The best way to ensure you make the most out of a camping trip is by reducing any avoidable stress!
Being prepared with make-ahead camping meals can prevent unnecessary tension surrounding picky eaters or a lack of ingredients, and can save the time of prep and cooking - leaving you more time for fun!
We know that it can be hard to find exciting inspiration for make-ahead camping meals, as many online sources are quick to promote plain and boring freeze-dried meals or hot dogs. As a result, we have created an exclusive list of our favorite, hassle-free camping meals, that are as delicious as they are nutritious!
Check out 18 different recipes below, from breakfast to lunch and dinner, that can be made ahead of your trip. We have you covered for both savory dishes and sweet desserts - meaning you will be able to find the perfect meal balance for your whole family during the whole camping trip.
What’s Excellent About Make-Ahead Meals For Your Camping Trip
Make-ahead camping meals have many benefits, and that is why we highly recommend preparing your favorite camping meals ahead of your trip.
1). No Campground Hassle
Firstly, planning meals ahead of camping trips help to reduce any mealtime stress, which is especially noticeable if you have any fussy eaters camping with you.
Having made ahead camping meals will also ensure that you have a good supply of food in case of any emergencies and that everyone will be well-fed for the duration of the trip.
2). Easy to Make and Affordable
Make-ahead camping meals are easy and cheap to make, which is great if you are camping on a budget. Pre-made meals often involve very few ingredients and a lower cook time, which is perfect for getting a lot of meals made quickly before the camping trip.
Preparing what you are making in advance can also help you to develop a meal plan for the trip, which you can then send to your fellow campers to ensure that everyone is happy with the meal options.
3). Healthy and Delicious
Making your camping meals ahead of time can also let you have more control over the nutritional content of the recipes. For more active and adventurous camping trips, providing vitamin and protein-dense foods is fundamental for replenishing your muscles after a long day.
The following healthy meals that we suggest all focus on offering delicious tasting food, without having to compromise on healthiness!
Breakfast Make-Ahead Camping Meals
Here are some of our favorite camping breakfast recipes that you can make ahead of your camping trip! Meal planning can be a great tool for helping to organize your trip, so make sure to keep a note of your favorite ideas.
Breakfast burritos are a delicious classic of camping-safe freezer meals! These filling burritos made ahead of your camping trip, will provide mountains of flavor with practically no mess.
Once you have prepared them, simply store the frozen camping breakfast burritos in a cooler box, then pop them over a campfire when you are hungry!
These burritos are bursting with protein and, due to preparing this meal ahead of time, you can tailor the fillings of each burrito to each camper's food preferences. From adding extra shredded cheese and meat, to which vegetables people would prefer (our favorite is bell pepper)!
A tip for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet would be to replace any meat fillings with beans for just as much protein.
Mason jar parfait is a recipe inspired by the latest health trend of 'overnight oats' and the main focus is the same: delicious food with convenience in mind.
This simple recipe is incredibly quick and easy, and you only need yogurt, muesli, granola, an apple, and some grapes! With these ingredients providing 4 servings, your whole family can enjoy this whilst camping as a vitamin-filled breakfast.
The parfait can last for 5 days without the need for a refrigerator, as long as it is kept in a relatively cool environment. Therefore, this sweet dish is a brilliant camping dish that you can make almost instantly ahead of time.
Click the link to see how quick and easy blueberry and apple french toast make-ahead camping recipes meals can be! Preparing the mix at home will not only make it easier for traveling whilst camping, but it also allows you to adjust flavors to suit your palette more!
For example, the cinnamon and vanilla extract will infuse even more, which means that the camping meal will be even more delicious.
This tasty cornmeal griddle pancake recipe has already become a make-ahead meal essential for many! Pancakes are a well-loved breakfast meal, and for sleepy chilly campers, this warm sugary dough will be sure to brighten up their day.
To prepare ahead for your trip, we recommend mixing the dry ingredients together and adding the wet just before you want your breakfast. You can add any yummy fillings at this point, like chocolate chips or crushed-up bananas, and then cook over the fire.
We are certain that everyone will love these fluffy breakfast pancakes so much that you'll be wanting them for dinner too!
Much like the mason jar parfait, this mason jar overnight oats breakfast recipe is a great meal that is nutritious, dense, and extremely filling. These overnight oats are also a great option if the kitchen facilities on your campsite are limited, as they do not require any camp cooking or fuss at all!
For those with a sweet tooth, you can add chocolate chips to the recipe, woot woot!
Lunch/Dinner Make-Ahead Camping Meals
Being able to cook a whole camping meal in one grill is one of the best benefits of make-ahead camping meals. This delicious grilled chicken fajitas recipe does just that, reducing any mess or hassle!
Make-ahead of this camping dish by mixing the simple ingredients of chicken breasts, green, yellow, and red pepper, as well as red onions together.
Then, simply add some chili powder and a spice mix of your choice. Wrap it tightly in aluminum foil with cooking spray, and cook in a foil baking pan for just under 20 minutes for a tasty grilled camping lunch meal or chicken dinner.
