If you’re looking for some new ideas on what to cook for your next camping trip, you’re in the right place! The appeal of one-pot camping meals is that there’s usually less kitchen-ware to pack and fewer dishes to clean afterward, a win-win.
Many of these meals can be made as simple or as fancy as you want – if you want to go crazy and add 6 different kinds of freshly chopped veggies and your signature 3-cheese blend – go for it! If you want to keep it super basic and stick to one protein and one veggie – that’s cool too.
I’ve included a good mix of one-pot meals that can be made car camping in a big pot over a 2-burner camping stove and several that are also backpacker-friendly, meaning they can be carried on the trail and cooked over a small backpacking stove. Many can also be made in a dutch oven or cast-iron skillet over a fire.
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That doesn’t mean that you necessarily need all these things – a big stockpot, a frying pan, and a dutch oven. I mean that’s great if you own all those things, but you really only need to pack one of them per trip if you’re into keeping things simple. And then simply plan your meals around whichever cooking vessel you choose.
One-Pot Camping Breakfast Ideas
Classic bacon and egg scramble
If you want to keep super simple, you can always go to bacon and eggs. Just fry up bacon in a medium or large pan. After it’s done, set aside, drain off some of the grease if you wish, or leave it all in there, and scramble as many eggs as you want for your group.
Optional: Add in cheese, spinach, mushrooms, onions, peppers or even broccoli.
If you have a cast-iron skillet, you must try this frittata on at least one camping trip! It’s a healthy breakfast treat, loaded up with vegetables.
Grits can make for a warm, filling breakfast while camping or backpacking. As with most recipes, you can go as simple or as extravagant as you want here.
Make the grits as you would at home, with plenty of butter or oil to make sure they don’t stick to your pot, then melt in some cheese and top with bacon – whether that’s pre-cooked, pre-packaged bacon from the store, pre-cooked bacon you made at home or just bacon bits. (I love the big bags of bacon bits from Costco.)
Optional: Top with some fresh spinach and sliced cherry tomatoes for a healthy kick.
One-Pot Camping Dinner Ideas
This is one of my all-time favorite backpacking meals, but would also be great for any car camping trip. I like to make this with pre-cooked chicken from the store or cook your own chicken ahead of time at home. If I’m backpacking, I’ll pack a mix of dehydrated vegetables to rehydrate while cooking the rice noodles or if you’re car camping you can pack fresh, chopped veggies to saute before cooking your noodles.
Loaded Mashed Potatoes
If you’re car camping and wanted to get fancy, you could make real mashed potatoes in a big pot or dutch oven. If you’re cooking for one, or are lazy like me, you can also use instant mashed potatoes here.
Be sure to add lots of butter, mix in cheese to melt it, and top with bacon bits and green onions. Make it a meal by adding in pre-cooked shredded chicken or canned chicken.
Cook your quinoa, with any dehydrated vegetables since those will take time to rehydrate, along with some oil, then once it’s done and fluffy, add in your diced up summer sausage.
You can as creative or as simple as you want with this. Add in any vegetables you like, and play around with different spices! You could try turmeric and cumin, or garlic and ginger powder, or some cayenne pepper along with chili powder or paprika.
Chicken Verde with Caulirice
You could use pre-cooked chicken, shredded chicken, or whole chicken breasts for this. If you’re starting with raw chicken, cook it through first, then add a bag of frozen caulirice to your pot/pan and top with a can of Chili Verde (or a container of your own homemade Chili Verde.) Add cheese on top to melt before serving.
Optional: Add thinly sliced onions and/or peppers to saute in the pan as well before adding the sauce.
Bratwurst or sausage with onions and peppers
This is pretty self-explanatory – preheat a frying pan or cast-iron skillet and then add your bratwursts or sausages. Once they’re mostly done, add in thinly sliced onions and peppers and fry to your liking.
Optional, but highly recommended: Top with sauerkraut.
Corned beef and cabbage
This is great if you have a dutch oven, lots of firewood, and lots of time on your hands 🙂 By that, I mean it’s perfect if you’re planning on just sitting around camp all day enjoying some beverages around the fire.
Once you have a solid bed of hot coals to cook on, place your corned beef, spice packet, and plenty of water in the dutch oven and cook for 2-3 hours.
Then dump baby potatoes, pearl onions, baby carrots, and cabbage wedges into the dutch oven and cook for another 1-2 hours.
Then enjoy! This would be great if you’re cooking for a crowd or you’ll have lots leftover.
This Pho Ramen recipe looks amazing and is super easy to make. You could even pack in fresh onion and greens to make this on a backpacking trip if you’re going to use them within the first day or so.
Classic Tuna Mac
This is great for backpackers or for car campers who are looking for the easiest meal possible. Simply cook up your favorite box of mac and cheese, and then mix in a packet or drained can of tuna.
Optional: Add in hot sauce, salt, and pepper, nutritional yeast, or any other seasonings to spice it up!
If you’re looking for a fairly easy meal for a crowd, this is it. Brown ground beef in the bottom of your pot, add in diced onions and sauté. Add in your favorite beans, black beans, kidney beans, shelled edamame, or a mixture of beans.
Add in a small can of diced tomatoes, a few cups of broth or water, and a generous amount of chili powder, plus cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper to taste.
Then throw in your favorite macaroni and cheese packet. Cooking it all together until the pasta is soft and absorbs most of the water.
Optional: Melt in extra, fresh cheese and enjoy with some good bread.
Eggroll in a bowl
This is a delicious, relatively healthy camping meal. Start by browning ground pork in the bottom of your pot or a large pan. Then dump in a bag of plain coleslaw mix (not anything with sauce, just shredded cabbage, and carrots) and I also like to add a can of bamboo shoots.
Sprinkle with garlic powder, ginger powder, liquid or coco aminos and hot sauce to taste. Stir it well.
Once the cabbage is almost soft, add in diced green onion and cook for another few minutes. Then serve.
I make this very regularly even at home, but I rarely actually put egg in my eggroll in a bowl! Why? No good reason. Mostly because I’m lazy or have forgotten too many times and now that is just how I make it. But you could totally crack some eggs in with the ground meat and scramble them up before adding the coleslaw mix.
One-Pot Camping Dessert Ideas
This dutch oven (or cast-iron skillet) apple crisp recipe would be perfect for a cold weather, fall camping trip!
Optional: Add in peaches, pears, raisins or cranberries.
Okay, this is a no-pot dessert, which makes clean up even easier! Have each person hold their banana as if it’s a boat and peel back just the top section of peel, as if you’re ripping off the roof of a boat.
Then stuff the rest of peel/boat with your favorite fixings. Some ideas are: peanut butter, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, mini marshmallows or fluff, honey, jam, nuts, berries or shredded coconut.
Then wrap your boat in tin foil and place over the fire until it becomes warm and melty.
Let us know your favorite one-pot camping meals in the comments below. Also, let us know if you try any of these recipes and how they turn out for you!
For more hiking and camping food ideas, check out:
- 4 Ways To Make Awesome Camp Coffee
- Best Cheeses For Camping and Backpacking
- Healthy Hiking Snacks
- 10 Backpacking Lunch Ideas