Campfire lunch recipes: 21 easy camping meals for open fire

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Hot dogs, burgers, and sandwiches are an absolute camping classic. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get bored with them. “So, name a better lunch, then,” you might think. Get ready – we’re just about to show you that camping is so much more than a never-ending hotdog party.

We’ve put together a collection of 21 easy-to-make campfire lunch recipes that will have your taste buds dancing. From classic favorites like chili and tacos to more exotic options like paella and curry, these recipes will make your next camping trip a culinary adventure.

21 delicious camping recipes to cook on an open fire

Quick heads up: you can easily customize each of the following recipes based on your preferences. Add more or less spice, or use gluten-free and lactose-free products. Include different meats or go for vegetarian alternatives (by the way, if you’re up to a vegetarian approach, we have the whole blog post just for you on vegetarian camping food). 

Mix and match different veggies, sauces, and side dishes – whatever floats your boat. Our goal is to give you some lovely and tested ideas, and then it’s you, a campfire cooking chef, who’s doing their magic.

Well, it’s time to jump into the world of flavors.

1. Campfire chili

campfire lunch recipes: chili

Campfire chili is a real crowd-pleaser. All you need is some ground beef, canned beans, diced tomatoes, and a few spices, and you’re on your way to chili heaven.

Brown the ground beef in a large pot over the campfire. Once it cooks through, add in the canned beans, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

As the chili cooks, the fire will infuse it with a delicious smoky flavor you can’t get from cooking it at home. The aroma alone will have everyone at the campsite drooling.

When the chili is done, ladle it into bowls and top it with your favorite toppings, like shredded cheese, sour cream, or green onions. Serve it with a side of cornbread for a complete meal.

As we said, it’s easy to customize. Experiment with spice, use ground turkey instead of ground beef and even make it vegetarian by adding vegetable broth and more veggies.

2. Campfire tacos


Get ready for a fiesta in your mouth with these campfire tacos. This recipe is packed with flavors and is a go-to for a quick lunch with friends or family. 

So, pack some ground beef or chicken, tortillas, and your favorite taco toppings. Brown the ground beef or chicken in a pan over the campfire. Once it’s cooked through, add in some taco seasoning and mix well.

Heat your tortillas on the campfire, then add the meat and toppings of your choice.

Some classic toppings include shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream. But feel free to get creative – you can add some diced avocado, salsa, or even some grilled veggies.

You can make this recipe vegetarian by using some black beans or lentils; corn tortillas will ensure it’s gluten-free.

Serve your campfire tacos with guacamole, salsa, or tzatziki sauce. Remember to grab a cold drink to wash it all down! 

3. BBQ quesadillas

Our campfire quesadillas are worth a shot if you’re up for some cheesy and delicious treat. Grab some tortillas, cheese, and your favorite fillings.

To start, place a tortilla on a pan over the campfire. Sprinkle some shredded cheese and your desired fillings on one half of the tortilla. Fold the other half of the tortilla over the fillings and press down gently.

Cook until the cheese melts and the tortilla turns golden brown and crispy.

Some classic fillings include diced chicken or steak, sautéed peppers, onions, or even diced avocado. But again, use your imagination – you can add some mushrooms, bacon, or grilled veggies.

Some diced avocado or beans as fillings will turn your quesadillas into a vegetarian treat. Again, you can make it gluten-free by using gluten-free (usually corn) tortillas.

Some of the best sides to complete this campfire meal are sour cream, tomato sauce, and guacamole. 

4. Campfire pizza


Pizza is something that you just can’t refuse. What if we told you could also enjoy it on your camping trips? 

You’ll need pizza dough (if you’re on a gluten-free diet, use the gluten-free dough), sauce, cheese, and your beloved toppings. Pepperoni, mushroom, and diced peppers are some examples that we love. And, of course, some bacon, grilled chicken, or veggies are always a good choice. 

Roll out your pizza dough and place it on a greased pan or a pizza stone over the campfire. Spread some sauce and cheese over the dough, then add your desired toppings. Cook until the crust is golden brown and the cheese melts.

