Vegan camping food: 25 delicious plant-based recipes + tips

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Very often, popular camping recipes are packed with meats and dairy products. If you’re a vegan who loves to camp, you might think your food choices are limited.

But let’s just break it from here – with a bit of planning and creativity, you can enjoy a variety of delicious and healthy plant-based meals in the wild just as easily as non-vegans. 

In fact, a vegan diet can be particularly beneficial while camping. It excludes animal products and emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Preparing and storing plant-based foods is often easier as they don’t require that much care and cooling.

Not to mention, a vegan diet is lower in saturated fat and higher in fiber, so it can offer numerous health benefits, such as lower rates of heart disease and certain types of cancer, as well as a reduced carbon footprint, which can help preserve the environment.

In this guide, we’ll explore the world of vegan camping food and show you how to plan and prepare delicious, plant-based meals in the wilderness. We’ll share tips and tricks for choosing ingredients, storing food safely, and cooking simple and tasty vegan camping meals.

Non-perishable vegan camping food

When it comes to camping food, non-perishable items are a lifesaver as they are easy to pack, store, and travel with. Luckily, there are many vegan non-perishable food options that you can bring on your camping trips. Here are some suggestions:

Nut butter: Bring your favorite nut butter, such as peanut, almond, cashew, or sunflower butter. Spread it on crackers or bread for a quick and easy snack.

Canned beans: Black beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans are all great options to mix into salads or heat up for a warm meal.

Dried fruit: Raisins, apricots, dates, and figs are delicious options to snack on or mix into your oatmeal or trail mix.

Nuts and seeds: Almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds are great for snacking or mixing into your oatmeal or trail mix.

Vegan cereal: Bring along your favorite vegan cereal for a quick and easy breakfast.

Muesli: A delicious mix of oats, seeds, and raisins. Try mixing it with plant-based milk and letting it sit overnight.

Quinoa: This protein-packed grain is versatile and can be used in salads, soups, or as a side dish.

Pasta: Dried pasta is a great option for a filling meal that can be easily cooked over a campfire or portable stove.

Bread: Check to ensure it’s vegan, as even bread that doesn’t contain animal products may have an egg wash to make the crust shiny. Always ask and read the ingredients.

Couscous: It’s not a grain; it’s actually more like pasta. Its light flavor makes it a versatile carb to add to camping meals, and it cooks quickly.

Rice: Wild or brown rice can be mixed with vegetables or beans for a filling and tasty meal.

Non-dairy milk: The options include soy, almond, coconut, rice, oat, hemp, cashew, and flax. Use it for cereal, or mix it with your muesli.

Fresh vegetables: Corn, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and root vegetables won’t need as much refrigeration as lettuce and fresh herbs. Bring some along to add some color and nutrition to your meals.

Vegan chocolate: Look for vegan dark chocolate that is 70% cocoa or more for a sweet treat.

Packaged vegan camping foods

When it comes to camping, packing the right foods can make or break your trip. While fresh and non-perishable foods are great for providing nutrition and variety, sometimes you need a quick and easy meal or snack you can grab on the go. 

That’s where packaged vegan foods come in. Not only are they convenient and easy to pack, but they also offer a range of delicious and nutritious options to keep you fueled and satisfied while exploring nature. Here are some of the best packaged vegan camping food options to consider:

Vegan energy bars: Energy bars are a great source of quick fuel while hiking or exploring. Look for vegan options, such as Clif Bars or Lara Bars, which come in various flavors.

Pickled vegetables: Pickled vegetables, such as beets, carrots, and cucumbers, are tasty and tangy snacks that can be enjoyed on their own or added to salads or sandwiches.

Tortillas/wraps: Tortillas and wraps are versatile and can be used for sandwiches, burritos, or as a base for pizza. Look for whole-grain or gluten-free options.

Veggie/pita chips: Pita chips or veggie chips are a great snack to have on hand when you need something salty and crunchy.

Applesauce: Applesauce is a tasty and convenient snack that can be enjoyed on its own or mixed with oatmeal or granola.

Ragu Chunky Garden Style Sauce: This vegan sauce can be used as a topping for pasta or rice dishes for a quick and easy meal.

Vegetable broth/bouillon: Vegetable broth or bouillon is a versatile ingredient used to make soups, stews or as a base for cooking grains.

Nature’s Path frozen waffles: These frozen vegan waffles are a delicious and easy breakfast option that can be toasted over a campfire or on a portable stove.

Other packaged vegan camping food options include:

  • Instant oatmeal packets
  • Vegan jerky
  • Instant miso soup packets
  • Vegan protein powder
  • Vegan cheese slices
  • Vegan canned chili or soup
  • Instant mashed potatoes

Find out the best freeze-dried food for vegans on our blog post.

Vegan sauces and seasonings

Don’t settle for bland camping meals – jazz them up with the perfect sauces and seasonings. A bit of flavor can go a long way in making your food more enjoyable on a camping trip. 

Plus, many dried spices are already vegan-friendly, so you don’t have to worry too much about checking ingredients. Here are some vegan sauces and seasonings that you might want to consider bringing on your next camping adventure:

Mayonnaise: Look for vegan mayo made from soy or other plant-based oils. Some popular brands include Vegenaise and Just Mayo.

