One pot camping meals for a weekend adventure, no ice required!

If you hate cleaning dishes on vacation, you aren’t the only one. Plus, ice is a hassle you don’t really need to bother with. These four recipes are far better than the typical ramen or plain instant backpacking foods, and pack a surprising amount of fruit and vegetables. These one pot camping meals (no refrigeration required!) are perfect for your next overnight adventure.

a bowl of one pot Greek pasta salad for camping

One Pot Greek Pasta Salad

Dinner for travel on day one of camping

I usually make a big batch of this, or something similar, ahead of time to eat on Friday night after we drive to the campsite. It's very filling and the feta and veggies hold up well for a few hours on the road. I don’t do exact measurements when I’m cooking, so feel free to adjust ratios how you like them. If you would like to exclude the cheese, follow food safety for longer journeys, try adding in sun dried tomatoes and black olives for flavor and richness. 

Ingredients:

Broccoli florets

Pasta shells, elbow macaroni, or bowtie pasta

Crumbled feta cheese

A spoonful of pesto

Balsamic vinegar

Sliced garlic

Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions: 

  1. Boil the pasta according to instructions
  2. While the pasta cooks, cut down your broccoli into florets and slice your garlic. If you don’t like raw broccoli, blanch them with the pasta. 
  3. Drain the pasta and combine all remaining ingredients in a travel safe bowl. If you use this as a dinner at your house, you can instead combine them in the same pot you cooked with. 

Apples and Peanut Butter - with Optional One Pot Oatmeal

Breakfast at the campsite on camping day two

This recipe isn’t even a recipe really, but it basically makes no dishes. We use powdered peanut butter and traditional creamy peanut butter about the same frequency. Just bring one dish to combine the powdered peanut butter and oil or water, and a knife to cut the apple. If you need something heartier, you can use this idea as a topper for oatmeal and still fall into the one-pot rule. Apples are a perfect choice for traveling, because they are harder to bruise than other fruits and veggies, and also last a long time, even when left in the elements. 


Camping One Pot Jambalaya 

Lunch at the campsite on day two of camping

I love this dish a lot! It combines a lot of camping-friendly favorites in new ways to make something both easy and totally delicious. Use a bag of a packaged rice side, like Korr’s yellow rice, or similar, as the base. I’m categorizing this as “hiker trash” because it breaks quite a few rules of traditional New Orleans cooking. namely, there is no roux or trinity here. You could, of course, always bring a “baked roux” and dehydrated trinity veggies to make a more authentic version. It is also non-traditional due to substituting andouille sausage with summer sausage or hard salami - it works surprisingly well for a camping meal. Just be sure to keep it sealed until you use it, or freeze it in portions so that it thaws while camping in time for cooking.

Ingredients: 

Hot sauce packets or powdered hot sauce from Aldi

Pepper, to taste

Summer sausage or hard salami, cubed or sliced. 

Korr’s instant yellow rice or similar

Garlic and onion seasonings

Dehydrated trinity vegetables (optional)

Dry roux (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Start by hydrating your roux and veggies in your cooking pot, if you will be using them. 
  2. Add rice and water, and cook to package specifications. 
  3. Add in the sausage cubes, seasonings, and hot sauce, making sure to stir on heat, until the sausage is warmed through. Make sure to taste for seasoning balance. 

Camping One-Pot Loaded Colcannon, or Irish potatoes

Dinner at the campsite on campaign day two

Colcannon is a traditional Irish meal made from cabbage and potatoes. It's filling, comforting, and delicious after a day of exploring. Cabbage is a great choice to bring camping, because unlike other greens, it holds up for quite a while without a refrigerator. I like to add cheddar cheese to my potatoes. Like the summer sausage above, I recommend that you freeze it solid before traveling, so that it stays fresh. It should thaw in time for dinner the next day without getting weird, depending on the climate and weather. 

Ingredients:

Chopped cabbage (you can also substitute this for sauerkraut)

Instant butter or cheese mashed potatoes (if you only have plain, add milk or cheeser powder from a hiking outfitter.)

Cheddar cheese

Cubed summer sausage or spam

Garlic and onion seasoning

A touch of vinegar (don’t add if substituting sauerkraut)

Instructions: 

  1. Blanch the cabbage in your cook pot. If you use sauerkraut, you can skip this step.
  2. Add the instant potatoes, meat, cheese, or powdered milk or cheese to the hot water.
  3. Stir to make sure the meat heats and the cheese melts. Season to taste. 

Conclusion

I hope you enjoy these one pot recipes and tips! Let me know in the comments what your favorite camping recipes are, and if you prefer one-pot recipes or traditional campfire cooking. If you have interest in more “hiker trash” or camp friendly recipes, check out my post where I taste tested almost every way to make hiker trash pad thai.

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