If you’re a sauce-lover, finish your campfire pizza with some tomato or garlic sauce. Bon appetit! 

5. Campfire skewers

campfire skewers

This skewer sensation made us fall in love with skewers again. 

You’ll need skewers, your choice of meat, seafood, or vegetables, and your favorite marinade for this recipe. 

Soak your skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from burning. Then, thread your choice of meat, seafood, or vegetables onto the skewers, and marinate it in your favorite marinade for at least 30 minutes.

Cook the skewers over the campfire, occasionally turning them until they cook through.

Some time-tested marinades include a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs or a mixture of soy sauce, honey, and ginger. You won’t get wrong with some BBQ sauce or teriyaki sauce. 

You can make this meal vegetarian by using vegetables or tofu as skewers, or you can make it gluten-free by using a gluten-free marinade.

Serve your campfire skewers with a side of dipping sauce or a green salad for a complete meal.

6. Campfire chili cheese fries

cheese fries

Get ready for a mouth-watering combination of crispy fries, warm chili, and gooey cheese with our campfire chili cheese fries recipe. This recipe is perfect for a casual lunch or dinner and is super easy to make. All you need is some frozen fries, canned chili, and shredded cheese.

First things first, cook the frozen fries in a cast iron skillet over the campfire. Once they’re crispy and cooked, top them with canned chili and shredded cheese. Cook until the cheese melts.

Again, be creative with your toppings; add some diced onion, jalapeños, or avocado.

If you’re wondering how to make it vegetarian, the answer is simple – just use vegetarian chili instead. 

Serve your campfire chili cheese fries with a side of sour cream or guacamole for the maximum taste. 

7. Campfire Dutch oven pot roast

This campfire recipe is a real comfort food that perfectly fits special occasions. For this meal, you’ll need a pot roast, some vegetables, and your favorite seasonings.

To start, place a Dutch oven over the campfire, and add some oil to the bottom of the oven. Add your pot roast and vegetables, and season with your favorite seasonings.

Cover the Dutch oven with its lid and cook for about 2-3 hours or until the meat is tender.

Experiment with your seasonings: add some garlic powder, thyme, or even some red wine. Make it gluten-free by using gluten-free herbs, or choose a vegetarian approach using another protein source instead of the pot roast.

Serve your campfire Dutch oven pot roast with a side of potatoes or vegetables for a complete meal.

8. Campfire curry


This campfire curry is a recipe for a spicy and flavorful experience. It’s perfect for a casual lunch or dinner and, most importantly, doesn’t require too much effort to make. 

All you need is your choice of protein, some vegetables, curry powder, and coconut milk.

Heat some oil in a pan over the campfire, and add your choice of protein, vegetables, and curry powder. Cook until the protein and vegetables are cooked through. Then, add coconut milk and let it simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.

You can get creative with your vegetables and protein and use chicken, beef, shrimp, or even tofu. You can add some diced onion, garlic, ginger, or even some diced apple for sweetness.

We love serving our campfire curry with a side of rice or naan bread for the best taste.

9. Campfire paella

campfire paella

This is the taste that will quickly take you to Spain, where its roots are. All you need for this campfire paella is some saffron, garlic, onion, tomatoes, chicken, shrimp, mussels, and rice.

Follow these steps:

  1. Heat some oil in a large paella pan over the campfire.
  2. Add garlic, onion, and tomatoes and sauté until it softens.
  3. Add the chicken, shrimp, and mussels, and sauté until the shrimp turns pink.
  4. Add the rice and saffron, and stir until the rice is well coated.
  5. Pour enough water or chicken broth into the pan to cover the ingredients by about 1/2 inch.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice cooks through.

Again, you can use vegetables instead of meat and seafood, or you can make it gluten-free by using gluten-free broth.

Some lemon wedges by this paella’s side are a cherry on top. 

