FOOD & COOKING

Vegetarian Camping Recipes: Enjoy Colourful Meals in Nature!

Vegetarian Camping Recipes
John C. Porter
Written by John C. Porter

Being the only non-meat eater of the group on a camping trip can be quite complicated – for you and for everyone else. It really does make you feel like an odd one out and your friends are probably just as confused as you are, not wanting to upset you or make you feel bad. However, learning a few vegetarian camping recipes has never been easier.

Most people who aren’t vegetarians don’t realize how easy it is to make you happy and how many dinner options there are that are easily adjustable for everyone’s needs and preferences – most recipes can be fully adjusted for meat lovers as well! You don’t need to starve yourself to avoid conflict and we can show you how it’s done the easy way!

In this article, we’ve collected some of our favourite camping recipes that are vegetarian in their essence but can easily be adjusted to other people’s preferences as well.

camping food in stainless steel

We believe camping should be fun and not too complicated. Sit back, relax and we hope you’re getting a little bit hungry – you will definitely want to whip up one of these recipes by the time you get to the end of this article!

Breakfast Options

You need to start your day right, even if you are out in the wild, so here are some recipes that will fill you up for the fun day ahead! (Note: all recipes are for two people).

Eggs and Beans

These crispy and filling black beans will give sustenance to this hearty meal. Eggs will be done sunny side up to add creaminess and toasty bread is needed to mop up the sauce.

black beans in a bowl

Ingredients and tools:

  • 1 can of black beans
  • 2 eggs
  • Some bread
  • A bit of fat – oil, butter, whichever you prefer
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Optional: hot sauce, chilli flakes, chopped spring onions
  • A pan

Instructions:

First, drain the liquid from the black beans. Heat up a pan, add some oil and when it is all nice and hot, add the drained black beans. Add salt and pepper and any other spices you might like. Move it around on medium-high heat (either on fire or a stove) so the beans get bruised, some will even pop – similarly to popcorn.

When you are happy with the crispiness of beans, remove them from the pan onto plates. Add more oil or fat to the same pan, heat up and crack inside 2 eggs. Salt and pepper them a bit. Lower the heat, add a couple of spoons of water and cover with one of the plates.

It sounds weird, I know, but this way you will have a crunchy bottom of the egg all while still cooking it a bit more to avoid too much runny white. When you are happy with the eggs, put them on the bed of beans you prepared before.

two eggs poaching

Leave the stove on and just put 2 slices of bread directly on the fire. Turn it after 30 s. They should have some colour and crunch after a minute on the stove or fire. Enjoy your meal!

Camp Style Porridge

Perfect for cold mornings – it is fast, yummy and adjustable to many flavours.

Ingredients and tools:

  • A packet of instant oats (enough for 2 people)
  • Water
  • Salt and some sugar or other sweeteners
  • Apple pie seasoning mix
  • Toppings such as apples or other fruit, raisins, dark chocolate, trail mix anything you like

Instructions

Prepare oats according to the instruction. Add some salt and sugar (if oats are not flavoured in advance). Salt is always important to elevate the flavour a bit. Mix in a couple of pinches of apple pie seasoning.

Camp Style Porridge apple pie seasoning

Image credit: ohsheglows.com

Add chopped apples and any other toppings you might like. If you feel like it is too dry you can add some milk (traditional or plant), but water is fine as well. If you have enough flavour from the toppings, you don’t need to bring out milk.

Lunch

If you will be enjoying time outside, away from camp, lunch should be small, easy to pack, something that will hold flavour and not get soggy no matter what you do. Here are some options.

Colourful Beans & Rice

This is basically nature in a bowl – yummy and filling to give you a quick energy boost!

Ingredients and tools:

  • Instant rice packet (enough for 2 people)
  • Leftover beans from breakfast or a new can
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 Small can of sweet corn
  • 1 small red onion
  • Lemon or lime juice
  • Oil or other fats
  • Lunch container (Thermos or something similar)
  • Optional: avocado

Colourful Beans and Rice

Instructions

Prepare instant rice according to the package. Heat up a pan, add some oil and diced red onion. Add a couple of pinches of salt.

