10 Vegetarian Camping MealsPublished on 04/13/2023 · 7 min readLooking for some camp meal inspo? Look no further! Camping & Hiking Expert Hunter Reed gives 10 vegetarian dinner recipes to chef up on your next camping trip!
My vegan friend cooking up some Beyond Sausage on a rafting trip. Photo by Hunter Reed
Vegetarian or not, food can be one of the most daunting tasks when it comes to planning for a camping trip. If you are a long-time vegetarian and avid camper like myself, you are probably all too familiar with hearing the following line from someone in your camp group during your pre-departure planning: “Well, what should we eat for dinner? Normally I just cook up some hot dogs and hamburgers when I’m camping, but since you don’t eat meat, I’m not sure what to do.”
Usually, this uncertainty as to what to eat other than hot dogs and hamburgers results in the meal planning falling on me. But since there are a lot of awesome and easy vegetarian camping meals, I’m okay with it!
Here are some tasty vegetarian dinners to make for your next camping trip that will leave you and your camping pals feeling well-fueled for the next day's adventure! I also want to note that most of these dinners can be made vegan fairly easily with a swap of regular cheese for dairy-free cheese.
Staple Utensils and Ingredients
First, let's dive into some camp cooking staples that I always keep in my camp cook box! I usually use a double burner stove, similar to this one, but some of the recipes below can be cooked with only a campfire.
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Chef’s Knife
- Small Cutting Board
- Spoon for Stirring
- Reusable Utensil Kit
- Spices: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Paprika, and Cayenne Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Biodegradable Soap
- Dish Towel
- Paper Towels
- Trash Bags
Now let's get into some vegetarian camping recipes!
1. Fried Rice
Starting off with one of my favorites! Fried rice is a really easy thing to make on a camp stove and it always feels kinda fancy. When I make this, I use regular rice and when there are 10ish minutes left on cooking the rice, l stir fry some garlic, onion, mushrooms, carrots, peas, and whatever other veggies I want to toss in. I usually add tofu or egg for some extra protein. When the rice and veggies are done cooking, I toss everything together with some soy sauce, a little bit of oyster sauce, and top it with some green onions. Usually, I will also bring some frozen gyoza in my Yeti cooler and pan fry that to go along with my fried rice. You can also find pre-cooked rice at the grocery store such as Tasty Bites rice pouches which don’t take nearly as long to cook, but personally, I just think regular rice tastes better!
2. Pasta with Veggies or Sauce
Another super simple one that feels fancy! My favorite way to do this dish is to fry some tomatoes, zucchini, and garlic, mix it in the pot with the pasta when it’s done cooking, and add some parmesan cheese. There is any number of combinations of veggies you can do for this, and if veggies are too much work, you can of course always just add pesto or tomato sauce to your pasta. The bottom line is pasta is a super easy thing to make while camping, and there are endless possibilities of what you can dress pasta up as!
Burritos are equally as easy to get creative with. Usually, I will fry some potatoes and add some rice, peppers, pinto beans, cheese, and whatever other veggies I might have. I fry the potatoes with store-bought taco seasoning to give them some extra flavor. After everything I wrap everything up in the tortilla, I’ll top it with avocado and salsa.
If burritos seem like a step above the amount of effort you want to put in after a long day of being outside, stick to quesadillas! Really easy to make in cast iron or any sort of pan, and again the possibilities are endless. I like to put sweet potato in mine just to get some extra protein, but otherwise, I just add cheese and dip it in salsa! Minimal effort and minimal ingredients required.
5. Fancy Ramen
If I am trying to impress the people I’m camping with, my go-to is to make fancy ramen. First, I will cook an instant ramen packet (Mike’s Mighty Good Ramen has some good veggie options, and the Soy Sauce Top Ramen flavor is pretty good!). Then when it’s almost done cooking and the water is boiling, I will crack an egg in the pot. The boiling water will poach the egg, making it seem way fancier than just a classic pack of ramen. Then I get a ton of topping options such as green onions, peanuts, crispy onions (the store-bought kind that comes in a bag), and again, pan-fried gyoza. Huge hit and great for cold weather camping!
6. Coconut Curry Soup
If you’re looking to get a little more complicated with soups, coconut curry soup is another great cold weather food option for camping. The key ingredient is coconut cream powder, which is found in the soup section of most grocery stores. First I chop up and fry a shallot, some garlic, a red pepper, and some potatoes, or you can use whatever other veggies you want. Then once those have fried for a few minutes, I will add the coconut cream powder and however much water the directions on the coconut cream powder tells me to add. I’ll also put in about a tablespoon of curry powder, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. When this starts boiling, I will toss in some thin rice noodles (the thinner the better so they cook quickly!) and cook the soup until the rice noodles feel done. A little more effort but delicious, and again, perfect for chilly fall/spring camping!
7. Stir Fry
Making a stir fry is a great way to ensure you still get your vegetables when out on a camping trip. Fry up some vegetables, add some sauce such as a teriyaki sauce or a combo of peanut butter and soy sauce, and add to rice or pasta!
8. Veggie Kebabs
A go-to growing up for camping dinners was chicken or steak and veggie kebabs over the fire. As I stopped eating meat I started making these with either tempeh to replace the meat or just adding more veggies. Usually, I will drizzle the kebabs in olive oil, garlic powder, and some cayenne pepper before roasting them over an open flame!
9. Black Bean Burgers
Another take on a classic camping dinner that usually includes meat! Black bean burgers or veggie burgers are a really easy swap that won't leave you feeling left out if everyone else wants to grill hotdogs and hamburgers over the fire for dinner. Also really minimal effort, just roast your patty and add the bun, tomato, mustard, ketchup, or whatever other toppings you like on your burgers!
10. Vegetarian Campfire Nachos
And last but not least, vegetarian nachos. In the cast iron, you’ll build your nachos with chips, cheese, onions, peppers, jalapenos, or whatever else you want. Then you will cover the whole thing with tin foil and put it in the campfire. Rotate it a few times throughout cooking so all sides get cooked evenly!
I hope this list helped give you some ideas for your next trip! Camping food always seems stressful when planning but cooking camping breakfast and dinner is always one of my favorite tasks to do around camp. There are tons of options when it comes to vegetarian and vegan camping food, it’s just a matter of planning. If you have any other questions on what to pack for camping either food-wise or gear-wise, reach out to a Camping and Hiking Expert here on Curated and we would be happy to help!