Perfect Recipes for Camping
S'mores Cookie Cake
This giant cookie is a sweet, indulgent treat that tastes like a traditional campfire s'more. The cookie base is soft and gooey when warm, but firms up after cooling. Bonus: Little kids will be spared a scorched marshmallow or burned fingers.
Zaatar and Lemon Grilled Chicken
We love this live-fire version of a recipe from our archives because it gives camp chicken a complex flavor with minimal ingredients. The key is the Mediterranean seasoning blend called zaatar. You can start marinating the chicken at home, and even freeze it ahead.
Breakfast Frito Pie
Everyone loves eating chili from a chip bag, right?
Foil Packets with Sausage, Potatoes, and Peppers
These foil packet dinners are as great for camping as they are for an easy weeknight meal on the grill.
Apple-Cinnamon French Toast Strata
Save yourself some time and mix everything the night before. Wake up with the sun and have this ready by the time the rest of your camp rises for the day.
Paella-Style Chicken and Rice
You can get a jump on the prep before you leave home. If you pack the chicken and shrimp frozen in your cooler, they'll keep longer.
Savory Breakfast Rolls
Shakshuka, bagels and lox, saag paneer, Thanksgiving flavors and more—all tucked into fluffy buns
Steak Fajita Chili
Make this staff-favorite one of your go-to dutch-oven dinners this fall. Tougher cuts of meat, like chuck-eye turn meltingly soft, root vegetables make the stew rich and hearty, and a dollop of greek yogurt adds just the right amount of tang, to cut through the rich sauce and brighten the meal.
Dutch Baby with Strawberries and Pistachios
The key to the dish’s dramatic puff comes from oven spring—the jolt of heat and steam the batter gets when it’s poured into a sizzling hot pan and placed in a cranked-up oven. The butter browns instantly when it’s added to the pan, but pouring in the batter right away keeps it from burning, and the brown butter lends rich nuttiness to the batter. Make the strawberry topping first so the fruit has time to macerate and release some of its juice to form a loose sauce. The finished Dutch baby will deflate a little as it cools, though the texture remains airy and crisp outside, creamy and custardy within.
Campfire Apple Crisp
Cooking this homey dessert in your campfire is as simple as moving the low-burning logs out into a frame to create a bed of embers in the center. Whipped crème fraîche gives it a touch of sophistication.
Campfire-Grilled Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon and Cider Vinaigrette
The mustard mop on the Brussels sprouts allows for a more flavorful char and provides a tart, sweet balance to their natural flavor. Tossing with bacon, cider vinaigrette, and herbs rounds out this hearty salad.
Mark Klever's Dutch Oven Biscuits
Mark Klever, the general manager at Belcampo Farms near Mt. Shasta, California, learned to make these biscuits from his grandmother. He renders his own lard from Belcampo's free-range pigs, and he bakes up a batch for his family nearly every week, just like his family used to do. You'll need to pack a 2 1/2-in. biscuit cutter; or use a small glass and cut around it with a knife.
Perfect Grilled Burgers
Delightfully charred, juicy, and full of nuance, these burgers are the only ones you will ever want to make. That’s why we named them Perfect.
Chicken Enchilada Nacho Bowls
At home, prepare the chicken mixture and freeze in a resealable plastic bag. In camp, just reheat on a camp stove. You can also use Fritos or other bagged chips instead of tortilla chips in the recipe.
To scoop up every bit of this spicy egg and tomato dish, popular in North Africa and Israel, we brushed slices of pain au levain with oil, then toasted them on a grill pan set on a camp stove. After breakfast, we cleaned the cast-iron skillet by scrubbing it with hot water and a nylon wash pad (no soap). We set it back on the stove to dry and wipe with a thin film of oil. For more: sunset.com/cleancastiron.
S'mores Trail Mix
The name says it all--now you can enjoy the flavors of the classic campfire treat when you're on the go. The recipe comes from our book Camp Sunset: A Modern Camper's Guide to the Great Outdoors (Oxmoor House, 2016; $25).
