Friday, 25 March 2011

Vegetarian and vegan camping recipes

There's something special about eating outside. I don't know what it is, but food just tastes better in the great outdoors, whether that's in the back garden, on a picnic, or during a camping trip. I know it's a bit early in the season to talk about camping, but the sun's been out and the holidays are just around the corner, so I'm posting this before it starts raining again!
I reckon that the key to great camping food is good planning!
I plan our camping meals in advance and write them down as a meal plan, so I know what to take and what to buy on site.

We generally take these staple foods and buy fresh ingredients as needed:
  • Small bottle of olive oil
  • Small jar of Marmite, jam or Nutella in a small pot
  • Tins of beans/chopped tomatoes/sweetcorn
  • Packet of microwave rice
  • Packet of tortilla wraps
  • Bread rolls
  • Small bottle of tomato ketchup
  • Small portions of dried herbs/spices in little bags  
  • Tea bags
  • Litre carton of fruit juice, frozen to use as ice pack in the cool box
  • Packet of dried burger/sausage mix or frozen burgers/sausages/veggie bacon
We also take the following cooking equipment with us:
  • Camping kettle
  • 2 x 1 ring gas stoves
  • Small frying pan
  • Small saucepan
  • Small sharp vegetable knife
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Can/bottle opener
  • Tongs/spatula/spoon
  • Skewers
  • Foil 
  • Plastic cutlery/picnic set
  • Small chopping board

All of the recipes/ideas below either require no cooking, or can be cooked on a one/two ring camping stove.

  • Fried eggs/omelette/baked beans/veggie bacon/veggie sausages/hash browns/tinned spaghetti with fresh bread.
  • Warmed croissants/crumpets/mini pancakes/waffles/pastries.
  • Scones with jam.
  • Cereal with or without milk/non-dairy milk.
  • Cereal/flapjack bar.
  • Fresh/tinned fruit.
  • Filled sandwiches/baguettes/bagels.
  • Tinned/packet soup and bread.
  • Baked beans/tinned spaghetti and crusty bread.
  • Instant noodles.
  • Crudites, breads and dips - Buy tubs of dips (hummous, tzatziki, salsa etc), bread-sticks, pitta bread etc. Make cucumber, pepper and carrot crudites.
  • Pittas stuffed with ready-made falafels and salad.
  • Veggie burgers, hot dogs or sausages in bread rolls.
  • Ready-made onion bhajis/vegetable pakoras/samosas with naan.
One Pan Camping Meals

Garlic mushrooms
Garlic mushrooms - heat a drop of oil/butter in a pan. Add sliced mushrooms, a chopped red pepper and a large clove of crushed garlic. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Serve on warm ciabatta or garlic bread.

Quick veggie chilli/curry - Fry a chopped onion in a drop of oil. Add either 2-3 tsp mild chilli powder/fajita seasoning OR 1 tbsp curry powder/paste. Add a tin of ratatouille (or some chopped veg and a tin of chopped tomatoes) and a drained tin of beans/chickpeas/lentils. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Serve with wraps/nachos or naan bread.

Macaroni cheese - Buy a pot of 'fresh' cheese sauce and a bag of fresh pasta. Cook the pasta and drain. Pour the sauce over and heat through.
(Vegan option - use a tub of 'fresh' tomato and basil sauce and egg-free pasta.)

Quorn & vegetable pilaf - Make a simplified version using packet rice: Fry a chopped onion in a little oil, add some chopped veggie sausages or meat-free pieces and cook for 5 minutes. Add 1-2 packets of flavoured microwave rice and a drained tin of sweetcorn. Heat until piping hot, stirring regularly.

Vegetable fajitas - Make these with paneer/halloumi cheese, or Quorn pieces. Simplify spices by just using mild chilli powder or fajita seasoning.
(Vegan option - omit the cheese and add extra beans.)

Veggie couscous - a drop of oil in a pan. Fry 1 chopped onion until soft. Add a drained tin of chickpeas and heat through. Stir in 1 or 2 packets of instant Moroccan flavoured couscous. Add the required amount of boiling water, cover and leave to heat through as directed. 

Sloppy Joes
 - Make using ready-made bbq sauce. 

Quick Mexican quesadillas/burritos - Heat a tortilla wrap in a pan, spread with some tinned refried beans a dollop of tomato salsa and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese. Roll up the wrap and flip over to warm through. Or try these green vegetable burritos or the very tasty Hawaiian quesadillas  (vegan option - use vegan melting cheese.)

Middle Eastern pittas Heat a wholemeal pitta in a pan, split open and spread the inside with some olive paste. Fill with a few ready-made falafels, a chopped tomato and some crumbled feta cheese. Pop back in the pan to heat through. (Vegan option - omit the feta.)

Pesto spaghetti - Don't panic, I realise that pesto generally contains Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese, which contain rennet, but I've found that the cheaper supermarket brands contain vegetarian 'hard cheese' instead (eg: ASDA smart price pesto.) Cook some fresh or dried spaghetti. Drain and add a good dollop of pesto. Stir through and serve.
(Vegan option - use vegan pesto or sun dried tomato paste.)

Cheese fondue - Add a glug of dry white wine and a handful of Gruyere cheese to a tub of fresh cheese sauce. Heat until bubbling gently. Alternatively, double wrap a whole Camembert cheese (plus box) in foil and cook on the bbq or stove for around 15 minutes, turning once or twice. Serve with chunks of ciabatta or breadsticks to dip in.

