9 Easy Camping Dinner Ideas

This list is packed with my go-to camping dinner ideas that are both easy and seriously delicious. A lot of these dinners require nothing more than a propane stove and a cast iron pan!

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9 easy camping dinner ideas for your next car camping trip

When there are fire restrictions (especially in the late summer and fall), having easy camp stove meals is essential. A few others on this list require a campfire or a dutch oven, but they’re still very simple.

These are my favorite camping dinner recipes that I make all the time with just a simple camping kitchen.

Camping Dinner Ideas Video:

Check out the video below to see all of the camping meals!

9 EASY Camping Dinner Ideas: My go-to Car Camping Meals

Camping Dinner Ideas and Recipes

1. Quesadillas

Steak and pepper quesadillas for an easy camping dinner

No matter if you’re at home or at camp, quesadillas are always a good dinner idea!

You can keep it simple with just the classic cheese quesadilla, or change it up and try my steak and pepper quesadillas for a little something extra!

Main Gear you’ll need to cook:

Get the Recipe >> Steak and Pepper Quesadillas

2. Tacos

Tacos are a great camping dinner for a large group

I make tacos for dinner about once a week, camping or not. They are such a satisfying and filling dinner.

Once the meat is cooked, assembling the tacos is easy and great for a large group of campers. You can spread out all of the toppings and everyone can build their own tacos.

For toppings, I love sharp cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickled onions, avocado, cilantro, and sour cream!

Get the Recipe >> Car Camping Taco Recipe

3. Dutch Oven Nachos

Dutch oven nachos

This is the one and only dutch oven meal on this list.

Who knew making nachos while camping was so easy! All you have to do is assemble and melt the cheese.

This camp dinner is definitely a crowd-pleaser. It always impresses the friends and family I take camping.

Main Gear You’ll Need:

  • a dutch oven (I have this one and love it!)
  • metal tongs
  • fire gloves for handling the hot cast iron

Get the Recipe >> How to Make Campfire Nachos in the Dutch Oven

4. Foil Packet Meals

Foil packet meals cooked over the campfire

If you want to start cooking with a campfire, foil packet meals are a great place to start! They’re so simple, endlessly customizable, hard to mess up, and delicious.

What more do you need for a camping meal, right?

Main Gear you’ll need to cook:

Get the Recipe >>

5. Salad with Pre-Cooked Chicken

Easy and healthy camping dinner - salads with chicken sausage

This is a fresh camping dinner idea. You can pre-wash and chop the lettuce and salad toppings at home, so all you have to do at camp is assemble and pack the salad dressing.

I like to add a protein to the salad to make it more of a complete meal. The easiest option is to pre-cook the protein at home and store it in the cooler.

I’ve brought grilled chicken many times in the cooler and it lasts for at least a few days once cooked. At camp, you simply slice it up and add it to the salad for a no-cook camping dinner.

Another option is to bring some pre-cooked chicken sausages in the cooler, slice them, and fry the pieces up in a cast iron pan. You could do the same with tofu or tempeh for a vegan option.

Main Gear You’ll Need:

6. Ramen with Eggs

A hot bowl of ramen with an egg

Don’t underestimate a hot bowl of ramen on a cold night camping!

Ramen is so incredibly easy to make and you can add an egg to the boiling ramen for a little extra boost in protein. The hot boiling broth will cook the egg.

The BEST Ramen Packets >> Nongshim Shin Black Noodle Soup

7. Basil Pesto Couscous

Basil pesto couscous with chicken thighs and pine nuts

Couscous is a great base for a camping dinner because it cooks quickly, it doesn’t need to be drained, and it’s a blank slate ready to take on any flavor.

My favorite way to make couscous into a complete meal is to mix in some basil pesto and top with a protein.

Once the couscous is cooked, I mix in some pesto, add some sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and usually chicken.

Chicken thighs are really easy to cook up in a cast iron pan with some salt and pepper. If you don’t want to deal with raw meat at camp, you can pack some pre-cooked chicken sausages and fry them up in a pan before adding them to the basil couscous. So easy!

8. Indian Food Packets with Rice

Indian food pouches with rice for the easiest camping dinner

This is the easiest camping dinner idea on this list. If you don’t want to cook, this idea is for you!

Indian food is my favorite cuisine. I seriously love it. I’ve traveled to India a couple of times and was so impressed with the incredible food I got to eat.

For this meal, all you need to do is pack some pre-made Indian Food pouches and some pre-cooked rice pouches. At camp, just heat it up and dinner is served.

There are a lot of different brands that make these Indian food packets such as Maya Kaimal, Tasty Bite, and Trader Joes. They’re easy to find in most grocery stores.

Get the Indian Food Pouches:

9. Shrimp and Veggie Stir-Fry

Shrimp and veggie stir-fry camping meal

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite camping meals. It’s got protein, veggies, rice, and lots of flavors thanks to a pre-made stir-fry sauce.

For the stir-fry sauce, check your local grocery store. There are a lot of different brands, so it should be an easy ingredient to find. I use the stir-fry sauce by the brand Saffron Road because that’s what my local grocery store carries.

Other brands such as Kikkoman, House of Tsang, and 365 by Whole Foods all have great stir-fry sauce options too!

Get the Recipe >> Easy Shrimp and Veggie Stir-Fry

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Camp Cooking Starter Kit

Printable camping recipes, a gear checklist, and a camping meal planner so you can go camping with confidence (and good food!)

More Camping Meal Ideas

Check out more camping recipes on the blog:

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  1. How exactly do I heat up a packet of Indian food? Does it have to be emptied into a skillet or is there a way that doesn’t involve having to do dishes maybe?

    1. I empty them into a small pot and heat it over the camp stove with some rice. It does create a dirty pot, but overall the meal is still really quick and easy!