Fun and adventure await those who choose to go camping during the winter months. But the cold, snow, and harsh conditions can be very intimidating for some.
However, there are ways that you can make this the best camping trip ever, no matter how harsh the conditions outside may be. If you’re looking for some hot lunch ideas for camping in the cold, you can’t go wrong with the camping food below.
Keep reading to find out some ideas to keep you and your crew full, happy, and warm all day long.
1. Hearty Soup or Stew
Hearty soup or stew is a great way to warm up on a cold day and is an easy, nutritious meal for the whole family. There are so many different types of soup and stew to make-from classic beef stew to more creative vegan recipes.
To make a good soup, start by sautéing onions, garlic, and any other desired vegetables in a large pot. Add a protein source such as lentils, beans, chickpeas, or diced chicken, and then add a good amount of liquid-broth, stock, vegetable juice, or even just water.
Once everything is simmering, season the soup with herbs, spices, salt, and pepper, and let it simmer for 45 minutes or more. Serve it up in a bowl with some crusty bread or crackers and you have yourself a delicious, hearty meal.
2. Hot Sandwiches
For some classic options, grilled cheese and ham and cheese are always great choices. Roast beef or sliced steak works well in a toasted sandwich with veggies and cheese.
For a classic PB&J, opt for a toasted version with cream cheese and cranberry sauce. You could also make a breakfast sandwich with eggs, cheese, and cooked bacon or sausage.
To switch things up, try a French-dipped roast beef sandwich with au jus dip, or a Reuben sandwich with sauerkraut and thousand island dressing. Each of these ideas can be cooked on a stove or campfire for just a few minutes depending on your preferences.
3. One-Pot Pasta
One-pot Pasta is an easy, one-pot meal that is packed with flavor and requires minimal clean-up. To make One-pot pasta, all you need is some pasta, canned tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and your favorite mix of vegetables and proteins.
After sautéing the garlic and the vegetables, simply add the canned tomatoes and enough water to cover the pasta. Bring the water to a simmer, add the spaghetti, and let it cook until it’s tender. Finally, season and stir everything together for a warm, comforting meal lined with plenty of leftovers.
One-pot pasta is an incredibly versatile dish, so you can tailor it to whatever ingredients you like and whatever camping location you’re in.
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4. Campfire Quesadillas
Great for a meal on the go, quesadillas are quick and easy to make and the best part is that they can be easily cooked over a campfire. Before leaving for the campsite, you can assemble quesadillas using flour tortillas, cooked shredded chicken or beef, cheese, peppers, and minced onion.
Once you get there, each person can customize their quesadilla using their favorite fillings. Then simply place the unwrapped quesadillas over your campfire and heat until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy. Enjoy a hot lunch that is delicious and satisfying.
5. Rice and Bean Bowls
Not only are rice and bean bowls simple to make but they are packed with flavor! For a basic bowl, start by lightly sautéing an onion and garlic in a little oil. Add a can of beans and some tomato sauce, and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook white or brown rice in a separate pot so that it’s fluffy and ready to serve. When assembling the bowls, layer the cooked rice with the bean mixture and top with corn, cheese, diced tomatoes, and/or a bit of hot sauce. Mix it all for an easy and delicious camp lunch that will keep you warm and energized throughout the day.
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6. Hot Ramen or Noodle Soup
The hot soup will provide the necessary warmth and energy, plus it will be enjoyable to eat and easy to prepare. All that’s needed to make hot noodle soup is water and the ramen or noodles of choice. Some suggestions for adding more flavor and nutrition are diced vegetables, pre-cooked chicken, eggs, or fish.
All these ingredients can be added to the boiling water. Serving the hot noodles with a slice of bread or crackers can make it a complete meal and will help extra food from going to waste. Alternatively, creating a delicious hot noodle stir fry with added vegetables and proteins is another great way to get warmth and a hot, nutritional lunch when camping in the cold.
7. Pork and Chicken Barbecue
Camping in the cold weather can be enjoyable but hunger pangs can quickly extinguish the fun. Pork and chicken barbecue is a fantastic hot lunch idea for camping trips in the cold. To make the meal, simply season pork and chicken with your favorite spices, then grill the meat on an outdoor grill or grill pan.
Nothing beats the preparation if you have a Weber Smokey Mountain cooker. Serve with warm brioche buns, coleslaw, and other sides like beans or potato salad.
For a creamy contrast to the smoky flavors of the pork and chicken, whip up some cheddar cheese and corn dip and serve with chips and crunchy vegetables. This hearty main course, paired with delectable sides, will fill hungry campers with a warm and tasty distraction from the cold.
8. Warm Wrap or Burrito
Camping in the cold can be made more enjoyable with the right food options on hand. The warm wrap or burrito is an excellent option for a hot lunch idea when you are camping in the cold. Not only is it a creative way to combine a variety of different ingredients, but its savory and comforting flavor will warm up your entire day.
You can make your burrito or wrap it with any ingredients from ground beef, beans, and cheese to hearty vegetables like potatoes, onions, and peppers. Get inventive and explore the great outdoors with the warm, flavor-rich, wrap or burrito. It’s a convenient meal for a cold day that packs it with an unbelievable punch of flavor.
9. Foil Packet Meals
You can prepare the meal at home, and simply throw everything into a foil-lined aluminum foil packet. Tastes great and it doesn’t require any clean-up! Foil packet meals can contain whatever combination of veggies, meat, fish, and spices you’d like, depending on your taste and preferences.
You can just pre-mix all of the ingredients together, wrap the packets tightly, and cook them in the fire. The food becomes steamed in its own juices creating a flavorful meal. Foil packet meals are nutritious and easy to make – a great combination for a hot lunch on your camping trip.
10. Warm Quinoa Salad
One delicious, warming option is warm quinoa salad. Prepared for lunch by first cooking the quinoa according to the recipe instructions, it can then be mixed with diced roasted vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and peppers.
To add an extra flavor kick and extra warmth, a handful of walnuts or dried cranberries can also be added, as well as a pinch of salt and pepper. Finally, it can be topped with some olive oil, fresh lemon, and fresh parsley for a tasty, hearty dish. This warm quinoa salad can quickly become a camping essential, providing warmth and comfort during cold weather trips.
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11. Hot Pita Pockets
Hot pita pockets are easy to make, require minimal ingredients, and are full of flavor. To customize you can choose from a variety of fillings, from a classic beef patty to roasted vegetables, and add whatever else you desire such as sauces and spices.
Plus, you don’t need to add extra oil or calories for preparation as all of the ingredients are quickly stuffed into a pocket and heated quickly. The result is a delicious, velvety pita that you can enjoy on your camping trip. Hot pita pockets are a satisfying and heartwarming meal you can enjoy anytime you’re out in the cold.
12. Curry in a Pot
Curry in a Pot is a hearty and satisfying dish that can be prepared before you leave for your winter camping trip and then just heated up over the campfire at mealtime. The ingredients list is simple – potatoes, onions, garlic, chili powder, curry powder, and any other vegetables and spices you choose – and it can be as mild or spicy as you like.
To make it even more filling, add a can of beans and some chunks of cooked chicken. When it’s cooked, you can add a dollop of plain yogurt and you’ll have a nutritious and warming meal that will fill you up and fuel your outdoor adventures.
Try These Hot Lunch Ideas For Camping In the Cold
Hot lunches during a cold camping trip are key for maintaining energy and staying warm. There were lots of lunch ideas for camping provided in this article, from soups and stews to sandwiches and wraps.
Consider each option and decide what will work for your camping group! So start prepping today and get ready for a warm and cozy camping lunch!
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