Pelican Flyer •
February 20, 2021
Are you headed on a camping trip with a bunch of friends or your entire family? Whether you prefer no-cook camping meals or to be the campsite chef, here are 15 great camping meals for groups of all sizes to enjoy!
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, but when you’re camping, even more so! A hearty breakfast provides the nutrition and energy you need for the activities ahead. So prepare one of the following meals and start your day off right. Don’t forget to pack the orange juice or milk for coffee in your hard cooler, too!
It’s hard to please a crowd when it comes to eggs, but many enjoy scrambled eggs. The good news is that scrambled eggs are effortless to make at a campsite. Plus, you can incorporate your ingredients into the scramble, such as mushrooms, onions or peppers, which are easy to prep before the trip. Round off your scrambled eggs with some fresh bacon and a heap of hash browns. Don’t forget to pack the salsa and ketchup so everyone can customize them to their tastes.
Mix some scrambled eggs with some sausage and bacon, along with some chopped peppers and onions, stuffing it inside a tortilla for a burrito. Or put together a sandwich of a folded egg with a slice of cheese and ham held in place by a bun. Make it super easy and premake breakfast sandwiches and burritos at home, wrapping them up in foil so all you have to do is throw them over the fire in the morning.
Grab a cast iron pan and a pack of cinnamon rolls for a sweeter breakfast and energy boost. Add the rolls to the hot pan and cook them until they are brown and crispy, spreading the icing over the top toward the end.
Another sweet breakfast is pancakes and French toast – camping staples that are sure to please! Easy to cook over a griddle or on a pan, just keep turning them out for your guests or wrap them in foil close to the flames to keep warm. If you like, mix the batter beforehand so you don’t have to pack delicate eggs. Of course, add the fillings like blueberries or chocolate chips and bring along any toppings like maple syrup, jams and bananas or apples. Bacon is always a great addition to pancakes and French toast, too!
Don’t feel like cooking at the site? No problem! Make up a batch of muffins or banana bread that you can eat straight or warm over a fire.
Sometimes, all those stick-to-your-ribs dinners need to be balanced out. For that, wake up to a bowl of yogurt and granola sprinkled with a few blueberries or a sliced banana. This meal is especially great on hot days, and your stomach will thank you.
Whether you intend to make it fresh at the site or bring along packs that just require a little water and stirring, oatmeal makes a great warm breakfast for chilly mornings. Perfect for large groups, a big pot of oatmeal or a variety pack allow everyone to choose a flavor. Oatmeal is also a very lightweight food that goes a long way. Bring fun toppings to dress it up like raisins, a jar of peanut butter, brown sugar and fruits.
The best camping meals for lunchtime are quick to make, allowing everyone to return to their activities while building up an appetite for dinner. However, plan to pack your lunches in a rolling cooler so they can travel with you during your activities.
Pick up a bunch of giant hoagie rolls along with some sliced cheese, deli meats, tomatoes, lettuce and all the toppings you might want, and let everyone make their own sub sandwich. Each person can customize it to their tastes and add a handful of potato chips or a side salad to their plate at the end of the picnic table buffet.
Speaking of side salads, whether it’s pasta salads or potato salads, this is one of those items that makes a nice addition to a sandwich but can also be enjoyed on its own. Mix up a bowl of creamy macaroni salad or a tangy German potato salad. Toss some veggies, olives and grape tomatoes in the mix or even some canned tuna fish or bacon for some extra protein. The reason these side dishes are so great? They don’t have to be reheated! Of course, a regular lettuce salad is an excellent healthy option, too!
A good old-fashioned PB&J is a simple but effective crowd-pleaser that makes a great lunch camping meal for groups. Simply grab a few loaves of bread and peanut butter (both smooth and crunchy styles!), along with a few types of jam.
Tacos are another great camping meal for groups. Like a sub sandwich spread, lay all the toppings out across the picnic table and allow everyone to make their tacos as hot or mild as they want. Consider easy-to-cook shrimp for some fish tacos or warm up some pre-seasoned carnitas for a little protein. Of course, no Mexican-inspired meal is complete without the chips and salsa. This also makes a fantastic dinner, too. All you have to do is add margaritas!
Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, ring the dinner bell!
Burger and hot dogs are classic camp foods – and for good reason! They are easy to cook for large groups and can be dressed up with all sorts of ingredients. Stick to tried-and-true ketchup and mustard or give it a more refined taste with blue cheese and grilled onions.
Kebabs and skewers have to be one of the all-time easiest camp meals. All you have to do is bring the veggies and meats, toss them in a little marinade or dressing and slide them on the skewer. Place them directly over the fire, turning until they are fully cooked. Think of things like veggies, potatoes, cut corn on the cob and meats like chicken or steak.
If you need a meal on a chilly night that sticks to your ribs, go for a thick chili or soup. Chilis and soups can also be made ahead of time. Just be sure to let everyone dress or spice it up as they wish. If you have any leftover chili, add it to a chili dog or create sloppy joes late in the week.
A big pot of pasta is an excellent, easy way to end a busy day, replenishing those burned-off carbs. Plus, it makes a simple meal. Pick an easy-to-cook noodle, like penne, bowties or linguini, and pour a jarred sauce or two over the top. If you feel ambitious, mix in some veggies and ground beef, while toasting bread over the fire and giving it a nice char.
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