CAMPING & HIKING

No Cook Camping Meals: Delicious Ideas for Your Next Camping Trip

no cook camping meals featured
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

After a long day spent hiking, everyone enjoys a night under the stars – and the warm fire and the yummy food come here to help. However, there are often some limits when it comes to cooking on the campsite – and this is where the no cook camping meals come to help.

No matter whether you just want to save time when you get on the campsite or want to save yourself the trouble of carrying cooking gear, learning a few recipes that don’t require much cooking on spot might make your trip go even smoother.

This is why we will reveal some of the best no cook camping recipes that are not only easy to make but will also keep you full at the same time. In addition to this, we will let you know which tools you may need for those meals. Read on to learn more!

Camping Made Easier

If you are going camping, there is a big chance that you are carrying prepackaged or freeze-dried foods with you. These foods are great options as a no cook camping food because they do not require cooling and sometimes, they do not even require water.

camping food in ziplock bags

Not all meals need heat to be prepared. You can save your energy as well as your time by removing the cooking part of your list. These are some of the tools that you may find useful on the camping spot:

  • Can opener – for quick and easy opening of cans
  • Portable cooler – to store food or cool drinks, a cooler might be a necessity. If you are going for a few days, say a weekend, then you can carry a small plastic icebox with you. You can even store some soft drinks
  • Zip bags and tin foil – to store food
  • A sharp knife – that you can use to cut fruits
  • Eating utensils

Delicious No-Cook Camping Recipes

Here are some of the most delicious no cook backpacking meals!

Frozen Hot Chocolate and Almond Cereal

On a cool morning amidst trees, start your day with frozen hot chocolate as a cool beverage and a healthy almond cereal for breakfast. There are several kinds of cereals available in the market, you can take various kinds of cereals like whole wheat, strawberries, chocolate, honey, oat, etc. with you and mix them.

cereal mix

Your cereal, unlike other boring cereals, can have tasty seeds and nuts like almonds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts. Also, you can add dried fruit like cranberries or raisins to make it even more tasty and healthy. This meal will eliminate your hunger and assist you in getting ready for the exciting day.

Calories intake: 400 calories

Ingredients (for one serving of Almond cereal):

  • Milk/soy milk – 2 cups
  • A banana
  • Cereal – 1 cup
  • Almonds – 4-5
  • Walnuts (4 to 5)
  • Honey or sugar – 1 tsp.
  • Sunflower seeds – 1 tsp.

Cooking gear:

  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Plate

Instructions:

  • Take a bowl, pour two cups of milk in it.
  • Add the cereal of your choice – to ensure that the cereal is submerged properly, let it soak for a bit.
  • Add a teaspoon of honey or sugar to the mixture.
  • Lastly, add the banana, almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds. Now, enjoy the cereal with a cup of frozen hot chocolate.

frozen hot chocolate in a cup

Ingredients for the Frozen hot chocolate:

  • Whole milk – 2 cups
  • Properly grated and chopped cocoa chocolate – 2 oz.
  • Properly grated and chopped milk chocolate – 2 oz.
  • Cream – ½ cup
  • Ground cinnamon – 1/4 tsp.
  • Pinch of salt
  • Ice

Instructions:

Remember we are making the hot chocolate first before making the frozen hot chocolate. It is best to prepare the hot chocolate a day before going camping so that mixture is frozen enough the next day.

  • Warm a cup of milk in a pan over medium heat and stir in the cocoa and milk chocolate. Continue stirring until the chocolate has melted then add the remaining milk and cream.
  • Continue heating until the liquid is hot, however, it should not be boiling. Now, add a pinch of salt and cinnamon. Your hot chocolate is ready.
  • Pour the mixture into a blender while still warm and add around 6 small size ice cubes. Blend thoroughly and store it in the refrigerator.
  • You can keep this frozen drink in your icebox and drink it for at least two days

Peanut Butter & Bread

If you love bread just like we do, then you have several options for breakfast. One of the best is bread with peanut butter spread. This meal has a good quantity of carbohydrates, a little potassium and a little protein that will assist you in keeping up with the long day. You can also pair up the peanut butter with some chocolate spread as well.

peanut butter on a bread

Calories intake: 500 to 600 calories

Ingredients (for one serving):

  • Two slices of bread
  • Peanut butter
  • One banana
  • Optionally: chocolate spread

Cooking gear:

  • Spoon
  • Plate

Instructions:

  • Take a slice of bread, spread two teaspoons of peanut butter – or chocolate spread – on the bread.
  • Add cut banana on the spread.
  • Put the second bread on the banana and you are done. It is not only easy to make, it is delicious in taste as well. Instead of peanut butter, you can add jelly or jam between the bread slices as well.

