10 Recipes for Beginners Cooking Over a Campfire

When starting to camp there is a desire to get the full experience by cooking over the campfire. This can be a daunting idea to many people, this list of 10 recipes is ideal for people starting the great adventure of outdoor cooking.

Many of these are not full meals but will produce something edible and build your confidence in cooking on a campfire. This will then become a stepping stone to more complicated recipes and techniques.

The most important part of starting is that this should be fun, no one expects a fancy multi-ingredient recipe, and the focus is being outside with the people you care about. The food just needs to be edible and if possible hot.

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Beef in Biscuits
  2. 2. Stuffed Baked Apples Cooked in the Coals
  3. 3. Mock Risotto Cooked on the Campfire
  4. 4. Cheese and Ham Toastie Cooked in a Pie Iron
  5. 5. Campfire Beef Stew
  6. 6. Chocolate Chip S’mores
  7. 7. Egg in a Ladle 
  8. 8. Chocolate Bananas Cooked in the Coals
  9. 9. Campfire Fried Salmon
  10. 10. Pizza Rolls in Foil in the Coals

1. Beef in Biscuits

This is a very simple recipe to cook over a campfire with only three ingredients. The main learning from this recipe is finding the coals to cook over slowly.

Cooking over a flame with make the food have a black soot shell and bitter taste, being really hot will also likely mean the inside is raw. Learning to cook more slowly over the coals to create a golden brown result cooked the whole way through is a skill that can be transferred to other recipes and preparations.

Two beef in a blankets on roasting sticks are held in front of a campfire.


Beef in a Biscuit Recipe
Not to be confused with pigs in a blanket, these are beef in a biscuit. They use 100% beef mini sausages wrapped in a basic flour and water biscuit dough. After wrapping,…

by Dan Hodgson

2. Stuffed Baked Apples Cooked in the Coals

Cooking in the coals is a great campfire skill and these baked apples in foil are a fun place to start. The apples sitting in the coals slowly baking and softening similar to how they would at home.

Stuffed with dried fruit and flavor these apples slow cook to create a decadent dessert. Creating

such a great result from simple ingredients will help build confidence for more complicated recipes.

A raw green apple stuffed with oats and dried raisins, sitting on a piece of foil.


Campfire-Baked Stuffed Apples Recipe
Warm your hands and toes by the campfire while you prepare campfire-baked stuffed apples. Tart apples are stuffed with a sweet oat and raisin mixture. They are then roasted in the fire…

by Saffron Hodgson

3. Mock Risotto Cooked on the Campfire

This mock risotto has all the flavor with half the effort making it ideal to cook over a campfire. The simple recipe means you can focus on learning heat control.

The recipe itself uses normal rice, cans of soup and mushrooms, and fresh chicken. This is a great example of a one-pot meal, which is also an advantage while learning over a campfire, with ewer elements to distract your attention. The resulting meal will be enjoyed by all.

Looking down into a Dutch oven of Campfire Mock Risotto with the lid laid by the side of the pot.


Campfire Mock Risotto Recipe
Risotto is a wonderful dish but the traditional method to cook it can be time-consuming. This mock version is simplified for camping with fewer ingredients and is easier to cook over a…

by Saffron Hodgson

4. Cheese and Ham Toastie Cooked in a Pie Iron

Pie irons have been a favorite around the campfire for years, in part due to their ability to make simple meals easily and without fuss. Thus making it perfect for those with limited experience around a campfire for cooking.

This specific recipe is for ham and cheese, but once the skill is mastered you can branch out to any toasted sandwich. The trick while learning is to have fillings that can be eaten without cooking, this allows you to focus on getting the brown of the bread. For example, recipes using raw eggs I would save for later camping trips.

A ham and cheese sandwich being placed in the pie iron ready to be cooked.

Pie Iron

Ham and Cheese Toastie Recipe
If you are looking for a simple make-it-yourself meal, look no further than this easy ham and cheese toastie sandwich cooked in a pie iron. You can play around with the types…

by Dan Hodgson

5. Campfire Beef Stew

Another wonderful one-pot meal this beef stew requires a little more technique, with a few more steps in the cooking process, yet still easily achievable by a learner campfire cook.

This recipe also has a few more fresh ingredients yet these are easily prepared before the cooking starts. There are also two techniques starting with the frying (browning) of the beef before the remaining ingredients are added and simply adding all at the same time.

