Campfire Cooking: Recipes and Hacks

National Park Camping and Campfire Cooking

There’s nothing better than a hot dog and some s’mores cooked over a campfire. Or, wait . . . is there? When it comes to camping and spending time in nature, a home-cooked, campfire meal should be simple and delicious. So, we put together some easy-to-make recipes so you’ve got options for your next camping trip.

Campfire Dish Inspirations

Cooking over a campfire isn’t all that different from cooking at home, as long as you’ve got the right techniques up your sleeve. These recipes will take minimal effort and cooking skill while still ending up totally tasty.

The best part? No cooking utensils needed. No matter where you’re camping or traveling, these recipes are ready to go with just a few simple items you can pick up at the grocery store.

Whether your taste buds prefer a savory or sweet breakfast, we’ve got you covered. Once you’ve struggled out of your sleeping bag, wiped the sleep out of your eyes, and got the fire going, you’ll certainly be hungry.

For a quick and cute breakfast, you can whip up some pigs in a blanket. Simply skewer a hot dog on a stick, wrap it with a Pillsbury crescent roll, and hold it over the open fire. This one is a great option if you have kids who want to help cook.

If you’re looking for a sweet treat to start off your morning, you can make french toast in a foil packet. Whip together your egg, milk, sugar, and vanilla, pour it over a pre-sliced fluffy loaf of bread wrapped in foil, seal the top, and place it on the fire.

If you’re planning a long day of hiking and exertion, this foil pack omelet will serve as the perfect hearty breakfast. In a gallon-size sealable bag, mix and shake eggs, milk, and any omelet toppings of your choosing. Shape and butter squares of aluminum foil then fill with the egg mixture. Close off the foil packets and place on a fire grate or in the coals.

If you’re traveling with picky eaters, this grilled version of pizza is certain to disappear quickly. Create a foil packet base that’s about the size of your bread, and cut the bread in half to remove the fluff so you’re left with mostly crust. Top with pizza sauce, cheese, and your toppings of choice before placing it to cook on the fire grate or grill. Once the cheese is melted and the crust is toasted, slice, serve, and enjoy!

Pull-Apart Foil Packet French Dip Sandwich

This shareable, pull-apart sandwich is the perfect camping meal for a big family or group. The original recipe is for a French dip sandwich but could be customized with any type of meat, cheese, and toppings you choose. Place a slice of cheese and meat in every other slice of your pre-sliced, fluffy baguette. Wrap in foil and place it on the fire to get toasty and melty.

Foil Packet Potatoes and Sausage

Sausage and potatoes is a classic camping meal but usually requires a cast iron skillet to make. Not with this foil packet recipe. For this foil packet potatoes and sausage, all you need are foil packets, cubed potatoes, sliced smoked sausage, chopped onion, and some spices. Mix it all together in the foil packet and cook until the potatoes are soft.

Foil Packet Salmon

Camping doesn’t mean you have to bypass a healthy meal. One of the best ways to cook fish is in a foil packet to lock in moisture, like this lemon dill salmon. Create the packet, place the salmon filet on the bottom, then cover with a few rings of onion, some chopped garlic, sprigs of dill, and slices of lemon, and place it on the fire. Soon, you’ll be chowing down on a delicious, healthy meal.

Bean Dip

This bean dip makes for a hearty appetizer or an easy-to-make main course. The ingredients are layered in a 9 inch, disposable aluminum pie pan for easy clean-up and cooking. Start with a layer of cream cheese, then a layer of chili with beans, and top it off with some shredded cheese. Once the cheese is melted, get your tortilla chips ready to dip.

Walking Tacos

This fun and easy recipe is sure to delight both kids and adults. Walking tacos are made by filling a snack-size bag of Fritos with all of your favorite taco ingredients. All you need is a fork or clean fingers to enjoy your walking taco. Pro tip: pre-cook your meat before you arrive to the campground for an easy-breezy meal.

