Planning what you’ll eat is a big part of getting ready for a camping trip. If cooking over an open fire isn’t your thing, you’ll need to plan ahead before you go camping. The good news is there are a lot of easy and delicious camping meals that don’t require you to cook while camping.
You’re in luck because we’ve put together options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks that you can either make ahead or that don’t require you to cook at all.
Benefits of Taking No-Cook Camping Meals
One of the things we love most about camping is being able to relax! That’s hard to do when you’re trying to cook a bunch of things and clean up at your campsite. We love taking make-ahead and no-cook meals to free up our time so we can relax and enjoy the outdoors.
Also, there have been plenty of times where the campsite we were at had fire restrictions. We had to get creative with our food since we wouldn’t have a way to heat anything up via fire while we were camping.
Needless to say, we’ve come up with a lot of easy favorites that we’d like to share with you. Check out these ideas for your next camping adventure that will allow you to spend less time cooking and more time having fun.
No-Cook Camping Food Tips
The last thing you want to do when you’re out camping is have to prepare a bunch of food. We love to get as much done as possible ahead of time at home so we can enjoy ourselves later. Here are some tips that we have learned over the years while camping:
- Prep your food as much as possible at home. This means do all of your cooking and chopping beforehand!
- Get individual serving containers. This makes meals easy and quick to grab and hand out to your family members at meal time.
- Take along some things that don’t need to be refrigerated to save cooler space.
- Make a meal plan before your trip so you have enough meals and snacks for everyone. We always bring a little extra in case of emergencies or big appetites.
- Make sure to follow safe food practices to avoid getting sick out in the wilderness.
- Use an ice block instead of ice cubes in your cooler to keep the ice from melting for a longer period of time.
- If you are camping with a group of people, have everyone sign up for meals ahead of time so you know who is bringing what.
- Make sure you bring enough water not only for drinking, but for meal prep and washing utensils as well.
As long as you plan ahead and prep before you go, you really can’t go wrong with no-cook camping meals. Now, let’s get to the list of ideas for your next trip.
No-Cook Breakfast Camping Meals
1. Overnight Oats
Add liquid and your favorite toppings to oats to create overnight oats. This is a really easy breakfast that can be made ahead of time in batches. We really like to use oat milk or almond milk as our liquid. We then add things like fruit, nut butter, chia seeds, and nuts to our oats for a well-rounded meal.
2. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs are really affordable and easy to take camping when you boil them at home. Instead of cooking eggs the messy way over the fire, you can peel and eat them easily. We like to bring a little salt to sprinkle our hard-boiled eggs.
You can choose between plain yogurt or grab some that has fruit mixed in for a quick and easy camping breakfast. The squeezable yogurts are good to bring along for the kids.
Make them yourself or purchase from your store’s bakery. Muffins are a good option to fill you up in the morning. Our favorites are poppy seed, lemon blueberry, and, of course, chocolate.
5. Banana Bread
Instead of muffins, you can bring homemade banana bread for breakfast. We love adding walnuts and chocolate chips to ours! You can pre-slice the loaf for easy serving in camp.
6. Bagels and Cream Cheese
If you’re okay with skipping the toasting of your bagel, we like to prep bagels with cream cheese. Just take your bagel, add cream cheese to the inside of your slices, close it up and wrap in tin foil to eat later. You can add in things like avocado, meat, and eggs as well to make more of a breakfast sandwich.
7. Breakfast Burritos
Burritos are really easy to cook and prep ahead of time. Cook up some things like eggs, meat, red onion, and bell peppers. Then, add them to flour tortillas, roll them up, and put them in a bag or tin foil for later. You can reheat them in camp, but it isn’t necessary if you are sans fire.
8. Fresh Fruit
Prep your fruit into single-serve containers for a quick breakfast. We love to include fruits like melon, pineapple, and grapes in our prepped bowls. We have even made fruit kabobs before trips to make the fruit easy to eat even with dirty camping hands.
Bring your favorite cereals, milk, bowls, and spoons for a convenient meal. You can indulge in childhood favorites or go with some low-sugar, healthier alternatives.
10. Premade Waffles
You can make waffles ahead of time at home (we won’t tell if you use the frozen ones). Once they are cooked, cut them into strips then put them in foil or a sealable bag. At camp, you can dip your waffle strips in maple syrup and pair it with fruit.
No-Cook Lunch & Dinner Camping Meals
11. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
PB&J is really easy to make ahead of time. If you add peanut butter to both sides of bread and then put your jelly in the middle, you can avoid soggy sandwiches later on. We’ve had these last in the cooler for at least three days before they start to get soggy.
