15 Camping Meals Ideas + Tips + Recipes

Wondering what to eat when you go camping, in today’s post we give you 15 ideas for camping food, easy to prepare and also very tasty.

We are big fans of camping, packing the tent, putting it in the car trunk, and sleeping in our tent.

We have often been told, “Oh, sleeping on the ground is not for me.” Others say, “I couldn’t live on sandwiches for so long!” These are the most common or usual comments we get when we say we are going away for 15 or 20 days in a tent.

In this article, I share some of the dishes you can prepare when you go camping that are super easy to make. You can eat a varied, healthy, and fresh diet very easily!

*Update: We do the same with the camper van instead of the tent.

What to Eat When Camping?

When you go camping, you do not have to live on sandwiches, although if you have a good budget, you can eat at bars and restaurants. 😉

But if this is not the case, here are some examples of food that can be easily prepared, although you must go to the supermarket.

Want more recipe ideas? Check out this book.

For a Camping Breakfast, 5 Ideas That You’ll Love

Easy-to-make and healthy breakfast for camping
  1. Avocado and Egg Toast:
  • Ingredients: Bread, avocados, eggs, salt and pepper.
  • Preparation: Toast the bread in a grill or frying pan. Cook the eggs to taste. Spread the avocado on the toast and place the eggs on top. Add salt and pepper to taste.

2. Granola with Yogurt and Fruits:

  • Ingredients: Granola, yogurt, fresh fruits (such as strawberries, blueberries, bananas).
  • Preparation: In a bowl, add layers of granola, yogurt, and fresh fruit. No cooking is required.

3. Toast with Tomato and Ham:

  • Ingredients: Bread, tomatoes, serrano ham, olive oil, salt.
  • Preparation: Toast the bread in a frying pan or grill. Grate the tomatoes and spread on the bread. Place a slice of Serrano ham on top, and add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

4. Spanish Tortilla Sandwich:

  • Ingredients: Bread, pre-cooked Spanish tortilla.
  • Preparation: Heat the tortilla portions in a frying pan. Open them between loaves to make a sandwich.

5. Breakfast Burritos:

  • Ingredients: Tortillas, eggs, canned beans, grated cheese, avocado and salsa.
  • Preparation: Cook the scrambled eggs in a skillet over a campfire or portable stove. Heat the tortillas. Then, add the eggs, beans, cheese, avocado, and salsa to the tortillas and wrap them to form burritos.

These breakfasts are easy to prepare and require simple, portable ingredients, ideal for taking camping. I hope you enjoy them!

For Lunch Or Dinner Time

Tasty and Vital Salads

couscous with vegetables

A variety of salads can be prepared with whatever you like. Go beyond lettuce and tomatoes!

Some Ideas For Your Salads to Eat When You Go Camping

  • Rice salad with shrimp and vegetables
  • Salad of lamb’s lettuce, turkey, and orange cubes
  • Pasta salad with apples and walnuts
  • Salmon and avocado salad with lettuce and cherry tomatoes
  • Quinoa salad with vegetables
  • Your favorite salad

Here are some ideas for healthy meals to prepare outdoors.

2. Moorish skewers

What to eat when camping

The skewers can be made you can make them to your liking or buy them at the supermarket.

Here are three ideas of skewers ideal to prepare at a campsite.

Chicken and Vegetable Brochettes:

  • Ingredients: Chicken breast, colored peppers, onion, zucchini, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon.
  • Preparation: Cut the chicken and vegetables into pieces. Thread onto skewers, alternating between chicken and vegetables. Season with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. Cook on the grill or in a skillet over the campfire until the chicken is cooked through.

Chorizo and Mushroom Brochettes:

  • Ingredients: Chorizo sausage, mushrooms, olive oil, chopped parsley.
  • Preparation: Cut the chorizo into slices and thread onto skewers, alternating with mushrooms. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Cook on the grill or in a frying pan until golden brown and cooked.

Fruit skewers for dessert!

  • Ingredients: Melon, pineapple, grapes, strawberries, honey, lemon.
  • Preparation: Cut the fruits into pieces and thread them on skewers. Drizzle with a little honey and lemon juice. You can eat them fresh or roast them lightly to give them a caramelized touch.

