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My favorite camping recipes (that aren't dehydrated)

By: Aurora Slaughter + Save to a List

Planning a camping trip and want to eat food that isn’t dehydrated? Here are a few of my favorite recipes to fuel adventure.

1. Pita Pizzas

Cooked pita pizza with toppings

It’s pizza night on trail and the choice is all yours. You can either have these tasty pita pizzas cold like an adult Lunchable or warm them up in a pan on a camping stove/bonfire. This quick and easy recipe takes a couple of minutes of prep work and will leave you full and satisfied.

Ingredients: Pitas, pizza sauce (I love a good pesto base), toppings of your choosing such as cheese, pepperoni, spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms, olives

Supplies: Personal bowl and spoon, knife, pan, and stove/bonfire if desired

Directions:

  • Cut up veggies and shred cheese
  • Spread your sauce onto the pita with your personal spoon.
  • Add toppings and enjoy

    2. Tacos

    It doesn’t have to be taco Tuesday to enjoy some mouthwatering tacos when you're outside. This is a great meal for when you want a quick lunch on trail or are too tired to cook at the end of the day.

    Pro Tip: If you want to mix things up or are tired of tortillas, you can make them “walking tacos” by putting your ingredients in a bowl with Frito chips instead.

    Ingredients: Tortillas, salsa, beans, lettuce, avocado, cheese, tomato, any other ingredients of your choosing.

    Supplies: Knife, personal spoon, and bowl

    Directions:

    For regular tacos:

    • Lay out tortilla
    • Cut up toppings like tomato and avocado
    • Put all of the ingredients into the tortilla, season to taste, and enjoy

    For walking tacos:

    • Pour Frito chips into a bowl
    • Cut up toppings, add them to the bowl, season to taste, then grab your spoon and dig in

      3. Curry

      Try this simple curry recipe for a pop of flavor and protein to gain some energy after a long day of trekking or kicking back around the fire. 

      Ingredients: Rice/lentils, chickpeas, curry powder, a can of coconut milk, bell peppers, and any other toppings you desire

      Supplies: Pot, serving spoon, can opener, knife, stove, pan, and oil if desired

      Directions:

      • Bring a pot of water to boil and add in your rice or lentils
      • Cut up peppers and other toppings
      • If desired, add oil to a pan and begin cooking your chickpeas and peppers
      • Use a can opener to open the coconut milk
      • When rice is tender, drain water into a cathole (If you're digging catholes! If not, pour it into your bonfire ring or save it for starchy tea/coffee tomorrow)
      • Add a small amount of coconut milk to your chickpea and pepper mix, and add seasonings to taste. Let simmer for a couple of minutes
      • Pour the rest of the coconut milk into the rice, letting it soak in for flavoring
      • When ready, combine peppers, chickpeas, and any other desired ingredients in the rice pot and add as much curry powder and other seasonings as desired, tasting as you go

      4. Jumbalaya

      This simple recipe takes four ingredients that can all be cooked together in one pot. Filled with hearty carbs and protein, this is exactly what you need during a high-intensity activity day (or if it's chilly out!). Add your favorite seasonings, such as Jamaican jerk, to give it a little extra pizzazz.

      Ingredients: Rice, beans, sausage, and bell peppers

      Supplies: Pot of water, knife, serving spoon, stove

      Directions:

      • Bring a pot of water to boil
      • Add rice
      • Cut up peppers and sausage
      • Once rice is tender, add the beans, sausage, and bell peppers to the pot
      • Season to taste and enjoy

      5. Alfredo with sun-dried tomatoes

      Pasta is a great option for carb-loading on trail. Alfredo with sun-dried tomatoes is my favorite pasta to make in the wilderness. I enjoy the balance between the creamy sauce and the tangy burst of tomato in this filling and satisfying meal.

      Ingredients: Water, oil, pasta noodles, Alfredo sauce, sun dried tomatoes, optional: canned chicken, cheese

      Supplies: Pot, serving spoon, stove

      Directions:

      • Bring a pot of water to boil
      • Add noodles, salt, and a few drops of oil
      • Once the pasta is tender, drain the water out
      • Add Alfredo sauce and sun dried tomatoes
      • If desired, add in canned chicken for some extra protein and top with cheese
      • Enjoy

      6. Honey-covered fried tortillas/pitas

      Whenever I am leading backpacking groups, we always end up with extra tortillas and pitas. At the end of the night, if you want to get rid of the extra to lighten the load, it can be fun to turn them into desserts!

      Ingredients: Oil, pitas or tortillas, honey additional add-ons: cinnamon, brown sugar

      Supplies: Pan, stove, spatula

      Directions:

      • Pour a tablespoon of oil in your heating pan
      • Add a leftover tortilla or pita to the pan
      • Wait for the outer layer to turn golden brown and for the bread to bubble up
      • Top with desired toppings like honey, brown sugar, and cinnamon for a sweet, end-of-the-night treat

      Pro tip: Including a spice kit in your meal prep can elevate your backcountry meals to the next level. Take your favorite spices from home and pack them into smaller containers for your journey. (There are even camping spice kits available at many gear stores!) Some of the things I love putting in my spice kit include cooking oil, salt and pepper, garlic powder, taco seasoning, lemon seasoning, cinnamon, and hot sauce.


      Cover Photo by: Sage Friedman 

      We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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