10 Easy No-Cook Camping Meals

Pelican Flyer  |  June 20, 2020

All experienced campers know that simple options are better when it comes to food. We all love our fire-roasted hot dogs and s’mores, but no one wants to get too gourmet when spending time outdoors. We believe that with a perfectly packed cooler and a little bit of preparation, you can eat like royalty out in the woods without even boiling a pot of water. No campfire needed! In the spirit of simplicity, here are a few no-cook meals to make the next time you’re camping.

1. Classic Deli Sandwiches

Is there any no-cook meal better than a classic deli sandwich? Your deli mainstays create a filling meal that can be customized beforehand or onsite. Best of all, this meal requires zero heat. Pack the squeeze bottles of condiments and don’t put them on until the last minute. Want to spice it up? Try Caprese sandwiches, muffulettas or tuna salad sandwiches for a little twist.

Tip: Learn how to pack a cooler so your sandwiches don’t get soggy.

2. Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Chicken salad may be cheating since it requires you to cook the chicken beforehand. But we still think it qualifies because it requires no actual onsite cooking! Pack a tub of homemade chicken salad and some of your favorite rolls or croissants for a filling meal that takes mere seconds.

3. Turkey and Avocado Wraps

If you’re not big on the classic sandwich or want to mix it up a bit, don’t forget about the humble deli wrap. Throw in some high-protein and calorically dense fillings, such as avocados or turkey, to keep you energized. All three of the options above pair perfectly with chips, pretzels and snack mix.

4. Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a cold Spanish soup that’s great for hot, summer days, especially while camping. There are many no-cook gazpacho recipes to try, from classic tomato-based styles to fresh corn gazpachos. Gazpacho also pairs perfectly with deli sandwiches and pre-made salads.

5. Bean Salad

Tasty, easy to make and packed with protein, bean salad ticks all of our boxes for quality camp food. Give yours a Southwestern twist with black beans, fresh bell peppers, corn, cilantro and tortilla chips. Mayo-based bean salad will never let you down when you’re hungry, either!

pelican consumer blog camping food sandwich cooler

6. Tuna Tartare

Who says no-cook has to mean basic? If you’re looking for a gourmet no-cook meal that will seriously impress your fellow campers, give this classic raw fish dish a try. You’ll need the freshest and best-quality tuna steak you can find, preferably sushi-grade, for the best results.

7. Ceviche

Same deal here. Why not dial it up a few notches and add a little epicurean vibe to your camping meals? Ceviche is a traditional Latin American salad featuring fresh raw fish cured in bright citrus juice. It’s the perfect summery, protein-packed salad that requires no flame and no serious prep.

8. Antipasto Salad

You’re used to having this vibrant salad as an appetizer, but who says it can’t be the main course? The classic combo features jarred, cured and fresh staples from the deli, including olives, cured meats, anchovies, peppers and artichoke hearts. Make it extra filling by topping it with some mozzarella or provolone. You can even pre-toss the salad beforehand and add the dressing at the last minute.

9. Yogurt Parfaits with Granola

Looking for a quick and healthy camping breakfast or lunch that packs the nutrients but doesn’t require much preparation? Yogurt parfaits are a perfect choice. Pile them high with healthy, energizing toppings like granola, fresh-cut fruit or trail mix.

10. Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are ideal for camping or backpacking because they allow you to cook oatmeal without a stove or microwave. All you have to do is soak the oats overnight in milk or water. There are tons of overnight oats recipes you can use to switch things up depending on what you have packed. Seal them in a jar or container and toss them in your cooler backpack for lunch or breakfast on the trail!

Leave the Camp Stove at Home

If you’re backpacking, kayak camping or minimalist camping, going the no-cook route can be a serious time-saver. The key is to find meals that are uncomplicated and packed with the nutrients you need for all your outdoor adventuring.

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