The transition from late summer to early fall is one of the best times to enjoy the outdoors. The leaves are beginning to change, the days are still long enough to enjoy a good hike, and the weather is warm enough in the sunlight to be comfortable without a jacket, but chilly enough in the evening to appreciate the warmth of a campfire. While the first foods that comes to mind when most think about camping food is barbecue meat, there’s so much that we can make with plants. Yup! Even when we’re camping, we can make hearty, comforting plant-based food that’ll keep us full.
Try these 15 recipes that are perfect for your camping trip.
1. Campfire Paella Primavera
A hearty rice casserole, this Campfire Paella Primavera is ideal camping cuisine, as it is easily adaptable, requires minimal intervention once prepped, and showcases the complex smokiness you can only get from a real wood fire. Since this recipe is intended to be prepared without access to measuring tools and over an unpredictable wood fire, the quantities and cooking times are meant to be eyeballed and taste-tested as you go. Enjoy!
2. Sweet Potato Quesadillas
Quesadillas are a great option for camping trips because they’re so easy to make! The combination of crispy and creamy texture, as well as the sweet, cheesy, and smoky flavor profile with a bit of spiciness makes these Sweet Potato Quesadillas a total crowd pleaser. They’re especially great because they can be whipped up in just 10 minutes! Serve with fresh veggies, salsa, baked beans, or vegan sour cream.
3. Grilled Black Bean and Pumpkin Burgers
This Grilled Black Bean and Pumpkin Burger layers a blend of seasonal flavors in a black bean and pumpkin patty. Dressed up with roasted red pepper and creamy avocado spread, it’s completely irresistible. To bring it along on a camping trip, have the batter already made and then just set up your grill. Go ahead and take a bite. You deserve this!
4. Sun-Dried Tomato and Kidney Bean Chili
Chili is perfect for camping trips because it requires only one pot! This Sun-Dried Tomato and Kidney Bean Chili is the epitome of warm and comforting. The mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes give this dish a ton of robust, stewed-all-day flavor. It also keeps well for a while so make a batch for a week full of make-ahead lunches.
5. Southwestern Skillet Pizza
This Southwestern Skillet Pizza is topped with black beans, tomato, and avocado, and has a spicy touch from jalapeño. Doesn’t that sound like a delicious campfire dinner? All made in one skillet, too!
6. Sweet Potato and Tofu Scramble Mega Breakfast Burrito
These Sweet Potato and Tofu Scramble Mega Breakfast Burritos have everything you need to start a day of hiking. Fluffy scrambled tofu with sweet potato, spinach, and other exciting flavors make this possibly the breakfast — and lunch or dinner — ever. Make these before your camping trip, wrap them in foil, and then just heat them up when you’re ready — yum!
7. Hot n’ Spicy Mexican Street Corn
This Hot n’ Spicy Mexican Street Corn is with cayenne pepper, drizzled with chipotle-spiked sauce, and topped with fresh cilantro! It’s the perfect side to your camping trip. Beware, this sauce is hot, hot, hot … so go lightly if you’re not ready for the heat!
8. Barbecue ‘Ribs’
These Barbecue “Ribs” are a work of genius. A combination of textured vegetable protein and vital wheat gluten, they nail the flavor and texture perfectly. They’re meaty, savory, and absolutely amazing when coated in the homemade barbecue sauce. One bite and they’ll become one of your barbecue essentials. If you’re bringing these along for a camping trip, make the “meat” ahead of time and then just cook it over the fire.
9. Sloppy Lentils
Comfort food should accomplish several points to make it truly awesome, like these Sloppy Lentils. One, it should evoke feelings of nostalgia. Two, it should be quick and easy (nostalgia shouldn’t take all night to achieve). And three, it should be nourishing (comfort shouldn’t come at the cost of our health). Fortunately, these saucy, hearty and all around amazing sloppy joes tick off each of these points perfectly. Plus, you can make it all in one skillet.
10. Grilled Sweet Potato Boats With Black Bean Mango Salsa
Looking for an easy meal to enjoy with company? Try these Grilled Sweet Potato Boats With Black Bean Mango Salsa. No flipping necessary. No poking. No nothing. Just stand around and enjoy your company. To cook the sweet potatoes in a campfire instead of a microwave, just wrap them in foil and leave them be for about 30 minutes until they’re soft.
11. Campfire Broccoli and Chickpea Curry
Get ready for something new! This spicy Campfire Broccoli and Chickpea Curry will give you all the energy you need for outdoor camping fun and activities. It’s simmered with fresh broccoli, yellow bell pepper, and chickpeas, and swirled with creamy coconut milk. Serve with a side of rice and follow it up with some s’mores!
12. Garlicky Barbecue Mushroom Kebabs
These Garlicky Barbecue Mushroom Kebabs make a great addition to any camping trip. Ready in no time, these skewered mushrooms are a delicious side to any veggie burger or other grilled vegetables. It’s easy to make a big batch of these and take them along to a potluck to be used as a side, or make a big batch and serve the leftovers cold throughout the week in sandwiches, salads, or antipasti plates.
13. Maple Chipotle Meatball Grinders
These Maple Chipotle Meatball Grinders are sweet, savory, and a bit spicy. They have green onions, maple syrup, and chipotle chilis – a fusion of Asian and Mexican flavors. You can opt to make homemade meatballs for these grinders, or use pre-made ones if you want to speed up the whole process! Either way, it takes only one skillet to make these, so they’re great for camping trips. We highly recommend toasting the bread beforehand.
14. Mexican Potato Hash
This Mexican Potato Hash is an extremely satisfying dish, full of texture and spice. It has a wonderful element of freshness from the fresh cilantro, jalapeño, chives, tomato, and avocado. Serve this spicy hash for breakfast with a side of toast.
15. Carrot Hot Dogs
When it comes to recreating your favorite childhood meals, it’s all about the seasoning and these Carrot Hot Dogs got it right. They’re made by boiling carrots until soft and then marinating them in a savory sauce. After that, you just fry them to make them a little crispy and … ta-dah! You have yourself a budget-friendly, camping-friendly meal that’s a childhood favorite.
These recipes are so good, even if you’re not going on a camping trip, you should make them … and follow it up with vegan s’mores.
Lead image source: Campfire Broccoli and Chickpea Curry