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5 One-pot Camping Recipes & Tips for Fuss-Free Outdoor Cooking

5 One-pot Camping Recipes & Tips for Fuss-Free Outdoor Cooking

More than canned beans and cup noodles

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Jing Yue Lok

Food Editor at Kitchen Stories

Summer is my favorite time of year. I could go on about why, but the thing that tops the list is nature! Flowers and trees are in full bloom, the sun shines all worries away, and the blue, sparkling lakes and seas are at their most inviting.

And I can't think of a better way to fully immerse myself in nature than going camping. Whether you pitch a tent yourself, use an RV (which you can rent e.g. via PaulCamper) or scale it up and go glamping, it's a great opportunity to take time away from the city and the everyday routine, and draw closer to natural surroundings.

While out there, cooking and eating can pose a challenge, perhaps even getting in the way of connecting with nature. After all, it’s hard to enjoy anything on an empty stomach! To help, I've come up with these outdoor cooking tips and camping recipes, so that you can enjoy culinary delights in nature with limited equipment and ingredients. There's more to campsite cooking than soup sachets and canned meals, I promise.

Camping recipes: No kitchen, no problem

You don't have to pack half your kitchen to cook a great meal while camping. To make tasty and quick camping recipes, all you really need is some basic equipment: a gas stove, a pot with a lid, a wooden spoon and maybe some cooking tongs, if we're getting fancy.

Now that you have the basics, you can dive into the many wonders of one-pot recipes! As the name suggests, these dishes are prepared in just one pot, so you save packing weight, space and also reduce the time and water needed for washing up.

For barbecue fans, grill recipes are a must to prepare delicious and wholesome meals. And if you don't feel like cooking the next day, you can always whip up a simple sandwich using the leftover meat.

Preparation tips for camping recipes

The early bird catches the worm. And in this case, early preparation certainly allows you to eat better! For maximal enjoyment of your time, you should pre-prepare as much as possible at home. This includes planning your meals. That way, you know what you need to buy and pack for each day and avoid overspending or overpacking, while making sure you won't go hungry. For a short trip, I recommend pre-cutting your ingredients (like vegetables), pre-seasoning or marinating them if necessary, and portioning them out. This means you'll only bring what you will definitely use. And remember, the best camping recipes require few ingredients.

Try a 5-ingredient recipe:

5-ingredient pasta e ceci (Pasta with chickpeas)

5-ingredient pasta e ceci (Pasta with chickpeas)

Simple and quick camping recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Depending on how long your camping adventure is, and how much time you like to spend cooking and eating, we have ideas for all three meals of the day, plus snacks (important!). Sandwiches can be a great solution that tick multiple boxes: suitable for any time of day, adaptable but simple. Whether for breakfast or as a quick lunch, they take no time to assemble, don't need to be cooked, and are super versatile thanks to the endless choices of savory and sweet toppings.

Another great option that requires no cooking is salads. The possibilities are infinite, but I am particularly keen on filling salads when it comes to camping. Try this summer pasta salad with zucchini or aromatic lentil salad with feta. Almost as low-effort: no-cook pasta dishes. Here, only the pasta is cooked and mixed with the sauce. And of course, if you don’t feel like cooking at all, there’s no shame in opting for snacks for dinner–after all, you ARE on holiday!

Suitable for any meal:

Pesto egg bagel sandwich

Pesto egg bagel sandwich

Perfect salad for dinner:

vegan
Gnocchi pesto salad with snap peas

Gnocchi pesto salad with snap peas

Vegetarian and vegan recipes for camping

Especially during the warm season, plenty of summer dishes can be made vegetarian or vegan, thanks to the range of seasonal produce available. Grilling vegetables is a great way to get the best flavor out of fresh produce, and make a satisfying, meat-less meal. You can discover more tips and recipes for vegetarian and vegan barbecue here.

And the possibilities don’t end there. How about stuffed baked potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil and cooked on the grill instead of in the oven? Veggie burger fans can also enjoy this burger, if you prepare the burger patties at home. Or maybe you're in the mood for something Asian? This spicy cold noodle salad with creamy peanut sauce is just the thing! As you can see, vegetarian and vegan camping recipes can be just as varied and satisfying as their counterparts.

One-Pot veggie power:

vegan
One-pot creamy chickpea and spinach curry

One-pot creamy chickpea and spinach curry

vegetarian
One-pot creamy cauliflower rice with asparagus

One-pot creamy cauliflower rice with asparagus

Other tips for cooking while camping

During warm summer evenings, it's important to keep all fresh and perishable foods cooled in a portable fridge or icebox. This includes pre-cut fruits, vegetables and prepared sauces.

If you're cutting or cooking something, make sure you do it on a leveled and stable surface so you don't hurt yourself.

Be sure to pack a jar or two of ready-made pesto or other dips and sauces, plenty of pasta, biscuits, crispbread, or cookies. This way, you can be sure you won't go hungry in case one of your camping recipes doesn't quite work out, or you’re simply too busy enjoying nature to cook!

Thinking about your next getaway?

If your appetite for outdoor adventure has been awakened or you’ve got a roadtrip in mind, take a look at PaulCamper, the platform that brings together owners and renters of private camping vehicles. You’re sure to find a vehicle that perfectly suits your holiday needs, so you can experience unique camping trips without owning your own vehicle. Looking to start your camping adventure away from home? No problem. You'll find over 12,000 individual vehicles located all throughout Europe.

Where do you like to go camping and what are your favorite campsite recipes? Let us know in the comments!

Published on July 3, 2023

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