5 Amazing Campfire Meals Your Family Will Love
Written By: Janet Slavens
Last Updated: 2021-01-12
If you’re family is anything like mine, then you know that meal time while camping plays an important role - not just to fill bellies, but also for making great family memories and even some for traditions; campfire cooking can not only be tasty but fun for the whole family!
Now I know what you’re thinking: s’mores, hot dogs and maybe an occasional steak thrown in, but what I propose is not as predictable. You would be surprised as to what you can create by the campfire!
1. Not Your Momma's Normal Hotdogs
My first idea is kid friendly and a quick twist on the boring hot dog meal.
- Hot Dog (BONUS: If you check your local market you might find some flavored hot dogs like our favorites jalapeño and cheddar cheese - and, these work especially well and add an extra "oomph" to your meals).
- Cheese stick (any flavor cheese works)
First you take a hot dog (any hot dog will do). Cut a slit down the middle of your dog (don't cut all the way through, just enough to open the hotdog) and put a portion of a cheese stick into the slit you just created. Then, wrap a raw croissant around the hot dog (think of it like a snake wrapping around a stick). Then, skewer it on a stick and let the kids safely roast their own dinner! And Boom! Amazing, delicious, and a very entertaining way for the family to enjoy a traditional American campfire meal in a new and interesting way.
Bonus Dipping Sauces
Dipping sauce can be anything from ketchup, ranch or even canned chili. I would have a salad on the side of some kind like potato salad or green salad.
2. Easy-peasy Dutch-oven Stew
My second suggestion is a very easy stew. Setting up a Dutch oven over the campfire brings back visions of the old pioneers moving across this great country. This meal is great for your hunters and fishermen in the family. It takes a bit of prep but is very satisfying and filling.
- Rough-cut of meat (stew meat or otherwise non-premium meat that can withstand 3-5 hrs of heat/simmering)
Set you Dutch oven over the fire. Try to position it about 2 feet above the flames. Keep in mind that heat rises and you want this stew to “stew” for at least 3-5 hours. You can use a tough cut of meat for this recipe because of the stewing process it will break down those tough fibers to a melt in your mouth tender. Place the meat in the Dutch oven and cover with water just to the top of the meat. Add garlic and onion to taste. I like a white onion. Let it stew! You can stir it and check the water level now and then . About an hour before serving, add carrots, celery and potatoes. Add salt pepper and beef stock. Just before serving, add two tablespoons of corn starch with a half cup of water. Add to the stew, this will thicken it up a little. Slice up some french bread and "yum yum". If I have the time I might serve this over white rice.
3. Summer Camp Spaghetti & Meat Sauce
The third idea is good old fashioned spaghetti with meat sauce! Who doesn’t like that? Again, the Dutch oven will be your best friend. This one can't fall of the list as boring only because the slurping of long noodles and messy red-sauce faces on kids faces is priceless. This reminds me of my memories spent at summer camps as a kid.
- Long spaghetti noodles
- Red tomato sauce
- Ground beef
- White onions (optional)
You can put all the ingredients in at the same time. The liquid will soften the raw noddles so don’t worry about that. Wasn't that easy?
The fourth idea is tacos in a bag! I know, weird right? But I’m telling you this recipe is a family favorite around our campsite. Think of all the things you put in a taco, mix it up in a large plastic bag at the very end crunch up some tortilla chips and put them on top. Even the kids will love this one!
- Ground beef
- Taco seasoning packet
- Shredded lettuce
- Purple onions
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
- Tortilla chips
Heat up your ground beef like you normally would. Feel free to add your taco seasoning packets and/or salt & pepper. Once the meat is ready, go ahead and pretty much throw everything into a big plastic bag, shake it up, pour some sour cream into it, crunch up some chips - throw those in too. Eat it up! Taco in a bag is as simple as that. What's nice too is when you are all done, if everyone ate out of their bag, there really isn't any mess to cleanup.
5. Big Bang Campfire Baked Potato
Lastly, is my favorite. Loaded baked potatoes! OMG I look forward to this meal every vacation! All you have to do is wrap potatoes in foil and place at the base of your campfire about an hour before eating but the star of the show is what goes in them and the variety you offer your family.
- Potato (psst.... that's it)
So you'll notice that the ingredients list is a bit light on this one. It's THAT simple. The trick is to wrap the potato in tinfoil and throw it near the base of your campfire. This makes for a great campfire meal because you can open the potato after about an hour of slow cooking near the campfire and throw in all sorts of ingredients. Here are some ideas but I’m sure you could think of some of your own. Chili, broccoli and cheese, bacon and eggs, left over spaghetti, pepperoni and olives, green onions, garlic, sour cream, hot sauce, ground beef, salt & pepper, garlic salt, butter, and anything else you ca think of.
No matter what your family enjoys or how you spend your camping trips, you can't deny that at least several times a day you are sitting around the table or around the campfire eagerly awaiting the next delicious recipe or meal to be delivered by the camp chef -- take the guess work out of some of your meals by trying a few of the recipes we have here.