Frittata - Fry a chopped onion and a pepper in some oil. Add a drained tin of sweetcorn and break in 4 eggs. Mix well and cook for a few minutes until the eggs are cooked through. Serve with crusty bread.

Cheats patatas bravasCheat's patatas bravas - Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pan/frying pan. Shallow fry some (partially-defrosted) frozen potato chunks, turning every few minutes until golden-brown and crispy. Throw in 1 jar of tomato and chilli sauce and heat through. 

Baked beans with portabello mushrooms & halloumi - Heat 2 cans of baked beans and a tin of ratatouille. Add 4 tbsp of spicy barbecue sauce and heat. Serve with barbecued Portabello mushrooms, halloumi and garlic bread.

Two Pan Camping Meals

Noodles and stir fried vegetables - Buy a pack of stir fry vegetables, a sachet/jar of black bean or sweet and sour sauce and 2 small packs of 'quick noodles'. Boil a pan of water. Add the noodles, bring back to the boil, cover and remove from the heat.  Meanwhile, heat a drop of oil in a pan. Fry the veg for 2-3 minutes. Add the sauce and heat through. Drain the noodles and top with the veg and sauce.

Mexican rice burritosSausage and bean stew -  Chop an onion and fry in a drop of oil. Add some chopped veggie sausages and brown for a few minutes. Add a tin of tomatoes, a tin of baked beans, a small tin of sweetcorn and some mixed herbs. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile make up some instant mash, or cook some pasta, new potatoes or rice.

Mexican rice burritos - Fill wraps with a combination of Mexican rice, refried beans and grated cheese.

My barbecue foodkids' camping food, camping dessert recipes and family-friendly festival guide posts contains more ideas for campsite catering. If you have any other camping food suggestions, please do add them below.

Pin It


  1. The Sacla Organic pesto is veggie too, though I can only find it in Waitrose near here. There are lots of places that sell the normal one that isn't veggie, which is annoying!

    I haven't been camping for years, though I am going on holiday next month to a rented cottage and finding it hard to not take half my kitchen with me!

  2. Thanks Ms C, I didn't know that Scala did a veggie pesto.

  3. they do that veggie sacla in sainsburys too...bit of a pain in the arse to find tho! worth it tho

  4. This post is really helpful. My boyfriend and I are going 'real' camping for the first time this summer (we've only ever camped at festivals before, where decent food isn't generally a priority! Plus you have food stalls everywhere which generally have good veggie options) and I quickly ran out of ideas of what to cook on a one ring stove. Thanks very much!

  5. Hope you have a lovely trip Lindsey. We were at a festival last weekend (coldest night we have ever camped...brrr!)

  6. Fantastic ! Thanks for looking at my blog, your's is fab. It's come at a good time too as we are cutting down on our meat consumption as we only buy high quality free-range and it's a bit pricey. We did lentil bolognese the other day which was yummy. We go camping too so your recipes will be great for us ! Mandy(mummyontheedge)

  7. I found this piece most helpful. I have been thinking of starting campervanning and wondered how, as a vegetarian, I would live with a two-burner hob/grill without an oven and without having to fry lots of things. One pot casserole-type recipes would be my choice and there are ideas here I'd not thought about. I have added you to my list of blogs and will keep popping in to see what's new. Best wishes and thanks again.

  8. Thanks for your comments Mandy and Emma. Glad you like the look of the recipes.

  9. Hi Lisa, I have posted a link to your website on mine. I have created a new tab and am going to be recommending sites that I have found useful. This is also inspired by your pink links -> Thanks again! x Mandy at mummyontheedge

  10. I love your blog, I found it when looking for inspiration of what to eat when camping. I love you suggestions and it has given me some great ideas for frugal camping trips this summer.

    Lots of Love

    Zoe xx
    Life of a Vegetarian Girl

  11. Thanks Zoe...I'll go and have a peak at your blog now!

  12. I'm a high school teacher in NZ and am going on camp with a bunch of 3rd formers soon. Except one is a veggie. Cheers for some ideas on what to feed him!!! Poor boy was going to be beans on toast for two days otherwise!

  13. Hi Anon, Glad this page helped...have a great trip!

  14. I know you're post is old, but your "quesadilla" isn't a quesadilla, that's more of a burrito. I know you're in the UK, it makes me wonder what Mexican food there really looks like. To make a quesadilla, put a flour tortilla in a pan, either with a little butter/oil or without if it's non-stick and you don't want it. Immediately put the generous helping of jack cheese on half of the tortilla, add a few other ingredients if you want, salsa or hot sauce, a small scattering of beans (which would replace the standard meat), fold the tortilla in half and flip over a few times until melted. Top with a dollop of sour cream.

    1. Thanks anon...I should have researched a bit further before naming that dish, as I get confused between quesadillas, buritos and fajitas! 'Real' Mexican food is hard to find where I live, the closest we get is Tex-Mex.

    2. Mexican food with American cheese? I wonder what Mexican food really looks like there.

  15. This list is great but clearly not intended for those of us wild camping (solo) and not going to touch down for weeks on end. Bringing all that equipment (let alone all that food) is impractical and just wouldn't fit in a back pack.

    1. Haha, no definitely not suitable for wild camping, but it might give you a few ideas for recipes which can be adapted.


Thanks very much for your comment. I love hearing your opinions, so please rest assured that genuine comments and competition entries will be visible after approval. This may take 24-48 hours, depending on how hectic my work/home life is at the time!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...