Stevia, agave syrup, or cane sugar: These sweeteners can be used in place of refined sugar and are great for sweetening oatmeal or tea.

Smart Balance: This vegan margarine is made from a blend of oils and can be used instead of butter in recipes.

Dried spices: Spices like paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast can add flavor to your meals.

Ketchup: This classic vegan condiment can be used as a burger topping or mixed into baked beans.

Mustard: Mustard is a great condiment for sandwiches or as a flavoring in salad dressings.

BBQ sauce: Look for vegan options like Stubbs or Sweet Baby Ray’s to add a smoky flavor to your meals.

Soy sauce: Soy sauce can be used in stir-fries or as a seasoning for rice dishes.

Old El Paso taco seasoning mix: This seasoning mix is vegan and can be used to make tasty tacos or fajitas.

Liquid smoke: This seasoning adds a smoky flavor to your meals without needing a grill or smoker.

Sriracha: This spicy sauce can add heat to your meals or as a condiment for sandwiches or wraps.

How to store vegan camping food

When you’re out in the wilderness, storing your vegan camping food properly is key to keeping it fresh and avoiding unexpected animal visitors. Just because you’re not cooking up any meat doesn’t mean that the scent of your delicious plant-based meals won’t catch the attention of hungry wildlife.

Heads up: We’ve covered all ins and outs of food storage for camping here

First things first, keep your food at a distance from where you’ll be sleeping. A good rule of thumb is to store your food at least 100 yards away from your sleeping area. That way, you can chow down on your meal without worrying about any unexpected furry guests dropping by for a visit.

If camping in an area with bears, using bear-safe containers or hanging your food from a sturdy tree branch is especially important. These measures can help prevent bears from getting into your stash and prevent them from becoming habituated to human food. Plus, you don’t want any grizzly visitors ruining your mealtime vibes!

To avoid leaving any tempting scraps behind, cook and eat at least 100 yards away from your sleeping area. This helps keep your food secure and gives you a chance to enjoy your meal with a gorgeous view of the great outdoors. Who wouldn’t want to savor a delicious vegan meal surrounded by nature’s beauty?

Finally, when composting your food scraps, pack them with you instead of leaving them behind. While it may be tempting to leave them in the woods, keeping the environment clean and healthy for future generations to enjoy is essential. So pack up your compost and leave no trace.

Vegan camping food that requires refrigeration

While non-perishable and packaged foods are great for camping, some vegan foods require refrigeration to stay fresh. 

If you’re planning on bringing items like tofu, veggie burgers, hummus, tempeh, salsa/guacamole, fresh herbs, or soy/almond yogurt, you’ll need to plan ahead to keep them cold. 

Here are some tips for keeping your perishable vegan food items fresh on your camping trip:

Use a cooler: A good cooler is essential for keeping perishable foods cold. Look for a high-quality cooler with thick insulation and a tight-fitting lid.

Use ice packs: Ice packs are a great way to keep your cooler cold without worrying about melting ice. Make sure to freeze them ahead of time and place them on top of your food.

Freeze your food: Freeze items like tofu, veggie burgers, and tempeh ahead of time to help them stay cold longer in your cooler.

Keep your cooler out of the sun: Direct sunlight can quickly warm your cooler and spoil your food. Keep it in the shade, or cover it with a blanket.

In addition to the items listed above, here are some more vegan foods that require refrigeration:

  • Dairy-free cheese
  • Non-dairy milk
  • Vegan butter/margarine
  • Vegetables (e.g., kale, spinach, lettuce)
  • Berries and other fresh fruit

What equipment to bring for vegan camping food prep

The right equipment can make all the difference in your vegan camping food-prepping experience. Here are some items you might want to consider bringing along:

  1. Camp stove: A portable stove can help you cook meals without needing a fire pit. Look for options like the Jetboil or Coleman camping stoves.
  2. Cookware: Bring along a pan or camping pot for boiling water and cooking meals. Non-stick options like the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Frypan can make cleaning up a breeze.
  3. Utensils: Don’t forget to bring along camping utensils for cooking and eating. Look for lightweight, durable options like the MSR Alpine Spatula or GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacker Mug and Spoon.
  4. Cutting board and knife: A small camping cutting board and knife can come in handy for preparing vegetables and fruits.
  5. Cooler: If you plan to bring perishable items like tofu or hummus, a camping cooler can help keep them fresh for longer. Look for options like the YETI Hopper or Coleman Steel Belted Cooler.

Vegan camping breakfast ideas

Now that you have a full list of ingredients, it’s time for meal ideas to get your taste buds dancing. Here are some vegan camping food ideas for energizing breakfast:

Vegan breakfast burrito

This filling breakfast burrito is made with sautéed onions, garlic, bell peppers, and black beans, all wrapped up in a warm tortilla with slices of ripe avocado.

Vegan banana pancakes

banana pancakes

These fluffy, vegan pancakes are made with mashed bananas, almond milk, and whole wheat flour. Top with fresh fruit and maple syrup for a sweet and satisfying breakfast.