S’mores, S’mores, and More S’mores!

Truly and honestly, is there anything better than a s’more cooked over the campfire? It’s ooey-gooey, sweet, and cinnamony. Complete perfection. But, did you know, there are variations on this decadent camping dessert?

Check these out and you might just find a new favorite.

  • Candied bacon s’more: Graham cracker + dark chocolate + marshmallow + candied bacon
  • Mexican chocolate s’more: Graham cracker + chocolate + marshmallow + chili powder + cinnamon
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup s’more: Graham cracker + Peanut butter cup + marshmallow
  • Tropical s’more: Graham cracker + white chocolate + marshmallow + pineapple slice + shredded toasted coconut
  • Lemon meringue pie s’more: Graham cracker + lemon curd + marshmallow
  • Oreo s’more: Graham cracker + chocolate + peanut butter + oreo
  • Fudge striped cookie s’more: Fudge striped cookie + marshmallow
  • Cheesecake s’more: Graham cracker + whipped cream cheese + jam (pick your favorite flavor) + marshmallow
  • Grasshopper s’more: Chocolate graham cracker + Peppermint Patty + marshmallow
  • Nutella and banana s’more: Graham cracker + Nutella + banana slices + marshmallow

Hopefully, one of these s’mores variations tickles your tastebuds and will be a hit on your next camping trip!

Where to Go for Some Campfire Cooking

Now that you’ve got some campfire cooking inspiration and have gotten the camp chef creative juices going, all you need is a place to go. Choosing the right national park and campground will ensure that you have the perfect camping trip. Check out our suggestions below.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite is one of the most popular and beautiful of the American national parks. During your stay in Yosemite, you can see famous rock formations, waterfalls, and giant sequoias.

When you’re not cooking up something delicious or relaxing at your campsite, you can go fishing, explore on horseback, do some rock climbing, or learn more about the park from a ranger-led evening program.

If you’re interested in seeing the park by foot, there are tons of hiking options for all experience levels. A favorite hike for visitors is through the Merced Grove of giant sequoias. This more remote grove of sequoias does require some investment. From the parking lot, it’s a 1.5-mile hike with a 500-foot elevation gain one way — but it’s all worth it to see these spectacular trees.

Where to Stay in Yosemite: Housekeeping Camp

One of the best places to stay while camping in Yosemite National Park is Housekeeping Camp. This is no ordinary campground. Housekeeping Camp is home to 266 units, each of which can sleep up to 6 guests. The units have a bunk bed, double bed, table, chairs, mirror, electric lights, and outlets, and each unit comes with its own campfire ring perfect for fireside cooking.

Zephyr Cove

Zephyr Cove, located in South Lake Tahoe, is the perfect getaway for families or couples. With a gorgeous backdrop of Lake Tahoe and plenty of things to do and explore, you’ll enjoy every moment you spend at Zephyr Cove.

If you want to spend all day near or on the water, head over to the Zephyr Cove Marina and discover pine trees surrounding a sandy beach where you can bask in the sunshine with a good book and a lounge chair. Rent a powerboat or Ski-Doo for some fun on the water. Around South Lake Tahoe you’ll also find golfing, whitewater rafting, fishing, and plenty of nightlife at the casinos.

Where to Stay in Zephyr Cove: Airstream Trailer

For a truly unique camping experience, you can spend the night in an Airstream Trailer. Each trailer is fully renovated and includes a queen bed, a convertible dinette table/sleeping area, a lounge bed, a fully-equipped kitchen, gas stove, microwave, and bathroom. Outside the trailer, you’ll have all you need for lounging and campfire cooking. You’ve got two Adirondack chairs, a grill, a fire pit, and a picnic table.

Camping is all fun and games until everyone gets hungry. For the perfect camping trip, it’s important to come equipped with the right tools and recipes to be able to quickly cook up something delicious over the campfire. These recipes and campground recommendations should get you ready for your next camping adventure.

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