Make-Ahead Meals For Camping: 13 Awesome Recipes and Preparation Tips

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Introduction to Make Ahead Meals for Camping: RV Edition

If you’re heading out on a camping trip, it’s essential to prepare for the event beforehand. Make-ahead meals are a great way to save time and get organized before your next camping trip. In this blog post, we will discuss tips for making make-ahead camping meals from an RV perspective. We will give you recipes and ideas to ensure that you have everything prepared before your departure date! Spend more time making memories and less time preparing and cooking meals. 

Make Ahead Camping Meals

What Foods Are Good For Camping? 

Good camping food is comprised of the same meals you would typically eat during daily life. Make your meals as simple or complicated as you want to. Generally, quick and easy meals are suitable for campers who have limited resources. You may bring more cooking tools if you have a larger RV kitchen with bigger appliances and more storage. 

 Make-Ahead Freezer Meals For Your Camping Trip: RV Edition 

If you plan on taking a cooler with you or your trailer has a freezer inside, freezing your meals is the easiest way to ensure they last until it’s time to cook them. Make sure that every meal is frozen solid before packing it into the cooler! If you’re using an RV fridge, you can store some inside. Remember to monitor the food closely to ensure integrity. 

What Items Will I Need?  

What Items Will You Need For Camping Make Ahead Meals?

You will need the following items for your make-ahead meals for camping: 

– Cooler-

Double-check that your cooler is clean and has enough room for all food. Make sure there are no leaks or cracks in any part of it before you start packing anything! Be sure to place ice packs on top, bottom, and on each side of every meal you put into the cooler. Remember to monitor your ice packs regularly and replace them as needed! 


– Freezer Bags –

Verify that you pack all of your meals in freezer bags before being placed in the coolers. Ensure there is no excess air in any of your plastic storage containers so that everything will freeze together nicely. Remember to label your bags before you put them in the cooler so that they are easy to find! Make sure to place a few extra freezer bags inside each other for additional protection from tears and rips. Ensure that you write “MEALS” on each package and any information about what is in it (i.e., label each bag with the food that it contains and a date). Remember to bring extra bags.


– Ice Packs –

Verify that you have enough ice packs for all of your meals! Please make a note of expiration dates so you know when to replace them. You can either throw away your old ice packs or use them for other purposes while camping. Affirm that you pack some extras. You may need more than you thought!


Other helpful items include: 

– Cooking Utensils –

Ensure that you have enough cooking utensils to prepare all of your meals. Be sure that each person has their own set, so they don’t need to share with other people in the group! Make a list of every item needed and check it off as you pack it into the RV. Remember to read instructions for safe handling and use of every utensil before leaving on your trip! 


– Dishes –

Dishes for serving food and eating meals. Make sure you have enough plates, bowls, and cutlery for each person traveling with your party. 


– Water-

Water is essential for hydration. You can use it as an ingredient in cooking. You can also use it to clean up. 

Tips For Making Your Meals in Advance:

Tips For Making Your Camping Meals In Advance

 Remember to read all instructions on how long you can store your food! Make a note of any special times or temperatures needed for cooking the meals. Make a list of every ingredient used in each meal and plan accordingly, so no items are forgotten at home. 

Plan Ahead: 

Plan Ahead For Your Make Ahead Camping Meals

 Make a list of every meal you plan to make. Make a note of the number of servings each will yield and how long it takes to cook them (if applicable). Ensure that everyone at your party knows what is being prepared for dinner before they get too hungry! Make notes about any ingredients needed, preparation time involved, cooking times used, etc.

Shopping:

 Make sure to list every grocery item and ingredient that you need and the quantity. Make a note of any cooking tools that you as well (i.e., pots, pans). Purchase all things that you will need for each meal. Check items off the list as you obtain them. 

Prepare Ingredients in Advance:

Prepare Your Ingredients

 Ensure to wash, cut, peel (if applicable), and prepare all ingredients you need for each meal. Make a list of any items that require refrigeration or freezing before leaving on your trip – make a note of the last day you should use these items so they don’t go bad while traveling! Make notes about where everything has been placed in your refrigerator. Remember to put all the perishables away before leaving for your trip! 

