted mother of four young kids who can't get enough of the mouthwatering recipes curated by Rily's culinary experts.
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