Whether you’re planning a family reunion, summer vacation, or weekend getaway with friends, camping is always a great way to spend quality time together. But if you’re responsible for cooking meals for everyone in your group (especially big groups), the prospect of serving up something delicious and easy can be a little intimidating. So what do you do? Don’t worry—with a few simple tricks and basic recipes, there are great options to prepare delicious meals that everyone will love! Read on to learn how.
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One Pot Wonders
For an easy recipe that works for any occasion and size group, look no further than one pot wonders. These are dishes like chili or soup that require minimal preparation and cook in one pot over the open fire (or camp stove). One-pot wonders are perfect for large groups or the whole family because they require minimal supervision, and most can easily be scaled up or down depending on the number of people. Plus, these easy meals come together quickly and easily, so you don’t have to spend the whole day cooking! The best camping meals are the ones that take less time, minimal effort, and can please a large group of people. Another bonus is that many one-pot wonders can also be made ahead of time at home and brought along on your camping trip – just reheat when it’s time to eat!
One of the easiest camping meals for large camping groups is a hearty stew or chili. It’s easy to prepare on the go and can feed an entire group of people with just one pot. That is a lot of food for a lot of people. Start by gathering the ingredients you’ll need: stock, vegetables, beans (black beans, red beans, pinto beans, etc.), spices, and any other add-ins that you’d like. Then chop up your vegetables and sauté them in a large pot over your campfire or hot coals. Once they’ve softened, add in the beans and stock, as well as any additional seasonings or Mexican-inspired flavors (like cumin or chili powder). Finally, let everything simmer until it’s cooked through—this usually takes about an hour or so. If your group loves spice, consider adding some hot sauce at the end! Stews are an easy way to make a meal for large crowds that are sure to please.
Another great meal for larger groups is grilled sandwiches. All you need is bread (or even English muffins!), cheese slices (or shredded cheese), and whatever other sandwich fillings you’d like—like bacon or ham slices and an outdoor grill of some kind. They sell ones specific to camping that are portable and easy to use for meal times. Heat up a cast iron skillet over your campfire until it’s hot and lightly oiled; then add in your sandwiches one by one. Let each side cook until golden brown before flipping them over to finish cooking the other side; then remove them from the heat once they are done. Add some potato chips on the side if you’re feeling extra hungry!
Foil packets are another great option when cooking for a crowd. They’re quick to assemble and make cleanup super easy since everything is cooked in its own packet (no extra pots or pans!). All you need are some heavy-duty aluminum foil sheets, plus whatever ingredients you plan to use – from proteins like chicken or fish to vegetables like potatoes or carrots. Once everything is prepped, simply wrap it all up into individual packets before placing them directly onto the grill or campfire. Cook until everything is cooked through, then enjoy your meal – no mess required! Foil packets are one of those easy camping meal ideas that let you make something delicious and satisfying and are a great time saver for your next camping trip.
One of the simplest ways to feed a large group is to make sandwiches ahead of time. A few days before your camping trip, assemble sandwiches with your favorite deli meat and cheese preference (cheddar cheese is our favorite cheese!), and individually wrap them in tin foil or sandwich bags. When you’re ready to eat, warm them up on the campfire or grill. You can also add condiments like mayo, mustard, and pickles directly to the sandwiches before wrapping them up for an extra flavor boost!
Who doesn’t love pizza? This crowd-pleasing meal is sure to be a hit with both kids and adults alike. Start by prepping all your ingredients beforehand (dough, pizza sauce or tomato sauce, mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese, and toppings), then lay out everything on a picnic table so that everyone can build their own personal pizzas. Once everyone has their ingredients ready, cook each pizza over the campfire on a flat griddle for about 10 minutes until the dough is crispy and golden brown. Voila! Delicious campfire pizza that is so much fun to make!
Grill It Up!
Nothing says summer is quite like grilling outdoors with friends and family! For large groups, think beyond burgers and hot dogs – there are lots of other options that can easily feed a crowd. Try kabobs with chunks of meat, veggies, fruit, and nachos (one with ground beef, nacho cheese, sour cream, and other toppings); marinated steaks; grilled pizzas; even grilled desserts like s’mores or bananas foster! The key here is to prep as much as you can ahead of time, so all that needs to be done while camping is actual grilling. This will help minimize messes while maximizing flavor – who doesn’t love that?
The Options are Endless!
No matter what type of camping adventure you’re planning this season, it’s important to keep food preparation simple yet delicious when feeding large groups of people. With these tips, you can serve tasty meals without too much effort involved! So pack your bags and hit the road, knowing that all your hungry campers will have plenty (and plenty of delicious) food awaiting them upon arrival. Bon appetit!
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