2021 saw an astounding 18% jump in the number of households who went camping, with 57 million reporting at least one trip. More impressively, 13 million U.S. households camped in RVs – 1.6 million more than the previous year! This growth isn’t slowing down.
If you plan on taking your family on a camping trip this year, one of the biggest struggles can be knowing how to create easy campervan meals that are delicious and nutritious that even the pickiest of eaters can enjoy.
This article gives you a collection of quick camper van meals packed full of flavor and nutrition. Plus, these campfire cooking recipes are both budget and kid-friendly and keep everyone happy during your next outdoor adventure.
Camping with kids is a great excuse to try new things, including food! Learn about easy camping recipes here.
Travel and Camping Food Tips
You might be overthinking what to cook on a camping trip. The good thing to know is that you can cook pretty much anything. It just needs a few proper tools and a bit of advanced preparation.
Here are some camping tips to make cooking on your road trip a breeze.
Involve the Whole Family
If you’re the primary cook of the family, cooking during camping trips can feel like a juggling act – especially if everyone else is unwinding and having fun.
The best way to help lighten your load? Get your whole family involved! Including each member in the meal preparation and cooking tasks will make meals easier and provide an opportunity for bonding. After all, many hands make light work!
When campfire cooking with kids, safety should come first. Clearly explain the importance of being careful near a flame or camping stove and what to do in an emergency. Set some ground rules for everyone: no running around close to the fire, be aware when handling hot pots or utensils, and maintain a respectful distance from burning logs.
As part of planning your trip, it’s a good idea to prepare as much of the food ahead of time. Here are some things to think about:
- Weigh out any dry ingredients beforehand
- Check what cooking utensils you’ll need
- Switch up any fresh fruit and veg for a tin or jar version
- Take items like foil or Tupperware to store leftovers
- Don’t forget things to clean up after, like a wash bowl, cloth, and detergent
Easy Campervan Meals
Are your kids fussy eaters? Don’t worry, we have the perfect solution! Our kid-friendly, easy camping meals below can all be customized to fit your family’s unique palate.
We know you don’t want to spend hours standing over a hot pan on this camping trip – so our ideas are quick and simple. So keep reading for delicious, kid-friendly meals that will make everybody happy around the campfire!
1. Grilled Mini Pizzas
Making this delicious dish requires little more than access to a grill. It’s also an enjoyable activity for the whole family! Everyone can help with the simple preparation to personalize their own pizza.
- English Breakfast Muffins
- Jar of Pizza sauce
- Pre Grated Cheese
- All of your favorite toppings
- Cut each muffin in half. You’ll need half for one pizza.
- Spread the pizza sauce on the inside of each muffin.
- Sprinkle cheese and add toppings as desired.
- Place on a griddle pan and grill until the toppings are cooked, and the cheese is melted.
2. Cheesy Camp Nachos (or Tacos)
Experience the joy of creating your own delicious, fun, shared meal. Experiment with different topping combinations to suit the whole family.
- Bag of Tortilla Chips
- 1 Can of Refried Beans
- Pre Grated Cheese
- Half an Onion, Diced
- Two Medium Tomatoes
- 1 Jar of Salsa
- Jalapeños and Black Olives (or substitute with preferred topping)
Note: Premix taco meat and pack tortillas if you prefer tacos instead of nachos.
- Place a layer of nachos on the bottom of a large pan.
- Add half of the beans, cheese, onion, tomatoes, salsa, and any other toppings you’ve picked.
- Add another layer of nachos, followed by the remaining ingredients.
- Cover the pan with foil.
- Cook until the cheese has melted.
- Allow cooling for a few minutes before serving.
3. Fried Rice
Boost your daily intake of vegetables with this delicious recipe. Take advantage of any fresh ingredients at hand or mix them up by swapping out the veggies for canned versions. Perfect for creating a flavorful dish quickly and easily!
- 1 pack of pre-cooked rice
- 1 medium egg
- Tinned corn
- Diced Mushrooms
- Diced red and yellow pepper
- Diced carrot
- Diced onion
- A protein of choice, such as beans or chicken
- Soy sauce
- A little oil for cooking
- Scramble eggs with a little bit of oil. Once cooked, set them to one side.
