Top 10 Easiest Car Camping Recipes


Car camping offers a fantastic escape to nature, allowing you to explore the outdoors without venturing too far from the comforts of your car. But let's be honest, who wants to spend their precious getaway slaving away over a campfire? 

We've compiled a list of 10 delicious and fuss-free meals to keep your camp kitchen humming and your bellies happy. So, grab your camping gear, pack your appetite, and get ready to whip up some culinary magic under the stars!


Recipe 1: Campfire Oatmeal with Nuts and Berries 

Start your day in the great outdoors with a warm, hearty bowl of Campfire Oatmeal with Nuts and Berries. This simple yet delicious breakfast is the perfect way to fuel your camping adventures. With the customizable option of adding nuts, dried or fresh berries, and even a drizzle of syrup, it's sure to satisfy every palate.

What you need: 

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup nuts
  • ¼ cup berries (or other fruits of your choice)
  • Tablespoon of honey or maple syrup (optional)
  • Medium-sized pot

Preparation instructions: 

  1. Add water, milk, and oats in a pot. 
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over a stove. Once it starts to bubble, lower the heat and let the oatmeal simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until the oats get tender.
  3. Add your berries and nuts.
  4. Take pot off the heat and wait for it to cool. 
  5. Serve in a bowl and sweeten to taste with honey or maple syrup. 

Recipe 2: Cheesy Egg Quesadillas

Cheesy Egg Quesadillas are a quick and protein-packed breakfast option perfect for busy camping mornings. Filled with scrambled eggs, sautéed vegetables, and melted cheese, these quesadillas are cooked to golden perfection and are bound to become a campsite favorite.

What you need: 

  • 2 eggs 
  • Hot sauce (of your choice)
  • Salt
  • ⅓ cup canned pinto beans or black beans
  • 2 tsps extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp chopped jalapeño (optional)
  • Tortilla (of you choice)
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Salsa (of your choice) 
  • Cast iron skillet or non-stick pan

Preparation instructions: 

  1. Whisk your eggs in a bowl. Add hot sauce and salt and mix together until well blended. 
  2. Drain and rinse your beans. Add them to your egg mixture, then set aside. 
  3. Add your olive oil to your pan and warm it on your stove over medium heat. Pour your egg mixture into the pan. Stir often to avoid burning. After about 1 to 3 minutes, transfer the eggs into a bowl. (Don’t worry if it’s not cooked through. It’ll finish cooking in the quesadilla.)
  4. Warm the tortilla in a pan over medium heat. Add a bit of the cheddar cheese to one half of the tortilla. Top the cheese with some egg then add a bit more cheese before folding the tortilla over the filling. 
  5. Press down and wait until the bottom half becomes crispy and golden brown. Once it does, take your spatula and flip it over to the other side. Wait for that side to get brown and crispy as well. 
  6. Transfer the quesadilla on a plate. Give it a few minutes to cool, then take a knife and cut it in half. Serve with your favorite salsa or hot sauce.


Recipe 3: No-Cook Panzanella Salad

The No-Cook Panzanella Salad is a refreshing, effortless meal perfect for hot camping days. This salad combines crusty bread with fresh vegetables and a tangy vinaigrette, making it a flavorful and satisfying lunch option that requires no cooking.

What you need: 

  • Heirloom tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Olives
  • Feta cheese (the kind with brine)
  • Basil
  • Ciabatta bread (or any other crusty bread)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Basil vinaigrette (or any vinaigrette of your choice)
  • Salad bowl

Preparation instructions: 

  1. Tear up crusty bread into a bowl. 
  2. Slice your tomatoes and cucumbers. Toss them into the bowl with your bread. Drop in your olives.
  3. Add the feta cheese and include some of its brine to add flavor to your salad. 
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add in your vinaigrette. Give everything a good toss.
  5. Top your salad off with a few leaves of fresh basil and serve!

Recipe 4: Bangers and Mash

Bangers and mash, a quintessential British comfort food, combines savory sausages (bangers) with creamy mashed potatoes (mash) and is often served with a rich onion gravy. This easy-to-make recipe is perfect for a hearty family dinner or when you're craving something comforting and satisfying.

What you need:

For the Mash:

  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Bangers:

  • 8 pork sausages
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the Onion Gravy:

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Instructions:

Make the Mash:

  1. Place the quartered potatoes in a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Add the butter and milk, then mash until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover to keep warm.

