Camping Food: An Easy Weekend Menu
I talked about my family’s love of camping in my last blog post, but I also realize that camping — if you’ve never been — can be super intimidating. I’m going to offer some of my favorite meals to serve while camping, and then in another post, I’ll talk about our family’s favorite camping gear. This is a typical menu for a weekend camping trip:
Day One - Travel Day
Fast Food: Committing to fast food the first night takes the pressure off of getting camp set up at the perfect time. It allows everyone to relax and enjoy their evening after working to get the campsite ready. Don’t feel like you are wimping out or losing to some non-existent “roughing it” contest.
Breakfast: These pancakes and bacon. The post that features this recipe uses mason jars to store everything. I use a ziplock bag for the dry mix and a couple of plastic containers for the wet stuff. I add about a teaspoon of cinnamon to the dry mix, and about a teaspoon of vanilla to the wet mix. You can also save time by cooking your bacon in the oven before you leave home.
Lunch: Summer sausage, cheese board, sliced apples, peanut butter, crackers
Dinner: Steak with side of choice: veggies and dip, chips, sautéed mushrooms if your family is into that sort of thing. There is nothing quite like a perfectly seared steak on a cast iron skillet. Take some kosher salt and some butter for seasoning.
Dessert: S’mores! Try different chocolate combinations: Reese’s peanut butter cups (my personal fave), Nutella, Snickers bars, dark chocolate. Be sure to set out a tub of baby wipes for easy clean up.
Breakfast: Bacon and scrambled eggs. Take tortillas, cheese, and salsa if you want to upgrade to breakfast burritos.
Other Breakfast Ideas:
Instant Oatmeal with toppings
French Toast with bacon or sausage
Other Lunch Ideas:
Sandwiches or quesadillas
Other Dinner Ideas:
Burgers or Hot Dogs (very popular choice)
Tacos: You can do tacos about 800 different ways. You could do “walking tacos” where you pile meat, beans, cheese, and other toppings inside individual chip bags. You can do a taco stack up situation. You could use taco meat to make nachos: Grab a cast iron skillet, layer chips, beans, cooked chicken or ground beef, and top with cheese. Cover with foil and melt cheese on low. Top with guac, sour cream, and salsa. You can also cook boil in bag rice and do burrito bowls. Same concept.
Chili: You can make it over the campfire if you want to tend to it all afternoon, or you can make it at home and heat it up at the campsite. Versatile and super tasty!
Grilled chicken thighs: I love grilling with chicken thighs because they are more forgiving, less likely to dry out, and so good marinated.
Smoked Sausage, peppers, onions, and rice: An easy skillet meal that cooks up super fast.
Ways to Save Space in the Cooler:
We always eat the same sides for weekend camping. I always take sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, and baby carrots with a tub of Ranch dip. I almost always take a jar of salsa and tortilla chips. Apples travel well for camping, too. We pull these things out for every meal to go with our grilled meat or skillet meal.
We use a rack like this one in our cooler. This keeps our stuff relatively organized, and it allows us to keep everything cool without everything getting wet sitting in the ice.
Also, this is our cooler. We’ve had it for over five years. It keeps ice frozen for days; it has wheels; and, It isn’t the price of a car payment like some other coolers I know.
In my next post, I’ll list out all of our favorite camping gear and give you access to our family packing list. Feel free to email me or leave a comment with any questions.