Cooking in the outdoors can be one of the best parts of your trip. There’s nothing like getting back from a hike, or waking up in the wilderness to a meal that just hits the spot–and there are a lot of amazing recipes to choose from when you’re grazing for what to cook on the road. It wasn’t easy, but we’ve narrowed it down to a few of our favorites for a range of occasions. Bon appétit!
TIP: If you’re planning your next road trip with Voyager Campervans, be sure to review our Van Guide to see all of the items we already include so that you don’t double up!
Grub to keep you warm
There are certain foods that can make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, even on the coldest nights. This chili recipe, which can easily include added ground beef if vegetarianism isn’t your jam, is one of our favorites because of the delicious cornbread bonus on the top.
5 Can Chili
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 14 oz can black beans, drained
- 14 oz can red kidney beans, drained
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes, with their juices
- 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeds removed (see below)
- 12 oz can beer, preferably lager
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder & cumin
- Pull a few chipotle peppers from the can. Milder space, use one!
- In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until they begin to soften. Add the drained kidney and black beans, tomatoes and their juices, chopped chipotles and the adobo sauce, beer, salt and spices. Stir to combine.
- Cook the chili until thickened to your liking, about 20 minutes was perfect for us. Serve immediately with your choice of toppings (cheese, avocado, green onions, etc).
Voyager hack: Bring some Jiffy Cornbread mix. It only needs 1 egg and 1 cup of milk. Pour mixture over the chili once it’s simmering, and cook for the remainder of the time. Eat once the corn bread isn’t soft in the middle.
The Dinner & Breakfast Duo
Buying ingredients you can use more than once is a serious #vanlife hack. We’ve included a perfect example of this strategy, with gooey quesadillas at night, and breakfast burritos on a morning (or lunch) of your choice. The ingredients here really vary on what you prefer, but here’s an idea to start:
Cook: 5-10 (keep an eye on them until the cheese is melty).
- 4 medium flour tortillas
- 2 8oz chicken breasts, grilled and sliced
- Voyager tip: Do this at home in prep to make things speedier. Or, replace with cubed sweet potatoes!
- 1 jar Tostitos salsa con queso
- 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 c. shredded Mexican blend cheese
- tin foil
- Spread 1 Tbsp salsa con queso over one side of a tortilla.
- Place 1/4 c. chicken on half the tortilla over the salsa con queso. Sprinkle 1/4 c. black beans and about 1/4 c. cheese over the chicken.
- Fold other side of tortilla over to cover the ingredients. Place on a piece of tin foil large enough to cover the quesadilla. Leave the ends open.
- Place the foiled quesadilla on the grate directly over the campfire. Keep over fire to cheese is melted and tortilla is crispy.
- Remove from the grate and cut in four pieces. No plates needed because you have the foil!
Bonus if you remember to bring cilantro to sprinkle them with!
The next morning, you could whip up breakfast burritos in minutes. We recommend stir frying up any other additional veggies you want to add, scramble some eggs, add on some black beans, cheese or left over chicken to the tortillas from the night before and voila! Breakfast is served, ingredients aren’t wasted, and your packing list is smaller.
For the Outdoor Foodies
Some of us are OK with pancakes or a cheeseburger while exploring…while others of us are going for that gourmet camping life. Here’s one of our favorite recipes for the foodie that doesn’t quit–even while they’re on the road.
One Skillet Morrocan Style Chicken with Cous Cous
- 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 teaspoons ras el hanout
- 1 teaspoon salt, optional, if your ras el hanout blend does not already contain salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup couscous
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 8 dried apricots, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 teaspoon ras el hanout (can be bought at most grocery stores)
- Coat the chicken thighs with ras el hanout and salt. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the chicken. Cook about 5-6 minutes on each side (timing will be dependent on how thick the thighs are).
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Add ? cup water, oil, salt, and the couscous to the pan, cover, and remove from the heat. Let the couscous steam for 5 minutes.
- Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Once the couscous is tender, fluff with a fork and add the almonds, apricots, parsley, lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon ras el hanout. Stir to combine.
- Serve the chicken over a bed of couscous. Enjoy!
Something sweet, simple, and healthy.
This recipe is an unlikely combination, but an incredibly tasty one. Sweet potatoes are a great ingredient to take on your trip because they can be used in all sorts of ways, both sweet and savory.
Fire Baked Sweet Potato S’mores
Prep: Less than 5 min
- 2 small to medium sweet potatoes
- Crushed chocolate (can opt to buy vegan option)
- ¼ cup marshmallows (can also be bought vegan)
- Wash and prick sweet potatoes, wrap them in tinfoil, and place them over the fire for about 45min (or until they’re soft to a fork)
- Remove from fire, unwrap tinfoil and cut the sweet potato longways.
- Stuff as much chocolate or marshmallows as you’d like – wrap again, and place on the fire for 5-10 more minutes! Enjoy.
Pssst…Don’t forget the snacks.
With all the adventuring you’ll be doing outdoors, your appetite may surprise you – you’ll likely be hungry all the time! Here are some of our favorite snacks ideas to either make yourself, or be sure to pack in prep for your trip.
- Granola – Tip: Save money by buying dried fruits, oats, and coconut flakes yourself. Make it custom!
- Trailmix – Tip: Hit the bulk section and save $ by piecing together your favorite nuts and sweets.
- Fruit – Tip: If your bananas go a bit soft, use them in oatmeal or pancakes.
- Beef Sticks + Jerky – Tip: Buy meat you won’t be worried about spoiling on the road.
The only thing more satisfying than waking up in the outdoors may just be having the perfect meal to pair with the view. What are your favorite recipes on the road? Share with us in comments or @voyagercamp!
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