10. French dip sandwiches

This is one more savory, delicious recipe perfect for a quick, casual lunch at the campsite. All you need is some beef roast, some bread rolls, and some au jus.

Slice some beef roast and cook it in a cast iron skillet over the campfire until it cooks through. Then, toast the bread rolls over the fire.

Once everything’s ready, assemble the sandwiches by placing the beef slices on the bread rolls and serve with a side of au jus for dipping.

You can boost your French dip sandwich by adding some cheese or sautéed onions and mushrooms. Use gluten-free bread rolls if you’re avoiding gluten, and choose portobello mushrooms or tempeh as a meat substitute for a vegetarian alternative.

11. Stuffed peppers

stuffed pepper

Grab some bell peppers, ground beef or turkey, rice, and your favorite seasonings.

Cut the top off of the bell peppers and remove the seeds. Cook the ground beef or turkey in a pan over the campfire until it cooks through. Then, prepare the rice according to the package instructions. 

When everything cooks, stuff the bell peppers with the ground meat mixture and cooked rice. Wrap the peppers in foil and cook over the campfire until the peppers are tender.

Adding some diced vegetables, such as onion, mushrooms, or zucchini, is a nice way to add extra flavor to your stuffed peppers.

12. Campfire grilled salmon

If you’re up for some taste of the sea, our campfire grilled salmon recipe is something you can’t miss. 

All you need is fresh salmon filets, lemon, herbs, and aluminum foil.

Prepare your campfire and let it burn down to a bed of hot coals. Season the salmon filets with salt, pepper, and herbs of your choice, and top them with lemon wedges. 

Wrap the salmon filets in aluminum foil and place them on the hot coals. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

We love adding diced vegetables, such as bell peppers or zucchini, or trying different herbs like dill or thyme to get a different, more exciting taste. 

For a full meal, serve your campfire grilled salmon with green salad, grilled potatoes, brown rice, or garlic bread.

Bonus tip

Campfire foil cooking is a convenient, mess-free technique that requires no cookware. Check out our blog post on campfire foil meals for more delicious ideas!

13. Campfire grilled corn and black bean salad

corn and bean salad

As we’re traveling through different regions, this one is for Southwest. Pack some ears of corn, canned black beans, diced tomatoes, red onion, lime juice, cilantro, and chili powder.

First, prepare your campfire and let it burn down to a bed of hot coals. Grill the ears of corn over the campfire until they’re tender and slightly charred.

Once the corn has cooled, cut the kernels off the cob and mix them with black beans, diced tomatoes, red onion, lime juice, cilantro, and chili powder.

Get creative with your salad by adding some diced avocado, crumbled cheese, or different herbs like parsley or mint.

14. Campfire caramelized onion and mushroom quesadilla


The campfire caramelized onion and mushroom quesadilla recipe goes for… yes, you’ve guessed it right – Mexico. Onions, mushrooms, cheese, tortillas, and your favorite seasonings are what you’ll need. 

Caramelize the onions and mushrooms in a pan over the campfire until they’re softened and golden brown. Take a tortilla, add some cheese and the caramelized onions and mushrooms on one side, and fold it in half. 

Cook the quesadilla on a camping griddle or skillet over the campfire until the cheese melts and the tortilla is golden brown.

It’s a good idea to add some diced vegetables, such as bell peppers or zucchini, or experiment with different cheeses like feta or cheddar cheese.

Serve your campfire caramelized onion and mushroom quesadilla with sour cream, salsa, or guacamole. Good appetite!

15. Campfire BBQ ribs

bbq ribs

Now, get ready for a finger-licking good meal – old but gold campfire BBQ ribs. You only need ribs, your favorite barbecue sauce, and a Dutch oven.

Season the ribs with your favorite rub or marinade, and then slow-cook them in a Dutch oven with barbecue sauce over the campfire for about 3-4 hours or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone. 

Once the ribs are cooked, remove them from the Dutch oven and place them on the grill over the campfire to char and caramelize the sauce. Brush the ribs with more barbecue sauce as they cook.

