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Camp cooking

Camp Cooking: 10 Vegetarian Camping Meals

One of the greatest parts about going camping is having the time to create delicious meals. Plus, the food you cook always seems to taste that little bit better after a day stomping around outside. But for many people, camp cooking can be a bit of a chore. With limited space to keep fresh food cool it’s easy to just cook up some pasta, add a jar of sauce and be done with it. And this is totally fine for a couple of nights of your trip. 7 days of pasta, however, can get a little tedious, not to mention lacking some key nutrition!

We’re big fans of vegetarian food — it doesn’t spoil easily when camping, it’s WAY better for the environment and us, and it tastes amazing. But vegetarian camping meals aren’t the obvious choice for many people, even though they’re usually dead easy to make and super scrummy.

So to help make your next camping menu a breeze to plan, we asked a bunch of camp cooking fanatics to share their fave vegetarian camping meal recipes with us. Breakfast recipes, lunch ideas, evening meals and desserts — we’ve got you covered.

This list of vegetarian camping meals has something that everyone will love to cook as much as they’ll enjoy eating — even the meat-eaters! From simple camp stove recipes and easy camping meals for the family, to Dutch oven creations, camp meals to make on the grill and gourmet camping recipes.

10 vegetarian camping recipes

Gail

Cast Iron Ratatouille

Recommended by: Gail Kearns — Co-author of The Gourmet Girls Go Camping Cookbook

From our cookbook, The Gourmet Girls Go Camping: Amazing Meals Straight from Your Campfire. This is a gorgeous and simple recipe to make. It’s all about presentation. Use a mandolin to cut the veggies. We carry one in our camp equipment.

Cast Iron Ratatouille

Go gourmet on your next camping trip

Ratatouille

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • 1 Vidalia sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • Herbes de Provence
  • Fleur de Sel (French sea salt), or substitute any good quality sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 to 4 Roma tomatoes, sliced very thinly
  • 2 yellow or green zucchini, sliced very thinly
  • 2 to 3 long, narrow eggplant (try Japanese or any that have a longer shape), sliced very thinly
  • 1 small log good quality goat cheese

Method

  1. Prepare fire for Dutch oven cooking
  2. In your Dutch oven, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook garlic and thyme for 1 minute over medium heat or until fragrant. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the oven and caramelize onions, seasoned with cracked black pepper and Fleur de Sel over medium heat, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and spread onions evenly across the bottom of the Dutch oven or cast iron skillet.
  4. Prep veggies for arrangement. Pat dry and salt tomato slices with Fleur de Sel. Set aside.
  5. Add zucchini and eggplant slices to bowl with garlic and thyme. Toss with 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and season with Fleur de Sel and cracked pepper.
  6. Arrange the vegetable slices in a spiral around the Dutch oven, working from the outside in. Stack zucchini, eggplant, and tomato in the same order until a complete circle is formed. Once the outside circle is complete, begin another just inside. Continue until the spiral is finished and the middle is closed. Crumble goat cheese over all.
  7. Place Dutch oven back over the coals, cover with lid, and place six coals around the edge of the lid. Cook until the vegetables are browned and tender, about 15 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Cathy

Grilled Apple Crisp

Recommended by: Cathy Roma — Professional chef and owner of What Should I Make For

Since a popular way to cook fish and veggies on the grill is in a foil pack, why not an easy dessert? This grilled apple crisp cooked in a foil pack is as delicious as it is simple. Mix up the oat topping in advance, grab a few apples, aluminum foil, and pack it for your next excursion. Best part, each foil pack is an individual serving so you don’t have to share!

Grilled Apple Crisp

This recipe is easily doubled for a big group or cut down for a solo adventure

Grilled-Apple-Crisp

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 firm apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1/2 stick)
  • * non-stick foil and heavy duty foil
  • ** vanilla ice cream and cinnamon for serving

Method

  1. Toss apples with sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well until fully combined.
  3. Tear off four 11-inch pieces of non-stick foil. Alternatively spray four pieces of foil well with non-stick cooking spray. Tear off four 11 inch pieces of heavy duty foil and set aside.
  4. Set your grill to med/low heat.
  5. Spoon 1/4 of the apples on one half of a piece of non-stick foil and top with 1/4 topping.
  6. Fold foil over in half and crimp the edges.
  7. Place crimped pouch on a piece of heavy duty foil and fold in half and seal edges.
  8. Repeat with remaining three servings.
  9. Place on grill and cook for 20 mins. Remove and carefully open each pouch.
  10. Transfer to plates and serve with vanilla ice cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon if desired.

