The crackling glow of an open campfire brings back nostalgic memories for many parents who enjoyed childhood camping trips full of s’mores and camp songs. Now it’s time to create those same magical moments for your kids. Cooking over a rustic campfire adds an extra layer of fun and novelty to any camping meal. With suitable recipes and techniques, you can produce delicious campfire cuisine that will wow parents and children.
In this article, we will explore 10 creative and tasty campfire recipes that your family has likely never tried before. From foil packets to iron skillets, these recipes demonstrate the diversity of campfire cooking. So, try out a few unique meals on your next family camping trip to bring excitement to the camp menu!
Let the kids get creative with their campfire meals by filling waffle cones with delicious mixtures. Try loading cones with chilli, soup, taco ingredients, or even sweet dessert toppings like chocolate chips with marshmallows. Set up a topping bar and let kids build their cone creations. The campfire will melt, and the cones will be lightly toasted while warming the fillings. Campfire cones are a fun, individualized cooking activity that gives kids ownership over their campfire creations.
The beauty of campfire cones is their versatility – both savoury and sweet ingredients work well. For a hearty lunch option, fill cones with chilli, vegetarian beans, or soup. Skewer cubed chicken, steak, or shrimp on sticks to lay across the top. Switch to fruit and granola for a morning breakfast cone. For dessert, stuff cones with chocolate hazelnut spread, rainbow sprinkles, and mini marshmallows. Set out a s’mores bar with crackers, chocolate, and regular marshmallows for DIY s’mores cones.
Classic S’mores (gimmie some more!)
No campfire is complete without ooey-gooey s’mores, especially in summer camps for girls. While s’mores may seem basic, there are many ways to jazz up this iconic campfire dessert. Start with artisan graham crackers, Belgian chocolate bars, or flavoured marshmallows. Get creative by adding extra mix-ins like peanut butter, caramel, or fruit between the crackers. Or swap out crackers for other bases like pound cake, brownies, or cookies. Grilling the s’mores over an open fire adds that perfect touch of smoky flavour. Just be ready for sticky faces all around!
Keep all the classic s’more ingredients handy so kids can assemble their own treats on sticks. Let them pick their favourite chocolates, marshmallow sizes and shapes, and graham cracker flavours. Help young kids safely roast marshmallows without burning them. The marshmallows are perfectly gooey when golden brown all over. Gently smash together a toasted marshmallow with a piece of chocolate wedged between two graham crackers. The melted chocolate and marshmallow ooze out for the ideal first bite. S’mores never fail to make lasting campfire memories.
Foil Packet Fajitas
Skip the skillets and cook fajitas directly on the campfire coals. Chop chicken or steak with onions, peppers, and seasoning into foil packets. Ensure the packets are tightly sealed, then place them right into the hot coals. The meat and veggies will cook together, absorbing the flavoursome fajita seasonings. Let kids get involved by assembling their foil packet fajitas with preferred fillings. Remember tortillas and taco toppings! The smoky foil packets have all the sizzle of restaurant fajitas.
Get everything prepped and ready to go before layering ingredients into foil sheets. That way, the fajita packets can go straight from the prep table onto the hot coals. Make sure to seal the foil tightly, doubling over the edges, so no ingredients leak. Let kids pick their proteins and veggies to customize their fajita packet. Quickly cooking over the coals gives the fajitas a wonderful smoky essence. After 10-15 minutes of grilling, carefully open packets and slide sizzling contents into tortillas. Set out bowls of shredded cheese, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream for DIY topping bars.
Campfire Banana Boats
Kids will love this sweet campfire treat. Slice a banana down the middle, but leave it attached at the bottom. Stuff the slit banana with chocolate chips and marshmallows, then wrap it in foil. Grill the banana over hot coals until the chocolate and marshmallows melt into a gooey dessert. The contrast of the hot melted ingredients with the cool, firm banana is remarkable. For variety, try different fillings like peanut butter, nuts, or granola. Warm banana boats make an easy and super satisfying campfire dessert.
Select ripe bananas with a bit of firmness – overly ripe bananas will turn mushy when grilled. Let kids help slice and stuff their banana boats. Leave the halves connected at the bottom for easier grilling. Wrap tightly in foil and place directly on medium-heat coals. The banana provides enough moisture to steam the chocolate and marshmallows into a decadent sauce. After 10-15 minutes of grilling, banana boats are ready. Use a fork to pull back the foil and drizzle the melted gooey ingredients over the banana. For added crunch, sprinkle crushed graham crackers or chopped nuts on top.
Campfire Breakfast Pizza
Wake up to the savoury smells of breakfast cooking over the fire. Keep ready-to-cook refrigerated biscuit dough on hand and press it onto the bottom of a well-greased cast iron skillet or pie iron. Top with scrambled eggs, crumbled sausage or bacon, and grated cheese. Place the skillet on hot coals and flip occasionally until the dough is cooked and the cheese is melted. For a lighter option, replace the biscuit dough with an English muffin base. Load up the “pizza” with all your favourite breakfast toppings. The fresh morning air will make this filling meal smell even more delicious.
Let each person customize their breakfast pizza. Use biscuit dough, English muffins, bagels, or large tortillas as the crust. Scramble eggs with veggies like peppers, onions, and spinach—layer on bacon, sausage, ham, or other breakfast meats. Shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, or mozzarella melts nicely over the eggs. Set out bowls of toppings for DIY pizzas. Bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, and jalapenos can all make great additions. The breakfast pizzas will be ready once the crust is golden brown and the cheese fully melts.