Always remember to soak the wooden chopsticks in water before using them if you are going to cook the skewers on fire, to prevent them from burning. I hope you enjoy these skewers at your campsite! Enjoy!

3. Grilled Meat aka Barbecue

grilled meat and some vegetables

This can be meat or vegetable. Easy to prepare. The trick is to control the fire so that it doesn’t reach the meat!


  • Variety of meats (e.g., chorizo, black pudding, pork ribs, lamb chops, chicken, etc)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Adobo or marinade of your choice (optional)


Prepare the meats:

  • If desired, marinate the meats a few hours in advance with your favorite seasonings.
  • Take the meats out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking to bring them to room temperature.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Prepare the Grill:

  • Light the barbecue and let the coals heat up well until they are white and evenly heated.
  • Clean the grill and coat it with a bit of oil to prevent the meat from sticking.

Cooking Meats:

  • Place the meats on the grill.
  • Cook each side until golden brown and to desired doneness.

Let the meats rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute.

4. Grilled Vegetables

barbecued vegetables


  • Variety of vegetables (e.g., peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplants, onions, tomatoes)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Herbs (optional)


  • Prepare Vegetables:
    • Wash and cut the vegetables into large pieces.
    • Season with salt, pepper, olive oil and aromatic herbs if desired.
  • Prepare the Grill:
    • If you are using the same grill as for the meat, make sure it is clean.
    • Adjust the height of the grill so that the vegetables do not burn.
  • Cooking Vegetables:
    • Place the vegetables on the grill.
    • Cook each side until tender and golden brown, turning occasionally to cook evenly.

5. Choripán

This is super easy. You grill the chorizo and eat it with bread, like a sandwich (look for “chorizo criollo” at the butcher shop). It is delicious and very typical of the asados (barbecues) that take place in Argentina.

6. Hamburgers

You make the burgers on the grill, and the side dish is whatever you want!


  1. Preparation of the Hamburgers:
    • Form patties with the minced meat. Do not make them too thick so that they cook well inside.
    • Season both sides with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Preparation of the Grill or Frying Pan:
    • If you have a grill, heat it until the coals are white and the grill is hot.
    • If you use a frying pan or griddle, place it over the fire and let it heat up. Add a bit olive oil or butter.
  3. Cooking the Hamburgers:
    • Place the burgers on the grill or pan.
    • Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side or until they reach the desired doneness.
    • If desired, add a slice of cheese on top of each burger a minute before they are ready to melt.
  4. Assemble the Hamburgers:
    • While the burgers are cooking, you can cut the fresh ingredients (lettuce, tomato, onion).
    • Lightly toast the rolls on the grill or in a frying pan.
    • Once the burgers are ready, assemble your burger by adding condiments, sauces, and fresh ingredients to taste.
  5. Serve:
    • Serve the burgers immediately while they are hot. You can accompany them with some potato chips or a fresh salad.

7. Pasta

pasta prepared in a gas camping site

I think it is the easiest thing to prepare. You only need to boil the water with the pasta you like the most. The sauce may be most difficult to prepare, depending on how gourmet you are.

Although the easiest way is to heat the fried tomato in a small pot with minced meat and spices. Or buy a prepared sauce.

Once the pasta is ready, strain it and pour it into the sauce pot. Mix it, and that’s it.

8. Rice and paella

Mushroom paella prepared by Fer while camping

Rice, like pasta, is very easy to prepare. And if you are good at preparing paella when camping, it is a great option. I have seen it at a campsite in Portugal, but I have never prepared it yet.

We have bought a paella and a special fire to prepare paella in the following trips by van. I will let you know how it turns out.

9. Grilled fish

If we go to a place by the sea, it never hurts to have some grilled sardines; Fer loves them. Well prepared with lemon and salt while they are being made, important, not when they are already done.