Tofu scramble

This savory tofu scramble is made with crumbled tofu, diced veggies like onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes, and a blend of spices like cumin, turmeric, and paprika. Cook everything up in a pan and serve with a side of toast.

Vegan breakfast sandwich

Layer a toasted English muffin with slices of ripe avocado, vegan bacon or sausage, and a scrambled tofu patty. Top with ketchup or hot sauce for an extra kick of flavor.

Oatmeal with fresh berries

oatmeals with berries

This classic camping breakfast is a favorite for a reason. Heat some water over the fire or on a portable stove, and add in rolled oats, dried fruit, and a pinch of cinnamon. For a delicious and hearty breakfast, top with fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Vegan camping lunch ideas

Now, let’s jump into our favorite vegan camping food recipes for the middle of the day:

Sweet potato and black bean burrito

Roast sweet potatoes and black beans over the campfire and wrap them in a whole wheat tortilla with salsa, avocado, and vegan cheese. Heat on a pan or over the fire for a warm and filling lunch.

Veggie burger

veggie burger

Bring along some frozen veggie burgers and cook them up on the grill or portable stove. Serve on a toasted bun with all the fixings, like lettuce, tomato, onion, and vegan mayo.

Vegan pasta salad

vegan pasta salad

Cook up your favorite camping pasta and toss it with chopped veggies like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. Dress with a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard.

Vegan chili

vegan chili

This hearty vegan chili is perfect for chilly camping nights. Simply simmer canned diced tomatoes, beans, and your favorite veggies like bell peppers and onions with spices like cumin and chili powder. Serve with vegan cornbread for a filling and satisfying lunch.

Vegan quinoa salad

quinoa salad

Mix cooked quinoa with chopped veggies like cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and red onion. Add in some fresh herbs like parsley and mint, and dress with a lemon vinaigrette made with olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard. This light and refreshing salad is perfect for a warm summer day on the campsite.

Vegan camping dinner ideas

Here are some vegan camping recipes to get your taste buds dancing after a long day on the camp:

Vegan chili dogs

Grill up some vegan hot dogs and serve them on buns with homemade vegan chili, diced onions, and vegan cheese.

Stuffed peppers

Fill bell peppers with cooked rice, black beans, diced tomatoes, and your favorite spices. Bake the stuffed peppers in a covered Dutch oven until the peppers are tender and the filling is hot and bubbly.

Vegan curry

vegan curry

Simmer canned chickpeas, diced tomatoes, and your favorite veggies in a flavorful curry sauce made with coconut milk and spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric. Serve over rice for a satisfying and delicious dinner.

Vegan fajitas

Cook sliced peppers, onions, and mushrooms on a portable grill or stovetop and serve with warm tortillas, avocado slices, and salsa.

Vegan one-pot pasta

vegan one-pot pasta

Cook your favorite pasta in a Dutch oven with canned diced tomatoes, garlic, and your favorite veggies like zucchini and bell peppers. Simmer until the pasta cooks, and the sauce gets thick. Serve with vegan shredded cheese and fresh herbs.

Vegan camping desserts

A meal isn’t complete without a sweet treat. Here are some vegan desserts that’ll make you smile: 

Grilled fruit skewers

Thread sliced fruit like pineapple, peaches, and bananas onto skewers and grill over a campfire until lightly charred. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Vegan s’mores

ingredients for smores

Make traditional s’mores using vegan marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham crackers. Toast the marshmallows over the campfire and sandwich them with the chocolate and crackers for a classic camping dessert.

Vegan campfire apple crisp

apple crisp

Core and slice apples and toss with a mixture of oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vegan butter. Wrap the mixture in foil packets and bake in the hot coals of a campfire until the apples are tender and the topping is crispy.

Vegan banana bread

vegan banana bread

Bake a loaf of vegan banana bread ahead of time and bring it along on your camping trip for a sweet and satisfying dessert. Serve slices warm with vegan butter or nut butter.

Vegan campfire brownies

vegan brownies

Make a batch of vegan brownie batter at home and bring it along on your camping trip in a cast iron skillet. Bake the brownies over the campfire until they’re cooked through and fudgy. Serve warm with a scoop of vegan ice cream, if desired.

Vegan snacks

Finally, camping requires lots of energy, so you have to keep fueled throughout the day. These vegan snacks will do the work just fine:

Trail mix

Mix your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruit for a quick and easy snack. You can even add in some vegan chocolate chips or pretzels for extra flavor.

Vegan jerky

Bring along some vegan jerky made from plant-based proteins like soy or seitan. This is an excellent snack for hikes and other outdoor activities.

Roasted chickpeas

roasted chickpeas

Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas and toss them with your favorite seasonings. Roast them in a Dutch oven over the campfire until crispy and golden brown.

Veggie sticks with dip

Cut up some veggies like carrots, celery, and bell peppers, and serve with your favorite vegan dips like hummus or guacamole.

Vegan energy balls

vegan energy balls

Mix dates, nuts, and seeds together in a food processor and roll them into balls. These energy balls are packed with nutrients and are a great snack to have on hand during long hikes or other outdoor activities.

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