Yogurt and Fruit salad

If you like yogurt then get ready for a tasty breakfast – start your morning with some tasty yogurt and fruit salad. Fruit salads are very healthy and you can plan this recipe before you go camping.

Fruit comes with all sorts of valuable nutrients and sugars that energize your body and awaken you in a best possible way. Just get some fresh fruit a day before your camping trip and you would not have to worry about your breakfast.

fruit salad in a heart shaped bowls

On top of that, fruit is tasty, easily portable and it provides you with some long-lasting energy. The only shortcoming is that fruit can easily go bad, hence, you should not depend on fruits for longer trips.

Calories intake: 300 calories

Ingredients (for one serving):

  • Fruit cut into small pieces – 2 cups
  • Brown sugar – 2 tsp.
  • Lemon juice – 2 tsp.

Instructions:

  • Put the fruit in a large bowl.
  • Add two teaspoons of brown sugar.
  • Sprinkle two teaspoons of lemon juice on the mixture.
  • Use a spoon to mix all the ingredients together and enjoy.

Veggie Salad

A vegetable salad is something that you can have in the morning for breakfast as well as in the day for lunch. Make a Mexican veggie salad with avocado, corn, black beans, greens, salsa and shredded carrots. You can prepare the veggies a day or two before going camping. Cut all the vegetables that you will require for the salad and store it in a plastic box in your refrigerator so that whenever you go camping, you can take the box with you.

veggie salad

This vegetable salad is great for your body and your mind and it would be an amazing addition to your mid-day meal. Further, if you do not get the time to prepare the veggies beforehand, then it takes only a few minutes to prepare. You just require a knife and veggies and you will be done in a few minutes. You can save both your time and energy for some other activity.

Calories intake: 300 calories

Ingredients (for one serving):

  • Veggies of your choice – 2 cups
  • Salsa – 1 tbsp.
  • Salt and pepper

Cooking gear:

  • Spoon
  • Fork
  • A large bowl

Instructions:

  • Take a large bowl and put the veggies you prepared beforehand in it.
  • Add the veggies and the salsa.
  • Use the spoon to mix all the veggies.
  • Add salt and pepper and mix again nicely.

mixed veggies in a bowl

Tuna for lunch

One of the best no-cook camping meal might be the tuna sandwich. This sandwich will give your body long-lasting energy and will keep you full for the rest of the day until it’s time for dinner. You can even pack this sandwich with a tin foil and keep it in a sealed bag to eat it later when you feel hungry.

Calories intake: 500 calories

Ingredients (for one serving):

  • One can of tuna
  • Bread slices
  • Cherry tomatoes – 2
  • Mustard – 1 tsp.
  • Cheese slices – 2
  • Avocado
  • Crackers
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt & pepper

Cooking gear:

  • Large bowl
  • Fork
  • Knife

Instructions:

  • Start by putting the tuna in a large bowl. Add the cut tomatoes, crackers and mustard.
  • Mix all the ingredients nicely and then add avocado, crackers, and salt.
  • Mix the ingredients again and add the fresh basil.
  • Now, take two bread slices and put this mixture between the two bread slices.
  • Lastly, add the two cheese slices between the bread and you are done with your tuna sandwich.

tuna sandwiches

Cheese Tabouli

You can eat this amazing recipe for dinner with pita bread and stuffed olives. With the help of this recipe, you will never have to sleep hungry while camping.