- Fry the onion in the pan until translucent, then add additional vegetables and protein until cooked.
- Add rice, soy sauce, and mix all ingredients well.
- Stir through the egg and serve.
4. Potato Boats or Baked Potato Foil Packets
Enjoy a delicious and creative meal with this easy-to-make twist on the classic baked potato! Pre-cook your potatoes at home, wrap them in foil, then dress up the finished product with any of your favorite toppings.
- Baked potatoes
- Sliced ham
- Grated cheese
- Baked beans (or black beans)
- Warm pre-cooked potatoes by wrapping them in foil and placing them over a fire.
- Carefully remove and unwrap the potatoes, and keep the foil.
- Slice each potato lengthways and add your favorite fillings
- Rewrap each potato and place back over the heat until the fillings are heated through, and the cheese has melted.
- Allow cooling before unwrapping and serving.
Tip: Don’t want a potato boat, dice the potatoes and make foil packets instead! You can even turn this recipe into a camping breakfast. Just add an egg.
5. Tomato and Basil Pasta
This simple classic is the perfect dish for cooking large batches to serve your entire family. Not only that, but leftover portions also make a wonderful packed lunch for the following day!
- Chopped tomatoes
- Tomato puree
- Vegetable stock cube
- Bring a saucepan of seasoned water to a boil and cook the pasta.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, a crumbled vegetable stock cube, and garlic.
- Stir and leave over low heat until everything is warm.
- Stir in some basil leaves and serve.
6. Chicken or Veggie Skewers
Whether you’re catering to the pickiest of eaters or going vegan, this simple meal is customizable! Serve it alongside a salad or some rice for a full meal. Or, if you’d prefer something light, just enjoy the skewers on their own!
- Diced chicken breasts
- Bell Peppers
- Diced red onions
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Bottle of barbecue sauce
- Pack of skewers
- Chop your ingredients into bite-sized pieces.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients with the barbecue sauce.
- Thread the contents onto skewers.
- Place the skewers over the griddle and rotate until they are cooked.
- Remove from the heat and serve.
7. Cheesy Toasties (aka Grilled Cheese)
After a tiring day spent traversing nature’s wonders, these delectable delights are just the thing to lift your spirits. Not only are they incredibly simple to make, but with their irresistible gooey and stringy cheese filling, who can resist? Everyone is sure to adore them!
- Grated cheddar cheese
- Sliced Onion and Tomato (optional)
- Sliced bread
- Take two slices of bread and spread butter across one side of each.
- Place one butter-side down in a frying pan.
- Sprinkle cheese on top and add in the sliced onion and tomato.
- Place another slice of bread on top, butter-side up.
- Flip the sandwich over to cook the toastie until both sides are golden, and the cheese has melted.
8. Chocolate Baked Banana Boats
After a long day of camping, treat your family to this amazing and quick dessert that can be cooked right over the campfire! Made with just minutes of effort, this sweet delight will surely add some warmth and sweetness to everyone’s night while you all enjoy hot cocoa together.
- 1 banana per person
- Chocolate chips or chunks
- Mini marshmallows
- Chopped nuts (optional)
- Place each banana onto a foil sheet. Make sure there is enough foil to wrap the banana.
- Slice bananas lengthways, being careful not to cut all the way through
- Wedge the chocolate chunks in the banana.
- Wrap the bananas in foil to make sure they are sealed.
- Cook on your barbecue or camping fire for 10 – 15 minutes until the toppings are melted and the bananas gooey.
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes before tucking in.
Which Meals Are You Going to Try?
Camping trips with kids don’t have to mean boring food. With these easy campervan meals, you can make delicious and creative dishes that will keep everyone happy! From potato boats to chocolate-baked bananas, the possibilities are endless when it comes to campfire cooking.
So why not get out there and give it a try? Start making easy campervan meals today and plan your next outdoor adventure!
Here are a few other articles you may find helpful!
7 Unforgettable Family Camping Spots in California
5 Top Tips for Traveling with Kids in a Campervan
Top US National Park Campgrounds and RV Parks to Visit
About the Author
Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.