Use Proper Storage:

Use Proper Storage For Your Make Ahead Camping Meals

Store all meal-prep items and foods according to instructions. Verify that all items are adequately packaged and sealed. Please make a list of where everything is stored in the RV refrigerator or freezer to locate them quickly! Make notes about where things fit best to save space! Make a note of which meals will need reheating before serving them. 

There are many options for food storage. Ziplock bags are a popular choice. There are also reusable and sealable storage bags, collapsible silicone storage containers, and more. These are perfect options for those wishing to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce the amount of waste they produce on their camping trip.

Label Everything:

Label Your Food Properly

Place labels on all packages properly with what type of foods are inside, how to prepare them, and when they expire. These steps will help you gather all necessary items to assemble your meal, prepare it, and keep your food safe. 

What Are Some Great Recipes/Make-Ahead Camping Meal? 

There are many great recipes for camping. We have compiled a list of some of our favorites. 

Camping Breakfast Recipes:

  • Start the day off great with a nourishing and hearty breakfast! Make some oatmeal or breakfast sandwiches the night before to save on time in the morning. 
Recipe Overnight Oats-

Make oatmeal in a mason jar the night before. Make sure to add milk or water and stir well! Store covered with a lid. These can be prepared in advance and before your trip with very little preparation involved. 

Ingredients for Overnight Oats: Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, Dried Fruit, Nuts, Oat Milk

Container to Make Overnight Oats in: Ball Jar/ mason jars


Toppings for the Next Day- Be sure you have some fresh fruit, nuts, or other toppings on hand to add! 

Instructions for Making Overnight Oats:  Layer the oats, milk, and other ingredients from the toppings list into a jar or container. Stir well before sealing with a lid! Store in your refrigerator overnight for a leisurely breakfast on the go! 

Recipe Bacon Egg Cups –
Bacon Egg and Cheese Cups

Make these delicious bacon egg cups ahead of time so you can grab them as needed throughout the morning. These are perfect for grabbing and eating before you head out hiking, fishing, or anywhere else!  Make a big batch – they will go quickly! 

Ingredients for Bacon Egg Cups: Bacon, Cheese, Eggs, Non-stick spray

Instructions for Making Bacon Egg Cups: Make a point to prepare all ingredients in advance. Layer bacon strips around ramekins or muffin tins. Verify that there are enough bacon strips to cover the bottom of each tin fully. Make a layer with cheese in each pan – you can choose any type or mixture of cheeses your family enjoys! Crack an egg into each bacon-lined cup and season as desired (pepper, salt, etc.). Make notes about which toppings are best to use with which egg cups. Make sure to cover each tin tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator overnight! 

When it is time to bake, bake for  20-25 minutes at 375 degrees. Verify that the eggs are cooked through and served while still hot! 

Recipe:  Make-Ahead Make-Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches
Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches

Ingredients:

Ham slices (or cooked bacon),  eggs, cheese, salt, and pepper to taste, sandwich rolls or bread of choice, mayonnaise (optional for spreading inside the roll before adding ingredients). 

Directions for make-ahead breakfast sandwiches: Prepare all ingredients in advance. Make your sandwich rolls by spreading a thin layer of mayonnaise inside each roll and adding other fillings as desired. Layer ham or cooked bacon, cheese slices (or shredded cheese), salt, and pepper on top of one another in between two halves of a sandwich bun/roll. When ready to cook,  cook the sandwich in a skillet over medium heat. Be sure to cook each side until cheese is melted and ingredients are heated through, about 2 minutes on each side. You can do this over a fire or in your RV. 

Remember, don’t forget condiments like ketchup or hot sauce for some extra flavor!

Recipe Pancakes:
Pancakes

Everyone loves pancakes in the morning. Pancakes are a sweet way to start a day of outdoor fun. These are easy to prepare ahead of time, and you can freeze them!! You can’t ask for a better breakfast recipe!