You can also opt for a delicious sea bream or sea bass. Grilling them “a la Navarra” style is a great idea. Just place one or two slices of serrano ham inside the fish before grilling. Absolutely Delicious

10. Couscous

Super easy to prepare! Just soak it in hot water for a few minutes and you can serve it with various types of meats and fish. (Raquel’s recommendation)

11. Tuna Sandwich:


  • Sliced bread or baguette
  • Can of tuna in oil or water
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lettuce and tomato Preparation:
  • Mix the drained tuna with mayonnaise to taste.
  • Place the tuna, lettuce and tomato mixture between two slices of bread.

12. Chorizo or Salchichón sandwich:


  • Bread (baguette or similar)
  • Chorizo or salami in slices
  • Olive oil (optional) Preparation:
  • Open the bread in half and place the slices of chorizo or salami.
  • Add a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

13. Vegetarian Sandwich:


  • Whole wheat bread
  • Hummus
  • Cucumber, tomato, lettuce, avocado Preparation:
  • Spread hummus on the bread slices.
  • Add layers of cucumber, tomato, lettuce, and avocado.

14. Cheese and Ham Sandwich:


  • Sliced bread
  • Sliced cheese
  • Sliced cooked ham
  • Mustard or mayonnaise (optional) Preparation:
  • Place the cheese and ham between two slices of bread.
  • Add mustard or mayonnaise if desired.

15. Smoked Salmon Sandwich

Smoked salmon sandwich


  • Bread of your choice (baguette, whole wheat bread, rye bread, etc.)
  • Sliced smoked salmon
  • Cream cheese
  • Capers (optional)
  • Thinly sliced red onion (optional)
  • Thinly sliced cucumber
  • Fresh or dried dill
  • Lemon
  • Black pepper


Prepare Ingredients:

  • If you have red onion and cucumber, cut them into thin slices.
  • If you have fresh dill, finely chop it.

Assemble the sandwich:

  • Open the bread in half or take two slices, depending on the type of bread you are using.
  • Spread a generous layer of cream cheese on one or both sides of the bread.
  • Place the smoked salmon slices on top of the cream cheese.
  • Add capers, red onion slices, and cucumber to taste.
  • Sprinkle with dill and a touch of black pepper.
  • Squeeze a few drops of lemon over the top to enhance the flavor.

Close and serve:

  • Close the sandwich and press lightly.
  • If possible, let it stand for a few minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
  • Wrap in aluminum foil or store in an airtight container if not to be consumed immediately.

For Dessert Or Breakfast

Fruit Salads. Don’t forget to eat fruit and fiber when you go camping!

fruits cut into small pieces

Banana and oat tortilla. Preparing when you go camping may be a bit of a hassle, but it is delicious and healthy.

Measurements for one person. You have to mash a ripe banana with a fork. Add one beaten egg (or mix everything in the same bowl) and two tablespoons of oatmeal.

If you like, you can add a little cinnamon. You cook it on a griddle, similar to a French omelette or an American pancake, and it’s ready to enjoy.

If you are not on a diet and do not have sugar-related issues, you can add syrup, honey, dulce de leche, or fruit chunks on top of it for extra flavor. Basically, whatever you feel like.

As you can see, you can eat everything when you are camping, and carrying a lot of “pots and pans” for cooking is unnecessary.

Want to see more elaborate recipes? Click on the link and discover 5 recipes to make while camping (or in a van using aluminum foil). Super easy and delicious!!!!

Here is a post with ideas for snacks to eat during your car or camper van trip.

For The Outdoor Aperitif 🙂

Camping cocktails. If you understand a little bit of English, you are of legal drinking age, and you enjoy cocktails, I recommend this cocktail book for camping or van trips. Obviously, if you are going to drink, do not drive afterward!

You will find many ideas to do easily outdoors or in your camper van or motorhome.

Sample Menu for a week of Camping

1Avocado toastVegetable barbecueSmoked Salmon Sandwich or Burger
2Granola with yogurt and fruitsPasta with tomato sauce and cheeseCaesar salad or barbecue meat salad
3Ham and cheese toastMixed salad with chickenPaella of your choice
4Avocado and egg toastMeat barbecueTuna or pasta sandwich
5Granola with milk and honeyCold pasta saladSpanish omelet
6Ham and tomato toastVegetable PaellaVegetarian sandwich
7Avocado and salmon toastGreek saladMixed barbecue (meat and vegetables)

What Do You Need To Cook While Camping?