Cook the Bangers:

  1. While the potatoes are boiling, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 
  2. Add the sausages and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside, keeping them warm.

Prepare the Onion Gravy:

  1. In the same skillet used for the sausages, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the onions, stirring to combine. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Slowly pour in the beef broth while continuously stirring, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook until the gravy has thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble and Serve:

  • Spoon the creamy mashed potatoes onto plates. Place the sausages alongside or on top of the mash. Pour the onion gravy over the sausages and mash.
  • Serve hot and enjoy the comforting flavors of this classic dish.


Recipe 5: One-Pot Pasta Primavera

One-Pot Pasta Primavera is the ultimate car camping meal that combines the freshness of spring vegetables with the comfort of pasta, all cooked together in a single pot for ease of preparation and cleanup. This dish is not only vibrant and nutritious but also customizable based on the vegetables you have on hand, making it a perfect meal to enjoy under the stars.

What you need:

  • 8 ounces pasta (such as spaghetti or fettuccine, broken in half if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 small yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned or thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper, diced (any color)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs (or a mix of oregano, basil, and thyme)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)

Tip: Before heading out for your camping trip, chop all the vegetables and store them in resealable bags to save time at the campsite.

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or pot over your portable camp stove. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for about 2 minutes until the onion becomes translucent.
  2. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, carrot, cherry tomatoes, peas, and bell pepper to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are slightly softened.
  3. Pour in the vegetable broth, and add the dried Italian herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the pasta to the pot, making sure it is submerged in the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for about 10-12 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Once the pasta is cooked and the sauce has thickened, remove the pot from the heat. If using, stir in the grated Parmesan cheese until melted and creamy.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Serve the pasta primavera garnished with fresh basil leaves, if available.

Recipe 6: Foil-Packet Fish with Veggies

Foil-Packet Fish with Veggies is a simple, healthy, and delicious way to enjoy a meal outdoors with minimal cleanup. Cooking in foil packets seals in the moisture and flavors, resulting in tender fish and perfectly cooked vegetables. This method is ideal for car camping, as it can easily be prepared over a campfire or a portable grill.

What you need:

  • Fish fillets (such as salmon, tilapia, or trout)
  • Your choice of vegetables (e.g., sliced zucchini, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, asparagus)
  • Olive oil or melted butter
  • Salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings (like garlic powder, dill, or lemon slices)
  • Aluminum foil

Preparation instructions:

  1. Start by slicing your vegetables into thin pieces that will cook easily. If you're using firmer vegetables like carrots or potatoes, slice them thinner to ensure they cook through.
  2. Cut large sheets of aluminum foil, enough to wrap the fish and vegetables securely. Lightly grease the foil with olive oil or melted butter to prevent sticking.
  3. Place a fish fillet in the center of each foil piece. Surround or top the fish with your chosen vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil or melted butter, then season with salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you like. If you have lemon, adding a few slices on top of the fish can add a nice zest.
  4. Bring the edges of the foil together and fold them over the fish and veggies, making sure to seal the edges well. This will keep the steam inside the packet, ensuring your fish and veggies cook evenly and stay moist.
  5. Place the foil packets on a grill over the campfire, or directly on the hot coals if you don't have a grill. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Be careful when opening the packets, as the steam that escapes will be hot.
  6. Carefully open the foil packets and check that the fish is cooked through (it should flake easily with a fork). Enjoy your perfectly cooked, flavorful fish and veggies straight from the packet for a no-fuss, delicious camping meal.


Recipe 7: Grilled Corn on the Cob

Grilled Corn on the Cob is a summer classic that brings sweetness and a smoky char to your campfire meals. This simple, yet satisfying side dish complements just about any main course and is a hit with campers of all ages. Cooking corn on the grill or over an open flame caramelizes its natural sugars, enhancing its flavor and making it irresistibly delicious.

What you need:

  • Fresh corn on the cob, husks and silk removed
  • Butter (for serving)
  • Salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings (such as paprika or garlic powder)
  • Aluminum foil (optional, for those who prefer to cook the corn wrapped)

Preparation instructions:

  1. Remove the husks and silk from the corn. If you like, you can leave a few layers of husk for a more steamed cooking method and to prevent the corn from burning.
  2. If you're using butter and seasonings, you can lightly coat the corn with butter and sprinkle your chosen seasonings over it before grilling. This step can also be done after grilling if you prefer a more natural corn flavor to shine through.
  3. Place the corn directly on the grill grate over medium heat or on hot coals if you're cooking over a campfire. Turn the corn occasionally, allowing it to cook evenly on all sides. The corn is done when it's tender and shows some charred spots, usually after about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Once the corn is grilled to your liking, remove it from the heat. Serve with additional butter and seasonings if desired. Enjoy the warm, smoky sweetness of freshly grilled corn as the perfect complement to your camping feast.