Sautee the onion and make sure to move it around the pan on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, or until it gets soft. Add the beans and cook for another 5 minutes. Add some black pepper.

Remove from heat and mix in the cooked rice. Divide into 2 lunch containers and top with diced red bell peppers and sweet corn. If you want to add avocado, make sure to add some lemon directly to the slices to prevent it from going brown. You can also take the whole avocado with you and prepare it at lunchtime break while hiking, paddling or whichever adventure you are going to have!

Sandwich Bonanza

A simple sandwich is so underrated when it comes to camping food! We believe in good bread to start with. Our personal favourite would be wholewheat bread.

wholewheat bread slices

Below you have a variety of camp and adventure appropriate combinations that will satisfy every flavour (remember, a sweet lunch sandwich is a great option if you’ve been active all morning and need refuelling).

Ingredients and tools:

  • A loaf of bread
  • Knife to slice it (or buy it pre-sliced)

Topping combinations:

o    Peanut butter and honey (and banana)

o    Peanut butter and Nutella

o    Peanut butter and apples (and Nutella!)

o    Nutella, chopped nuts and banana

o    Brie (if you have a cooler), cranberry jam and pears

o    Hummus, carrot slices and spinach

o    Cheese, mustard and pickles or cornichons

o    Feta cheese, sliced black olives and sliced green bell peppers

o    Hummus, spinach and sliced black olives

o    Hummus and smashed avocado with lime juice

Hummus and smashed avocado with lime juice

As you can see, there are plenty of sweet and savoury options. Remember – if it is really hot or cold outside, Nutella and peanut butter won’t be really that spreadable. For cases of cold, we like to pre-pack them as a bar at home – a thick layer of Nutella, covered with a thick layer of peanut butter. All wrapped in cling film (or already in a sealable container), we put it in the fridge. Before making the sandwich, we just cut the tasty combination of stripes and put it between two slices of bread.

A good trick is also to toast the bread before you start making the sandwich. It will add some crunch, but it will also seal the layer of bread that will otherwise get soaked in juices much faster.

Choose combinations according to what type of activity you will be doing that morning and the weather conditions. Remember to also pack enough liquids!

Dinner

At the end of the day, everyone likes to crack open a beer they rightfully deserved after a whole day of adventures, sports achievements and general fun. You all depleted your energy sources so it is time to prepare something fun and filling. We prepared some ideas that will get everyone excited about dinnertime.

Campfire Pizza

This is a fun dinner everyone can make themselves with the toppings they like the most. We like to keep it simple and veggie loaded, but all your meat-loving friends will be able to add what they like as well.

campfire pizza

Ingredients and tools:

  • A roll of pre-packaged pizza crust
  • Tomato sauce
  • Cheese
  • Veggies such as sweet corn, bell peppers, mushrooms…
  • Non-stick pan w/lid or some aluminium foil
  • Some parchment paper
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Take some of the dough (you can also make it at home and let it sit in a strong airtight container until you need it – in a cooler) and spread it in the pan. Cheap, non-stick pans are best, but you can also use caster iron pan – just make sure to prep it the right way. To be super sure your pizza won’t stick, use parchment paper.

Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce and add cheese and any other toppings you might like. Cover it – either with a lid, a big plate or some aluminium foil. Cook it slowly over low fire for at least 15-20 minutes. Check regularly (every 5 min or so) to see if the dough is cooked already. You can make it on the gas stove or over the fire. When it is done, slide it out of the pan and enjoy!

Fajitas for Winners

One of the most delicious and healthy dinners we could think of, this is a good option to satisfy vegetarian and all others as well.

vegetarian fajitas

Ingredients and tools:

  • Red, yellow and green bell peppers
  • Red onion
  • Guacamole/salsa/sour cream
  • Fajita seasoning
  • A pack of tortillas
  • Oil, salt and black pepper
  • Optional: mushrooms, black beans, and chickpeas for more sustenance

Instructions

First, prep all the veggies – cut the peppers lengthwise into 1/2-inch wide strips, and do the same with the red onions. Heat up the pan and add some oil. When this is warm, add all the veggies and some fajitas seasoning. Sautee until the veggies soften a bit but still retain the crunch.

