The end of camping season is upon us and with it, a last-minute scramble to drag our tents and sleeping bags out just one more time. While we're in a rush to hit the woods and seek our favorite spots, we can often forget one important thing: Good food. A well-thought-out dinner can make all the difference after a day of hiking, just like a well-prepped breakfast can prepare the entire family for a full day of camping fun.
We also can't forget about dessert, which is the real reason we like to burn so many calories hiking. In lieu of all that, we've got ten campsite recipes that are easy enough to prep beforehand and will have you feeling stress-free once you light up that campfire... just don't forget to bring the matches.
10 Cast Iron Pan Pizza
Everyone loves pizza, right? Right! What's even more fun than eating pizza? Eating pizza while you're camping, of course. With the help of a cast-iron skillet, bringing the best that Italy has to offer is as simple as remembering to pack the ingredients. All you need is premade pizza dough (which is easy enough to find in most grocery stores or from your favorite pizzeria), yummy sauce, and your cheese and toppings of choice. Oil the bottom of the pan, stretch the dough to fit, and pizza away!
9 Fun Fruit Skewers With Jar-Shaken Whipped Cream
This couldn't be easier. The trick with any kebobs is to soak the skewers in water overnight so that they don't burn and break while cooking. Aside from that, the hardest work goes into prepping all of your favorite fruits to stick onto the skewers the following day.
This can be done in advance or right before cooking -- brush with a little honey for some extra caramelization. While the fruit kebobs are cooking, fill a mason jar with heavy whipping cream (it must be cold!) and have a friend shake it up.
8 Open-Fire Breakfast Burritos
This recipe is a cinch with the help of frozen breakfast patties. Sausage can cook over an open flame on the grill while eggs can be scrambled in a small pan off to the side. While those are going, assemble tortilla wraps: Spread some cheese on each one, pour scrambled eggs on top, cut each sausage patty in half to fit in the burrito, and top with salsa (or fresh-made pico!) and more cheese if you like, then wrap tightly in foil and put back on the grill. A little bit of sour cream and chives will top these burritos off nicely.
7 Pre-Made Pulled Pork Comes In Clutch For Hawaiian Tacos
Any prepared pulled pork from the grocery store will work for these tacos. For those who don't want to buy premade BBQ pulled pork, making it is easy: All you need is a pork tenderloin, some good BBQ sauce, and a slow cooker. Once you have your pork ready, it's time to make some pineapple salsa.
It's easiest to buy pineapple that's pre-cut, then add diced red onion, some cilantro (or mint), lime juice, a squeeze of honey, and chili pepper if you desire some heat. Pack it all up and assemble tacos in aluminum foil over and open flame!
6 A Healthy 'Bloomin' Onion'
There's a common thread with all of these recipes -- they're easy with a huge payoff! This bloomin' onion is exactly what you'd expect without all the breading, which can often be more unhealthy than not. All you need to do is trim an onion by cutting off the 'furry' end, slice it down the middle four ways without slicing through the bottom, and top with your seasoning and cheese of choice. Vidalia onions work great for this because of their added sweetness; once the onion is cut and seasoned, simply wrap it in foil and cook for up to 35 minutes or until tender. Serve with your favorite steak sauce (or Sweet Baby Ray's Secret Sauce!).
5 No-Mess, Updated S'mores
If there's one thing we love, it's all the S' mores without the mess and this recipe does not disappoint. Rather than using chocolate squares, sub them out for hazelnut spread, nut butter, or chocolate hummus.
Rather than squishing marshmallows, try using Fluff for a more even and controllable layer. There's no substitute for the graham crackers, but let's face it -- is a s'more really a s'more without that graham cracker crunch? We're going to say definitely not. Pro tip: Add fruit for something ~ extra ~.
4 Potato Wedges To Go With Any Burger Or Hotdog
Making burger patties and hot dogs are easy enough to do in advance but sometimes, stale potato chips just don't cut it as a side. Thus, we introduce potato wedges! By cutting these in advance and soaking them overnight in water in the fridge, half the work is already done for you.
Right before cooking, dump the extra water pat dry, and season with either season-all or plain salt and pepper. Throw on the grill (move to indirect heat after a few minutes to avoid burning) until they're cooked all the way through, and serve with a myriad of sauces or cheese dip.
3 Apple Crisp To Feed A Group
Not everyone is a s'mores-lover and that's okay (it's really not, but we'll overlook it for now), and that's why crisps were created. Apple crisp can be a breeze to cook over an open flame, especially if you've got a cast-iron skillet. A mix of gala and granny smith apples can be skinned and cut the night before, tossed in a mixture of flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and bagged for easy transport.
Then, mix even parts brown sugar, oats, pecans (which can be omitted for nut allergies), and roughly four tablespoons of butter to create a topping. Then, to cook, all you need to do is add some butter to the skillet, dump the apples, cook for several minutes until softened, and top with that sweet, slightly crunchy topping we all love.
2 Chili Mac 'n Cheese In A Skillet
Everyone who has gone camping is familiar with canned chili, am I right? If not, then this recipe can totally be made with your favorite homemade chili recipe. Either way, the point is to ensure the chili is made and packed beforehand for easy assembling the day of.
In a skillet or large pot, pour in your chili of choice. While that's going, cook 1lb of elbow macaroni, drain and mix into your favorite chili. Then, top with about five pounds of cheddar cheese mix... Just kidding. Or are we?
1 Loaded Hasselback Potatoes For Easy Portioning
Hasselback potatoes have gained popularity over the last few years, likely because they're a fun party dish that's easy, fancy-looking, and absolutely delish. These can be prepped ahead of time by being cleaned and cut the night before -- but they're also quick enough to prep at the campsite. The trick is to cut slits in the potato about 3/4 of the way down into the potato without cutting all the way through. Then, stick slices of cheddar or swiss in each slit and top with butter, salt, and pepper. Some chives and sour cream make these loaded potatoes the star of any campsite dinner!