The 5 Best Camping Recipes for Dinner | Cherokee, NC

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The 5 Best Camping Recipes for Dinner

Quick, easy-to-pack meals for kids, friends, and family to enjoy while camping

Arguably the most stressful part about camping is planning for food. But, what if we told you there was a way to simplify it and give you an easy, stress-free solution for future camping adventures? Well, welcome to our fool-proof 5 best camping recipes for dinner blog where we’ll be giving you our best family-friendly, fun dinner recipes (and breakfast and lunch tips) to keep even the pickiest eater happy!

Save this blog and keep it as a checklist/guide for your next camping trip adventure or when you visit the cozy cabins and campgrounds located in Cherokee!

How to Cook and Camp Like a Pro

Now, how elaborate you want to get with you camping meals will be entirely up to you! For a general suggestion, we say keep breakfast and lunch light and then go all out for dinner and dessert (as those are the best ones, anyways).

Before heading out on your trip, it’s important to take with you the camping essentials you’ll need for your meals, including:

  • Cookware
  • Utensils
  • Plates, bowls, and cups
  • Camping stove
  • Fuel
  • And dishwashing materials

For an even more in-depth camping checklist guide, see our ultimate camping checklist blog which you can use to help keep you on track as you pack!

Your Camping Menu Shopping List

If you’re sticking with our suggestion for easy breakfasts and lunches, here are a few fan favorite ingredients you’ll want to bring that are both long-lasting and budget-friendly!


Cereal is a great option for both adults and kiddos as the higher sugar content is great for that boost of energy you’ll need to do some hiking, outdoor exploring, or museum visits. It also conveniently doesn’t need to be refrigerated, so it can live with all the other shelf-stable ingredients in your tent, cabin, or RV.


White, wheat, sourdough – all the breads will work for a camping adventure! Bring an inexpensive loaf of bread and use it for sandwiches, PBJs, or even hot dog buns! It’s another versatile shelf-stable ingredient that works for a variety of foods.

Lunch Meat

If you have a cooler, lunch meat is a great option for incorporating good protein into your day. Choose from turkey, ham, salami, roast beef, or bologna sandwiches for the perfect lunch meal that everyone will love.


Milk is another great, versatile ingredient that is a must-have for camping. Use it in your cereal, for dipping in Oreos, or as a side drink for your turkey sandwich!

Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are an essential part of camping as they can be cooked in a variety of ways and they’re relatively budget-friendly! Cook over the firepit for a delicious meal and fun, family moment.

Smores Ingredients

A camping trip isn’t complete without a smores night. Bring graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate of your choice and go wild! These ingredients are also shelf-stable making them an easy, go to dessert that’s travel-friendly.

Fresh Fruit

Again, if you have a cooler, there’s nothing better than having fresh fruit on your camping trip. If you don’t have a cooler, however, there are numerous types of fruit that are shelf-stable, like apples, bananas, and oranges – all delicious and great for fiber and energy.


Nothing says good morning like a nice cup of joe! While instant coffee is the easiest, you can also go fancy and bring an entire coffee maker with on your camping trip! Simply, choose a campsite with an outlet and you’ve got a warming cup of home out in nature.

The Best Camping Recipes

There’s nothing better than sitting around a campfire with friends and family while cooking up an easy, fun meal. If you have a fire pit, then you can make all of these recipes, however if you prefer bringing a portable camping stove or a crockpot, you can easily adapt these meals to fit your preference!

1.)   Onion Bombs

Great for kids and adults alike, these giant meatballs are encased in juicy onions and cooked in tinfoil over a fire pit. Because they’re made of ground beef, there’s no fear of undercooking them – however, 20-30 minutes is the optimal time we recommend.

Simply combine egg, breadcrumbs, ground beef, and your favorite seasonings in a bowl and shape the seasoned meat into balls. Peel off the outer, fresh layer of an onion and wrap the onion around the meat.

Place meatballs in tinfoil and cook directly on the fire pit for around 20-30 minutes and enjoy!

2.)   Easy Roasted Salmon

Like the onion balls, this easy roasted salmon recipe can be directly cooked on a fire pit and is super easy to make with minimal ingredients. Simply, place your salmon in a tinfoil packet, add your seasonings (we love lemon and dill) and then fold the tinfoil and seal the edges around the salmon.

Place on a grill and cook for around 8-10 minutes, ensuring the salmon is a light-medium pink color. For extra flavor, place a pad of butter on top of the salmon before folding the tinfoil.

3.)   Sausage and Potato Tin Foil Wraps

Woodsy, smoky sausage combined with the fresh taste of onions and peppers are the perfect way to end a camping night. In this recipe, you’ll only need sausage (we prefer kielbasa), onion, and peppers. (Tip! This is a great way to use up the remaining onion from the onion bomb recipe).

Simply, season all ingredients and place in a tinfoil wrap and seal shut. The fat from the sausage will marinate the remaining ingredients, so there’s no need for oil or butter. Cook over the fire pit for about 30-minutes and enjoy!

4.)   Campfire Beans (Vegetarian friendly)

For veggie lovers, this campfire bean recipe is the perfect way to get that smoky taste and good protein, but with no meat! The bean option for the recipe is entirely up to you, however we love the deep red color of kidney beans and the mild taste of great northern beans.

In a foil pan, combine beans with barbeque sauce, brown sugar, mustard, and a bit of Worcestershire sauce. Seal the foil pan with tinfoil on top and grill over the fire pit for around 20 minutes. Pair with a side of grilled corn on the cob and you’ve got a delicious, hearty meal that is completely veggie-friendly!

5.)   Beef and Veggie Kabobs

While this is our most time-consuming recipe, we promise, it’s worth it! What you’ll need to do before cooking is marinate your veggies and beef in a sauce of your choice. BBQ or teriyaki are perfect, easy options. Once marinated for around two hours, remove the meat and veggies from the bag and spear them onto a grill-friendly kebab stick.

First, place the kebabs on the grill to char and brown. This will create a beautiful, smoky flavor before the actual cooking process. Once they’re charred to your preference, wrap the kebabs in a tin foil pack and seal the foil. Place on the grill for another 10 minutes, unwrap, and enjoy!

Experience Cherokee Camping for your Next Adventure!

If you’ve been looking for the perfect place to relax, unwind, and be with nature, then Cherokee, North Carolina is the place to visit! Located right near the Smoky Mountains, this historic and beautiful place offers comfortable campgrounds, fun, outdoor activities, and exciting attractions like the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Oconaluftee Indian Village, the Sequoyah National Golf Club, and more!

To learn more about Cherokee or to plan your next camping adventure, please contact us today!

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