Cook’s Note: Don’t skip the two-step foil pack. This is necessary so the crisp doesn’t burn or stick!


suzanne

Campfire Skillet Hash

Recommended by: Suzanne Lee — photo stylist and lifestyle blogger

My “Campfire Skillet Hash” is versatile enough that it can be eaten for any meal of the day. Easy to cook on an open fire, this dish can be made for an individual or group meal.

Campfire Skillet Hash

An easy and healthy camping meal for any time of day

Grilled veg

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 jar of salsa
  • 1 sweet potato, diced and pre-cooked either before your camping trip, or in boiling water over the campfire
  • 1 red pepper, cut. If fresh peppers aren’t available, you can substitute a small jar of roasted red pepper
  • Sliced jalapeños, fresh or canned 4 eggs
  • 1 avocado, optional

Method

  1. Heat coconut oil in cast iron pan over an open fire.
  2. Add black beans, prepared sweet potato, pepper, and jalapeños.
  3. Once the veggies are steaming and the pan appear hot enough, add the eggs and scramble.
  4. Top with salsa and sliced avocado and serve promptly.

Cook’s Note: Don’t forget to pack your can opener!


Kate

Fettuccine Dijon

Recommended by: Kate Mura — theatre artist, tarot reader, vegetarian and avid camper

I named my favorite fancy camp meal, Fettuccine Dijon!

I learned it camping with my circle, from Matthew Ellenwood. I love it because it is easy on all fronts: portable, two pots, and it stores it’s own leftovers — if there are any! Plus, it’s great for groups and feels fancy.

Fettuccine Dijon

Packed with protein. It’s pure creamy, zesty deliciousness.

Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 package of fettuccine
  • 1 jar of alfredo sauce – my favorite is Newman’s Own garlic
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 container of dijon mustard – my favorite is Annie’s Organic

Method

  1. Boil a pot of water big enough for the pasta. Salt or oil it as you can/ desire. You’re camping!
  2. Cook the pasta.
  3. Put the entire jar of alfredo sauce in another pot.
  4. Add in the whole can of beans – no need to strain or rinse.
  5. Add a big squirt of dijon mustard.
  6. Heat it all up.
  7. If you want to do one pot cooking, heat the sauce, after the pasta is done, in the same pot.
  8. If you don’t have a place to hold the pasta while the sauce heats, start off with a big enough pot to ADD the sauce, when the pasta is very al dente so the pasta isn’t overdone.
  9. Make sure you water a tree with the pasta water *before* you add the alfredo sauce.
  10. Once it’s warm and well stirred, serve and enjoy!
  11. If your pack allows, top with parmesan cheese and parsley.
  12. Goes wonderfully with campfire baked bread. AKA – Essential Organics Ready to Bake sourdough, wrapped in foil and tossed in the fire. Or placed on the grill.

Sam-Headshot

Chocolate Banana Boat

Recommended by: Sam Maizlech — Outdoors & Travel expert for Glacier Wellness

This dessert is great for camping since it takes little to no effort and is a great way to mix things up from the standard s’mores. While it may not be the healthiest dessert, bananas are super effective for giving you that much-needed energy boost thanks to their high concentration of iron, potassium, and B vitamins. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s good for the whole family.

Chocolate Banana Boat

Easy and fun to make, and SO delicious

grilled-banana-boat

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp. mini vegan marshmallows
  • 2 tbsp. cereal of choice (slightly crushed)

Method

  1. First, slice the banana lengthwise (not all the way through) and place it on a piece of foil.
  2. Place your chocolate chips and marshmallows into the sliced banana.
  3. Next, wrap the banana boat in foil and place over a fire on a grate or on a grill.
  4. Unwrap and top with cereal.
  5. Finally, wait a few minutes for it to cool and enjoy.

Laura

Dutch Oven Vegetable Frittata

Recommended by: Laura Bashar — Author & Photographer of The Camp and Cabin Cookbook

I cook everyday at home using fresh ingredients, so why would I skimp on flavor or fresh ingredients when my family and I are out camping? These two recipes from my latest book, The Camp & Cabin Cookbook, really highlight my cooking philosophy: use fresh, wholesome ingredients to create beautiful, delicious and incredibly satisfying camp food that is also easy to whip up. And when you are camping, hiking, kayaking or active outdoors, you get hungry! No one wants to walk away from the dinner table hungry or to be fed boring and bland food.

