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3 Easy Camping Meal Ideas (That Kids Will Love)
The following is a guest post by our new friend Jennifer of Indiana Mommy – Cooking from the Heartland. She's great at prepping for her family camping trips, so she can relax while still serving awesome food. I was super impressed with incorporates real food into her easy camping meal ideas (Not just hot dogs here!) I hope you enjoy this post of Easy Camping Meal Ideas!
Let’s Go Camping!
Preparing food for camping in advance is the best way to make sure your time camping is relaxing and enjoyable. Here are 3 fun and easy camping meal ideas to try on your next camping trip that your family will love!
1 . Pizza Cooked Over the Fire:
I don’t know too many people that don’t love pizza! This is such a fun thing to make camping and is super easy. The key to this is to prepare all your ingredients in advance so all you need to do is assemble and bake your pizza at the campsite. I used a home made pizza dough recipe but you could easily use store bought to save time.
At the campsite I just spread out my pizza dough onto a cast iron pan that was lightly oiled and put it over the fire on a grate. I cooked it for about 8 minutes on one side, then flipped it over and cooked the other side for about 5 minutes. You are looking for a golden brown color.
Next, pull the pan from the fire and build your pizza starting with the sauce and then adding your favorite toppings and cheese. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and put it back over the fire, using indirect heat, and let it bake for 10-15 minutes. Pull off the cover and let it cool for a few minutes, then slice and enjoy! So easy and so delicious!
I even tried a dessert pizza topped with a mascarpone cheese and honey “sauce” with fresh strawberries. It was seriously good. There are so many possibilities!
2 . Philly Cheesesteak Foil Packs:
Making foil packs is a popular way to cook dinner while camping. There are no dishes to wash and they can be completely assembled in advance, then cooked over the fire on a grate or even on the grill at the campsite.
To make these just start with a large square of heavy duty aluminum foil and start layering your ingredients. A splash of olive oil first, then sliced onions and bell peppers, then thinly sliced sirloin steak (you could use flank or skirt steak also), some finely chopped fresh garlic, Italian seasoning, a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, a little more oil then a few dabs of butter and fold up the foil to make a sealed pocket with the opening at the top.
I double wrapped mine in aluminum foil to make sure they didn’t leak. Then I cooked them for 20 minutes over the fire on a grate. After the 20 minutes I opened them up and put a layer of yummy cheese on top and put them back on the fire, leaving the top open so the cheese would melt.
I brought along some bread to serve them on and each person was able to assemble their own sandwich. This was amazing! The peppers and onion were cooked perfectly and the steak was so tender and flavorful. Then with ooey gooey cheese on top! You have to give this a try!
3 . Turkey Chili Stuffed Hand Pies:
Having chili while camping is almost as popular as smores! I thought it would be fun to make chili, but in a hand held pie! A flaky, buttery, cheesy pastry crust filled with flavorful and healthy chili.
You just completely make and bake these before camping and then just re-heat on some aluminum foil on a grate over the fire for about 15-20 minutes and they are done! They are kid friendly and are so fun to eat!
I’ve included the recipe to make these from scratch, but to save time you could use store bought pie dough and even store bought chili.
Turkey Chili Stuffed Hand Pies: Recipe by Indiana Mommy – Cooking From the Heart Land
Yield 16 pies
- 1 pound ground turkey
- ½ large (about 1 cup) sweet onion finely diced
- ½ cup finely diced red, yellow or orange bell pepper
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with the juice
- 1 14.5 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup finely chopped baby spinach
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ cup finely shredded cheddar jack cheese
Heat some olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it is lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the diced bell peppers and cook for five minutes. Next, add the ground turkey and be sure to break it apart as it’s cooking. Cook the turkey until it is completely cooked through. Add the fresh garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the finely chopped spinach and cook for five minutes, until wilted. Now add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Mix together all the dried spices, then pour them all in, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Now add the diced tomatoes with juice and stir and break apart the tomatoes so they are a finer consistency and create a juice. Cook the chili until all the liquid is evaporated over low heat. At the end add the kidney beans and stir to combine. Allow this mixture to cool completely and then add ¾ cup of finely shredded cheddar jack cheese. Put your chili in the refrigerator while preparing the dough.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 egg beaten
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ cup finely shredded cheddar jack cheese
- 3 sticks butter cut into smaller pieces
- About 5 tablespoons ice water
- Egg wash: 1 egg mixed with a little water, milk or cream
Put flour, salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor, fitted with the metal blade. Mix. Add the egg and pulse a few times until the egg is incorporated. Add butter and cheese and pulse until the butter in the size of peas and well mixed into the flour mixture. While the processor is running, slowly add the ice water in tablespoon increments until a dough pulls together in the food processor. The amount of water will depend on the type of flour you use, the humidity in your kitchen, so just a little at a time until it pulls together into a ball. Remove from the food processor onto a floured board and form into a ball. Divide that ball into 16 equal pieces and form each of those pieces into a ball. Then flatten each ball into a disc and stack the discs on top of each other separated by parchment paper. Wrap all of that in plastic wrap and put back in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Roll out each disc of dough on a floured surface until they are each about 5 inches in diameter. I worked with about 6 at a time and kept the rest in the refrigerator while I was working on the first batch. Take about ¼ cup of the chili and place in the middle of each dough round. Wet the edges of each dough circle with just a touch of water. I just dipped my finger in the water and ran it along the edge of each circle. Fold over one side of the circle to touch the other side, forming a semi-circle. Fold up the edges of the semi-circle and then crimp with a fork to seal them. Slice 2 small slits in the top of each pie. Brush each pie with the egg wash. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown, rotating half way through.
Allow to cool for on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before eating. Enjoy!