Family camping makes for some of the best memories and you’ll want to tell stories over these dutch oven meals. We were not all that successful in camping, and we have the stories to prove it. There’s the one where I took a shower with a tree frog. Another time, my son got sick all in our tent in the middle of the night; and there we were at 3:00 a.m. trying to tear down our tent, pack up, and go home.
One thing we definitely were successful at when we camped was good food. I was very determined not to be one of those moms who showed up at the campsite already exhausted from the work it took to get there, so I kept preparations simple.
One of the simplest ways of cooking is investing in a heavy cast-iron Dutch oven and depending on dutch oven meals while camping. This one is like the one we own (no affiliate sponsorship). The great thing about dutch oven meals is you basically pour everything in and let the ingredients meld together over a nice hot campfire. You can either place the Dutch oven over a grill, or you can set it on a tripod.
If you want to make a fire without going camping, here are 3 easy DIY backyard fire pit ideas.
All you need are a few recipes and you’re good to go. I offer three:
Not only have we used this recipe when we camp, we also have used it on milder Thanksgiving celebrations. My in-laws once lived on a beautiful lake where we would gather around the fire pit beside the lake and let the soup simmer.
1-2 lbs. chuck roast, cut into stew-size pieces
2-3 TBS oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste
1 large jar/can tomato juice
Dry beef bouillon or seasoning
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 celery stalk, cut
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
8 oz. fresh green beans, cleaned and snapped
2 ears of corn, cut off the cob
½ cup frozen peas
First, brown your beef, onions, and garlic in oil in the bottom of your Dutch oven. Add tomato juice and bouillon. Allow beef to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Then add vegetables except corn and peas. Cook 20 minutes. Add corn and peas. Cook another 20 minutes. Salt and pepper to your liking. Serve with crackers or warm bread. The smokiness from the campfire gives the soup incredible flavor.
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For all those pasta lovers out there, you don’t have to miss out just because you’re camping. This recipe also has a wonderful smoky flavor enhanced by the campfire. Plus, you don’t have to cook the noodles in water first. Instead, just place the noodles in the sauce.
1 lb smoked sausage, sliced into ½-inches pieces
1 TBS oil
2 cans petite diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
1 clove minced garlic
1 small onion, diced
2 cups rotini pasta
1 cup water
¼-1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Heat the oil in the bottom of your Dutch oven. Add onion and garlic. Cook until onion is transparent. Add smoked sausage. Cook until hot. Add the tomatoes. Heat. Then add water and rotini. Cook until noodles are tender, stirring every now and then. Take off the campfire and stir in the parmesan cheese.
Optional: You can also add diced green pepper and black olives if your family likes them. Add the green pepper with the onion. The olives can be added with the tomatoes.
This recipe is a family favorite because of its creaminess. It takes very little time to prepare, leaving you time to enjoy the great outdoors.
1-2 TBS oil
2 cups chicken, cubed
1 small onion
1 garlic clove
1 potato, peeled and diced
1 can chicken broth
1 16 oz bag frozen mixed vegetables (corn, green beans, carrots, peas)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 store-bought, prepared pie crust
Cook chicken, onion, and garlic in hot oil until chicken is no longer pink and onion is transparent. Add potatoes and cook until tender. Then add chicken broth and remaining vegetables. Heat through. Stir in cream of chicken soup.
Place prepared pie crust over the top of the mixture, careful not to burn yourself. Place the lid on the top of the Dutch oven. Let everything simmer until mixture bubbles and pie crust is brown, around 20 minutes.
Optional: You can place canned biscuits on the top instead of a pie crust.
I know your family will love these dutch oven meals as much as we do!