Who doesn't love a good bowl of mac and cheese? But cooking it on a camping trip can be difficult. You don't want to bring along a lot of ingredients and have to deal with pots and pans, do you?
Yes, you could just eat cold cereal or trail mix for every meal while you're camping, but that gets old fast. And no one wants to spend their vacation time cleaning dishes.
We've got the perfect solution – camping mac and cheese recipes! These recipes are easy to make, only require a few simple ingredients, and best of all, they can be cooked right in your camp pot over the fire.
How to make camping mac n cheese?
Now for the most important part, the recipes! We've compiled some of our favorite camping mac and cheese recipes below.
Easy Camping Mac and Cheese.
Lauren's Latest camping mac and cheese recipe is a quick and easy macaroni and cheese. Most of the work is done ahead of time, which means you can have this meal recipe in under 10 minutes.
The cooked pasta and cheese mixture can be divided into individual containers, making cleaning up a breeze.
Creamy Campfire Mac and Cheese
This creamy campfire mac and cheese from Live Eat Learn uses store-bought alfredo sauce to make prep quick and easy. Add more cheese, and you have a mac and cheese recipe on a whole new level. The results are the creamiest macaroni and cheese you ever had while camping.
Dutch Oven Macaroni and Cheese
If you're looking for a heartier camping mac and cheese, this Dutch oven macaroni and cheese from Fresh Off the Grid is the perfect recipe. This dish will fill you up and leave you satisfied.
The recipe calls for traditional ingredients such as elbow macaroni and cheddar cheese. However, the secret ingredient is jalapeno potato chips, which kick it.
Campfire Mac Cheese with Kielbasa
This camping mac and cheese recipe from The Adventure Bite takes a classic dish and adds a little something extra. The dish is made with kielbasa sausage, which gives it a hearty and filling flavor. The recipes used a cheese blend with store-bought Alfredo Sauce for a creamy mac and cheese that rivals the ones you've had from home.
Make-Ahead Campfire Macaroni and Cheese
This make-ahead Campfire Macaroni and Cheese from Nellie Bellie is such a time saver. This recipe is made with a three cheese blend prepped at home and then cooked over the outdoor grill in disposable aluminum pans.
What goes well with campfire mac and cheese?
So, you've whipped up a fantastic batch of campfire mac and cheese – but what can you serve with it? Well, the possibilities are endless, but here are a few of our favorites:
Steak kabobs are a perfect addition to any camping meal. They're easy to make and can be cooked over an open fire. Plus, they're a great way to use up any leftover steak you might have.
This recipe from Just a Pinch is excellent because it can be made ahead, cutting down on prep time while at the campsite.
Campfire Whiskey Barbecue Chicken
This Campfire Whiskey Barbecue Chicken from Cooking with Janica is a definite crowd-pleaser. The chicken is marinated in a delicious whiskey barbecue sauce and then cooked over the open fire.
Serve it up with some campfire mac and cheese, and you have yourself a meal that will please even the pickiest of eaters.
Meatloaf Foil Packets
Meatloaf foil packets are another excellent meal option that can be cooked on the grill or even over an open fire with a grate. This recipe from Skinny Taste is simple to follow and results in a juicy and delicious meatloaf.
If you want to go meatless, grilled veggies are a great option. This green beans recipe from Gimme some Grilling is simple to follow and can be made using whatever veggies you have on hand.
This Mexican campfire street corn from Saving Money Camping is the perfect side dish for your campfire mac and cheese. The recipe is easy to follow and only requires a few simple ingredients.
Campfire cooking tips
These recipes are fantastic, but cooking anything over an open fire can be difficult. Here are some helpful tips that might help you on your next camping trip:
– Prepare all of your ingredients ahead of time and bring them in resealable bags or containers.
– Use heavy-duty foil to wrap up the pot after it's finished cooking. This will help retain heat and make it easier to transport to the campsite.
– Cook over hot coals, not flames. The more you can keep the pot off the fire, the better your food will cook.
– Bring along a long-handled fork and cooking tongs to keep your hands far away from any potential flames. This utensil set is excellent.