Dutch Oven Vegetable Frittata

A hearty, wholseome and mega heathly camp meal

vegetable_fritatta

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 10 large free-range eggs
  • 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
  • 11⁄4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped fresh kale
  • 1 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 1⁄2 pound cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar

Method

  1. In a chimney, light up 22 coals.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and baking soda.
  3. Mix in the vegetables and cheese.
  4. Pour into a 10-inch Dutch oven and cover.
  5. Place 14 coals on top and 8 underneath the Dutch oven (350°F).
  6. Cover and bake for 40 minutes or until the center of the frittata is set. Check the frittata after 30 minutes for cooking progress.
  7. Let the frittata cool for about 5 to 10 minutes, then slice into wedges and serve.

Another one from Laura…

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Kale Pesto and Tomatoes

Make at your next BBQ and be the envy of even the most dedicated meat-eaters

cauliflower_steaks

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Kale Pesto

  • 3 ounces kale, stalks removed (see Note)
  • 1 large sprig of fresh tarragon
  • 2 ounces walnuts
  • 1 lemon, grated zest and juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Cauliflower Steak

  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large tomato, diced

Method

  1. Prepare the fire for medium-high heat. Place the grill grate over the flames.
  2. Finely chop the kale and tarragon and transfer to a medium-size bowl.
  3. Finely chop the walnuts and add to the kale mix.
  4. Stir in the lemon zest, garlic, and Parmesan until combined.
  5. In a measuring cup or separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and 3⁄4 cup olive oil until emulsified and smooth. Mix in with the rest of the pesto and reserve.
  6. Remove the leaves from the cauliflower head and trim the stem end until flush with the flower head.
  7. Place the cauliflower, core side down, on a cutting board. Start- ing at the center of the cauliflower, slice from top to bottom into four “steaks,” approximately 1⁄2 to 1 inch thick. Reserve any florets that break free. They can be skewered and grilled, or cooked in foil packs.
  8. Brush 1 side of each cauliflower steak with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and 1⁄8 teaspoon pepper. Place the seasoned side down on the hot grill. Brush the tops with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with the remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and 1⁄8 teaspoon pepper.
  9. Grill until lightly charred, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Care- fully turn the cauliflower steaks over and grill for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until fork tender. You want the cauliflower firm but not raw.
  10. Transfer the cauliflower steaks to a serving plate and top with pesto and chopped tomatoes.

Cook’s Note: Pesto can be prepared ahead of time using a food processor. Chill until ready to use.


SteveLeConte2018

Vegetarian Quesadillas

Recommended by: Steve Silberberg — Owner of Fitpacking Fat Loss Backpacking Adventures

Vegetarian Quesadillas are always a favorite of my backpacking groups, even among dyed-in-the-wool carnivores. It’s great for vegetarians and the “meat” doesn’t spoil in the backcountry for up to 3 or even 4 days.

Vegetarian Quesadillas

Delicious, easy and with a super quick clean-up (unless you add salsa!)

Sanjeev Quesadilla

Ingredients

  • Tortilla Wrap (flour is better because corn falls apart easily. 8″ is about the right size)
  • Shredded Cheese (I like Mexican Blend. Smaller shreds melt better)
  • Vegetarian Chicken (Morningstar soy strips or Quorn mushroom chunks)
  • Prepared Guacamole in a sealed container / pouch
  • Parboiled Rice
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Optional Salsa (Roma tomatoes that hold up well in a backpack plus powdered Salsa mix)

Method

  1. Put a tortilla in your Teflon fry pan over medium heat
  2. Cover half the tortilla in cheese
  3. Cover the cheese with “chicken” strips
  4. Sprinkle Rice on top of that
  5. Coat the other side of the tortilla with guacamole
  6. Sprinkle on the crushed red peppers
  7. When the cheese begins to melt fold the tortilla in half (cheese side down)
  8. When the bottom starts to get brown, flip the tortilla
  9. This process shouldn’t take more than a minute or two.
  10. Spoon salsa on top

Veg logo

Kebobs with Pineapple and Red Pepper

Recommended by: The Vegetarian Resource Group

Recipe by: By Chef Nancy Berkoff, RD, Vegans Know How to Party

Kebobs, brochettes, or skewered food date way back in culinary history. Kebobs are a fast and convenient way to cook protein, vegetables, and fruit. Kebobs are the original “meal on a stick.”

