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These stress-free recipes make campside dining a fun and enjoyable experience
Fire bans have become a part of every local summer these days, and so those used to cooking over an open fire while camping are more and more out of luck. But if you’ve got a camp stove or a portable BBQ, you should be perfectly fine for a meal on site. Following our previous recommendations, here are three more recipes that are also fire-free, but a step-up from your basic hot dog dinners…
You can get away with having a cast iron and tenting it with tin foil to melt the cheese on these, but doing them in a Dutch oven or cast iron—with a lid—makes it incredibly easy. The toppings suggestions below are very loose (you know how you like your nachos), but don’t overload them, as you don’t want things to get soggy. The main benefit of using canned black beans as the protein, is that they don’t need to be refrigerated, so your cooler will have more room too!
Note: When there is no fire ban, you can also make these by putting them on the grill above your (low) fire.
Serves two to four
Foil packet dinners are so great and easy to do, especially when you can throw them into the coals of the fire to cook, but they’re just as easily done fire-free. This recipe requires a BBQ for the foil packet and a camp stove to make the pasta—but you could also make this over rice that you’ve cooked at home and brought with you. The other great thing about this is that you can bring the shrimp frozen, and let them thaw in the cooler, giving your cold items an extra frozen boost for the first day.
Tip: If you have way more shrimp than you need, save some of the cooked ones for a breakfast scramble the next morning. I used mine in a frittata.
Serves approximately two
You have several options with this fried rice, but—no matter what route you go—it’s an easy meal to make on site, and good for both a quick lunch or for dinner. The rice can be made on-site (and left to cool and dry out a bit), at home (cooled and brought to the campsite), or you can use one of the packs of pre-made rice that only requires reheating on the stove. I made this near the end of my trip when I was running out of ice, so I brought the pre-made rice as an easy, cooler-free option. If you want to bring some frozen veggies to add in, that’s a great choice, and you can cook and chop up chicken (at home makes it even easier) and throw that in too. I went with eggs as scrambling, cooking and cutting up into pieces takes little to no time.
Tip: If there are leftovers, don’t toss. They’re great in a breakfast burrito!