– Finally, be patient. Cooking over a campfire is not like cooking in your kitchen – it will take much longer for things to cook, and you'll need to keep a close eye on your ingredients.
Hints & Tips to make campfire mac and cheese
Cooking over a campfire or using coals is different from cooking at home. And if you're heart is set on making your favorite mac and cheese recipes on your next camping trip, then there are a few things to keep in mind to help you get that perfect pot of mac and cheese.
How do you keep mac and cheese from burning?
There are a few different ways to keep your mac and cheese from burning while cooking over the fire.
– First, make sure your pot is heavy-duty. This will help with heat distribution, and the pot's strength does matter if you plan on cooking over an open flame for any length of time. Aluminum is inexpensive, but be careful as this type of material tends to warp when overheated.
– Second, use more than one source of heat. For example, you can use a grill over the fire to help distribute the heat evenly.
– Third, keep your ingredients at the same temperature until just before you're ready to put them into the pot. If any of your ingredients are cold, it will take longer for the mixture to come up to temperature once everything has been mixed together.
Can mac and cheese be assembled ahead of time?
Absolutely. Some of the recipes allow you to prepare them ahead of time, so it helps to cut down on prepping and cooking time when you're at the campsite. Here are some make-ahead mac and cheese recipes that can easily be adapted to work while camping.
Can you cook pasta on a campfire?
Many people choose to cook their pasta over the open flame, and it would be just the same as cooking dry pasta in boiling water when you're at home.
To cook macaroni over an open fire, you need to keep your pot elevated. Cooking the pasta too close to the heat will cause it to burn on the bottom and not cook thoroughly on the top. The best way is to use a grill rack that sits right over the flames, or if your pot fits comfortably on your camp stove, then you can place it on top of that.
How long will cheese last camping?
The rules for food safety when camping are the same as at home. For example, if your cheese is not refrigerated, then you should only use it for cooking and have no expectations of keeping it for any length of time.
Cheese can last up to a week when stored in a cooler that stays below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do not have a cooler, you can use store-bought cheddar cheese sauce or even alfredo sauce sold in jars that do not require refrigeration unless you open them.
What is the best cheese for mac and cheese?
Well, that is a loaded question. All cheese is good cheese, and Cheddar or pepper jack will work perfectly well for any of these camping recipes. However, you can also choose to use cubed cheeses such as sharp Cheddar, Colby jack, mild Cheddar, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, provolone, or a combination of these. Whatever you decide, stay away from shredded cheese, and it is recommended you shred the cheese yourself for best results.
What you need to make campfire mac and cheese
You don't really need many supplies to make camping mac and cheese. It will vary depending on the recipe you are using. Here are some things that you will need to get you started.
– Heavy pot like a dutch oven. Here are some options.
– Wooden spoon or silicone stirring utensil. Here are some options.
– Firepit, grill, or camp stove. Here are some options.
– Aluminum Foil, Disposable pans, or pie tin like these.
Choosing the right ingredients for camping mac and cheese recipes. There are many different ways you can make your own campfire mac and cheese, but there are a few simple things you should keep in mind when choosing your ingredients.
– First, stick to the basics: macaroni and good cheese (either hand-shredded or store-bought cheese sauce). It will help keep cooking time down and give you the best results while camping.
– Second, have fun with it. Go ahead and bring along some bacon or ham cubes to add even more flavor to your meal. If you love any veggies, consider adding them to your camping mac and cheese.
– Third, if this is your first time trying to make macaroni and cheese while camping, have a backup plan. If your heart is set on having macaroni and cheese, have a small package of store-bought alfredo or cheddar cheese sauce, just in case. This will help save the day if things don't go as planned.
Camping Mac and Cheese Recipes for your Next Camping Trip
Mac and cheese is classic comfort food that can easily be adapted to cooking while camping. You can serve macaroni and cheese as a main dish or pair it with your favorite protein.
All of the recipes provided are easy to follow and use simple ingredients that can be found at your local grocery store. So, whether you're an experienced camper or this is your first time hitting the trails, a delicious mac and cheese recipe is waiting for you! So which one are you going to try on your next adventure?