Healthy Camping Recipes to Make in Advance

Puffer jackets, beanies, ugg boots and drinks by the campfire. Brr! Winter is here and camping takes on a whole different perspective as keeping warm becomes the priority. One of the best ways to keep the internal fires burning when you’re camping in winter is with a warm, nourishing meal.

I wrote awhile ago about the benefits of vacuum sealing meals for camping trips. When you’re spending the day out and about exploring, hiking or just having a full day, the last thing you want is to come back and prepare a meal. Or, have something unsatisfying. Tins of baked beans anyone?

Aside from camping, one of my biggest passions is cooking. In particular, I love to make simple, great-tasting meals from fresh ingredients using everyday recipes. I make a lot of what we eat at home from scratch, from lunches and dinners to snacks and slices.

Hence, most of the lunch and dinners we eat when camping are cooked or prepared in advance. I will make a bulk amount, portion up and freeze, ready for our next trip. In most cases, the most preparation needed whilst camping is defrosting and heating.

Below I’ve put together a list of five healthy and hearty meals I make on a regular basis at home and have tested out whilst camping. All vacuum seal and freeze well and will leave you with more time to relax and less time cooking.

Dahl

Image credit: Veggie Desserts

This is a fantastic, easy-to-make vegan recipe which is not only filling, but it’s also delicious and easy to bulk up with extra ingredients. I usually thrown in leftover roast vegetables like pumpkin or eggplant. I recommend making a large batch at home and vacuum sealing portions for your next trip.

Make it for camping

This can be easily made and the leftovers popped into a vacuum bag and frozen. You can also prep the ingredients and take them with you as most are non-perishable. I grind and store the spices pre-mixed.

I didn’t bother with poppadoms for camping, since microwaves can be a bit thin on the ground. Instead, I use Mountain Bread wraps and toast them in the fry pan. Quick, easy and just as tasty.

Get the recipe at Veggie Desserts.

Hamburger Patties

Hamburger patties
Image credit: Happy Money Saver

These make an excellent lunch or dinner. Simply prepare in advance, freeze, then cook at camp. Best of all, these are quick to cook. Serve in your favourite bread/bun with sauces and salad for a bang-up homemade burger.

Make it for camping

These are so simple, there’s really no adjustments to be made for camping. I like to substitute and mix around the spices and type of mince (chicken or turkey also go well). Whatever you make, it will smell amazing as you’re cooking so there’ll be no need to call the troops in; they won’t be far away.

Get the recipe at Happy Money Saver.

Loaded taco skillet

This meal is so versatile. You can use any type of mince you like – turkey, chicken, beef. It’s also full of veg so it’s filling, warm and delicious and it’s the perfect end to a day of activities.

Make it for camping

You can prepare in advance by chopping and vacuum sealing the veg and taking the remaining ingredients or prepare the whole meal before time and vacuum seal.

If you’re feeling a bit lazy, you can use store-bought taco seasoning instead of mixing the together the spices (I find the Casa Fiesta brand best – some of the others bulk theirs up with salt and sugar).

You can serve these in tortillas (good luck, I end up wearing most of it), with rice, quinoa or in those stand and stuff tortilla cups. The rice used in the pulled pork recipe below also works well here.

Get the recipe at Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.

Sausage, zucchini and brown rice

The one pan meal is a popular meal option at the moment and it’s not difficult to see why. Cook everything in one pan and serve. It’s ideal when you want to get something healthy and easy on the table.

This is another recipe which is simple to freeze or you can prepare the ingredients in advance to cook at camp. It has everything you need for a healthy and hearty meal with plenty of flavour. Simply defrost, dump in the pot, heat and eat.

Make it for camping

Again, simply seal in your vacuum bag, freeze and take. There are no special preparations needed and it’s an all-in-one meal that doesn’t need any additional accompaniments. I cook the rice rather than using the minute stuff but that’s just personal preference (I buy brown rice in bulk so it works out cheaper).

Get the recipe at Cooking Classy.

Slow cooked pulled pork

I watched Justine Schofield make this recipe whilst I was on the treadmill at the gym. The episode hadn’t even finished when I was Googling the recipe and making a shopping list.

This recipe is spicy, delicious and oh so YUM. It also makes a huge amount so it’s a good option for a larger group. My local Farmer Jacks usually does a good deal on bulk pork scotch fillet which I use if I can’t find pork shoulder.

I haven’t tried making the salsa for this recipe but tortillas, guacamole (or just smashed avo), yoghurt and cheese are all great accompaniments. The rice is also amazing and versatile. It goes well with other spicy meals such as curries.

Make it for camping

This recipe can be made in advance and freezes well. The rice freezes well too and you can mix it in with the pork so you’re only using one pot at camp.

This is a hot dish and probably as spicy as I like to have. If you don’t like anything too spicy, leave out the chipotles and add your preferred amount of chilli (I use the store bought paste). It won’t have the the same smoky flavour but it will save your tongue and may make it a little more kid-friendly.

Get the recipe at Everyday Gourmet.

Better camp food

After seeing some of the ‘cooking’ suggestions in camping magazines and on TV, I was inspired to find easy and healthy meal options for camping. Many camping recipes rely on ‘convenience’ options such as premade sauces, which can be heavy in salt and sugar and never taste as great as homemade.

With a little preparation, it isn’t hard to make a bulk batch of one of the above meals for a weeknight dinner and freeze the remaining portions. You’ll be thanking yourself at the end of a full-on day when you’re relaxing by the campfire with your feet up, a drink in hand and a ready-made homecooked meal.

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Online, freelance writer, hobby photographer and recently converted outdoor enthusiast. Join me as I explore WA on the road and on foot.

4 thoughts on “Healthy Camping Recipes to Make in Advance

  1. I might pinch a couple of those ideas. If we have a long trip ahead we usually cook extra large casseroles, curries, spaghetti and freeze half prior to going away. Also a favourite is a large roast the night before which can be quickly made into sandwiches for the first few days on the road.

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