Feast on 3 camping-friendly recipes in the great outdoors this summer

Home » Feast on 3 camping-friendly recipes in the great outdoors this summer

First, let me confess: I’m not really into camping. While I enjoy being in nature and the wilderness, I also cherish the comfort of my own bed. I’m more of a glamping person, preferring raised platforms and a cozy bed with sheets. However, when it comes to eating outdoors, I’m all in. I have no interest in taking shortcuts or surviving on canned beans.

The following three recipes are not only delicious but also work perfectly, whether deep in the woods by a campfire and tent or in the comfort of your backyard. Having been on numerous camping trips, I’ve learned that simplicity is essential, and it’s best to prepare as much at home as possible before heading out. These recipes may not be ideal for hiking long distances to reach their camping spot. They require a skillet that might be too heavy to carry deep into the woods, and some ingredients may not travel well in a backpack. However, these recipes are perfect for driving to a campground or any location that doesn’t involve miles of hiking.

Remember, summer is short, so make the most of it. Get outdoors, enjoy your time away from it all, marvel at the night sky, take a dip in a lake or pond, and savor delicious food.


  • Pack as lightly as possible and stay organized at home. Plan your meals in advance and bring only what you truly need. Consider the entire recipe and determine if you need specific utensils or equipment, such as a mixing bowl or a small skillet. Being prepared is essential.
  • Freeze bottles of water to use as ice in your cooler. As they melt, you can drink the water or use it for other purposes.
  • Ensure all your food is chilled before packing it into the cooler to prevent the temperature from dropping.
  • Remember to bring a flexible cutting board and a sharp knife.
  • Don’t forget to pack matches, a lighter, wood, charcoal, and newspaper to help start your campfire.
  • Metal skewers help cook food and maneuver it around the fire. They are also great for cooking potatoes, marshmallows, and vegetables.
  • To avoid multiple ingredients, prepare sauces, herb kinds of butter, and salad dressings at home.
  • Don’t forget to pack snacks such as cookies, energy bars, raw vegetables cut into sticks, apples, fruits, peanut butter, etc.
  • Eat more perishable meals first to prevent the ingredients from spoiling.
  • Plan meals that can be enjoyed as leftovers for lunch the next day.
  • Keep your campsite clean by not leaving any garbage out, which can attract animals.

Note that these recipes require a fire that has cooked down somewhat and created a bed of hot coals rather than a blazing, roaring fire.

Foil-Wrapped Fire-Grilled Fish with Baby Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, and Herbs

This recipe offers a convenient way to create a complete meal by wrapping everything in foil. It works beautifully with various types of fish, although cooking times may need adjustment. You can substitute boneless chicken thighs or breasts for the fish if preferred.


  • 1 pound baby new potatoes, left whole if tiny (quarter-size potatoes), halved if more considerable, and quartered if exceptionally large
  • 1 pound fish fillet (cod, flounder, sole, haddock, halibut, trout, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped herbs (parsley, basil, chives, thyme, or a combination)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small cubes, or 1 tablespoon of herb-lemon butter or chili-lime butter (see below)
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters


  1. Start making a wood or charcoal fire and let it burn until you have a good bed of hot coals. Place a rack on top.
  2. Wrap the potatoes in a large piece of foil and tightly seal the packet. Bury it in the hot coals. Allow the potatoes to cook for approximately 20 minutes. Cut one in half to check if they’re done; it should be almost tender.
  3. Place the fish in another large piece of foil. Arrange the potatoes along the sides of the fish and scatter the herbs and cherry tomatoes over them. Sprinkle with olive, salt, pepper, and butter. Squeeze lemon juice over.
  4. Seal the foil tightly, create a packet, and place it over the hot coals on the rack. Cook for about 10 minutes (based on fish type and thickness). The fish easily flakes when tested with a fork. If using chicken instead, for an additional 8 to 10 minutes or cooked throughout. The potatoes should be tender, and the tomatoes should be soft.

Serve with lemon wedges.

Herbemon Butter:

Combine softened with chopped herbs (parsley, olives, thyme) and a squeeze of lemon juice. Mix well and use as directed in the recipe.

Fire-grilled corn with two seasoned kinds of butter

These quick and easy flavored butter can elevate your camp cooking in 5 minutes. One combines butter with fresh summer herbs and lemon zest, while the other combines butter with chopped green chile pepper and lime zest. These versatile butter can enhance everything from morning eggs to lunchtime sandwiches, cooking chicken, fish, and vegetables or spooning them onto noodles or rice. Prepare the butter at home, roll them into logs, and freeze them. Cut off what you need and keep the rest chilled in your cooler.


Herb-Lemon Butter:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup fresh herbs, finely chopped (you can use a combination of basil, mint, lemon verbena, tarragon, parsley, chives, rosemary, and/or thyme)
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Green Chile-Lime Butter:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons green chile (such as jalapeno), ribs, and seeds removed ( some sources if prefer a spicier butter)
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 ears of corn in their husks


To make the herb butter:

  1. Mix the butter with chopped herbs, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Place the mixture on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll it into a fat cigar shape.
  3. Roll tightly and freeze for up to a month.

To make the green chile butter:

  1. Mix the butter with the chopped chile, lime zest, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Place the mixture on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll it into a fat cigar shape.
  3. Roll tightly and freeze for up to a month.

Make a wood or charcoal fire and let it burn until you have a hot bed of coals. Place a rack over the fire.

Place the corn (still in its husks) directly on the rack over the hot fire. Cook for about 10 minutes, rolling the husks from side to side to ensure all sides are somewhat blackened.

Remove the corn from the fire and let it cool for a minute (be cautious as it will be hot!). Husk the corn.

Serve the corn with one or both of the flavored butter.

Open-faced s’mores and berry “pie.”

This recipe offers a delicious twist for those who love the classic campfire treat, S’mores, but prefer to avoid the burnt marshmallow. Instead of the traditional assembly, this dessert is prepared in a fire-proof skillet. Graham crackers form the base, followed by layers of chocolate chips, berries (such as raspberries), and halved marshmallows. The key is to watch it closely and prevent burning, ensuring the marshmallows melt and puff up without scorching the graham crackers.


  • About 8 graham crackers
  • About ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 8 to 10 marshmallows, cut in half
  • 1 cup berries (raspberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries)


  1. Start by making a wood or charcoal fire and let it burn down until you have a bed of hot coals. Place a rack on top.
  2. Line the bottom of a 10-inch heavy skillet with graham crackers. You may need to break them in half to fill the edges. Ideally, aim for a single solid layer, but if necessary, double up to create a solid surface. 
  3. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the graham crackers, followed by the raspberries (or other berries). 
  4. Arrange the halved marshmallows on top of the berries. 
  5. Cover the skillet with foil.
  6. Place the skillet in the middle of the rack over the hot coals. Cook slowly for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, gently moving the skillet from side to side every few minutes. Be sure to keep a close eye on it to prevent burning.
  7. After 10 minutes, remove the foil. The “pie” is done when the chocolate has melted, and the marshmallows have softened and turned a golden brown.

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