Put a fun twist on campfire bread by wrapping dough around sticks! Mix up your favourite sandwich bread or sweet bread dough. Form it into long logs and wrap it around a cleaned and greased stick or bamboo skewer. Simmer the dough over hot coals, rotating to bake it evenly. When the bread is cooked through, slide it off the stick and slice crosswise. The novelty of having kids cook their pieces of bread will make this campfire activity even more memorable.
Let kids knead and shape their balls or logs of dough into snake-like strands they can wrap around a stick. Make sure sticks are smooth, cleaned, and greased first for easy removal later. Wrap the dough tightly, starting from one end. Cook over indirect heat, rotating constantly so all sides get evenly toasted. The bread is fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 190°F. Carefully slide off the stick, let it cool slightly, and slice it into rounds. Try flavoured bread doughs like herb, cheese, jalapeno, or Hawaiian. Or make cinnamon sugar dough for dessert. Hobo bread always impresses when pulled piping hot off a stick!
Hot dogs get a fiery makeover when wrapped in bread or biscuit dough and then grilled over the campfire. Cut hot dogs in half and wrap each piece in a rectangle of dough. Seal the edges, then carefully place the dough over hot coals, turning to brown the dough on all sides. Try wrapping in biscuits, croissants, cornbread, or even pizza dough. The bread will puff up as it cooks, creating a crispy outside to bite through before getting to the hot dog. Provide condiments and let everyone customize their firecracker dog creation.
Use refrigerated bread or biscuit dough to wrap the hot dogs quickly. Cut pieces that will fully wrap around each hot dog half with a bit of overlap. Press seams tightly to seal in the filling. Biscuits and cornbread make quick cooking options. Croissants and puff pastry create that delicious flaky texture but take longer to cook through. Monitor closely to avoid burning. The dough should be golden brown while the hot dog cooks inside. Remember the condiments! Ketchup, mustard, relish, chilli sauce, and pickled peppers all pair great with these fun campfire dogs.
These handheld grilled sandwiches are simple to make in a pie iron over the campfire. Assemble sandwiches inside the pie iron just like a regular sandwich, then clamp the iron shut and place it over hot coals. Try combinations like pizza, BLT, ham and cheese or s’mores fillings. The pie iron gives the sandwich those tasty grill marks from both sides. Mountain pies make a nice change of pace from kabobs or foil meals. They are also great for picky eaters who get to build their sandwiches.
The key to perfectly grilled mountain pies is having a well-seasoned pie iron. Grease the inside with butter or oil before assembling each sandwich. Cook over medium heat coals to avoid scorching the bread before the insides are melted and toasty. Try using Ciabatta rolls, focaccia, or thick slices of artisan bread for the “crust.” Fill with cheese, deli meat, roasted veggies, or other favourite sandwich ingredients. Let kids pick their custom combos. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until the bread is crispy. The sealed pie iron lets all the flavours meld together into one sublime toasted sandwich.
Foil Pack Salmon
Cooking fish on a campfire can be tricky, but the foil pack method ensures moist salmon every time. Place wild-caught salmon filets in the middle of a large foil sheet. Cover with sliced lemon, sprinkle with spices, and add veggies like sliced onions and asparagus. Seal the foil tightly into a packet, then grill over hot coals, flipping once halfway through. The salmon steams perfectly, along with the seasoning and veggies. When done, slide onto a plate and carefully open the foil. Foil-pack salmon is a gourmet treat you can enjoy serving your family.
Use thick-grade aluminium foil that won’t easily tear on the campfire grate. Lay sheets large enough to wrap around the salmon and veggies entirely with some overlap. Salmon filets cook quickly, so observe. It takes about 8-12 minutes for medium doneness. Add veggies like green beans, carrots, or broccoli that will steam perfectly along with the fish. Fresh herbs and citrus brighten up the flavours. Check for doneness by opening a foil corner and testing the salmon with a fork. When evenly opaque in the center, it’s ready to eat! Use the leftover foil juices to drizzle over the salmon and veggies.
For a refreshingly simple dessert, cube fresh cantaloupe and toss with brown sugar and butter. Wrap chunks in foil and set directly on campfire coals, turning occasionally until heated through. The fruit softens while the brown sugar and butter create an almost cake-like layer. The traditional Japanese dish of grilled melon makes for a light, sweet finale to any campfire meal. Try experimenting with other fresh fruits like peaches, pineapple, and apples.
Cantaloupe holds its shape well when grilled and turns extra sweet and juicy. Cut melon into 2-inch cubes and toss lightly with brown sugar and melted butter. Wrap handfuls in foil packets and place directly on medium-heat coals. Rotate the packets every 2-3 minutes to avoid burning. Cook for about 10 minutes until the melon is tender but not mushy. The brown sugar will melt into a lovely glaze. Scoop melon into bowls and top with a dollop of vanilla yoghurt or ice cream for added decadence. For variety, swap in honeydew or watermelon cubes. Kids will love the novelty of biting into the warm, sweet fruit.
Cooking over an open fire encourages creativity and experimentation with recipes you may not usually try at home. It also provides lasting memories as families experience the cooking process together. Safety comes first, so prep ingredients at picnic tables and supervise all campfire cooking. Once the fire is glowing and the coals are ready, it’s time for your family to try out some of these unique and tasty campfire recipe ideas. Feel free to put your spin on it by trying different ingredients or cooking methods. Campfire cooking is all about making every meal special. Creating your signature campfire dishes will turn an ordinary camping trip into an unforgettable outdoor adventure that kids will treasure for years.