Close up of campfire beef stew in a Dutch oven showing the beef, potatoes, and carrots.


Campfire Beef Stew Recipe
Beef stew cooked over the campfire is a warming and cozy way to end a long day in the outdoors. Start this stew before you set up camp, so it has a…

by Alison Kane

6. Chocolate Chip S’mores

S’mores are an American classic which is basically a toasted marshmallow sandwiched between two cookies with a piece of chocolate.

Many people toast the marshmallow over the fire without any problems but then feel disappointed that by the time it is with the chocolate it is not hot enough to melt it (although having done this many times I am not sure that is a realistic goal to start with). This version is far more successful from cooking to eating as it uses chocolate hazelnut spread, so no melting is required to get that smooth chocolate texture.

Three chocolate chip smore cookies are lined up on a white serving plate.


Chocolate Chip Smores Recipe
The best flavor of smores is chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. You can use store-bought cookies for this recipe, but for an even greater cooking experience, make your own cookies. This dessert…

by Dan Hodgson

7. Egg in a Ladle 

Another simple recipe with a single focus is this method for cooking an egg in a ladle over hot coals or a gentle flame. Aiming to get the egg cooked yet runny or cooked through without going that weird crispy helps you learn temperature control skills with the fire.

Once the egg is cooked it can be partnered up with a larger meal it is eaten in a simple fried egg sandwich (if you have never tried one of these you really should).

A raw egg sits in a ladle over a hot fire.


Campfire Egg in a Ladle Recipe
Love the simple things in life, then try cooking an egg in a ladle over the campfire. All you need is a fire, a ladle, an egg, and a little bit of…

by Saffron Hodgson

8. Chocolate Bananas Cooked in the Coals

There is a reason these are loved by scout leaders around the world, they are a great chance for kids (and adults alike) to learn some basic campfire cooking skills with a safe recipe that can be eaten raw or well done.

Unlike many other recipes cooked in the coals, this one allows us to experiment with not wrapping in foil, and the banana skin is more than capable of protecting the edible goodness inside.

Chocolate, marshmallows, and bananas getting ready to be cooked in the campfire's coals.


Campfire Chocolate Bananas Recipe
These campfire chocolate bananas are cooked in the coals after being stuffed with marshmallows and chocolate for a rocky road twist! Kids and adults will love this sweet and sticky treat. You…

by Saffron Hodgson

9. Campfire Fried Salmon

Fish even at home can be seen as sometimes tricky to cook so you may be a little surprised to see this one included with the more tricky campfire style of cooking.

Practically however salmon is a much easier protein to learn with, incorrectly cooked chicken is much riskier (salmonella) and expensive cuts of steak with burnt outsides and raw insides can be heartbreaking, or even just a well-done steak all the way through. This is a quicker and easier item to cook with a built-in temperature indicator – aka if it starts falling apart, it is cooked.

Three salmon slices frying on a square, cast iron skillet sitting on a grill over a fire.


Campfire Fried Salmon Recipe
This is a very basic fried salmon recipe that can be used while camping. The rub can be your favorite pre-packaged brand or you can make your own if desired. Frying can…

by Saffron Hodgson

10. Pizza Rolls in Foil in the Coals

A full meal, a pizza roll, is a great learner recipe being cooked in the coals. The items in the roll can all be eaten raw, but getting them heated is a great challenge in learning control of the fire.

The cheese in the roll is the true measure of success paired with the crustiness of the outside. The goal is to have all the cheese melted on the inside with a golden brown toasted roll on the outside. ‘Needs more practice’ would be a roll that is burnt with non-melted cheese on the inside.

An open-faced pizza roll, with all of the fillings exposed, sits on a piece of foil.


Campfire Pizza Rolls Recipe
Perfect for the whole family these campfire pizza rolls are cooked directly in the coals and are packed with your favorite pizza ingredients. All of the toppings are stuffed in a roll…

by Ash Hodgson

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About Saffron Hodgson

Outdoor cooking has been Saffron’s passion since she was young, often choosing to go camping and cook hearty meals over fire rather than stay inside, watch TV, and eat take-out. Today she is the driving force of Bush Cooking bringing the skills of cooking outdoors to thousands of people.

Learn more about Saffron Hodgson
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