No one can survive without food. And if you're camping in the backcountry, you'll most likely have to prepare what you'll eat. This will pose a lot of challenges because of access to limited cooking gear, unlike in your home kitchen, where you have all the luxuries.
These challenges will multiply if you have to feed a large camping crowd. The last thing you want to do is attempt complicated meals that'll take hours to cook. You'll be keeping everyone hungry!
That doesn't have to be the case because various easy camping meals for large groups take minimal time and little effort to prepare. I'll be listing the top 10 ones below.
But before that, you should understand that you need to plan appropriately before setting out on the trip. Some of these preparations include getting the right recipes in the right quantity, getting the right camping stove (checkout my best camping stove and grill combo), bringing enough cooking and eating utensils, and so on.
Since we're clear on that, here are my top 10 easy camping meals for large groups;
Oatmeal will make a great camping breakfast. It isn't just quick to make but is also very nutritious. You'll appreciate this meal more if you're camping during winter.
To prepare this meal, you simply need some rolled oats and milk. You can add some optional like cinnamon, raisins, honey, etc. if you have them. And of course, you'll need water.
With these, add water to your saucepan and allow it to boil. Next, add the rolled oats and any of the optional ingredients you have. Reduce the heat and simmer for up to 10 minutes. Remove from the stove, add milk, and serve.
You can make pancakes at camps in different ways, but the easiest is the simple mix. Just like oatmeal, it's a great camp breakfast on a chilled morning.
What you’ll need includes self-raising flour, caster sugar, eggs, and milk. You’ll need these ingredients in a very large quantity, most especially the flour and milk.
First, mix the wet ingredients and then add the dry ones later. Pour the batter into your frying pan and fry. When done, you can enjoy it more with a steaming cup of campfire coffee.
3. Chicken Stir-Fry
This meal will take you at most 20 minutes to prepare (10 minutes to prepare the ingredients and 10 minutes to cook). It's very tasty food and a favorite for lots of campers.
The ingredients needed include stir fry vegetables like broccoli, red peppers, snow peas, carrots, striped boneless chicken, soy sauce, oil, and honey.
Heat the oil and add the chicken. Leave for up to 7 minutes and add the remaining ingredients. Cook for an extra 2 to 3 minutes, and you're done.
This is one meal that'll make your mouth water, and there isn't much work involved in the preparation. However, it does involve a handful of ingredients.
You'll need some olive oil, garlic, soy sauce, and sweet pepper to prepare skewers. You'll also need beef (top sirloin steak), onion, tomatoes, zucchini, and whole mushrooms.
First of all, prepare the ingredients, so they are ready for assembling. Next, assemble the skewers and place them on your grate with reduced heat. Cook for about 4 minutes and flip the skewers. Wait another 4 minutes, and your meal is ready.
5. Green Salad
A simple tossed green salad takes no time to prepare. You don’t even need a camping stove or heat to prepare. What more? You can take it along with almost anything.
You only need a few ingredients and dressing. This includes mixed greens, bacon, sliced cucumber, onions, sunflower seeds, honey, salt, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, abs black pepper.
First of all, mix the dressing thoroughly in a jar and then pour in the other ingredients and mix. You can further dress to taste before serving.
6. Pasta Salad
Just like Green Salad, you won’t be needing heat to prepare this salad. This is ideal if your group wants to eat something light and fresh; it’s most recommended for dinner.
You'll need your pasta, some cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, yellow onions, bell pepper, cracked pepper, and sea salt. Any pasta would do, but I'll recommend Rotini.
You’ll first cook the pasta and allow it to cool. Then, add the onions, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, and mix. Finally, add the sea salt and cracked pepper to taste.
7. Vegetable Stir-Fry
This meal is very similar to the Chicken Stir Fry mentioned earlier, except you won't use chicken this time, just vegetables. It's a very healthy meal.
The vegetables required include broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, red & yellow bell peppers, and water chestnuts. You’ll also need olive oil, soy sauce, and brown sugar.
The vegetables should be cooked together and while cooking, prepare a sauce using the other ingredients. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and let it simmer till it’s thick. Your vegetable stir-fry is ready to serve.
Spaghetti is always an easy meal to prepare, whether you're in a camp or at home. Most spaghetti recipes can be prepared in as little as 15 minutes.
All you need is your spaghetti, olive oil, black pepper, salt, garlic, and dried red chili flakes.
Prepare the spaghetti following the package instructions; drain and allow it to cool. Heat the olive oil and add the Ginger before pouring in the spaghetti. Add the rest of the seasoning, mix thoroughly, and the food is ready.
9. French Toast
With bread, some eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon, you can prepare delicious French Toasts for everyone. 10 minutes; that’s all it’ll take - 5 minutes preparation and 5 minutes cooking time.
Begin by beating the eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla in a dish, add milk and stir. Next, dip your bread slices into the mixture and ensure you get a thick coat on both sides.
Cook the bread using reduced heat until both sides turn brown. Serve and enjoy.
Most people ask if it’s healthy to eat chili. The answer is YES because it supplies you with much-needed vitamin C and, it’s one of the easiest camping meals for large groups.
To prepare this quick meal, you only need five ingredients, which includes beef/turkey, diced onions, can beans, chili powder, and diced tomatoes.
Cook the beef or turkey until it turns brown and put it aside. Set a stockpot on your camping stove and pour in a little oil. Add onions and then the remaining ingredients after about 5 minutes.
Finally, pour in the beef/turkey and cook in reduced heat for about 10 minutes. Serve afterward.
There you go; those are my top ten easy camping meals for large groups. Not only are they easy to prepare, but they are also delicious.
As you have seen, most of these meals require a camping stove while others don't. And don’t forget to make proper planning and hold the right recipes and gears before setting out.
About the Author
Jay Steele is a ‘dad of one’ and a passionate adventurist who enjoys sharing his adventures and other outdoor fun ideas through his writings. He writes for outdoorfads.com, a website dedicated to helping outdoor lovers have the best possible fun in the great outdoors. They publish content about camping, backpacking, and hiking.