Ingredients:  Baking powder, Baking Soda (optional), Salt, Flour of choice (can be whole wheat or white), Powdered milk (optional), eggs, butter/oil baking pan (or skillet for over the fire). 

Directions: Remember to prep all ingredients ahead of time. Sift together dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another. Make a well with your dry mixture, pour the wet ingredient mixture into it, and fold until combined. Add more milk or water as needed, so the batter is pourable. Make a point to cook each side until the pancakes are cooked through, about 2 minutes on each side. 

Remember to always add extra ingredients like blueberries, bananas, chocolate chips (for a special treat), etc.! Please do not add them until you cook the pancakes, or they will get mushy and gross. Store the cooled pancakes in a container with layers of paper towels between each pancake so that they do not stick together as you stack them up! If you prepare these ahead of time, just let them cool and place them in the freezer. 

Just heat them when you are ready to eat!!

Camping Lunch Recipes:

  • Lunch is necessary to reconnect with the family and rest during a busy camping day. It is about refueling during breaks and enjoying each other’s company. Pack meals that are easy to prepare, transport, and eat outside while still maintaining the tradition of outdoor family fun! These are sure to please the whole family.
Recipe Pulled Pork Sandwiches:
Make Ahead Pulled Pork

These make great prepare-ahead and filling lunches for you and your family!

Ingredients for Pulled Pork Sandwiches:  Pork roast, onion powder, garlic, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, buns, or rolls. Remember to have sandwich tins, aluminum foil (or tin foil), and a baking pan with sides for easy transport!

Directions: Prepare all ingredients in advance. Make your sandwich tins by lining each with a square of aluminum foil and adding a light beef broth layer. Make sure to add your pork roast, onions on top or around it, garlic salt, pepper (can be omitted if you do not like spice), Worcestershire sauce over each section before adding more liquid! Be sure to seal up the tins with another piece of aluminum foil and cover them with a baking pan to keep them from spilling out as you transport them. 

Cook the pork for three hours at 350°, or until tender enough that they can be shredded easily! Shred all of your pork before serving on buns or rolls, along with extra onion if desired. Add any other condiments you would like, and voila!  Serve with a side of chips or fruit for a healthy treat. Enjoy your meal while taking in the fresh air and being thankful for all that you have!! 

Once shredded, the pork can be frozen and ready to put into sandwiches!!

Recipe Campfire Pizza:
Campfire Pizza

Pizza is always a fun choice when it comes to family. It is an easy make-ahead meal and is sure to fill everyone’s bellies!!

Ingredients for make-ahead pizza: Dough (can be bought fresh or frozen at the grocery store), pizza sauce, and cheese mix (shredded cheeses of choice mixed) toppings of choice.

Directions: If you want to make your sauce: Be sure to make your sauce by adding olive oil and garlic cloves into a pan on medium heat until lightly browned before adding tomato paste, canned tomatoes, salt, and pepper to taste. The sauce should simmer for about ten minutes before adding basil leaves or dried oregano! Let it simmer for five more minutes on low heat until ready to use!! Store in a ball jar for travel. 

Prep your toppings ahead of time so you can put them together quickly when needed. 

When you are ready to serve your pizza, assemble the pie by adding your sauce first, then cheese mix, and any other toppings you would like. Place it on a piece of aluminum foil so it does not stick! 

Cook over a fire (very carefully) or on a cast-iron skillet over the fire until cheese is melted and crust is browned. Watch it closely so that you do not burn your pie!! Or you can bake in your RV oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is nicely browned. Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Recipe Grilled Cheese Sandwich:
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

An all-time favorite camping treat is the grilled cheese sandwich!

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Ingredients:  Bring a loaf of bread, butter, and cheese slices. Use your favorite kind of cheese for some melted cheesy goodness!

Directions: Ensure the sandwich is assembled with two pieces of buttered bread, cheese in between both slices (make sure they are not touching), then add more butter on top before grilling!! 

Cook in a cast-iron skillet on the stove over medium heat, flipping every few minutes until both sides are golden brown and cheese is melted. You can cook using aluminum foil when grilling so it does not stick! 

