foil packet with potatoes and cheese

Fuel your family’s adventures with these super easy camping recipes that even your pickiest eaters will love and no cleanup!

Camping is meant to be spent outdoors as much as possible enjoying nature and relaxing. You don’t want to spend all your camping time cooking and cleaning, right? You want easy camping recipes that will fuel your family’s adventures, but you don’t want to spend hours to feed everyone.

RV Travel 101 kayakers on lake in brightly colored kayaks before heading back to campsite for camping recipe dinner

When we go camping breakfast and dinner are our biggest meals. Lunch is somethings simple since we will be out having fun all day. A big breakfast will give everyone energy for all day activities. You will probably be starving in the evening when it is time for dinner. When we started camping this is where our day often started to go downhill. We would all be staving tired and maybe a little sunburned. To get the camping recipe for dinner on the table we had to start the fire or grill, get all the food out, prepare it, stand over the heat to cook it. At least one of us by that point would be “hangry” and the happy camping mood had changed. My over organized brain knew there had to be an easier way.

How Foil Packet Camping Recipes Changed Our Lives

foil packet with potatoes and cheese

Okay, that might have been a bit over the top, but foil packet camping recipes definitely changed our camping trips.

Sure, we could have pulled out all the pots and pans to cook the camping recipes over the stove or even used a slow cooker and dinner would have been done when we got back from playing but this is camping. Your kids will never forget helping to make their own campfire foil packets and then cooking over the fire or grill.

Foil meals are the perfect way to feed your hungry family. Everyone puts in their own ingredients, wraps it up in heavy duty foil, place it on the campfire coals, grate over a low fire, grill or even in the oven if the weather is not cooperating. In about 30 minutes dinner is done! The best part- everyone will eat because they made their own meal. And, NO CLEANUP! How great is that?

Foil Packet Camping Recipe Cooking Tips

  • Only use heavy duty foil- this is not the time for the cheap stuff.
  • Seal the edges by folding not just crunching it closed.
  • Don’t try to put the foil packets on an open flame. The food will burn before it gets thoroughly cooked. You can use a grate over a low fire or wait until the fire has burned down and you have mature coals.
  • Verify that your campground provides fire pits. Some don’t but will allow you to bring your own above ground. Also make sure that fires are permitted or if there is a burn ban. If not, no worries. You can still cook your foil packets on a grill or even in the oven.

This FREE Magic App Will Plan Your Camping Recipe Menu For You

I might have exaggerated on this just a little but the Meal Board app really will make it super easy to plan your camping meals.

Meal Board app logo- this app helps to plan menus, creates shopping lists
Meal Board App

I could just give you a list of the top 10 camping recipes for breakfast or dinner, but wouldn’t it be much easier for you to plan for the meals that your family will eat and not waste time looking through a random list? Great, that’s what I thought too so I have a better idea.

Download the Meal Board app, go to recipes, import recipes at the bottom and search foil packets. Use the search bar in the middle of the page that says recipe search and not the top web search bar. Add any recipes that sound good. Then go to the little calendar at the top left to create a menu. Add a recipe to each day and the app automatically creates a shopping list for the ingredients. You can then email or print the list. Include breakfast recipes and dinners with sides if you are going to be grilling meat and need something to go with it. Of course, don’t forget to add in recipes for pie iron desserts. I always carried a big bag of trial mix with us when we were out on our adventures so you might want to include that also.

Make Your Camping Recipe Meal Kits Before You Leave Home

Once you have all the ingredients it is time to make your meal kits. Preparing everything in advance means no prep time at the campsite, no dishes to wash and everything is organized and ready. Prepare one meal at a time. Cut up all the vegetables needed, precook rice or pasta and cut up/prepare the meat. Put each of the ingredients in separate plastic gallon freezer bags (again not a good time for the cheapies- get the good ones). Put all the bags for that meal in a plastic shopping bag and tie it closed. Don’t forget to put in all the ingredients including cheese etc.  On the bag write the name of the meal and directions to cook with a sharpie. Put the bag in the freezer. If you will be using a cooler for your camping trip this will help keep it cold longer, but you might want to put the meals in an additional trash bag in the cooler to keep water from melted ice from making a mess.

Make up big batches of trail mix and separate into daily servings. You can do one big bag per day for everyone to share or make up individual servings for each person each day. Trail mix has everything you need to keep energy up all day long.

You are going to need a little camping gear to cook your foil packets so let’s take a look at 5 things you must have for campfire cooking.

5 Things You Must Have for Campfire Cooking

Camping Grate

A campfire grate gives you a cooking surface that will allow you to start cooking your foil packets without having to wait until the fire burns down to coals. Keep the fire small so flames aren’t covering your foil packets. You can also use a grate to grill meats, vegetables like corn on the cob and use pots and pans on it for traditional cooking.

Some campgrounds provide these on the fire rings, but I like the idea of bringing one, so I know we wont be trying to cook on a grate that is rusty or just gross. This grate is inexpensive and is sturdy enough to last a few seasons.

Grilling Basket

At some point you are going to want to make a great burger, chicken or steaks. Grill them up in a grilling basket and use a foil packet side recipe for another easy camping dinner with very little cleanup. Spray the basket with grill cooking spray to make clean up easier.

Pie Iron

Smores are the most popular campfire snack but oh my goodness, have you had a pie or cinnamon rolls made over the fire? When I was growing up camping, some trips we would make all our meals with a pie iron. A couple pieces of bread with fruit topping cooked until crispy and then sprinkle with powdered sugar is amazing and so super easy. How about a grilled cheese? Put a piece of cheese between 2 pieces of bread and cook over the fire for a couple of minutes. You could even add some lunch meat for a quick lunch. Add pizza toppings for a fun pizza pocket. Make a bunch of cinnamon rolls in a pie iron and you may never see Cinnabon the same way again. These things are so versatile. They can be used over the fire, on the grill and even on a stove burner. The possibilities are endless and again everyone can make their own so you aren’t stuck doing all of the coking. Are you seeing a trend here?

Portable Propane Camping Grill

It is a lot of fun to cook on the campfire but there will be times when you want a grill. Maybe it is raining, and all the wood got wet or you are just too hungry to take the time to start a fire. A camping grill should be small enough that it is easy to take with you but large enough to get the job done. A small propane tank is easy to store and change when necessary and they are pretty inexpensive.

Portable Fire Pit

If your campground does not provide a fire ring but allows you to bring your own, then you will want to buy a portable fire pit. Be sure to get one that keeps the fire above the ground. Some places will only allow that type and you will be helping the environment. One fire on unprotected ground can damage the area so much that the grass or plants may not grow back for up to 18 months. If everyone chose a new location on the ground for their fire you could end up with campsites with no grass.

So now you are ready to make camping recipes that everyone will eat, and you will not be spending hours preparing and cleaning. That leaves more time for all the fun camping activities and memory making.

Happy Camping!

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