What to Cook on a Group Camping Trip: Delicious and Easy Recipes

Camping with a group is a fantastic way to reconnect with friends and family while enjoying the great outdoors. However, planning meals for a large crowd can be daunting. Worry not! This guide provides you with a plethora of ideas and tips to make your group camping trip a culinary success.

Planning Ahead for Group Camping Meals

1. Prepping Makes Perfect:

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip, prepare as many meals as possible beforehand. This could involve making pancake batter, chopping vegetables, or even pre-cooking some ingredients. This will save you valuable time and effort during your camping trip.

2. Dietary Needs:

Before finalizing your menu, inquire about any dietary restrictions or allergies within your group. This will help you plan meals that everyone can enjoy safely. Consider offering gluten-free options or bringing alternatives for common allergens like peanuts.

3. Plan Your Daily Menus:

Creating a daily menu plan will help streamline meal preparation and avoid last-minute scrambling. This will also ensure everyone knows what to expect for each meal, eliminating confusion and stress.

4. Divide and Conquer:

Delegate tasks and ask others to contribute by bringing specific dishes or ingredients. This will lighten your workload and create a collaborative atmosphere.

5. Don’t Forget the Utensils:

Packing enough plates, utensils, napkins, and cups is crucial. Overestimate your needs, as people tend to use more than anticipated.

Easy and Delicious Breakfast Ideas for a Crowd:

1. Pancakes:

A classic crowd-pleaser, pancakes are quick, easy, and customizable. Prepare the batter in advance or use a no-mess, no-fuss recipe for convenience.

2. Scrambled Eggs:

This versatile breakfast staple can be enjoyed with various toppings like salsa, ketchup, or cheese. Pre-crack eggs and store them in a water bottle for mess-free transportation.

3. Bacon:

The aroma of sizzling bacon is sure to wake everyone up with a smile. Use the leftover bacon grease to cook other breakfast items like eggs or hashbrowns.

4. Breakfast Sausages:

Sausage links or patties are a savory and filling addition to your breakfast menu. They can also be used in other dishes like breakfast casseroles or chili.

5. Skillet Cinnamon Rolls:

Unroll and cook canned cinnamon rolls in a skillet for a sweet and decadent treat.

6. Oatmeal:

A warm and nutritious option, oatmeal is easily customizable with various toppings like brown sugar, berries, honey, or peanut butter.

7. Campfire French Toast:

This simple and delicious dish requires only bread, milk, and eggs. Experiment with different bread options like English muffins for a unique twist.

Easy and Filling Lunch Ideas for Groups:

1. Subs and Sandwiches:

Offer a variety of fillings and bread options to create personalized sandwiches for everyone.

2. Pasta Salad:

Make a creamy pasta salad in advance and bring it along for a light and refreshing lunch.

3. Green Salad:

Provide a selection of fresh greens, vegetables, and toppings for a healthy and customizable lunch option.

4. Skillet Stir-Fry:

A versatile and healthy lunch option, stir-fry can be served as a main dish or a topping for sandwiches or burgers.

Hearty and Satisfying Dinner Ideas for a Crowd:

1. Burgers or Hotdogs:

These classic camping staples are quick to cook and affordable in large quantities.

2. Skewers:

Let everyone create their own skewers with a variety of ingredients like chicken, vegetables, and fruit.

3. Chili:

A warm and comforting dish, chili is easy to make ahead of time or on-site using canned ingredients.

4. Spaghetti:

This simple and filling meal requires only a few ingredients and can be easily customized with additional toppings.

5. Hobo Packs:

These foil-wrapped packets filled with various ingredients like potatoes, peppers, and meat are cooked in the campfire coals for a delicious and interactive meal.

Essential Camping Snacks for Groups:

1. Homemade Trail Mix:

Create your own trail mix with a variety of ingredients like nuts, dried fruit, and cereal.

2. Granola Bars or Energy Balls:

These portable and nutritious snacks are perfect for fueling your outdoor adventures.

Plan Your Next Group Camping Trip with KOA

With a little planning and these delicious recipe ideas, your next group camping trip will be a culinary success. For a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience, consider booking your stay at a Kampgrounds of America (KOA) campground.

KOA offers a wide range of camping options, including RV sites, tent sites, camping cabins, and deluxe cabins. You’ll also have access to amenities like laundry facilities, fire features, clean bathrooms, playgrounds, and a KOA store.

Find the perfect KOA campground for your next group camping trip and create lasting memories with your loved ones.

Remember the Silverware

It’s a simple and common error: after everyone gets to the campsite, pitches their tents, and starts preparing dinner, they realize that no one brought plates or silverware.

Make sure you bring enough plates, napkins, cups, and utensils for everyone in the group. Overestimate the number of items you believe you will need because people typically consume more than one during the course of a day between meals and snacks.

Homemade Trail Mix

Trail mix is a camping essential because it’s tasty and portable. Prepare individual trail mix bags for each member of the group before you head out for a walk or hike.

Rather than purchasing pre-made trail mix from the store, experiment with various recipes. For a tropical combination, combine cheerios and dried fruit. Alternatively, combine tiny graham cracker pieces, yogurt-covered raisins, candied pecans, and pumpkin spice seasoning to create a trail mix with a fall theme. You could even try making trail mix recipes that are nearly dessert-like, like a deluxe chocolate-cherry-almond mix made with dark chocolate, toasted almonds, and dried cherries.

Meal Planning for Groups in the Backcountry


What do people cook with when camping?

The main item you’ll need is a camping stove. There are two main types of camping stoves: two-burner propane stoves and canister backpacking stoves. When car camping, I prefer the classic two-burner stoves. Two burners give me more room to cook and the larger surface area is better for bigger pots and fry pans.

Are easy camping meals for large groups necessary?

So easy camping meals for large groups are really necessary. The best camping meals for large groups are meals that serve a lot, but are also simple to make, or are an event in themselves so that everyone can be involved. With a little prep work beforehand, you can make things pretty easy on yourselves and have a great time at meal time.

What to eat for a group camping meal?

A green salad and rustic bread are all you’ll need to complete this camping meal for a crowd —Marie Rizzio, Interlochen, Michigan These summer potluck recipes also make great group camping meals. I created this colorful side dish after eating something similar at a restaurant. It complements any Tex-Mex meal wonderfully.

Can you cook for a group camping trip?

With a little planning, cooking for a group camping trip can be fun and delicious. On your next trip, try out your group cooking skills at a Kampgrounds of America campground. With almost 500 locations scattered across North America, you can find a KOA convenient to wherever your group is headed.

How do you make a campfire meal easy?

Add chunks of Snickers bars to a boxed brownie mix and you have a wonderfully, chocolatey sweet treat made right over your campfire in your Dutch oven. Another way to make meals super easy is by doing all of the prep work at home. Some of our make ahead meals are prep ahead so you dump and cook at camp.

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