Honestly, I prefer simple to mildly simple recipes when camping. Frankly, I'm usually tired by the end of the day and am not looking to turn our picnic table into a five star restaurant. That said, I'll occasionally “go gourmet” once in a while. Below I've listed the top recipes we've liked of my gourmet attempts at the campgrounds.
The biggest “hassle” with gourmet camping recipes (for me anyway) isn't so much the actual cooking of the recipe, but the amount of ingredients you have to bring along that you otherwise wouldn't bring. That said, if you're willing to have the ingredients make the trek with you, these recipes are awesome.
Dutch Oven Stuffed PeppersSo, so good. Bell peppers, olive oil, onions, mushrooms, garlic, ground beef, rice, tomato sauce, ketchup and cheese combine to make this dish, which is better than the stuffed peppers I cook at home in all honesty. However, we sub the ketchup for regular old tomato sauce. The prep almost takes longer than cooking them, but well worth it in the end. Recipe and instructions here.
Grilled Chicken with Whiskey Barbecue Sauce and Spicy SlawI pre-make the sauce for this one at home and toss it in a mason jar to lower the amount of ingredients I need to bring with me to the campsite. You can also pre make the slaw, but if I do that, I prefer to make this meal on one of the first two nights after arriving because I prefer my slaw on the crisp side, LOL. That said, this is a huge hit when I make it and since there's only two tablespoons of Whiskey in it, the kids can eat it as well. You can find the full recipe and instructions here.
Skillet LasagnaWhether you make this recipe in an actual skillet with a lid or a dutch oven is up to you (I usually do the latter). The recipe calls for your typical lasagna ingredients, aside from no-boil noodles. I'm not a fan of those, so I usually bring regular noodles and cook them before layering them into the lasagna. My kids aren't huge mushroom fans, so I usually leave those out. You can find the full recipe and instructions here.
Smashed Potatoes on the GrillThis one doesn't require a lot in the way of ingredients and only calls for potatoes, olive oil, rosemary and salt and pepper. But it is a bit intensive time wise to prep and cook. However, if you're sick of asparagus and corn on the cob, it's a definite tasty alternative for a side dish. You can find the full recipe and instructions to make it over at Serious Eats here.
Grilled Cheese with Avocado, Tomato and ParsleyIf you're looking for a gourmet lunch dish, look no further. Bread, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, butter, parsley and avocado combine to make this sandwich of awesome. The recipe calls for the tomatoes as a side garnish, but we put them right on the sandwich itself and add chips as the side garnish. This one is actually pretty easy to make as far as gourmet recipes go. You can find the full recipe and instructions here.
Peach Pecan Pancakes Rolled with Maple Cheese FillingThere are no words for this recipe. This is a gourmet camping breakfast recipe at its finest. Pecans, butter, spices, brown sugar, peaches, cream cheese, syrup and pancake mix combine into pure heaven. As the recipe says, it's easier if you candy the pecans and mix the syrup / cream cheese mixture at home. It's a bit tricky to get them to look like they do in the picture. But even though mine come out looking “sloppier” they taste freaking fantastic! You can find the recipe and instructions for this one here.
Beer Battered BassThis is an absolute favorite when I make it. The original recipe calls for cod which is what is pictured above (or halibut or haddock) but we most often do this with Bass. What kind of beer you use is also up for grabs. Sometimes I'll bring a bottle of Guinness specifically for this recipe, but other times I'll use whatever we have on site (which is usually Bud Light or Coors Light). You might have the adjust the cooking time a bit because I find it's hard to get your oil to exactly 375 over a campfire, LOL. You can find the full recipe and instructions here.
Steak and Farro with Golden Beets, Garbanzos and TarragonIf I haven't gotten “gourmet enough” for you yet, this recipe should do it. Beets, chick peas, spices, farro, chicken stock, tarragon and steaks of your choosing combine to create a truly gourmet camp dinner, despite it essentially requiring you to take your kitchen with you to the campsite, LOL. This wasn't originally meant to be a camping recipe, but I use a dutch oven for the “baking in the oven” part and a cast iron skillet for the rest. You can find the full recipe for this one on the Taste Food Blog here.
Chai CheesecakeNo list of gourmet camping recipes is complete without a gourmet dessert. And thus we end this list with a Chai Cheesecake recipe. Most of the prep for this one can be done at home. The recipe says it works best in cooler temperatures, but I find you can just put the cheesecake in a cooler to set (something about warm cheesecake simply isn't appealing to me). You can find the full recipe and instructions here.
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Have an awesome gourmet camping recipe to add? Be sure to share your favorites in the comments below!