Italian-Style Hobo Bundles
The classic meal in a foil pouch gets a serious upgrade in this fresh version. For a head start, make the meatballs at home (see below). You'll need heavy-duty foil, long tongs, grilling gloves, and a firepit with a cooking grate. Watch us make this recipe: sunset.com/hobobundles. (For more uses for the pickled Calabrian chiles, see Note, below.)
Chicken Enchilada Nacho Bowls
At home, prepare the chicken mixture and freeze in a resealable plastic bag. In camp, just reheat on a camp stove. And, of course, you can use Fritos instead of tortilla chips in the recipe.
Southern Camp Stew
This hearty dish is reminiscent of Brunswick stew, a Southern comfort-food favorite made with pork, beef, and chicken. In this version, we opted to only use chicken to keep the ingredient list short and the preparation quick. That way, after a long day of exploring the wilderness, you can refuel without the wait.
Grilled Trout with Cherry Compote
If you can't find whole trout, use fillets; they'll only need to grill for about 4 minutes. You can also use 20 ounces frozen, thawed cherries: Use the liquid (don't drain them); simmer in step 1 until the liquid almost fully evaporates before stirring in the port and honey.
Dutch-Oven Peach Cobbler
We used a favorite homemade pancake mix, plus a bit of sugar and butter, for the batter in this peach cobbler. You could use purchased pancake mix instead, adjusting the liquid if needed so the mixture is fairly thick, similar to drop biscuit dough. Imagine arriving back at camp to this treat after a long day of hiking.
Smoked Salmon Breakfast Burrito
The cream cheese and salmon in these wraps make for decadent breakfast burritos, but you can easily substitute bacon or sausage for the fish. To warm up these burritos in camp, warm big tortillas, roll them up, then wrap in foil and heat directly over the stove, turning often.
Mexican Hot Dog
Try a Mexican-inspired hot dog topped with cabbage, green onions, and avocado.
Originally, this recipe called for the stew to be cooked in a wok, which was trendy at the time. We prefer using a Dutch oven because it provides a large, flat surface to properly brown the meat.
Campfire-Glazed Peaches and Figs
This dessert has all the virtues of fresh fruit with just a hint of indulgence from the browned butter and sugar. And it's just as good made on a home stove as over a fire. John Gorham of the Toro Bravo restaurant group in Portland created the recipe to go with the Olive Oil Cake with Summer Fruit, but it's also excellent spooned over ice cream.
Dutch Oven Double Chocolate Cake
Use charcoal briquets instead of wood to more precisely control the fire's heat.
Northwest Seafood Boil
Chef Jason French of Ned Ludd restaurant and John Gorham of the Toro Bravo restaurant group, both from Portland, shared this West Coast version of the old-fashioned seafood boil, cooked over a fire on the beach. You can also make it at home in your kitchen, using a 20-qt. pot. While you can't control a campfire's heat precisely, the ingredients are forgiving, so if you need to dunk something back in the pot for a few more minutes, no worries.
This Mexican Egg recipe is like a bacon version of huevos rancheros. If you're going on a camping trip, try it as an easy dinner or a hearty breakfast.
Thai Turkey Sausage
Perfect for campouts, you can cook up a big batch of patties at home and freeze. Heat them in camp for a great breakfast with eggs or hash-browns ("Wilderness Cuisine" author Carole Latimer uses sweet potatoes), tangerine juice, and papaya wedges.
Notes: It's easiest to mince lemon grass in a food processor or minichopper. For best texture, mince the remaining ingredients with a knife.
Sausage and Bean Dutch-Oven Stew
This hearty dish comes together quickly in a dutch oven over a campfire. It calls for cooked sausages, but if you want to make it with uncooked sausages, cook them separately for a few minutes before adding the other ingredients.
Chili Lime Corn on the Cob
Cooking corn on the cob in its de-silked husk keeps the kernels moist and adds a nice grassy flavor. For less fuss, feel free to fully husk the corn and wrap it in foil. Cook over a campfire or grill and enjoy the great outdoors!