Recipe 8: Campfire Roasted Vegetables

This easy and healthy dish allows you to use whatever vegetables you have on hand, roasting them to perfection with a delightful smoky flavor imparted by the open fire. Wrapped in foil and cooked among the coals, these veggies come out tender and full of natural sweetness.

What you need:

  • A variety of vegetables (such as bell peppers, zucchini, onions, cherry tomatoes, carrots, and potatoes), chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Olive oil or melted butter
  • Salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings (like Italian seasoning, garlic powder, or rosemary)
  • Aluminum foil

Preparation instructions:

  1. Wash and chop your chosen vegetables into pieces that will cook evenly.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with olive oil or melted butter, ensuring they are well coated. Season with salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you like.
  3. Tear off large pieces of aluminum foil, enough to create a packet that can hold your vegetables. Divide the seasoned vegetables among the foil pieces, then fold and seal the edges to make packets. Ensure the packets are sealed well to keep the steam inside.
  4. Place the foil packets on the grill grate over the campfire or directly in the hot coals. Cook for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the types and sizes of your vegetables. Heavier root vegetables, like potatoes and carrots, may take longer to cook through.
  5. Carefully open the foil packets (watch out for the steam), and check that the vegetables are tender. Adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve hot as a delicious and nutritious complement to your outdoor dining experience.


Recipe 9: S'mores

This classic dessert features a roasted marshmallow and a piece of chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers. The warmth of the marshmallow melts the chocolate, creating a gooey, irresistible treat that's perfect for ending a day of camping under the stars.

What you need:

  • Marshmallows
  • Milk chocolate bars (broken into small pieces)
  • Graham crackers (split in half)

Preparation instructions:

  1. Skewer marshmallows on a stick or a long metal roasting fork. Hold them over the campfire, turning slowly, until they are golden brown outside and soft on the inside. Be careful not to let them catch fire, unless you like them that way!
  2. Place a piece of chocolate on one half of a graham cracker. When the marshmallow is roasted to your liking, use another half of the graham cracker to slide the marshmallow off the stick and onto the chocolate piece.
  3. Press the s'mores together gently, allowing the heat from the marshmallow to melt the chocolate slightly. Give it a moment before eating to avoid burns, and then enjoy the warm, gooey sweetness.

Recipe 10: Campfire Banana Boats

Campfire Banana Boats are a fun, customizable dessert that brings a twist to traditional campfire treats. By stuffing bananas with your favorite fillings like chocolate chips, marshmallows, and peanut butter, then roasting them over the campfire, you create a deliciously warm and melty dessert that's sure to please everyone.

What you need:

  • Bananas (one per serving)
  • Chocolate chips
  • Marshmallows
  • Peanut butter (optional)
  • Aluminum foil

Preparation instructions:

  1. Without peeling the bananas, slice them lengthwise down the middle, being careful not to cut all the way through. You want to create a pocket for your fillings.
  2. Open the banana slightly and stuff with chocolate chips, marshmallows, and a dollop of peanut butter if desired. You can also get creative with other fillings like caramel, nuts, or butterscotch chips.
  3. Wrap each banana securely in aluminum foil, ensuring the filling stays inside the pocket. Place the wrapped bananas on the grill grate over the campfire or directly on the coals. Cook for about 5-10 minutes, depending on the heat of your fire. The goal is to warm the banana and melt the fillings.
  4. Carefully remove the bananas from the fire and unwrap the foil. Check that the fillings are melted and the banana is warm. Enjoy your Campfire Banana Boats with a spoon, scooping directly from the peel for a delightful, mess-free treat.

Wrapping Up

Easy camping meals don't have to be boring. With a little creativity and these recipes as inspiration, you can enjoy delicious and satisfying meals throughout your next car camping adventure. 

Don't be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and flavors to make these recipes your own. There are no hard and fast rules in camp cooking – just have fun and enjoy the process!