Season the veggies with salt and black pepper as needed and according to taste. Warm up the tortillas one at a time In a separate pan or directly over the open fire. Be careful not to burn them. When it is all done, take a hot tortilla, add some vegetables and sauces, roll up and enjoy!

Grilled Cheese

So simple, so good, so yummy! Only for those that did a lot of sports that day! If you have vegan friends, they can still enjoy the dish, but make it with some vegan melting cheese.

grilled cheese

Ingredients and tools:

  • A loaf of pre-sliced bread
  • Cheese – American, cheddar, provolone, gouda – something that melts well
  • Mayonnaise or butter
  • Black pepper
  • Non-stick pan with a lid

Instructions

First, you need to butter or mayo your bread. Spread it out and put the side with the mayo directly on the pan so it starts getting all brown and yummy. Do two pieces of toast at a time, so you have it all ready for grilled cheese assembly.

After the bread has been in the pan for 2-3 minutes on medium heat, add some cheese on one piece of bread and cover it with the other piece – toasted side up. Press it down a bit, but don’t squish it too much.

Cover it all with a lid, a big plate or some aluminium foil. Check after a minute or two and turn on the other side. The grilled cheese is ready when the cheese is melting away and the bread is turning dark gold and brown in colour. Crack some black pepper on top, maybe some hot sauce and enjoy it!

Chilli Lime Corn on the Cob

This dish is perfect for summer camping trips. The corn travels well even in a backpack and it is easy to prepare for the open fire.

Chilli Lime Corn on the Cob

Ingredients and tools:

  • A couple of kernels of corn
  • Chilli lime salt or lime and chilli powder separately
  • Some oil or butter if desired

Instructions

All you need to do is peel the corn, put it on the grill and sprinkle it with chilli lime salt when it is done. Some butter added at the end would work well too, but it will taste nice without it as well.

If you will be using lime and chillies separately, we suggest you sprinkle some chilli powder and salt on the corn before you put it on the fire. After it is ready, put some lime juice all over and you get a refreshing dinner option.

Ember Potatoes

These potatoes are a real delicacy, again with plenty of topping options. We like it super simple, with just some salt and black pepper or super loaded with all the toppings.

ember potatoes

Ingredients and tools:

  • Red or sweet potatoes
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Aluminium foil
  • Toppings: sour crème, cheese, spring onions, hot sauces, salsa etc.

Instructions

You will have to have a fire going for some time and some embers available when you start preparing these potatoes. Wrap each individual potato in aluminium foil. Put it on the embers and cover the parcels with some smaller ember pieces.

While you are having fun, the potatoes will slowly cook away in the heat of the fire. Make sure they are not exposed to super hot, glazing embers but are tucked away more at a side.

Move them and turn them around every 10-15 minutes. Smaller potatoes should cook in about 25-35 minutes, while the bigger ones will take even 45 minutes. Remember also that the embers are much hotter than a traditional oven, so make sure the potatoes don’t start to burn. Sweet potatoes need a shorter amount of time to cook.

potatoes in foil

You can check if the potato is done by unwrapping it and slicing it open. If the middle of the potato is cooked, soft and tastes ok, then it should be ready. Otherwise wrap them back and let them roast for some more time.

It is best to have all the potatoes similar size, so if one is done, chances are high others are, as well. When you think they’re done, take them out of the fire, unwrap them half way down – make like a little bed for them.

Crosscut them on top and squeeze them together so the cut opens up. Add salt and black pepper and if you want, some other toppings as well.

Wrapping up

As you can see, vegetarian camping recipes can be super fun, colourful, healthy and will definitely leave you filled and ready for your next adventure. These recipes are simple, easy to make on the camp stove or on the fire and always make a crowd of hungry outdoors lovers go mad for more.

grilling vegetables

We believe you now have enough ideas in stock to never have to eat a boring vegetarian camping meal in your day! However, if you feel like we missed a really good one, please, do let us know in the comments – we love to hear from you!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John C. Porter

John C. Porter

John is passionate about hiking long distances. His record is over 65 miles in one day with backpacking gear. John hiked over 10 thousand miles, tried over 100 hiking shoes and visited 56 countries so far. His favourite hiking route is West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.