Quick-and-easy recipes for summer camping

These delicious recipes with time-saving tips will jazz up your next campground getaway.

Lucky you—you’re going camping at Back Ranch Meadows Campground. Now you’ve got to figure out what to eat. While the default of hot dogs and ho-hum chili for dinner and cold cereal for breakfast certainly works, we thought we’d help you add a little pizzazz to your camping menu, without adding too much work.

Here are four recipes to solve at least one hearty meal, plus a breakfast idea that’s simple and sure to lure those rascals out of their sleeping bags. Some recipes have you do simple steps at home before you leave, another uses ready-made ingredients for a time-saving shortcut. 

Got your own favorite recipes? Send them to us at info@friendsofchinacamp.com, and we’ll post them on our site. If possible, include a picture of you and your friends and family enjoying your feast, hopefully at China Camp.

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CAMPFIRE QUICHE

Add this quick one-pot quiche to your camping repertoire. Mix up the egg blend, brown the sausage and sauté the onions in advance for super-easy assembly at meal time. 

Ingredients

4 eggs

½ cup baking mix (such as Bisquik)

2 cups milk

2 tsp. butter

Salt and pepper to taste

½ lb. Italian sausage meat (not links)

½ cup chopped onion

olive or canola oil (for Dutch oven)

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Cooking tools at campsite

Dutch oven

 

Directions

At home:

  1. Put eggs, baking mix, milk, and butter in a blender and mix until mostly smooth. (A few small lumps won’t matter.) Salt and pepper to taste. Carefully pour the egg mixture into a large resealable bag or container and refrigerate. (Keep in a cooler at your campsite.)
  2. In a large skillet, add sausage and cook over medium heat, breaking up meat and stirring often, until brown (about 5 minutes). Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Do not discard fat from the pan. 
  3. Add chopped onions and sauté until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool. Add sausage and onions to a resealable plastic bag or container and chill. (Keep in cooler at campsite.)

At the campsite:

  1. Prepare a bed of hot coals.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven or large cast-iron skillet over the coals. When hot, lightly brush the inside of the Dutch oven with olive or canola oil. 
  3. Pour in the egg mixture and top with the sausage-onion mixture and the Swiss cheese. 
  4. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
Source: campingblogger.net

 

CILANTRO-AND-CHILI-BASTED CORN ON THE COB

A sprinkle of fresh herbs and lime zest turns a summertime staple into a zingy (and easy) campfire side dish. If you love spicy, add some heat with fresh chiles. Chop the herbs and chiles in advance to save time at your campsite.

Ingredients

10 ears fresh corn

1 stick butter

¼ cup finely chopped cilantro

1 small Anaheim or poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced (optional) 

1 tsp. finely grated lime zest 

1 clove garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking tools at campsite

Basting brush

 

Directions

  1. Prepare a nice bed of campfire coals.
  2. Shuck the corn, but leave husks attached to the stem. Remove silk threads, then tie the husks into a rough knot at the base of the cob. Lay prepared cobs down on a tray or platter and set aside.
  3. In a small pan over the coals, melt the butter. Use a basting brush to lightly coat the corn cobs with melted butter. 
  4. Using a barbecue grill or griddle plate, roast the corn cobs, turning occasionally for 10 minutes until slightly charred and soft. Let the corn rest for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.
  5. Add chopped cilantro, thin-sliced chiles, and lime zest, to the remaining melted butter. Peel and crush garlic clove and added to butter mixture, season to taste with salt and pepper, and blend well. 
  6. Generously brush the seasoned butter on the corn and serve.
Source: kispot.com.au

 

BERRY-GOOD TOASTED MARSHMALLOWS

These simple treats are 1-2-3 easy. A natural hit with kids, this quick dessert is also kinda classy looking, so grownup campers will be Instagramming the photogenic results. All you need is ripe berries, marshmallows, skewers, and campfire coals. (In a pinch, use the flame from your campstove.) 

Ingredients

2 pints fresh strawberries, washed and patted dry (moisture can cause rotting so be sure to dry them well)

1 package large marshmallows

Cooking tools at campsite

Marshmallow skewers

 

Directions

  1. Let your fire burn until you have a nice bed of coals. 
  2. Hold one berry, and skewer it, stem end first, until the skewer projects a couple of inches beyond the berry’s pointed end. 
  3. Add one marshmallow to the end of the skewer. Hold over coals and roast until the marshmallow is golden brown (try not to catch it on fire, but if you do, oh well). 
Source: Goodcook.com

 

CAMPFIRE CINNAMON ROLLS

This isn’t so much a recipe as an idea for a gotta-have-one breakfast. Baked in a pie tin over hot coals, these cinnamon treats smell so good that you may find other campers wandering over to your site, acting neighborly and hoping for leftovers.

Ingredients

1 package refrigerated cinnamon roll dough with icing

Cooking tools at campsite

1 8-inch aluminum pie tin

Hot mitt or long kitchen tongs

 

Directions

  1. Prepare your bed of coals, in your campfire or outdoor grill. (Note: avoid mesquite or other types of coals which could flavor your dough.)
  2. Remove the rolls and icing from packaging; place uncooked rolls in your pie tin. (Don’t worry, they can touch.) 
  3. Place pie tin over coals and let the rolls bake for about 15 minutes, then use a hot mitt or long kitchen tongs to rotate the pie tin 180 degrees. Watch the rolls carefully; if your coals are very hot or the pan is close to them the rolls can burn. 
  4. Cook rolls for another 10 to 15 minutes (less if coals are hot). 
  5. Remove from coals, cool slightly, top with prepared icing, and serve.
Source: gimmesomegrilling.com



Camping photo: Liv Unni Sødem/Flickr Creative Commons

NOTICE: Some sites at the Back Ranch Meadows Campground will be closed Sunday through Thursday from November 14, 2022 until May 13, 2023 due to construction. The group site will remain open during the week. Go to reservecalifornia.com for available reservations.

ADVISORY: December 3, 2023, 8am-2pm. Footrace beginning at Miwok Meadows. Expect increased foot traffic on Shoreline Trail, Oak Ridge Trail, and Bayview trail. Plan your trip to the park accordingly. See calendar for details.