Camp food doesn’t always have to be hot dogs and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. After a long day of exploring, we all crave a hearty meal to get us ready for the next adventure. By doing some prep work before you set out on your camping trip, you’ll be able to easily whip up some delicious vegetarian meals for yourself, family and friends. And the good news is that these vegetarian camping meals are so tasty, everyone (yes, even the meat-lovers!) will compliment you on your cooking skills and ask for a second helping as you sit around the fire.
Strawberry & Whipped Cream Waffles
Like we mentioned above, prep work is KEY in a lot of these recipes. While it’s not necessary, it will save you a lot of time, effort and dirty dishes (extra helpful when following Leave No Trace practices). We make these waffles beforehand (we love using Kodiak Power Cakes Waffle Mix). At breakfast, we quickly toast them over the fire (like a waffle kabob!), smash up some strawberries and, because we like to be a little fancy, add some whipped cream. This meal tastes great by the fire, but we think it tastes way better in a tent with a warm cup of coffee: breakfast in bed, camping (glamping?) edition.
Good Ol’ Oatmeal
Another quick and easy vegetarian camping recipe is oatmeal. Whenever we want hot water fast, we use our MSR Pocket Rocket Stove Kit. We boil two cups of water, add in one cup of quick-cooking oats and a pinch of cinnamon and salt, and reduce the heat to a simmer. While that’s cooking, cut up a banana. Once it’s ready (in about four to five minutes, super quick!) serve it up and place your sliced bananas on top. You can get really fancy by adding chocolate chips or even stirring in a spoonful of peanut butter. You’ll be energized to hit the trail in no time!
Need to get a stove but not sure which one is right for you? Check out this article here.
A vegetarian spin on a classic sandwich with barely any prep work. Marinate and cook slices of tempeh before you head out on your camping trip. We like to use Liquid Smoke or Worcestershire sauce, but you can marinate your tempeh in anything! Your meat-eating pals will be pleasantly surprised with this vegetarian camping recipe, especially if you use Liquid Smoke—it makes the tempeh taste just like smoky bacon.
Pack your slices of tempeh, some lettuce, tomato, and bread in a cooler. When you’re ready for lunch, simply grab these and put them together! Super easy, tasty and filling.
If you plan on heading out on a long hike for the day and want to pack a lunch that won’t make you feel heavy, we love veggie wraps. These are great because they’re quick, packable and easily customizable to fit everyone’s taste. Our go-to recipe is guacamole, cucumber, shredded carrot, sprouts and Thousand Island dressing. Another great combo is guacamole, marinated tempeh, tomatos and cheese. Or for a burrito-inspired wrap, we love a combo of beans, lettuce, guacamole, peppers, tomatoes and onion. The possibilities are endless!
If the tempeh BLT didn’t win your friends over, these nachos sure will. If you haven’t had camp nachos before, prepare yourself for the cheesiest, crispiest, smokiest (in all the right ways) chips you’ve ever had. These are a game changer.
You can make these easily with a Dutch oven, a pan or a disposable aluminum foil pan. Add a little bit of olive oil to the bottom, dump in your chips, heavily sprinkle with cheese and cover with aluminum foil or a lid. Place on your campfire grill for five to ten minutes.
Once the cheese is sizzling, take the lid off, add some toppings like diced tomato, onion, jalapenos and olives, finish with a squeeze of lime and chow down.
Veggie Burgers and Potatoes
Don’t feel intimidated by this meal. With some prep work it’s super simple to create by the fire, we promise. Our favorite black bean burger recipe is this one. Prepare these at home and put them in your cooler. We also suggest cooking the potato wedges beforehand! Simply chop up around two pounds of potatoes into bite-size pieces and add a few tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, a tablespoon of mustard (secret ingredient), and a teaspoon of chili powder. Toss everything together, place on a baking sheet and bake at 400°F for about 15 minutes.
Once you’re ready to relax at basecamp, whip out a pan, add in some olive oil, and drop your patties and your potatoes in there to heat up. You’ll be sitting by the fire with a cold brew in one hand and a burger in the other in no time.
When you’re out on a hike, swimming in a lake or on the road to your next destination, there’s always a need for snacks. Here are our two favorite easy-to-make snack recipes.
Homemade Trail Mix
Buying trail mix can be expensive and the bags are usually at least 50% chocolate. And while we all love some sweetness in our snacks, we don’t want it to be the main star. Making your own trail mix allows you to customize it to your liking and can be a cheaper option than buying premade trail mix. Our favorite concoction is a mix of walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, raisins, and some dark chocolate chips. It can almost become a meal with all the goodness you can throw in there!
Oat Power Balls
These wonderful power balls take less than 15 minutes to make, store super well in containers or bags and are the perfect snack when you need quick energy on the trail. Plus, there are so many flavor options!
Here’s the base recipe:
- 1 ½ cups of oatmeal
- ¼ cup of flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- ½ cup of nut butter (almond is our favorite!)
- ¼ cup of honey
Then, go wild with your extra ingredients! Want to make them taste like cookie dough? Add ⅓ cup of semisweet chocolate chips. Want to make peaches and cream power balls? Add three tablespoons of dried peaches, ⅓ cup of white chocolate chips, and four scoops of vanilla protein powder. The possibilities are endless! Here are 10 Power Ball Recipes we love for some extra inspiration.
And of course, we can’t forget about dessert! While s’mores are always a classic (and for good reason, mmm), we also enjoy a campfire banana boat.
Take a banana (peel on) and make a cut down the middle. Put some chocolate pieces into the slice and wrap the banana in foil. Place over the flames and in a few minutes, you’ll have a warm banana with gooey chocolate! It’s the perfect way to end the night. Feel free to add nuts and whipped cream to really take it over the top, or experiment with other fillings like sprinkles and peanut butter candies.
Even if you aren’t vegetarian, these meals are sure to be a hit. They’re packed full of tasty ingredients and will keep bellies full on your camping trip. Plus, it’s always a good idea to have some vegetarian camping recipes up your sleeve. And with a little prep work at home, it’s as simple as throwing them over the flame. Let us know which ones you tried on your next camping trip!
Mecca is a freelance adventure photographer and blogger based in the Pacific Northwest. You can find her backpacking with her husband and their three rescue pups, Finn, Ruby, and Riona, or on a road trip to cross off a location from her bucket-list. She is also an adventure wedding and elopement photographer and loves to capture couples as they start the most epic adventure of all together.