Living a vegetarian lifestyle can require a bit more preparation than other diets. In many areas of the world things are getting easier for vegetarians, but some conveniences are still hard to find. This is particularly true of food suitable for the great outdoors.
When you go camping, however, the prepwork is all part of the fun! These creative vegetarian recipes will keep you stomach full and your heart content on any camping trip. Not only will they allow you to stick to your vegetarian principles, they’ll enhance your camping trip with some delicious flavors.
Moroccan Lentil Soup
Here’s a hearty one! This filling, vegan recipe uses wholesome lentils and spices to give you that boost you need for any outdoor activity.
The dry ingredients can be prepared at home and packed in a 16 oz container. You could always make the whole soup at camp, but getting most of the prep in at home will leave you with more time to enjoy the nature around you. The materials are lightweight, and you’ll need only 3 ½ cups of water to cook it up. If you have other vegetarians camping with you, I recommend doubling this recipe and using two containers.
- A 16 oz container
- 1 ¾ cup red lentils
- ¼ dried onion flakes
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 bay leaf
Combine all spices in a large bowl and mix. Add 1/2 of lentils to plastic container, and top with half of dried onion flakes and spice mixture. Top container with remaining half of the lentils.
Add contents of container to a large pot and top with 3 ½ cups of water. Bring mixture to a boil then let simmer with the top on for 10 minutes. Remove lid and simmer for 10 more minutes.
Adding vegetables to this throughout your cooking can give this an extra boost.
Tip: Packing spices
When packing spices for camping, use small Ziploc containers or bags. Sometimes Tic Tac containers come in handy as well. Always make sure to label your spices! This is easier than bringing your entire spice cabinet.
One of my favorite dishes to make when camping is shakshuka.
You’ll need a cast-iron skillet, so this recipe is best for drive-and-camp trips rather than long hikes. Plan ahead and put the skillet in the embers of your night-time fire before you go to sleep, where it’ll stay warm for cooking in the morning.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- ¾ Anaheim chiles fresh or 4 oz of canned red bell pepper sliced and seeded
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1-teaspoon sweet paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 6 large eggs
- Chopped cilantro
- Hot sauce, for serving (optional)
While I recommend you cook the sauce at home and pack it for your adventure, many enjoy the experience of cooking over an open fire. If you like, the sauce can be made the night before. That way it will be ready for baking the eggs over the embers in the preheated skillet.
Heat your oil in the cast iron skillet over the fire. Sauté onion and red pepper (or chillies) until softened. Add garlic cloves, spices, and heat until the garlic is softened ( about 1 minute).
Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook until mixture is thicker and flavors are blended—about 15 minutes.
With a wooden spoon, make 6 depressions in tomato mixture. Crack one egg into each and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cover the skillet tightly with a lid or foil and cook until the eggs are set but yolks are still runny. Rotate skillet halfway through cooking, about 5 minutes.
Scatter feta and cilantro over the shakshuka, and then drizzle with olive oil. Serve with hot sauce and enjoy.
Tip: Transporting eggs
Eggs are difficult to pack due to their fragility. Keep them inside the egg box and place them inside something tough (like a cooler) to make sure they don’t get smashed in transit.
Hawaiian BBQ Sweet Potatoes
Camping food doesn’t have to boring, and these sweet potatoes are living proof. Absolutely bursting with flavor, they will inject some fun into mealtimes.
- 2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large sweet potatoes, thinly sliced
- Bit of cinnamon
- Pineapple Slices
- 1 green pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1 small red onion sliced
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 avocado, sliced thinly
- BBQ sauce of choice
- Plain yogurt or sour cream (for topping)
Place sliced sweet potatoes, green peppers, onion, and pineapple in aluminum foil. Cover with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cinnamon, and squeeze half a lime over the mix. Fold and seal aluminum foil and place on side of fire grate.
Check the contents every few minutes. Be careful as the foil pack will heat up quickly!
Add BBQ sauce towards the end of cooking and wait until the sauce is hot. Tear foil pack open and top with avocado slices, chopped cilantro, and plain yogurt or sour cream.
Tip: Anything tastes better grilled
You can prepare most vegetables and fruit in a foil pack. I highly recommend grilling vegetables on a grill rack. Placing dried rosemary directly on the sizzling hot coals acts as an instant “marinade’ for vegetables, creating a beautiful smoky flavor.
Another excellent tip is to lightly brush a heart of romaine with olive oil and place it on the grill for 10 seconds. This changes a salad completely.
You can preboil artichokes and grill them over the fire. These artichokes will be so flavorful you won’t even need a dipping sauce.
Get creative with zucchini, Portobello mushrooms, peaches, and apples. Skewers are fantastic for camping, giving you a huge variety of meal options.
Mexican Style Street Corn
Fans of street food may have tried this Mexican favorite before. It tastes just as good camping as it does from your local vendor!
- 3 ears sweet corn
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled
- 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (ancho chile powder works too)
- 1 lime, quartered
Remove the husks and place the the corn cobs on grill. Grill corn on the cob until tender.
Remove from grill and spread 1 tbsp of mayo on each ear. Sprinkle cheese, garlic, cilantro, and chile powder over corn, followed by a touch of lime juice.
Serve on corn holders or skewers.
Boiled Sweet Corn on the Cob
If you prefer to keep things simple, you can opt for boiled corn on the cob.
- 6-8 ears of corn, remove silks and husks (cut in half optional)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 stick butter
Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the corn. Bring the water to boil, then stir in the milk and butter. If you are vegan, you can substitute the milk and butter for non-dairy versions.
Add corn and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 6-8 minutes.
Remove corn from water and serve.
Tip: Getting hold of fresh ingredients
If you’re going on a longer camping trip, do some research into local farmer’s markets. You might not be able to take enough vegetables to last you a week or two. It’s worth knowing where you can pick up some more supplies.
Foil packs are incredibly versatile for campsite cooking, and you could even experiment with your own combinations of ingredients if you’re feeling adventurous. For a quick dessert, split some bananas and stuff some chocolate inside. Wrap them in foil and leave them in the fire for 5 minutes. And there you have it, an easy to make pudding for those with a sweet tooth!
Or, go traditional! Pick up a bag of gelatin-free marshmallows and roast a few for delicious vegetarian s’mores!
Eat well, live happy
Being a vegetarian doesn’t have to mean being limited to granola bars. Camp cooking is a fun way to spend an evening with your friends and family. Try out some of the above recipes on your next trip!
If you liked this post, you might also like these camping tips that will make you smile! And, don’t forget to check out my reviews of camping supplies! See this post for my recommendation on the best camping cots for side sleepers!