For cooking at a campsite or outdoors, you need a few basic things which only take up a little space.

  1. Portable Fridge
Portable Fridge

A portable cooler to keep things cool and things that need to be kept cold. There is a variety of portable coolers, sizes, and brands. Some can be plugged into the mains, others into the cigarette lighter of the car, and those of all life, those that go with ice.

We have had the ice one for years, sometimes it is a pain, but they are the best cooler, and if you do not sleep in a campsite, they are an excellent option.

Now with the camper van, we bring the cooler as an extra to take it to the beach or outside. We have a trivalent cooler in the van, but it is not portable.

Here is a complete article we wrote about portable coolers for traveling by car or camper.

2. Gas Stove

camping kitchen

A gas stove is commonly known as a “camping stove” or “campingaz” in these parts. We have a stove that connects directly to the gas cylinder, and the adapter is suitable for several brands.

For us, it is very convenient because it takes up the least amount of space. There are also a large number of models and prices.

3. Portable Charcoal Or Gas Grill

weber portable barbecue

A portable charcoal grill or mini camping barbecue. There is a wide variety of models, sizes, and prices.

Mini charcoal grills are the cheapest, are easy to carry, and take up little space. However, be careful when starting and extinguishing the fire.

Keep it in a box or a special place so it does not dirty your car or other things.

We currently have a portable gas grill. In France (where we live) and in more and more European places, it is forbidden to make fire, so it was easier to buy a gas grill and still enjoy barbecues.

4. Kitchen Utensils

eating at the campsite

Once you enter the camper world, you will discover how many things there are. Available at various price points and catering to all preferences.

But you can take the essentials from home, such as pots, plates, cutlery, napkins, etc. As you get the hang of it, you can buy collapsible pots, melamine plates, cool glasses, and even champagne glasses that look like glass!

Also, remember to bring a folding table and chairs or a blanket for eating on the floor.

Here is a detailed post with everything you can take for camping or in a camper van.

Making Fire Responsibly

dutch oven on embers

Before we start with the recipes for these meals to make in a camper van or while camping, I want you to take precautions regarding fire safety.

Only make a fire in authorized places and take all precautions not to cause damage to the surroundings.

Watch the embers at all times, watch the flame, make sure there is no wind or look for a sheltered place, and have a bucket of water or sand at hand just in case.

If you need help deciding to have an open fire, use portable camping stoves or gas cookers. They are affordable and can help you avoid accidental fires.

Gas grills or barbecues are allowed in almost any location if you travel by car or camper van. This is the one we have, but there are more models and prices available.

If you have started a fire, take precautions when extinguishing it. Make sure that no embers are left burning. Pour water, dirt, or sand over it to prevent the fire from spreading and contributing to a potential wildfire.

Most importantly, use common sense. And after taking all the necessary precautions to prevent fires, look at these recipes to prepare during your camper van or camping trips, and let me know what you think of them.

Where To Buy?

We usually go to the local supermarkets, look online to see which ones are closest, and then we go there.

It depends on the area we’re in, but we also sometimes go to large chain stores as they tend to be cheaper. However, we always try to visit local markets to support the local economy.

And we try to buy the fruit at market stalls because they are much tastier than in the supermarket!

The idea is to shop every day or every other day, buying fresh ingredients that you will need for that day since there isn’t much capacity to store fresh items.

Do you like camping? Do you usually prepare your own food or do you eat at restaurants?

Prepare Your Trip

Last Updated on 22 October, 2023 by Veronica

Disclosure: Some of the links on this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Author: Veronica

Vero, a seasoned traveler, has explored 25 countries and lived in five, gaining a rich perspective and fostering an infectious passion for travel. With a heart full of wanderlust, Vero uncovers the world’s hidden gems and shares insights, tips, and planning advice to inspire and assist fellow adventurers. Join Vero and let the shared passion for travel create unforgettable memories.


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