If you want to be adventurous, try cooking in a pie iron!  Remember to butter both sides before closing it up! Be sure that the sandwich is pressed together tightly, so no cheese leaks out!! Cook over a medium flame, flipping every few minutes until golden brown on each side.

Enjoy your sandwich while taking in all that nature has to offer!! Remember to have plenty of napkins nearby too.

Dinner:

Ensure that dinner is an enjoyable time with everyone and easy to prepare without sacrificing taste. Everyone will love these recipes

Recipe Hearty Chili:
Make Ahead Hearty Chili Stew

Nothing will top off a long day of camping better than a hearty pot of yummy chili. It is easy to make in advance, and everyone will be warmed up on the inside!!

Hearty Chili Ingredients:  Verify that you have a pound of ground beef, two cans of red kidney beans (drained and rinsed), one can of diced tomatoes, one small onion chopped fine, three cloves of garlic minced, half a cup of ketchup, or tomato sauce, chili powder (to taste) salt and pepper (to taste). Prepare all ingredients ahead of time. 

Directions: Brown the ground beef in a pot on medium heat.  Drain excess fat off! Add the garlic and onion when the meat is almost done cooking, occasionally stirring until cooked through (about five minutes). Make sure all of the seasonings are added at this point, along with kidney beans, tomatoes, and sauce. Be sure to bring the chili to just under a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least an hour. 

Let cool completely and place in storage containers. Can be stored in RV fridge or cooler until ready to heat and serve. 

Serve with toppings like sour cream, cheese, and tortilla chips. Serve with sides of shredded lettuce, chopped onions (if desired), sliced avocado for a healthy boost! 

Recipe Make-Ahead Burritos:
Make Ahead Burritos in Foil

Make-ahead burritos are easy to make and hit the spot for lunch or dinner. You can stuff them with anything your heart desires! 

Make-Ahead Burrito Ingredients (for one): You will need two large flour tortillas, refried beans (if desired), cheese slices, quick-cooking rice (if desired), sour cream, and any other ingredients you like! Cook these beforehand if possible.

Directions: Be sure the tortilla is warmed up in aluminum foil for about five minutes before opening it up. Get all of your ingredients laid out so that assembly goes quickly!!  Be sure to place the rice and beans on one half of the tortilla, cheese slices on top of them. Please do not to overfill, or it will be hard to roll up!

Roll the tortilla into a cigar shape and fold in both ends before rolling from bottom-up tightly as possible. Make certain that all ingredients are contained inside!!  

Store the burritos in aluminum foil. Place aluminum foil packages on a warm stove or grill for about five minutes per side before eating!  

Make-Ahead Campfire Shish-Kebobs: 
Shish Kebobs on The Grill

Make-ahead kebobs are easy to transport and cook over a campfire. Be prepared to have plenty of skewers handy!

Make-Ahead Campfire Shish-Kebob Ingredients: You will need to have chicken (cut into cubes), pineapple, bell pepper chunks, mushrooms, onion slices. Verify that all ingredients are chopped/prepped beforehand!

Directions: Assemble the skewers by alternating ingredients in any order you like. Place aluminum foil under the skewers before cooking so that nothing sticks!

Light a fire and cook over medium heat for about ten minutes, turning every few minutes until chicken is cooked through. 

Make-ahead kebobs can be kept warm in aluminum foil until ready to serve. 

Camping Dessert Recipes:

The best part of camping may very well be dessert! Have a variety of treats for everyone. Make-ahead desserts are the easiest way to make camping dessert ideas!

 Ensure that you have graham crackers, chocolate bars, marshmallows for s’mores! It is important to have these ingredients available and baked or grilled beforehand so they will be ready when it is time for a sweet treat!!

Recipe  Make-Ahead Strawberry Shortcake: 
Strawberry Shortcake

Make-ahead strawberry shortcakes are the perfect way to cap off a camping meal. Have all ingredients available before heading out so they can be baked beforehand! 

