Searching for the perfect dinner recipe for a large group campers.
May 29, 2013 12:06 PM   Subscribe

I am responsible for feeding about 15 adults dinner on a car camping adventure next month. I always default to "foil dinners" in situations like this, but thought perhaps this time I should try something different and am looking for new ideas.

The general requirements are that it is:
- easy to prepare (there will be two people cooking/cleaning up)
- crowd pleasing
- able to be cooked or re-heated on an open fire.

Bonus points for being low[er] carb (i.e. not pasta based) and inexpensive!

Refrigeration/ other food safety issues are not a limiting factor since it will be consumed the first night.

What are your favorite camping recipes?
posted by KMoney to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Big giant pot of turkey chili. I would be more than happy to share my recipe. It rocks.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:17 PM on May 29, 2013

Taco bar!

If you enjoy the campfire feel, grilling up peppers and onions on some cast iron makes for some tasty fajitas.

But let's not kid ourselves, it's mostly about the toppings. Cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, jalapenos, etc. Cilantro and lime for the purists.
posted by advicepig at 12:22 PM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

You can make burritos in advance, wrap them in foil, and then just warm them up over a fire or in the coals.

Chili is good, make cornbread muffins in advance and bring toppings.
posted by bradbane at 12:32 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, taco or burrito bar. Easy to please everyone. Cook up some ground hamburger in a cast iron pan, and some refried beans in another pot. Optionally cook up some rice. Serve with tortillas, shredded cheese, lettuce, onions, black olives, sour cream, etc.

Easy for people to eat how they want, standing or sitting, and nobody has to eat something they don't like.
posted by bondcliff at 12:33 PM on May 29, 2013

It takes a bit of prep, but I love campfire kabobs. If you cut everything up and store it before you leave, all you have to do is skewer the ingredients and throw them on the fire. Delicious! And easy to clean up!
posted by chatongriffes at 12:39 PM on May 29, 2013

I've had great success with a campfire paella in a cast iron skillet.
posted by ottereroticist at 12:42 PM on May 29, 2013

And just this past Sunday night on the wild and scenic Rogue River, I made unagi don: sushi rice (Japanese-style rice with seasoned vinegar) topped with sauteed asparagus and unagi (grilled eel).

Precooked and frozen, unagi can be found at Japanese or large Asian grocery stores. While not inexpensive, it was easy—and so delicious that a former commercial guide pronounced it the "best river dinner ever."
posted by ottereroticist at 12:51 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

And for dessert, banana boats (toppings ad lib: chopped nuts, crumbled gingersnaps, Nutella, etc.)
posted by ottereroticist at 12:55 PM on May 29, 2013

Italian sausages + sliced red peppers + onion + crusty bread roll (4 ingredients)
posted by HeyAllie at 1:09 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you can get your hands on a cast-iron dutch oven they're ideal for campfire cooking. Otherwise go to your local thrift store and buy the biggest, heaviest pot you can find.
Then you can make a big pot of chili or campfire stew and served it with bannock on a stick.
posted by islander at 1:22 PM on May 29, 2013

Gaspacho is my favorite side-dish for camping, because it's supposed to be cold, and is "fancy" especially if you slice an avocado into it after you put it into bowls. It also makes a great 2nd-day lunch; if you freeze the soup for travel, it will be just about thawed by lunchtime (depending on the cooler and the amount of soup)

Since you'll have the fire going, you can make grilled cheese sandwiches to go with.
posted by aimedwander at 1:40 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Meat. Lumps of it. Cooked.
posted by BenPens at 2:03 PM on May 29, 2013

At Burning Man for 12 people:

we start with a pasta salad. Big noodles (I like the RAO's shells or spirals) artichoke hearts, greek olives, sundried tomatoes, feta cheese fresh baby spinach (mixed in at the last minute) and dressed with a decent aged balsamic vinegar which is tangy and sweet.

I bring pre slowcooked cooked proteins in sauces from home in vacuum sealed bags and heat up while the ricce is cooking.

I try to bring 3 different very things, one veggie 2 meat options because when you are camping, going the extra mile is the bomb. Usually a Masala chicken thing, a lentil Moroccan thing and a Curry.

finish with Banana wontons... mash bananas and a bit of cinnamon in a bowl, put a spoonful in a wonton wrapper, make about 3 per person. use spray coconut oil and fry the wontons until each side is goldenish... drizzel with some caramel sauce
posted by bobdow at 3:05 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Camp Fire Fondue - Mr. Kitty and I did this the other night with our fire pit - get a pot - add water/bouillon/whatever fixings you prefer - and do chunks of meat cooked in the pot. Lots of fun. We stuck with red meat, mushrooms, and carrots to cook in our pot of broth.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 6:21 PM on May 29, 2013

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