Calories intake: 650 calories

Ingredients (for one serving):

  • Grapes
  • Crackers
  • Two meat slices
  • Tabouli
  • Hummus
  • Pita bread
  • Olives
  • Grapes
  • Artisan cheese

Cooking gear:

  • Spoon
  • Large bowl

Instructions:

  • Firstly, make the appetizer with the help of grapes, cheese, and crackers.
  • Now, add a few slices of meat, tabouli, and hummus to the mixture.
  • Mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
  • At last, sprinkle some stuffed olives on the mixture and enjoy it with pita bread.

cheese tabouli

Guacamole Spread

Who would not love to have a Mexican dinner spread at their campsite? All you require for this dish is a few ingredients and you are done.

Calories intake: 700 calories

Ingredients (for one serving):

  • Veggies – 2 cups
  • Lettuce – 1/2 cup
  • Salsa – 2 tbsp.
  • Chips – 2 tbsp.
  • Bean dip – 2

Cooking gear:

  • One large bowl
  • Spoon

Instructions:

  • Take a large bowl and add two cups of veggies on it.
  • Add bean dip and salsa on it and mix it together.
  • Add half a cup of shredded lettuce.
  • Add chips and mix all the ingredients together. Now enjoy this delicious no-cook camping meal with a cool drink.

guacamole and chips

Crusty Bread with Beans and Salsa

What if you could use the canned meals for making something more delicious and satisfactory? You would love to know the recipe. This is a very easy to make no-cook camping meal that you can have over dinner or during lunch.

Calories intake: 400 calories

Ingredients (for one serving):

  • Bread
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Salsa – 2 tbsp.
  • Tomato – 1
  • Canned beans
  • Canned chickpeas
  • Balsamic vinegar – 1 tsp.
  • Olive oil – 2 tsp.
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Take a large bowl and put the canned beans and chickpeas in it.
  • Now, add the veggies and sprinkle some salt.
  • Add the tomato slices to the veggies and mix it nicely.
  • Mix some balsamic vinegar and olive oil to the mixture.
  • Take two bread slices and put this mixture between them.
  • Add some low-fat cheese to the sandwich and enjoy it with a cool drink.

Jerky and Sausages

Lastly, how can you forget to backpack jerky for your camping trip? The thin strips of dried fish or dried meat are quite easy to pack, extremely lightweight and they provide a fine balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. Consider making jerky with your own hands before your camping trip if you have a food dehydrator and the time to make it.

jerky

In addition to jerky, mini summer sausages, pepperoni, and salami can all be tasty camping meals that you won’t have to cook. No cooking instructions here – just pack as many jerky strips as you think you might need!

Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee can be made anywhere and anytime – coffee doesn’t have to be hot onlyy!

Calories intake: approx. 120 calories

Ingredients (serving for one):

  • Coffee beans
  • Milk
  • Optionally: sugar or shredded chocolate
  • Optionally: ice cubes!

Cooking gear:

  • A bottle
  • A cup

Instructions:

  • Add the coffee beans to the bottle with water and leave it overnight.
  • In the morning, shake the bottle and remove the coffee beans. Then, add whatever else you like – milk, sugar, etc.

cold brew coffee

Then, shake the bottle for a few seconds more and pour the liquid into a cup.

  • Enjoy the tasty cold coffee in your little camping place.

Food Safety Guidelines

When we are discussing the best no-cook camping meals, we should let you know some food safety secrets related to camping as well. Keep food that can easily go bad in a cooler only – large blocks of ice keep the food cold for longer duration in comparison to small cold packs or ice cubes.

While planning meals for your next camping trip, avoid taking foods that are known to go bad easily even if you have a cooler – portable coolers might not always be enough to keep certain foods fresh.

Get Creative With Your Cooking

Make your camping trip fun with unbeatable and super healthy breakfasts like oatmeal with dried fruits, and tasty lunch of veggie salad. Finish your day with a jerky or wrap filled with canned chickpeas and beans.

canned beans

When it comes to no-cook camping meals, feel free to get creative as much as you want – mix fruits with salads, add healthy oils, and top off your trip with dried fruits and nuts. Create recipes not known to man before and stay away from the stove. By eating no-cook camping food, you should be able to save some valuable time camping.

If you are already planning a camping trip, then take out a paper and form a list of things that you would need to create your own no-cook camping meal. Make your next camping exciting with camping food that requires no cooking but just a few ingredients, a hungry stomach and imaginative mind. Happy camping!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

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