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  • Writer's pictureMarina Neal

Three Delicious Camping Dinners

Summertime means more camping, hiking, and all-around adventuring. It also means bringing the classic camping cookout with you to each campsite. Everyone has their preference for what they like to make in the backcountry. Some people lean toward the classic ramen dinner, and some go for a full multi-course meal! We have you covered whatever your preferences!

Eating noodles while camping. Great camping recipe.
Photo courtesy of Nahla Gedeon Achi.

These are three of our favorite camping dinners. Best served in car camping scenarios, so you don’t have to carry the extra weight but to each their own! We’ve also got a master blog of our backpacking recipes, so no excuses for not making the best camping dinner ever this summer.

Fancy Mac’ And Cheese

A personal favorite of our cofounder, Sasha. This isn’t your childhood mac and cheese. Packed with vegetables, style, and kick–this dish will impress even the pickiest eater.

What you need:

Cooking supplies (pot, pan, stove, spatula, lighter, knife)

1 x box of Annie’s Mac and Cheese (any flavor, any pasta shape)

1 x half onion

1 x head of broccoli

3 x cloves of garlic

A handful of crimini mushrooms

1 x tablespoon or so of olive oil

2 x tablespoons of butter

1 x pinch of red chili flakes

2 x green onions, or spring onions

Camping meal, guacamole, recipes for camping
Photo courtesy of Marina Neal

Start by boiling water in a pot for the mac and cheese. Follow the instructions on the box to make it! Get the pan out on the other burner. Get that knife and cutting board out and start dicing the onion. Continue on to finely chop the garlic. Move the onion and garlic into the pan on low heat, and start sauteing.

Chop the broccoli into bite-sized pieces, and cut mushrooms into strips easy for eating. Once the garlic and onion are aromatic, put the broccoli and mushrooms in the pan. Sautee with red chili flakes. Once vegetables are al dente, take off the heat.

Follow the box instructions for the mac and cheese, although I usually skip the milk part- because who has time to bring milk camping! Once the mac and cheese is ready, mix in the veg. Get everything nice and cheesy.

Serve with diced green onions on top, and boom! Fantastic camping dinner.

Yellow Curry with Mango and Cilantro Rice

Our marketing manager, Marina, once won a backcountry cooking competition with this recipe. It’s a spicy and sweet combination that will knock your socks off. It’s definitely not a backcountry recipe, but for car camping it’s perfect.

What you need:

Cooking supplies (two pots, stove, lighter, knife, cutting board, utensils)

1 x spoon or two of cooking oil (I use coconut or olive)

1 x can of coconut milk

1 x onion

1 x ginger root

4 x cloves of garlic

1 x serrano pepper

1 x half of red cabbage

Curry paste (yellow or red works great!)

1 x red bell pepper

1 x teaspoon of turmeric

2 x limes

2 x ripes mangoes

1 x bag of frozen green peas (it’s okay if they are all defrosted and melted. This is camping after all)

1 x cup of white rice

1 x chopped bundle of cilantro

Girls cooking at the crag, Smith Rock
Photo courtesy of Marina Neal

Dice your veggies! I like to get this out of the way. Diced onion, ginger, garlic, and serrano pepper can all go in the same bowl on the side. Dice the red cabbage and the bell pepper into strips, and the mango into cubes.

Begin by heating up oil in one of the pots and tossing in the onion, ginger, garlic, and serrano mix. Sautee this at low heat as you begin making rice in the other pot. 1 cup of rice goes to 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil and then simmer.

As the aromatic mix begins to cook, add in a big spoonful of curry paste and a teaspoon or so of turmeric. Add pepper, peas, and cabbage, and stir to coat the spices. Cook for a couple of minutes, and then add the can of coconut milk. Bring the heat down low and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes.

The rice should be done at this point, so remove that from heat and let it steam for 5 minutes or so. Once it feels fluffy and ready, add the cilantro and mix it all around! Boom. Rice done.

Now bring your focus back to the curry. It should be smelling very very good at this point. Add the chopped mangoes, and a squeeze of lime, and stir it all in. Remove from heat and serve! Curry goes on top of rice, and a tasty dinner ensues.


One of my favorite easy meals to make! It’s a flexible recipe and you can make a ton, depending on the number of people around. Tasty, filling, and colorful!

Car camping in San Juan National Forest
Photo courtesy of Marina Neal

What you need:

Cooking supplies (stove, two pans, lighter, cutting board, can opener, knife)

2 x zucchini

2 x yellow squash

2 x roma tomatoes

1 x white onion

1 x can of corn

1 x bundle of cilantro

Corn tortillas!

4 x limes

1 x can of black beans

3 x cloves of garlic

Salt, pepper, cumin

1 x jalapeno pepper

Olive oil!

Hot sauce of choice

So first thing first, chop those veggies. Chop a bunch of cilantro and set it aside. Get the limes ready to squeeze. Dice the zucchini, squash, roma tomatoes, garlic, jalapeno, and onion. Start heating up the pan with oil, and throw in the onion and garlic. Begin to sautee these two, as you quickly add in the rest of the veggies. Let these cook for a bit, 3 minutes or so.

Sprinkle a generous amount of cumin, salt, and pepper all over these vegetables. Stir around. Add corn and black beans. Get that all mixed in. This is generally when I go ham squeezing two of the limes all over the dish.

Let this all cook together for another few minutes. While doing that, in the other pan, heat up some corn tortillas with a little oil.

Remove veggies from heat, and add more cumin or lime to taste. Put all that chopped cilantro in the pan and mix it in. It’s now ready to eat!

Veggies go in corn tortillas. Hot sauce goes on top. And more lime, if you want. Eat!! Enjoy!

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