Serve this meal to your campers alongside tortilla chips and canned black beans for a crowd favorite make-ahead camping meal! Add sour cream for an extra flavor kick.
This BBQ chicken foil packet recipe is extremely easy to make ahead of camping trips and packs a bunch of vegetables in too! Camping recipes often lack fresh vegetables so we recommend adding as many of your favorite vegetables as you'd like or a side of potato salad.
With only around 10 minutes of prep time, all you need to do is pop the foil packets into the freezer and then keep them cool until you wish to cook them.
Another delicious freezer-friendly make-ahead camping meal are these grilled steak shish kabobs! This camping recipe can be made ahead of your trip for a fraction of the usual price and they will taste just like famous gourmet meals.
Buying meats and vegetables whilst on sale will reduce the cost of this dish so you'll be saving both time and money. After prepping them, all you'll have left to do during camping is to grill them, leaving you with more time to enjoy your trip.
A summer favorite, this make-ahead camping meal will help add some sunshine to your trip. The flavorful shrimp boil foil packet dinner incorporates seafood, corn, and sausage, which is sure to be a camping lunch favorite!
With prep time completed beforehand, you'll only need to cook this shrimp boil tin foil packet for around 15 minutes before you can tuck it in.
A Mediterranean chicken salad is a healthy camping meal that isn't as carb-heavy as our other suggested make-ahead camping meals. Use rotisserie chicken to save time.
Leafy salads may struggle to hold their own after a few days on a camping trip, so our top tip is to use crunchier and stronger vegetables.
Add some delicious Southwest Chili flavors to your list of make-ahead camping meals! These Southwest Chili Quesadillas are vegetarian-friendly and only require a quick griddle on a campfire! Add some more delicious Mexican flavors to your list of make-ahead camping meals with some black beans.
The rich flavors of the Proper Good Southwest Chili are the perfect mix for warming up on those cooler camping nights!
Grilled pastrami sandwiches are great make-ahead camping meals due to the ease of their preparation!
These smoky sandwiches only take around 10 minutes to assemble (depending on how many campers you have) and can be enjoyed hot or cold. Any leftovers can also be rewrapped and reheated in order to be enjoyed at a later time.
Serve with tomato sauce, chili powder, cream cheese, or even balsamic vinegar for an extra kick of flavor!
This make-ahead camping recipe will put gourmet meals to shame! With just a couple of ingredients, such as eggs, veggies, and a variety of cheese types (even cream cheese if you'd like), this asparagus and goat cheese frittata is as simple to make as it is healthy.
This family favorite camping meal will be guaranteed to leave every camper speechless.
This fruity meaty concoction will provide campers with those summery sweet and savory flavors that make one of the favorite camping lunch recipes. As one of our favorite make-ahead camping meals, these grilled chicken and pineapple tin foil packets will leave every camper chomping away around the campfire.
This make-ahead chicken dinner only takes 10 minutes to prep and a further 15 minutes to cook on the campfire. Using chicken breast, this made-ahead camping recipe will help to nourish any tired muscles due to its essential protein content!
For the vegetarians (or even vegans) at your campsite, it's important that you are able to make ahead equally delicious camping dinners for them too! As they won't have the protein from meat, make sure to choose a meat substitute that is packed full of nutrients.
Mix these veggie sausage packets in with marinated peppers, onions, and potatoes for a wholesome fulfilling lunch or dinner meal.
Dessert Make-Ahead Camping Meals
Using slow energy-releasing oats and sweet crispy apples, this apple crisp foil packet dessert recipe is a true summer camping trip favorite! Campers will love crunching into the sweet treat, and it's the perfect sugary burst to enjoy after your camping adventures.
17). Cherry Hand Pies
These campfire cherry hand pies are so deliciously tender, they'll be one of your favorite camping dessert recipes after just one bite!
Part of this camping meal's charm is the fresh bright flavor of the cherries, and around a campfire, these make-ahead pies will leave you feeling incredibly content.
A top tip for this make-ahead camping recipe is to have a spare container for the leftover cooking oil, as unfortunately, you cannot dispose of this oil down any drains.
These sweet fruity skewers combine the delicious ingredients of cake with pineapple! This pineapple upside down cake skewers recipe is super easy to make ahead at home, and these tasty skewers make for a great light dessert after lunch or dinner.
In summary, these tasty make-ahead camping meals will provide you with delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes that all of your campers will enjoy.
Preparing these camping meals ahead of your trip will help to save you and your family time and money so that you can enjoy this and your next camping trip properly!
Camping meals can be a tedious part of the camping experience, so it's no surprise that more and more people are turning to made-ahead camping meals or pre-prepared camping recipes!
Alternatively, if you're really stuck for a time due to various camping adventures, you can enjoy Proper Good's mouth-wateringly nutritious ready-made meals that make for a perfect camping lunch or dinner. Happy camping!