You can get creative with your ribs by trying different barbecue sauces or adding some diced vegetables, such as onions or bell peppers.

Serve your campfire BBQ ribs with baked beans or coleslaw for a complete meal. 

16. Campfire maple glazed chicken

This one is for those who love sweet and savory meals. All you need is some chicken, maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.

Marinate the chicken in a mixture of maple syrup, soy sauce, minced garlic, and ginger for at least 30 minutes. Then, skewer it and grill over the campfire until the chicken cooks through and turns golden brown.

Brush the chicken with the remaining marinade as it cooks. Serve with green salad, baked beans, roasted veggies, or grilled potatoes. 

17. Campfire nachos

Nachos are an all-time-winning cheesy treat that fits all occasions. Take some tortilla chips, cheese, and your favorite toppings.

Lay out a layer of tortilla chips on a baking sheet or in a cast iron skillet; add cheese and toppings of your choice, such as diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, ground beef, or shredded chicken.

Repeat layering until you reach the desired amount of nachos. Place the baking sheet or skillet over the campfire, or put the skillet on a grate over the fire and cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Don’t forget you can experiment with your nachos by adding different cheeses, meats, or vegetables.

Serve your campfire nachos with sour cream, salsa, or guacamole.

18. Campfire grilled cheese and ham panini


Pack some bread, cheese, ham, and butter.

Butter one side of bread and place it butter-side down on a skillet or panini press over the campfire. Add a slice of cheese and a few slices of ham on top of the bread, then top with another piece of bread, butter-side up. Grill the sandwich until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.

If a panini doesn’t sound like a whole meal, take some green salad, potato chips, or pickles as a side. 

19. Campfire graham cracker-crusted fish

You’ll need some fish filets, graham crackers, flour, and some seasonings of your choice.

Mix crushed graham crackers, flour, and your choice of seasonings, such as salt, pepper, and paprika, in a shallow dish. Dip the fish filets in the mixture, coating them well. Place the filets on a skillet over the campfire and cook until the fish is golden brown and flaky.

Voila! Serve your campfire graham cracker-crusted fish with a side of green salad, baked potatoes, or roasted vegetables.

20. Campfire hot dog bun sloppy joes

sloppy joe

Prepare some ground beef or turkey, tomato sauce, onion, seasonings, and hot dog buns.

Take these steps:

  1. Cook the ground beef or turkey until browned in a large skillet over the campfire.
  2. Drain off any excess fat.
  3. Add the diced onions and sauté until softened.
  4. Stir in the tomato sauce and seasonings such as salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Simmer for a few minutes until the mixture thickens.

To assemble the sandwiches, split the hot dog buns in half and spoon some sloppy joe mixture on top of each bun.

Add different meats or diced vegetables to the Sloppy Joes before spooning them on the buns.

Serve with green salad, potato chips, or pickles for a mouth-watering meal. 

21. Bacon and cheddar stuffed baked potatoes

stuffed potatoes

Get some potatoes, bacon, cheddar cheese, butter, and some seasonings of your choice ready. 

Wrap the potatoes in foil and place them in the campfire coals, turning them occasionally for even cooking. Once the potatoes are cooked through, about 45 minutes to 1 hour, take them out of the coals and allow them to cool for a few minutes. 

While the potatoes are cooling, cook the bacon in a skillet over the campfire until crispy. Drain off any excess fat.

Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the inside of the potatoes, leaving a thin layer of potato on the skin. Mix the scooped-out potato with some butter, shredded cheddar cheese, and the cooked bacon. Season with salt and pepper.

Stuff the mixture back into the potato skins and wrap them back up in foil. Place them back in the campfire coals for a few minutes to melt the cheese and warm the potatoes through.

Wrapping it up

All these lunch recipes can perfectly serve as campfire breakfast or camping dinner ideas – cause if you’re up to some pizza in the morning, why not? 
We hope we’ve filled you with inspiration for your next camping experience. So pack your campfire cooking kit, favorite ingredients, and enjoy!

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