Make-Ahead Strawberry Shortcake Ingredients: You will need to have pound cake, strawberries (sliced), whipped cream, or ice cream for topping!

Directions: Slice up the pound cake and place it on aluminum foil. Spray the pieces of bread with nonstick cooking spray before placing them in the oven for about five minutes at 350 degrees. Slice the strawberries in advance. 

Assemble and layer all ingredients in ball jars and store in a cooler until ready to serve. 

Make-Ahead Banana Boats:
Banana Boat Campfire Dessert

Make-ahead banana boats are easy, healthy snacks for camping. Be sure you have plenty of aluminum foil packets ready ahead of time! Peel the bananas beforehand! Have chocolate chips (mini is best!), shredded coconut, and mini marshmallows for topping.

Make-Ahead Banana Boats Ingredients: You will need to have two large banana halves, aluminum foil packets, optional ingredients of choice!! 

Directions: Slice each banana in half and stuff with the ingredients of choice. Ensure that you wrap up the banana in aluminum foil tightly before placing it on a grill or stove for about five minutes per side! 

Make-Ahead Campfire Brownies:
Make Ahead Campfire Brownies

Make-ahead brownies can be made over a campfire using an old tin coffee can. Verify that you have aluminum cans available for this fun idea! Prepare the ingredients beforehand.

Make-Ahead Campfire Brownies Ingredients: You will need to have brownie mix (with required water and oil), metal coffee can with lid, twigs or skewers, campfire coals!! 

Directions: Mix up the brownie batter and pour it into the coffee can. Make sure to use enough for about an inch of depth in your can! Place camping grill on top of coals, then place the filled coffee can over top. Make sure to cover with a lid (this will help trap heat inside)!! 

Cook for about five minutes, then carefully turn the coffee can over and cook for another five to ten minutes. Make sure your lid is on securely!

Remove from heat and let cool before eating with desired toppings like ice cream or whipped cream!!

For more camping recipes, check out this article!****

How To Store Your Make-Ahead Meals:

How To Store Your Make Ahead Meals

 Confirm that have gallon-sized freezer bags or reusable storage bags on hand for storing your make-ahead meals. Make sure to label the bags with the contents and date of preparation! Make certain all ingredients are fresh before using!! Place all containers and foods into the proper place, whether the freezer, cooler, or refrigerator. This will ensure that your food is safe to eat when the time arrives. 

What About Clean Up

What About Cleaning Up?

Cleaning up after your meals can be a pain when you are camping. Double-check that all dishes have been washed and put away before going to bed! Be sure to bring plenty of dish soap, scrubbers, paper towels, small garbage bags for trash or recyclables!! Ensure that all food has been stored correctly in coolers overnight, so it is safe from animals!! This will ensure that you keep pesky pests out of your campsite and, more importantly, out of your RV. 

Essential items to bring on your trip are: 

Don’t Forget To Bring These Items

– Trash Bags –

Make sure to have plenty of garbage bags available. Store them in a place where you will remember them when it is time for clean up! 


– Dish Soap –

Bring dish soap with paper towels and scrubbers on hand for washing dishes. Be sure this is stored away from food storage areas!! 


** Pro tip: If you use silicone storage containers, use Dawn dish soap. It will clean your dishes properly, and it won’t leave a soapy taste behind. It is safe for the environment as well. 

– Cooler Liners –  Cooler liners can speed up cleaning time by not having to scrub the cooler at all before placing clean dishes back into it. Have one or two of these on hand for easy clean-up! 


– Dish Rags – 

Ensure that you have dish rags available.


Conclusion To Make Ahead Camping Meals : RV Edition

Conclusion to Make Ahead Camping Meals

Camping is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s also a chance to spend time with loved ones, reconnect with friends and family, or enjoy some quality alone-time. Either way, you want your trip up in the mountains to leave lasting memories. We hope our camping meal prepping ideas have helped make your next RV or camping adventure even more enjoyable by giving you easy recipes for making meals ahead! Let us know what other topics we should cover on this blog to provide helpful information about planning sustainable food while camping!

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