You can cook kebobs on a barbecue, stove-top or electric grill, a large skillet, or, if you are careful, in a broiler. If you want to both “kebob” fast and slow cook foods for one meal, place the fast-cookers on skewers separate from the slow-cookers. For example, cherry tomatoes, pineapples, fresh peaches or apricots, pearl onions or small onion chunks, extra-firm tofu, and button mushrooms all cook quickly, and can be placed on one skewer. Carrots, potatoes, apples, and winter squash cook slowly and should be placed together on another skewer.

Kebobs with Pineapple and Red Pepper

Easy to make with all types of camp cooking equipment

KABOBS

Serves 10

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup lite soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or 1/4 cup white vinegar combined with 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup minced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound 1-inch chunks extra-firm tofu, seitan, or tempeh (about 3 cups)
  • 2 cups 1-inch pieces red bell pepper
  • 2 cups 1-inch chunks fresh pineapple

Method

  1. Combine soy sauce, oil, wine or vinegar and water, onions, and garlic in a large plastic or glass bowl. Add tofu, seitan, or tempeh and marinate in a cooler for 1 hour.
  2. Remove tofu, seitan, or tempeh from marinade. Save marinade.
  3. Preheat grill. On skewers, alternate tofu, seitan, or tempeh with red pepper and pineapple.
  4. Place kebobs in a shallow pan. Drizzle with marinade. If using a grill, place directly on grill. Grill just until pepper begins to brown.
  5. Serve alone, on a bed of couscous or cooked bulgur wheat, or with a fresh spinach salad.

Kimberly

Chana Masala

Recommended by: Kimberly Barnes — Founder and Chief Kitchen Adventurer at Might Be Vegan

My favorite vegetarian / vegan dish to prepare and enjoy outdoors is Chana Masala.

The reason I love this dish for camping is because it can be prepared simply using a single pot on a portable stove or in dutch oven. And while I do have an affinity for fresh ingredients, to my surprise, this dish is still as flavor-packed when using canned ingredients. This dish is a hit among groups and can be served solo or on top of your favorite rice or grain.

Chana Masala

A high-protein Indian dish that’s full of sweet heat, and quick and easy to prepare in a hurry—especially if you chop your onions and garlic in advance

Chana Masala

Ingredients

  • 2 15-oz Cans Prepared Chickpeas
  • 2 – 3 Heaping Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 Small Sweet Yellow Onion, Minced
  • 1 Thumb-size Piece of Ginger, Peeled and Finely Minced (or About 2 Tbsp)
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, Finely Minced (or About 3 Tbsp)
  • ½ Cup Fresh Cilantro, Minced
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Coriander
  • 2 Tsp Ancho Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp Ground Turmeric
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala (You can also make your own.)
  • 1 – 2 Tsp Coconut Sugar (or Maple Syrup)Grapeseed Oil

Method

  1. Add 1 tbsp oil into large a dutch oven or saute pan. Once heated, add oil, onion, cumin, and a pinch of salt. Add minced garlic, ginger and cilantro to the pan. Stir to incorporate.
  2. Add ground coriander, chili powder, and turmeric. Stir to coat your onions. If your pan is dry add a bit more oil.
  3. Now add your chickpeas (with the liquid) and tomato paste. Season with salt if needed here.
  4. When the chana masala is getting thicker, taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt for saltiness, chili powder for heat, or a bit of coconut sugar or maple syrup for sweetness and to offset the heat.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in garam masala.
  6. Allow cooling for a few minutes before serving over rice.

Joey

Mushroom and Aubergine Chilli

Recommended by: Joey Homes — Editor of Cool of the Wild

Mushroom and Aubergine Chilli

A hearty dish with a meaty texture that feels as filling as it is!

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 thumb of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 medium aubergine, cubed
  • 10 button mushrooms, diced
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • Sour cream or cheddar cheese (optional)

Method

  1. Add a splash of oil to a large saucepan, allow to heat then add the chilli, ginger and spring onions. Cook gently on a medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the spices to the pan, stir and add a splash of water to create a paste.
  3. Stir in the aubergines and add a cup of boiling water with the stock cube dissolved into it.
  4. Put a lid on the pan and leave to simmer on a medium heat for 5 mins.
  5. Add the mushrooms to the pan, and splash of red wine if you happen to have some to hand! (optional). Stir and leave to cook for another 5 mins.
  6. Add the canned beans and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and leave to simmer without the lid until the liquid has reduced slightly, around 10 mins.
  7. Top with sour cream or cheese (optional).
  8. Serve with rice, polenta or warmed pita bread.

Looking for more camp cooking ideas? Check out these one pot camping meal recipes.

About the author

author-joey

Joey Holmes is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard and hiking small mountains and big hills.

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