12. Charcuterie Board
Bring an assortment of pre-sliced hard cheeses, soft cheeses, deli meats, fruits, vegetables, and crackers and enjoy a charcuterie board at camp. Who said camping food couldn’t be fancy?
13. Pasta Salad
Our favorite pasta salad includes tortellini, olive oil, red pepper, and feta cheese. You can make your own and package it in individual containers or get some at the deli in your grocery store.
14. Tuna Salad
Tuna salad is another easy make-ahead meal. Not only is it filling, but the tuna adds healthy fat and protein that your body will need to stay fueled during your camping trip.
15. Hot Dogs
You can easily precook your hotdogs and bring them along with buns and toppings for an iconic camping meal. These are best if you at least heat the hot dogs up on a fire or grill if you can.
16. Potato Salad
Make your family recipe or get some at the deli. Potato salad is a great side dish for your camp dinner.
17. Rotisserie Chicken
We love getting ready-to-eat rotisserie chicken from the grocery store on our way out to go camping. We can shred it up to have as a dinner on its own or add it to pastas and sandwiches later.
18. Taco Salad
Taco salad is one of our favorite camping meals. We make the taco meat at home and prep our other toppings into containers to put in the cooler. You can use the “walking taco” method and dump your taco salad into a bag of Doritos for a convenient meal later. Our favorite toppings to bring include black beans, tomatoes, chopped onion, cheddar cheese, leafy greens, and salsa.
19. Instant Soups
If you are able to boil water, you can bring ramen and instant soups to camp for a warm meal. Many instant soups just require you to add hot water to the container you purchase it in making them a great addition to your camping meals.
20. Mason Jar Salads
Mason jar salads are the perfect healthy camping meal. You throw all of your salad ingredients in a mason jar (heavy toppings first, lettuce last), then open the jar and eat it in camp. We like to throw in chicken, veggies, cheese, and a mix of different lettuces. You can either add your dressing first, so it’s at the bottom of the jar, or you can bring it separately and add it before you eat.
21. Pinwheel Sandwiches
You can either purchase a platter from most delis or make your own pinwheels at home. We like to layer cheeses, meats, and veggies in ours. These are perfect for a grab-and-go dinner that your family can eat when they please while camping.
22. Sandwich Wraps
There are so many different sandwich wrap recipes you can choose from. Some of our favorite are Italian, buffalo chicken, and Mediterranean-style wraps. You can easily prep these and pack them in the cooler before you head outdoors.
No-Cook Camping Snacks
23. Peanut Butter and Other Nut Butters
Pair nut butters with fruit or crackers for an energizing snack. Our favorites are peanut, almond, and cashew butter.
24. Trail Mix
Premade or homemade trail mix is one of our camping favorites. We like to make our own with nuts, chocolate chips, and dried fruit.
25. Fresh Veggies
You can chop and prep fresh vegetables at home to take with you for healthy, easy snacks. Some ideas are carrots, peppers, celery, cucumbers, and broccoli.
26. Tortilla Chips and Salsa
Chips and salsa are always a good combo, even when camping! You can make this snack even easier by purchasing individual bags of chips or portioning them out before you head for camp. Salsa can be put in individual containers or poured into paper bowls later on.
27. Summer Sausage and Cheese
We love summer sausage and cheese! Pre-slice before you get to camp and have an easy snack that is full of protein. Our favorite cheeses to go with summer sausage are smoked cheddar, pepper jack, and horseradish cheese.
28. Granola Bars and Energy Bars
Granola and energy bars are a great option for getting in extra protein quickly. We love to make our own homemade bars but grabbing them from the store is convenient when we don’t have time.
29. Pita Bread and Hummus
You can pre-cut your pita bread to dip in hummus for a quick snack. We like to pair other toppings with this as well like olives and feta cheese.
30. Grab-and-Go Fruit
Fruits like apples, bananas, and oranges are easy to set out and grab for a quick snack while you’re coming and going through camp.
Find our comprehensive healthy camping snack list here.
Meals You Don’t Need to Cook While Camping
We hope you’ve found some great ideas for foods to bring along on your next outdoor adventure! It is great not to have to worry about cooking while you’re camping. Take the extra time to relax and enjoy yourself while you’re away.
Just because we like the convenience of not cooking, we really do enjoy cooking while we are camping. Especially in our Dutch oven. You can find our favorite Dutch oven meals and dessert recipes for ideas if you’d like to do SOME cooking fireside.